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How to Define Home

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How to Define Home

by liketheriver

 

Lou Grover: “What did you do? Take the scenic route or something?”

Danny Williams:  “Long story, short, this idiot made me get into a kung fu fight with another idiot”

Here’s the long story… 

~H50~H50~H50~H50~H50~

“What the hell was that?” 

Danny didn’t turn to look back at Steve as they stepped into the bright Hawaiian sun from the dimness of Jin Leung’s lair—slash-- movie theater—slash-- Bruce Lee Fantasy Camp for Spoiled Grandchildren. 

Squinting against the sudden increase in light, Danny could swearing he could feel his pupils constricting to pinpricks from the goddamn, never-ending sunshine on this miserable island.  He waited for traffic to pass so he could cross the street to where the Camaro was parked.  Only in Hawaii would he be challenged to a battle royale straight out of Street Fighter. Shit like this did not happen with crime bosses in New Jersey.  A baseball bat to the base of the skull, buried in cement, blocks on your ankles and a final dip in the Hudson.   The classics.  Like Sinatra and Springsteen.  None of this Cobra Kai bullshit.

“Tell me, Danny, I desperately want to know, what were you even thinking?”

Danny spread his hands as he rocked back on his heels.  “I don’t know, I guess it started off as, ‘This is the dumbest thing that I’ve ever had to do,’ then moved on to maybe something along the lines of, ‘Gee, I really don’t want a broken nose today.’  It finally ended up at, ‘For every hit this Ralph Macchio wannabee lands, I’m going to punch Steve in his stupid face’.” Danny shook his head at the all too recent memory and grumbled, “I should wax off your sorry ass.”

Steve stopped him with an iron grip on his bicep before Danny could step off the curb.  “Jin Leung is a Triad boss.  We’re lucky he didn’t put a bullet in the back of both our heads and dump our bodies in the middle of a sugarcane field.”

“See, now that I could have appreciated,” Danny declared to the neighborhood at large.

Steve’s brow furrowed into that face he wore when he didn’t know if he should be worried about Danny’s mental health or be pissed at him.  Danny didn’t really have a name for this one other than Steve’s everyday expression when it came to his partner. 

With a roll of his eyes, Danny snorted.  “Like you would have ever let that happen.”  And, yeah, Danny didn’t miss the glimmer of smugness that flickered across Steve’s face that Danny believed Steve was capable of preventing any imminent gangland executions they may be facing.  “Besides, he respected me more for not pulling my punches.  So, you were wrong, I was right, and neither of us suffered any blood loss, which in my book, qualifies as a gold star day.  Apology accepted, by the way…oh, wait, you haven’t apologized yet.”

“For what?” Steve demanded. “Trying to keep us alive?”

“For trying to get me beat up like the guy Daniel-san dropped before me,” Danny clarified.

“No, I was trying to get you to take a dive, same as the guy before.”  Steve shook his head.  “You’re from Jersey; I figured that sort of thing was right up your alley.”

Oh, he did not just say that. 

Danny jerked his arm out of Steve’s hold and took a step back, eyes widening and mouth falling open in outrage that Steve would dare to besmirch Danny’s beloved home state like that.  “Excuse the fuck out of me?”

“You know, On the Waterfront-- I could have been a contender!”  Steve shook both fists heavenward in what was either a seizure or the worst impression of Brando ever.

With a wave of his hands, Danny grimaced painfully.  “Okay, stop, stop, that’s just…pathetic and embarrassing and just… stop.  Please. Okay? I’d rather go back in there and be whacked in the head than suffer through whatever that was anymore.”

Steve rolled his eyes. “The kid wasn’t even throwing solid punches.  They would have barely bruised you if he’d connected…and I would have kissed them better tonight.”

Danny took a step back when Steve tried to step into this personal space again with a wolfish grin.  “I knew it!  I knew you were aroused in there by that whole thing.”

“I was not aroused,” Steve argued, rather pathetically given the red flush high on his cheekbones.

“Oh, you were definitely aroused.  Still are.”

“You’re delusional,” Steve told him with a snort.

“You’re horny,” Danny countered.   

Steve was busy shaking his head and looking anywhere except at Danny.

Danny, however, wasn’t buying it.  “There are two things that I am absolutely positive about in this world.  First, I am never going to let someone hit me and not hit them back.  Second, you want me.  Right here, right now, you,” Danny accentuated with a finger to Steve’s chest, “want me.”  The finger pivoted to Danny’s own chest.

Steve grinned as he glanced around to see if anyone was close enough to hear their conversation before he quietly confessed.  “That’s hardly breaking news considering I always want you.”

Now it was Danny’s turn to flush with a rush of heat up the back of his neck, one that had nothing to do with the sun glaring down on him.  “True, but normally the want level is about here.”  He used his hand to mark a line about chest height.

Steve’s eyebrows rose.  “Oh, so now there are levels?”

“Absolutely. Always have been.”

“And you’ve measured these in some quantitative manner?”  Steve’s eyes had a playful glimmer to them now.

“I’d say more qualitative,” Danny corrected, “but baseline want of me by you resides right here; whereas, your current want of me is way up here.”  Danny moved his hand up to his nose.

“I think you might be mistaking my current want-to-throttle-you level with my sexual wants.”

“Hmm, threats of bodily harm,” Danny considered with a philosophical nod of his head.  “I’m going to have to revise my previous assessment and move the want level up a few notches.”  The hand rose to his forehead.

“You wish,” Steve let out the half laugh that he typically used when Danny caught him with his hand in the proverbial cookie jar, like drinking the last beer in the house, or defusing a bomb after Danny specifically told him to wait for the bomb squad.

Danny gave a small dismissive shrug, one he knew would drive Steve bonkers, and headed across the street to the car. 

Steve could handle the toe-to-toe, knock-out-drag-out arguments.  In fact, he thrived on them, and the louder the better.  Danny, however, had learned over the years that if he really wanted to throw Steve off his game, the best way to do it was to go quiet.

It worked… as Danny knew it would.

Right on cue, Steve followed him into the street with a flustered rant.  “How did you…?” His arms waved toward the building they just left.  “And why would you…?” He rubbed at his forehead.  “And then you, with the…” Steve started frantically tapping his hips with his hands in a manner that looked remarkable like a football referee calling a foul.

“What? I was offsides?”

“The pants, Danny, your pants…sitting there like…almost showing… all low on your hips like…!” Steve’s voice rose in pitch and desperation.  “They’re slacks for fuck’s sake, not board shorts! And seriously, are you even wearing underwear?”

Danny did his best to keep his face neutral, which was quite a challenge when Steve got this hot and bothered, and in a good way, not in a Danny will have to rewrite the arrest report to avoid lawsuits sort of way.

“I can neither confirm nor deny the presence of underwear on my body.”

Danny was not wearing his underwear.

He was wearing Steve’s.

“Jesus, Danny, you are killing me here,” Steve groaned.  “And you took that kid out with like two combos.  He’s half your age, and you just laid him out.”

“You liked that, did you, babe?” Danny mumbled in that low voice that always made Steve’s eyes go slightly out of focus.  And, yeah, maybe there was a bit of a gloat in the question.  “Is that what got you going?”

Steve hung his head as if in defeat.  “Fuck, man, you had me at that shoulder roll.”

“So do I need to raise the want level?” Danny asked with raised eyebrows.

“Danno, I don’t think you’re tall enough to reach the current want level,” Steve confessed as he slumped against the Camaro. “Hell, I’m not even tall enough.”

“And here I was fully prepared to let you blow me—“

Let me blow you?” Steve pursed his lips.  “That’s very generous of you.”

Danny ignored the sarcasm and kept talking.  “—until you said those horrible, filthy things about New Jersey, and now I’m not sure I want a mouth that dirty on my dick.”

What?” Steve exclaimed in genuine surprise.

“The accusation that New Jerseyans are corrupt, money grubbing, chumps.”

What?” Steve demanded again, if possible, in even more shock than before.

“You have insulted my place of birth, the people who have molded me into the man that I am today, my beloved hometown--.”

How?” Steve’s astonishment just seemed to grow the more Danny bitched. 

Danny did his best Steve voice, which was miles and miles beyond Steve’s ability to impersonate anyone.  “Throw the fight.  You’re from Jersey, so just throw the fight.”  Danny scowled in disgust before raising a finger to make a very important point.  “Also, as I demonstrated today, I’m not On the Waterfront material; I’m much more of a told-to-take-the-dive-but-didn’t character, like Bruce Willis in Pulp Fiction.”

Steve leaned back and crossed his arms skeptically.  “Bruce Willis?”

“Yes, Bruce Willis--a true son of New Jersey, like yours truly.”

 “You and Bruce.”  Crossing his fingers, Steve smirked.  “The two of you, you’re just like this?”

“I’ll have you know my Ma’s second cousin went to school with his younger sister,” Danny informed him with a bit of Jersey pride.

“Her second cousin and his sister.”  Steve’s condescending grin just grew. “So you and Bruce Willis, you’re practically family then.”

Danny leaned in conspiratorially.  “Not for nothing, but the whole idea of ohana is amateur hour compared to when a couple of Irish-Catholic and Italian-American families marry back home.  The number of cousins expands exponentially.” Danny mimed an explosion with his hands.  “And anyone they marry, their family becomes family by default.”

“Guess that makes dating kind of hard,” Steve teased.  “Unless you don’t mind that it might be your cousin you’re making out with in the backseat of your dad’s car.”

“You joke, but there’s a reason why I married a woman born in England. And I have to say, you’re lucky you found me, because from what I’ve seen, everyone born here is related on this damn island.”

Steve opened his mouth to speak, but couldn’t seem to form words. Finally, with raised hands, he said, “Hold on a minute.  First off, the terms Auntie and Uncle and cousin are often a term of affection, of respect.  It doesn’t mean they are always related by blood.  And second, you have some nerve to be angry at me for insulting your home state when you have done nothing but insult this state for the past eight years.”

“My observations about Hawai’i are not based on some stereotype picked up from a movie or TV show.  They are grounded in cold, hard facts, Steven.”

“Yeah, I’ve spent eight years listening to your ‘facts’, Danny.”

Given the way he formed air quotes, Steve obviously needed to hear them again.

“Fact number one,” Danny enumerated with his index finger. “There is not a pair of shoes, not a single stitch of clothing that I own that is not embedded with sand.  Even on the days I don’t go anywhere near a beach, there is a little pile of sand around the drain after I shower.”

“It’s an island, there are beaches,” Steve reasoned. “Magnificent stretches of beautiful beaches.  Sand is just a part of island life.  Kind of like smog is just a part of Jersey life.”

Danny ignored the jab about air quality in Jersey and moved to his next point.

“You know what else is part of island life?  Island time.  Apparently, there is some lesser-known, mystery time zone that is twenty minutes later than Hawaii-Aleutian Standard Time, so that any appointment you may have will be missed by the person you are meeting.  And there is no apology, not even an acknowledgment that the other party is late.”

“And I guess people in New Jersey are never late because of a wreck on the Turnpike.”

“Then there’s the food, where every dish includes at least one the following items: pineapple—“

“Very healthy. Lots of vitamins.”

“Plain white rice—“

“What? Italians never eat rice?”

Danny raised both hands to stop any further comparisons of his beloved grandmother’s culinary legacy and two balls of sticky rice served in a Styrofoam container.  “Are you actually trying to compare Loco Moco to risotto, Steve?  Because, if you are, I’m sorry, but you won’t be allowed to step foot in our restaurant once it opens.”

“The rice is a side dish, Danny.  It’s meant to soak up all the good meat juices and gravy and stuff.”

“Then what about the Spam?  How do you justify the prevalence of something that can be classified as meat in only the broadest definition possible, that contains a year’s worth of sodium in each serving, and that needs a gelatinous coating so that it slides out of its can easier?”

“There’s a historical reason—“

“History can explain how it was brought here during World War II, Steve.  What history cannot explain is the unholy love of Spam throughout all of Hawai’i.  Humans are supposed to learn from the mistakes of history, not slap in on a slab of rice, wrap it in seaweed, and sell it next to the spare penny tray on the counter of every gas station on this damn island!  Nothing can explain that.”

Steve gave a shrug.  “Spam misubi is a local delicacy.”

“Spam is not a delicacy; it’s a public health hazard.  But why would I expect anything different from a state that can literally explode under your feet at any moment?  And not from something reasonable, like a leaking gas main or a meth house explosion, but because nature itself hates this rock so much that it wants to kill it with fire.”

“It concerns me that you find exploding gas mains normal, Danny,”  Steve stated much too calmly when the discussion revolved around an active volcanic eruption.

 “Two islands away the ground is literally, literally, splitting open as we speak.”   Danny jabbed his finger in what he thought was the direction of the Big Island.  He must have gotten lucky because Steve didn’t take the opportunity to correct his orientation.  “Molten rock is oozing out of the streets.” 

“It’s not like Kilauea started erupting without warning—“

Danny pressed his palms together and leaned in.  “Last night on the local news we watched hot lava eat a car.”

“Jersey isn’t perfect either, Danny,” Steve argued.  “There’s the traffic, air pollution, noise pollution, blizzards, high crime—“

“Oh now we’re talking crime rates?”  Danny stuffed his hands deep in his pockets.  “Have you happened to notice what we do for a living, Steven, and that we don’t have a lot of slow days?”

“All I’m saying is that I don’t see what is so much better about Jersey than Hawai’i?”

Danny leaned back in surprise.  “You don’t see it?”

“Not seeing it,” Steve confirmed with one definitive shake of his head.

“Not like I would expect you to seeing as your brain has been pickled in salt water and solar radiation.”

“Then explain it to me.  Tell me why New Jersey is so amazing compared to here.”

Danny paused, taken back by the question, not sure he really wanted to answer it honestly.  Then he figured, what the hell?  This was Steve; if he couldn’t tell him, who could he tell?

“Okay, you want to know the number one reason?   They get me.  In New Jersey, they get me.  They get the way I talk, I walk, I dress.  I don’t feel like I stick out like a sore thumb there.  I’m just a normal everyday thumb.”

“But you’re wearing a dress shirt and slacks in a tropical paradise,” Steve argued.  “Of course you stick out.”

“Well a few minutes ago your dick sure didn’t have a problem with my slacks.”

“You’re right, Danny, I don’t have a problem with the slacks.  But that’s because I love you.”

“Babe—“ Danny started, all the hard edges of his argument dulled by those three stupid, wonderful words every time they came out of Steve’s mouth.

Steve, however, didn’t seem to notice.  In fact, his agitation seemed to be growing.

“I took the time to get to know you and now I’m crazy in love with you.  And the other people who have taken the time to get to know you around here love you, too. So if you’d just ease up a little bit and let some others in, they’d see what I see, what the rest of the gang sees, and maybe you’d start to like it here a little more and actually want to stay and not always be think about moving back to Jersey all the time.”

“Whoa, wait, who said anything about moving back?” Danny waved off the idea.  “You may recall that I helped put my divorce attorney in a new Beemer fighting to stay here.”

Steve gave a resigned shake of his head.  “You did that for Grace, Danny, and I know you’d do anything for her.  I would, too. But Grace will be going off to college in a couple of years and then what?”

Danny heard a trace of something he rarely heard in Steve’s voice—fear.  It hit Danny harder than any kung fu punch ever could.

“I wasn’t fighting to keep Grace in Hawai’i, Steve; I fought to keep Grace with me.  I stayed here on this miserable island so I could stay with you, you idiot.”

“But that was years before…”

“What?  Years before the sex?  Or are you saying you didn’t love me back then?  I mean it took you another year and being buried alive under a parking garage to say the words, but you can’t deny we were flirting and conjugating even back then.  Let’s be honest, neither of us have been very quick on the uptake on realizing what was going on in our hearts these past few years, but it doesn’t mean it wasn’t in there that entire time.”

“I know,” Steve agreed somewhat reluctantly.  “Still, Jersey’s your home.  You love it back there.”

“I do.” Danny couldn’t deny the truth of it, never would in a million years.  “I do love it.  New Jersey is…it’s the place I’m from.  It’s in my bone.  Literally.  Half the kids in my second grade class had elevated cadmium levels because of the superfund site a few miles from our school.” 

“Yeah, see, I don’t know, man.  You say shit like that and I just don’t get it.”

There was that worried, confused look again on Steve’s face.  Danny knew the man was filing that bit of information away to dig a little deeper into young Danny Williams’ medical records.  It was as endearing as it was infuriating.

 “I was born there, Steve, grew up there, and despite the toxic waste dump, I had a great childhood.  My parents, my sisters, Matty, my Nonny’s Sunday dinners with that insane number of cousins and uncles and aunts.  And I miss it; God, I miss it something terrible.  I miss getting a decent slice, and Italian hot dogs, and disco fries.  I miss going over to Queens to catch a Met’s day game with my dad, or sitting in the cheap seats with total strangers and cursing out the Devils together when they’re playing like bums. I miss miserable days when it’s not cold enough to snow but it rains bucket of ice water, and when it finally does snow, it stays on the ground so long it’s more gray than white.  And I miss bitching about all of it with people who feel the same way but wouldn’t change a damn thing…except maybe the sanitation workers union because those jerks always go on strike the hottest damn week of the summer.”

Danny gave a small shake to dismiss the phantom smell of steaming hot garbage and came back to the aroma of garlic and barbequed duck and the fait smell of fresh fish that always hung low in the air of Chinatown.   Steve was watching him with a look of sympathy and maybe a little panic that Danny might go pack up his stuff and move back to Newark tonight.

 Danny moved to lean against the Camaro beside Steve, so close their shoulders touched.  “So, yeah, I love it and I miss it, miss my family back there tons, but I have my own family now.  And Jersey’s not home, Steve.  Not anymore.”  He jabbed his elbow into the man who had come to define all of those things for him, that and so goddamn much more.

A small, hopeful smile cut across Steve’s face.  “You really think of Hawai’i as your home now?”

“What, are you nuts?  Fuck no.”

“But you just said—“   The panic was back as Steve straightened and waved an arm.

“Babe, listen to me closely.”  Danny grabbed the flailing hand and pulled it against his chest.  “I left Jersey and came to this godforsaken speck in the middle of the ocean to be with Gracie.  From the day she was born, Grace has always been how I defined home.  Without her in Jersey, I knew it would never be home again.  So I followed her here, lived in those death trap apartments and slept on sofa beds, but I had a home as long as she was there with me a few days a week.  But you’re right; she’s going to be going off to college and defining her own home soon, and Charlie is only a few years behind her.  I mean, I hope and pray that when all the school and graduate programs and internships and stuff is over they both decide to settle down close by.  But even if they don’t come back, I’m still going to have you, right?”

“Yeah, Danno, you’ll still have me.”  Steve’s face softened even as his grip on Danny’s hand tightened reassuringly, or possessively, maybe. 

Eh, who was Danny kidding?  Either way he loved it, just like he loved the hell out of this doofus. 

Danny gave a little shrug, like there was nothing to worry about.  “Then I’ll still have a home.” 

Danny tugged on Steve’s shirt, a signal Steve knew well enough by now to know Danny wanted him to take his head out of the stratosphere where the thin oxygen made his thinking questionable, and lower it down to where the more reasonable humans resided and could kiss him.  Steve dropped his mouth on Danny’s, as open and welcoming as a guy’s home should be.

Some small reasonable part of Danny’s brain was ranting about how they were making out in the middle of Chinatown, in front of a Triad base of operations, and they should probably cut it out right about now and get back to work.  But then Steve cupped Danny’s jaws, licked at Danny’s lower lip, and the rest of Danny’s brain, the part that was now deepening the kiss and sliding a hand under the hem of Steve’s shirt to press flat against warm skin and tight abs was telling the other part to take a flying leap.

Steve pivoted them both to press Danny into the car door so that he felt hot metal hard against his back and matching heat when Steve slid a thigh between Danny’s legs to rub against his growing erection. Pressing his own hard-on into Danny’s hip, Steve broke the kiss just enough to breathe, “Please tell me I get to blow you now,” against Danny’s lips before licking the remnants of the words away and back into Danny’s mouth.

Thank God he was too occupied running his tongue along Steve’s to beg the man to drop to his knees on the spot, Chinatown vehicle and pedestrian traffic be damned.  They were still on the clock, however, and being taken in for public lewdness was not going to close this case any quicker. He fought frantically to get himself under some semblance of control, and for fuck sake, stop unbuttoning Steve’s shirt in the middle of the street.

“Oh, so now you want to take me up on my generous offer?” Danny taunted Steve with his own smartass words even as he nipped at Steve’s jaw then earlobe.  With a hitch of his hip, he rubbed harder into Steve’s crotch.

What could he say?  Reasonable brain was having a hell of a time today.

Steve closed his eyes and sucked in a stuttering breath as he rested his temple against Danny’s.  “Get in the fucking car, Danny,” he growled at Danny’s ear, “so I can get you in my mouth now.”

“Restaurant,” Danny managed to choke out when he swallowed down the threatening moan.  “Three blocks away.”

Seriously, why hadn’t he thought of that sooner?

Steve straightened, blinked as if realizing exactly where they were, then his eye’s cleared and took on that intensity he usually reserved for tactical operations.  He took a fistful of Danny’s shirt, and started dragging him down the sidewalk.

“What about the case?” Danny asked, because it was at least the responsible thing to do.

“Lou’s got the info from the FBI and he’s reaching out to a few other agencies.” Steve dismissed.  “We’ve got time.”

Although by the way Steve didn’t slow his pace, it wasn’t a lot. Danny followed along, partially because he was as eager to get there as Steve, but mainly because of the grip his partner still had on his shirt.  He smiled reassuringly at the people who were eyeing them warily as they made their way down the street.  At least the dogged expression Steve wore was enough to have the crowds part and provide a clear path.  

“We’ll need a reason for the work crew to leave,” Steve informed him, holding out his badge to stop an approaching car as he led them across an intersection against a red light.

Danny glanced at his watch.  “They’ve been at lunch for ten minutes.” 

“That only leaves us twenty,” Steve informed him, and by his tone, that wasn’t nearly long enough in his book.

“Forty,” Danny corrected. “You forgot about island time.”

Steve’s lips curled in satisfaction.  “Still regretting moving to Hawai’i, Danno?”  Danny wasn’t sure if the grin was because of the extra twenty minutes they were going to have, or the fact that, for once, island time was going to serve a purpose other than to annoy the hell out of Danny.

“Only every day I’m here, babe,” Danny told him, but his own smile was full of affection.

Steve tuned them down the side street that led to the front entrance of the restaurant.  When he tried the door and found it locked tight, he grinned happily at Danny before pulling out the keys to unlock it.

“Hello?” Steve called as soon as the door was open.  “Anyone in here?” Satisfied that they were alone, Steve closed the door and pushed Danny up against it in a single move before diving in for another kiss, like it had been days and not mere minutes since their last.

Danny kissed back just as desperately even as he fumbled for the lock at his back, just in case island time ran a little short today.  Satisfied that the door was secured, Danny turned his attention to the last few remaining buttons on Steve’s shirt.

“I’m still pissed at you, you know.”

Steve had evidently decided to skip Danny’s shirt and was working on his belt instead.  “Yeah, right, Jersey, sorry,” he responded distractedly as he looked around for someplace to set down both their sidearms, finally deciding on the table saw a few steps away.

Danny clocked him upside the head as soon as he was back in arms reach.  He ignored the outraged glare he received in return.  “That’s for the shitty apology.”   He whacked him again.  “And that’s for being an even bigger idiot than I gave you credit for and thinking I would leave you.”

Steve rubbed at the back of his head.  “I never thought you’d leave me, you jerk.  I was worried that beach you saw us on as old men was on the Jersey shore and I’d have to follow you there and spent my last years living in that shithole.”

“That is simultaneously the most insulting and romantic thing that anyone has ever said to me,” Danny told him honestly, although he didn’t really think Steve was being honest with him, not entirely.  He decided to put any lingering doubts Steve might have to a permanent end. 

Hooking his fingers in the front of Steve’s pants, he pulled him closer.  “Listen to me, you schmuck.  I love you.  So much that it makes me feel insane sometimes.  And you love me the same way…although you’re already insane.  That means that if either of us goes anywhere, we go together. Got it?”

The only answer Danny got was another long, deep kiss.  As spectacular as that was, as responses went it wasn’t good enough.  He hit Steve again.

“Jesus, Danny, what the actual fuck?” Steve demanded, once again rubbing his head.

Danny framed Steve’s face with his hands, holding him in place so he couldn’t look away.  “What did you say that first day when I told you we should wait for backup?”

Danny got it.  He really did.  When you’ve had your heart broken, really broken, it was hard to trust not just others but yourself not to fuck things up.  And Steve had had his heart put through the ringer more times than most.

With a sigh, Steve murmured, “You’re my back up.”

“I’m your back up,” Danny reiterated, tracing his fingers along Steve’s cheekbones.  “For life, babe.”

“Yeah, Danno, I get it-- for life.” Steve nodded his head before resting his forehead against Danny’s for a few seconds and simply breathing, and relishing the feel of Danny’s touch against his skin.  Finally, he ran his nose along Danny’s and spoke.  “Can I please suck your cock now?”

Danny couldn’t help but laugh.  “It’s about damn time.”

Steve immediately dropped to his knees, pushing Danny’s shirt up out of the way to kiss and nuzzle his stomach as he undid the button then zipper on Danny’s slacks.  Then he looked up at Danny with eyes blown wide with lust.  “You’re wearing my fucking underwear?”

Given the way his voice cracked on the question and he was already rubbing at the bulge in his jeans, Danny knew Steve wouldn’t last through an entire blow job without taking care of himself at the same time, and that …that wasn’t fair.

Tugging at Steve’s arm, Danny ordered, “Okay, come on, up you go.”

Steve looked like Danny had just told him he was taking Eddie to a nice farm where he could chase rabbits but he wouldn’t be coming home again.  “What?  No.”

“Don’t worry, you get to go second, else I don’t get a turn.”

“But, Danny, man…”

“Now, Steven, or I’m zipping up and heading back to the car.”  When Steve opened his mouth to argue, Danny told him.  “You’re so far gone it will only take a minute then you can get back to taking your underwear off of me with your teeth.”

“Did you read that on a greeting card?  You should work for Hallmark,” Steve bitched, but he did climb to his feet.

“Look around us; we’re in a construction zone trying to have a quicky during lunch.  You want romance, break out the wine and candles at dinner.  For now, drop your pants before the drywallers get back.”

Steve rolled his eyes but then they rolled back in his head with a loud groan when Danny skipped the preamble and took Steve’s full length, already hard and hot, in one go.  Steve had a habit of using those combat breathing techniques to make things last longer; long deep breathes in through the nose followed by a slow exhale out through the mouth.  Those had gone out the window to be replaced by a series of stuttered pants  when he’d exclaimed, “Shit!” as his head clunked back against the door along with his left hand that he splayed  wide to brace himself and try to stay upright.  His right hand dug deep into Danny’s hair in his typical attempt to set the pace of Danny’s mouth.  For once, Danny let him be the control freak he was, knowing Steve was already beyond the tipping point.  Within a few thrusts, Steve lost it entirely, and yeah, times like this, Danny could admit that maybe pineapple wasn’t such a bad thing after all.

Steve’s knees wobbled even before Danny was ready to pull off.  “Whoa, babe, you good?”

“Danny.  Christ, Danny.”  Steve slid down the door and immediately pulled Danny in for a slow, sloppy kiss. 

Danny took his time kissing him back, giving him a few minutes to recoup, which Steve always did in a ridiculously short period unless he just wanted to laze away the time with Danny wrapped tight in his arms.  Any other day and place, Danny would have been hoping that was the plan, insisting on it even, because he’d never in his life felt as content and happy and safe as he did tangled up in long inked arms and longer legs like that.

As expected, it didn’t take long before Steve was ordering, “Up.  Stand up,” in a slightly slurred voice.  Steve didn’t move from the door, in fact he seemed to be using it to prop himself up as he made it to his knees.

“You sure you’re ready?” Danny asked when Steve swayed where he knelt.

“The want level, Danny?   It’s through the fucking roof, so stop stalling and get up.”

Danny stood facing the door as Steve tugged his pants down so he could run firm hands over the boxer briefs Danny was wearing.  “I can’t believe you’re actually wearing my underwear.”

“Was going to be a surprise for when we got home.”

Actually, Danny had been staying at Steve’s and hadn’t made it back to his place in five days. While he always had a supply of clothing at Steve’s, he’d run short on underwear this morning and just decided to borrow a pair.  When Steve started mouthing Danny through the cotton and running his hands up the back legs to rub and squeeze Danny’s ass, Danny decided wearing these might become a regular event.

“You and me, we’re here together,” Steve told him.  He seemed to be in no rush, taking his time touching and nuzzling through the fabric.  “That counts as home, right?”

“Yeah.  Yeah, it absolutely does.” Danny leaned into the door, propping himself with his arms so he could look down and watch Steve’s mouth worked to leave wet spots on the outside of the gray cotton, while his hands and fingers moved with practiced agility on the inside.  “Christ, babe, you’re killing me here.”  It was fucking torture; he never wanted it to end.

Danny pressed his forehead against the heavy wood of the door and focused on the feel of familiar hands on overheated skin, a warm mouth breathing on his rock hard dick, and tried to keep from twitching when Steve hit some of the more sensitive spots he was exploring.

“Hey, Danny, easy, I’ve got you,” Steve soothed, lips and tongue tracing his pelvis even as his fingers rubbed right behind his balls with the perfect amount of pressure.

Danny could do nothing more than groan out, “Fuck, Steve…”

“I’ve got you,” Steve promised again, or maybe laid claim was closer to the truth.

At that moment Danny didn’t care which it was, because Steve final pulled down the briefs and put his mouth on Danny for real, and Danny was Steve’s, body and soul, and would be for life.

Steve was a pro when it came to blow jobs, knew exactly how to use his tongue, the occasional gentle scrape of teeth, and the perfect amount of suction.  Danny became lost in it every time, the rhythm, the wet heat, the greedy little noises Steve made like he needed this, like Danny was doing him a favor by letting Steve make his head explode.

Danny could feel his orgasm building and always felt he should give his partner warning.  It was, after all, the polite thing to do.

“Steve…I’m…fuck…fuckfuckfuckfuckfuck…”

Steve moaned in response, gripped Danny’s ass and pulled him in closer, and Danny was gone, just fucking gone

He ended up sprawled in Steve’s lap, either his knees just gave out and he dropped like a stone, or Steve pulled him down.  He didn’t really care which it was because he was currently wrapped up tight in Steve’s arms and babbling things like, “Christ, babe…,” and “That was…,” and “Your mouth is a goddamn national treasure,” and “Fuck, but I love you something crazy.”

He could feel the curl of Steve’s lips forming a smile against his temple as he pressed kisses there, then on Danny’s jaw.  He cupped the back of Danny’s head when Danny dropped his forehead on Steve’s shoulder in blissed out exhaustion, and Danny just soaked it all in as he floated in an endorphin-fueled haze of pure unadulterated happiness.

After a few minutes, Danny reluctantly straightened enough to look at Steve who was wearing one of those soft smiles on his face that made Danny’s heart just give up and surrender completely. 

“How you doing, buddy?” Steve asked quietly as he ran a thumb along Danny’s stubble.

“Guess we should get going, huh?”  The warm, but brief, kiss he planted on Steve’s lips tempered Danny’s question.

Steve gave a whole body shrug, still seeming content to just sit there and map the contours of Danny’s jaw.  “You know, corrupt German banker, murderous son of a mob boss.  Lou’s probably wondering why we aren’t back yet.” 

“Eh,” Danny dismissed, “I’ll blame it on you.  That always works.”

“So I’ve noticed,” Steve pointed out with a final kiss before shifting to let Danny know lazy time was over.

Danny groaned as he pushed himself off of Steve, feeling a twinge in his bad knee from all the kneeling and standing in awkward positions he’d been doing the past little bit.  He started pulling up his underwear, half wishing for a shower but knowing there wasn’t time for that.

“All I can say is I’m glad the health inspector isn’t showing up for a few more weeks,” Steve announced as he zipped up again, as well.

“I just pray to God he doesn’t show up with a black light,” Danny added.

Steve started laughing as he worked the buttons on his shirt.  “Just remember to tip the final cleaning crew really well.”

“Yeah, I’ll remember,” Danny grumbled as he tucked in his shirt, “because no way you’re cracking your wallet open for that.”

“Cleaning crew is on your list, Danny, not mine,” Steve reminded.  “That’s why we have the lists.”

“We have the lists because you’re an OCD freak,” Danny countered before looking around because it felt like he was missing something.

“The list is what’s getting us back on track for this opening.”  Steve frowned when he noticed Danny patting at himself.  “You got everything?”

“Guns,” Danny realized.  “We don’t have our guns.”

“Oh, yeah, right here.” Steve retrieved them from the table saw.

“Maybe we should make a list when we have a nooner next time so we don’t forget anything important, like say, when you hide our service weapons.”

“I didn’t hide them; I stored them safely out of the way.”

Danny waved off the excuse as he tried to settle his hair back into place.

Steve already had the front door open.  “Your hair looks fine, Danny.”

“It looks like I’ve been dragged into a cave and ravaged by a Neanderthal, which isn’t too far from the truth.”

Steve grinned like the goof he was.  “Like I said, it looks fine.”

Finally deciding it was as good as he was going to get at hiding the evidence, Danny joined Steve on the front stoop and waited for him to relock the door.  Yet again, he could feel his pupils constricting in the bright light.  For some reason, he couldn’t seem to be too angry about it.

Fucking sex endorphins always made it harder to hate this place.  He wondered absently if Steve had caught on to the fact and was just sleeping with him to keep him in a better mood.  Maybe lost a bet at the office or drawn the short straw.

But then Steve had sidled up beside him and slipped his hand in Danny’s, intertwined their fingers and gave a squeeze before releasing it.   “Ready?”

Danny gave a bump to Steve’s shoulder then started walking down back toward the Camaro.  “Listen, do you mind if we stay at my place tonight?  I’m running low on a few essentials at your house, like clean clothes.”

Steve paused, before nodding, and following along.  “Sure, we can do that.  But, you know, I just did a load of underwear the other day.  You’re welcome to wear those…if you want… just saying.”

“Oh, babe,” Danny lamented with a sorrowful shake of his head, “I created a fetish, didn’t I?”

Steve’s shoulders slumped.  “It’s so fucking hot, Danny.”

“You are so easy it’s hardly worth the effort,” Danny chastised without any real heat behind it. Steve was always worth the effort.

Always.

When Steve fixed him with those big, ridiculous eyes of his, in a look he’d obviously learned off of Eddie, Danny sighed dramatically.

“Okay, but if I’m wearing your underwear all the time, and mine are all dirty, what are you going to wear?”

Steve’s lips pursed in thought.  “I guess that means I’ll have to go commando.”

Danny stopped walking and considered for all of three seconds.  “Yeah, okay, your place it is.”

Laundry needs and sexual kinks aside, it didn’t really matter where they stayed.  Either way, if they were both there, it was home.

The End