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H A W A I I . F I V E - 0

 

Plip!

Plip!

Danny flinched awake with a grumble as something kept dripping on his forehead; feeling like someone was poking him with a wet finger. He rolled to the other side of his bed and glared up at the ceiling. Through the dim lighting in his bedroom, he could see the water-stain on the ceiling over his bed that had been growing the last couple days like an ominous shadow.

Plip!

Plip!

Plip!

"Ugh!" Danny growled in frustration.

There was no way he could sleep like this and it was too early to be up yet. He lurched upward and grabbed the empty glass sitting on his nightstand. Replacing his pillow before it could get anymore wet from the unknown water, he balanced the glass on the mattress in the same spot.

He grabbed his blanket, pillow, cell phone and noise machine.

He made his way easily enough from his bedroom to his living room through his kitchenette. He put cell and the noise machine on the coffee table, turning on his Soothing Sounds of New Jersey. Yanked off the pillowcase and threw himself onto his folded pullout. Rolling to put his back to the room, he pulled his blanket to his ears and snuggled down, the errant grumble of why he just hadn't stayed at Steve's leaving him.

It wasn't long before the sounds of back-home put him back to bed and he forgot the whole thing.

...

Danny was awoken by the sound of a crashing wave, and he blinked groggily around his dawn-lightened apartment living room in a moment of confusion, thinking himself back at Steve's. The ache in his back and crick in his neck quickly righted that delusion—no way would the memory-foam do him like that.

He groaned, flopping back for a moment and rubbing his eyes. Why hadn't he stayed over at Steve's and decided to subject himself this torture again? Heaving a sigh, he kicked the blanket off and sat up, twisting around to put his bare feet on the tile underfoot. He picked up his phone with one hand to check the time and turned off his noise machine with the other.

5:23 a.m.

"Perfect," he uttered, putting the phone back. He got to his feet, scrubbing a hand through his morning troll-hair as he made for the bathroom. There really was no point in trying to get back to sleep, not when his alarm was at six—and besides, he had to take a leak now with all his dreaming of waves.

Passed the kitchen, he paused in confusion as his footsteps splashed. Turning on the hall light, he looked down at his bare feet in fluttering water. "What the--?" had his bathroom pipes burst? But a quick check into the bathroom showed him it was dry. It hadn't been the kitchen, he would have noticed earlier.

A dreadful realization twisted his stomach; the only other room it could be-- He turned to his closed bedroom door, staring at it like it concealed his worst possible nightmare in this moment behind it. With his luck, who was he kidding?

He grasped the knob, twisted it and pushed the door open, letting it hit the wall behind lightly. Without flicking on his bedroom light, the hall's illuminated the disaster just perfectly. That lovely, ominous water stain that had been growing over his bed these last couple of days was now a shadowed hole. Broken plaster framed it, the gleam of a broken pipe protruded from it. And water continued to gush out of that like a fountain.

"Shit!"

The water lapped at his feet. The cup he'd left on the bed to collect the annoying drip floated by on the faint current of the still running water. His bed was sopping, water pouring out of it like a wet cloth. It took him forever to get a brand-new, twin mattress. The bed frame was used, along with the other furniture in his flooded bedroom, but that was completely beside the point. The mattress was ruined! Even if he was somehow able to dry it out, no way would it not end up being musty.

The Hawaii mojo just didn't favour him. He was apartment cursed! Condemned, infestation, drafts, broken pipes—he never could seem to get a break. And it looked like he was gonna be out of it again.

"Fuck!" he shouted in a cry, hands fisted in his already out of control hair. What the hell was he supposed to do now?

0 - xH5Ox - 0

Danny parked in his usual spot at the Palace private parking lot, but didn't immediately get out. His entire household, furniture not included was boxed up in the backseat (that particular entirety consisted of 2 taped up and battered boxes, 1 file box of 'precious memories', an a stuffed duffle bag), his trunk filled with Stevesque objects that Danny just thought it would be better to just turn a blind eye for the moment and not touch.

Exhaling heavily, he thumped his head back against the headrest, his eyes squeezed closed. He was going to have to stay in another shitty motel until he could find another reasonably priced apartment—which he had no success in since hauling off to Hawaii.

Luckily, it hadn't been a carpool-day. He should have just called in with a sick day or something—but he knew it was just a foolhardy attempt at avoiding Steve. He would have come running like the blond was being held hostage instead of pretending to be sick. It was both annoying and endearing with a frequency.

His left hand was on the door handle, his right on the keys still in the ignition with indecision when—speak the SuperSEAL's name and all that hocus-pocus—and Steve seized the prime opportunity and took up shotgun, shutting the passenger door with finality behind him.

Danny cracked his eyes, glancing over at his wayward partner. It wasn’t a surprise that Steve was ‘there’ in the general sense, just where he was sitting this particular ‘there’. "Has hell frozen over? You're in the passenger seat, Steve."

"Don't try and change the subject." Steve gestured behind him to the boxes filling the backseat, "Trying to ride off into the sunset without me?"

"Surprised it took you this long." Danny snarked, his hands dropping to his lap. "Thought you might have broke your ankle leaping down the stairs in your hurry."

"Do you think a broken ankle would have stopped me?" Steve said rhetorically.

The blond chuffed and uttered an answer anyways. "Not for a minute."

"So?" Steve questioned.

"Firstly," Danny told him to the expansive word, "It's too early to drive off into the sunset. Secondly, driving into the sunset is a physical impossibility in our current vehicle of choice, any attempt would just end us into the ocean." He mimed the failed attempt. "And I've had enough with water invading my space, it's not getting my car, too!" he muttered to himself as he gripped the steering wheel, trying to take a deep and calm breath.

"Third, too romantic for your doomsayer heart?" Steve chipped in like any good partner in a bid of distraction.

"Hey," he held up a hand. "I will Thema and Louise it with you right now, buddy."

Steve gave a short chuckle. "It's on the bucket list."

"Along with traipsing over an active volcano, befriending sharks or was it attempt to grow actual gills yourself, and lets not forget—" Danny raised a finger, "drive me to an early grave!"

"We can do some of the things you wanna do, too, Danno."

"'Cause we have a joint bucket list now?" Danny raised a brow. Steve shrugged. "You're very co-dependent, babe."

"If it ain't broke," he supplied.

Danny stared at him for a moment, gave no protest, "Huh," and simply moved on because as odd as their relationship was to each other, as dysfunctional as outsiders might see it, it worked for them.

"So, it's decided." Steve declared in his distracted headspace and yoinked the keys from the ignition and jumped fluidly from the car.

"Hey!" Danny protested and without thinking it through, climbed from the car to glare across the roof at his taller partner as he shut his door. "There is no 'it's decided', I haven't agreed to anything."

"I have your keys," Steve held them up. "And now I have all your belongings." And he pressed the fob lock.

"Steve!" Danny shouted, realizing his mistake too late as he yanked on the door handle ineffectually. "Unlock the door!" but when he looked back over the roof, the brunette was gone. He quickly looked around and spotted the man just in time to see him pulling open the door to the back entrance of the Palace. "Steven!" Danny growled, making after him, a hand pulled sharply over his hair; that damn long lethal stride that ate up the distance between a fleeing dirtbag and made Danny have to sometimes literally jog to keep up on a regular walking bases.

Danny didn't even have to say the words, 'My apartment flooded.' Steve didn't even need to be asked the question that hadn't even seemed to enter Danny's sphere, 'Can I crash at yours til I find a place?'. 'It's decided,' there had been no qualm in his words, 'It's decided.' But he knew Steve too well. Steve wouldn't just want him to 'Stay as long as you need, buddy, there's no hurry.' 'It's decided' was deceptively easy on the surface and complicated as hell below that. 'It's decided' meant 'Welcome home, Danno!'

And in the face of Steve's unwavering, definitive relationship-altering decision—it simply incited Danny's flight-or-fight. Though in order for him to take flight, he needed to fight and get his damn keys and belongings back!

And as Steve open the glass door that led to the inner sanctum of the Five-0 offices, Danny's loafers gained fast purchase and with an almost out-of-body experience, the short blond man leapt onto his partner's back. This was the very last thing the SEAL expected from the man and was utterly unprepared; he stumbled, skidding to his knees then stomach under the detective's unexpected weight with a grunt, the Camaro keys skidding across the dark marble floor from his hand.

"Danny!" Steve squawked in shock, prone on the floor under Danny.

"You can't just make that decision without even consulting me, okay?" Danny panted. "This is more than you driving my car or stealing my clothes and me wearing yours instead in bed or just spending the night at your place," he waved a hand, one forearm braced across the back of the Commander's shoulders. "This is where I live, this is my home." He pushed off the man and crawled for his keys.

Steve reached forward and grabbed his ankle, yanking his knee out from under him and sending him sprawling. "Living, yes. But none of those shit apartments you keep renting will ever be a home, Danno."

"Don't you try and start spewing that sentimental nonsense at me, Steven." Danny managed to squirm forward and grab the key ring before Steve started to pull him back across the floor. "This is just you trying to control another part of my life." He finally came to a stop and Steve flipped him on his back, pinning the man under him; but even as Danny's fingers clenched around the keys, Steve made no attempt to regain possession.

"What are you doing, you Neanderthal? We're at work!"

"You should have thought about that before you tackled me like child throwing a tantrum." Steve countered.

"Child throwing a tantrum, he says." Danny sputtered. "You stole my keys, you stole my personal belongings—you started down this line." Steve's hold was firm but not overly tight, he knew he could break it if he actually wanted. Steve would never actually hold him against his will, but something in his subconscious must have been holding him back.

Steve saw it and dined to take the second offered advantage of the morning. He released Danny's shoulders and grasped the man's face with both hands. "It's okay, Danno."

Danny blinked at him. "Wha--?"

"It's okay to be scared."

"Scared?" he gave an indignant scoff, but his blue gaze involuntarily flickered away from Steve's hazel-grey. "Now you're just putting words into my mouth; nobody gets to do that, not even you, babe. Everything else you may have commandeered, but not that. Scared? I've lived through your daily irrationality—now that is fear. This? This," he waved a hand, "is just me being rational in the face of another stunt of your irrationality..." Steve was giving him a look and Danny figured that if he just kept talking he could ignore it—but then he ran out of words. Shit. He gave an exhausted sigh. "What? What does your face want with me?" he flapped a hand at the man.

"Danny,"

"Goddammit, Steve." Danny cursed. "What do you want from me?" It was sometimes a curse just how well Steve knew him; great for the job but not right now.

"It's me." He murmured earnestly.

Crap. "You think you're the only one with who's been left high and dry? The only one who's been... been stabbed in the back for your love and trust?" Danny burst after a frustrating second. "I met Rachel and that was it for me, Steve," his hand sliced through the air off to the side. "My future, whatever that was going to be, had her in it. She gave me Grace, the light of my life—and I forgot. For a moment I forgot and everything came apart. I was back into the miserable embrace where I belonged and my life was a wreck. She tried to take my light away, Steve. And I came here to this pineapple polluted sunbaked volcanic rock and met you—and my life was still a wreck," he gave a watery chuckle. "But it was somehow good again. It's good, Steve."

Steve gave a brief small smile at that. "I'm not Rachel. I'm not just gonna leave you high and dry like that, I couldn't survive without you. Before all this," he nodded at the office around them, "My future was dying on a top secret mission halfway across the world and when my dad died," he swallowed around the lump, "I was going to hunt Hesse down until one or both of us were dead, but you pulled me out, Danny. Wo Fat... you kept me fighting, gave me a reason to always come back. You're the one that kept me alive this long, Danno." He murmured, his gaze unwavering. "I know it's scary to put yourself in that vulnerable position again, but you gotta know, Danny, I will always be here, I'm not going anywhere."

Danny looked up into Steve's unwavering, determined, and warm eyes and that invisible gaping wound in his chest that Rachel left gained some scar tissue, and somehow he was breathing easier already. "Okay," he whispered, licking his lips; any louder and it would have come out an embarrassing croak. Usually it was him promising Steve that he wasn't going anywhere, yet Steve was the one that said 'I love you' first... even if Danny was the one that crawled into his bed first--but he wasn't keeping some emotional tally.

Steve gave him goofy soft smile that banished the shadow lurking in the back of his eyes for a moment and Danny was unable to stop the soft chuff as the SEAL ducked his head and gently pressed their foreheads together.

"Alright already," Danny finally voiced in a grouch. "You can let go of my face now—your palms are all sweaty."

Steve chuckled but did as he was bid, releasing the blond's face but didn't get up from his straddle quite yet; they still had yet to finish the reason for their precarious position in the workplace in the first place.

"Look, I know you love me, Steve, and think I'm awesome—and I admit, I'm pretty invested in you, too, if you already didn't know, but the straddle at work is just a bit much, don't you think? I mean, I would love to at least have a hairs breadth of professionalism at work if that's okay with you."

"You're my retirement plan."

Danny blinked at him and rose up onto his elbows, completely forgetting about his previous (reasonable) request, because some casual straddling in the middle of the office didn't even ping right now. "Please tell me you're kidding,"

"What can I say, Danno..." Steve gave a helpless but unrepentant shrug, "You hooked me deep."

"Oh, babe, we gotta talk."

"Now that we'll be living together," Steve declared. "We have all the time in the world to talk."

"I must have misheard something in the distance between us," Danny said, his hand slapping at either of their chest through the foot span between them. "Because it just sounded like you said we'll be living together."

"It's already decided."

"You deciding doesn't automatically mean I agree, Steven. Hence the bodily tackle!" he waved a hand.

"Danny," Steve rested a hand on his shoulder. "You're practically already living in my house. You have drawer space, closet space. Half the medicine cabinet is yours. You spend almost four nights a week over and usually every weekend. Babe, it's already done, you just didn't realize it."

"No, no way." Danny shook his head in denial, sitting up and pushing Steve back some with a hand on his chest. "We are not already living together, Steven." It made his heart flutter and he wasn't positive whether it was anxiety or something else. "I'm a detective, a pretty damn good one, too, if I do say so myself—I think I would have noticed."

"You are a pretty great detective, Danny," Steve agreed, "When it comes to police work—but you tend to be a bit obtuse when it comes the subtleties of intimate relationships."

Danny gave him a incredulous look. "Excuse me, Commander Neanderthal-Animal-never-heard-of-a-thing-called-boundaries! You're obtuse when it comes to human contact, period." He punctuated with a flick of his hand. "Do you comprehend exactly where you are right now, the position you're in?"

"We were wondering the same thing," Kono piped up. Both men froze for a split second before they both slowly looked back over Steve's shoulder to find both cousins watching them expectantly.

"Get off, Steve!" Danny pushed Steve off and quickly scrambled to his feet, internally mortified; Steve shot Danny a pout from view of the cousins as he slowly picked himself up. His back to them, Danny took a quick moment to put his keys in his pocket, smooth his tie and card his fingers through his hair to straighten the slightly dishevelled strands before he turned back around. "What's up, guys?"

"I believe we're the ones who asked that first, Danny." Chin said.

"I.e.," Kono added. "Spill, Boss 1 and Boss 2."

Steve cleared his throat. "Dinner tonight at my place?" he said after a moment. He glanced at Danny. "Celebrate Danno moving in..." Danny didn't vocalize a protest this time and instead his gaze flickered watchfully between the pair, awaiting their response.

"You sure that's such a good idea?" Kono wondered carefully after exchanging a look with her coz.

But Danny's stubborn chin made an unconscious appearance and Steve's hazel-grey gaze focused on her like a hawk. "Why wouldn't it be?" The Commander’s arms crossed over his chest.

"Because you two were at each other's throat inside of three days the last time Danny crashed on your couch," she reminded them. "Never mind," she corrected after a moment, "That's just your baseline!"

"What coz means," Chin said, hand on her shoulder, "Is that of course we'll come and celebrate this natural next step in your relationship."

Steve grinned and Danny automatically went on the defensive. "See?" Steve elbowed Danny lightly. "Chin gets it!"

"No, Steve." Danny muttered with a sigh as he pinched the bridge of his nose. "He doesn't."

"Didn't you say you were sleeping together?" Chin murmured coyly.

"Oooh!" Kono nearly squealed delightfully at the news, more like a teenager than an officer of the law.

Danny pointed sternly at her. "Do not make me send you to your office, young lady. Get the dirty thoughts out of your mind." Kono just giggled at his chastising expression. "Whatever explicit thing is playing in your head... the answer is: The Animal wished and N-O."

She bit her lip in a futile attempt to subdue the huge grin. "So, that wasn't your first little cosy-straddle-chat, huh?"

"Yes, that was the first time!" Danny snapped. "Enough," he held up his hand sharply at the scattered snickers. "This is the workplace; it's not going to happen again, trust me—amongst other things," he shot a glare at Steve, "So, lets all be the professional cops I know us to be and return to the case. Please and thank you." He turned his attention towards the Smart table. He drummed his fingers against the edge as he waited for them to gather round the table. "Did you guys find anything with that warrant for our victim’s safety deposit box?" he prompted and the case rapidly took back focus much to the blond's relief.

0 -xH50x- 0

The Hawaiian sun was already starting to set, painting the sky warm and beautiful pinks, yellows, and oranges. The contrasted mood of the pair as they pulled into the drive of 2727 Piikoi Street in their separate vehicles was not very warm in kind. While Steve exited his Silverado, Danny stayed seated in his Camaro much like that morning in the Palace parking lot.

Thankfully the others had done their level best to adhere to Danny's not unreasonable request of professionalism during the case; that logically meant Chin as a buffer between Kono and basically an ignorance of Steve's blatant heartfelt glances as he drove Danny's car with the radio on as a sound shield (which Steve kept trying to turn off and Danny kept turning back no matter how terrible and inappropriate the song seemed in their current situation until the blond flicked it off in irritation, grumbled at Steve to quit it with the puppy eyes [still a close second to Grace's] and filled the silence with a ramble about what-was-the-point-about-sushi of all things [which made the SEAL have cravings for said food]). But it had been a productive day.

When Steve had finally called it the end of the day and released everyone from their day jobs, it was with a satisfactory end of having caught their perp. Danny sat in his Camaro, the car idling, his fingers tapping against the steering wheel as he waited for Steve to pull out, but finally gave in to looking up out the passenger seat to see Steve giving him a raised expression and jerked his thumb over his shoulder in clear instruction. Danno was gonna pull out first. Danny just rolled his eyes and pulled into the break in traffic, Steve's pick-up wedging into the space behind him. It wasn't like he was going to indicate left then cranked the wheel right on a yellow and lose the SEAL. The man seemed intent taking a step over ridiculous.

For a minute on the drive to Steve's along the familiar streets that were more so than those to his apartment (not that it should have been much of a surprise. Like with his knowing of the locations of the closest hospitals, his brain automatically recalculated the route to the McGarrett House like it was his True North, when he sometimes still got lost trying to drive to his own damn apartment) Danny could almost have forgotten exactly why this particular drive was vastly more monumental than all the countless other drives—until he glanced in the rear-view mirror and through the gap between the boxes in the backseat, he saw Steve's truck hulking behind him in the lane like some demented sheepdog.

Danny stared at Steve's close garage door and wondered if things would be any different if Steve had gone the traditional route of asking Danny, but Steve just didn't work like traditional, normal people so Danny shouldn't have expected anything less than the Neanderthal's self-proclamation of possession over the Jersey Native—'It's decided'.

Having hopped from his truck Steve waited alongside the Camaro for his partner but as the seconds ticked by and there was no movement, he leaned down and looked through the passenger window to see the detective sitting still in the driver's seat, seatbelt still on and staring straight ahead. Maybe he had been too forceful in his invitation to man, made it sound more of an order when it was possibly more of an internal plea. It was the first and most obvious solution that came to him to solve Danno's loss of yet another apartment (a generous description) and he could truly see no issue with it, Danny living with him made his stomach flip in a pleasant way and some tight strained ball in his chest release.

Steve opened the passenger door and he ducked his torso in. Danny simply looked over at the man. "Come on, baby, we're home." He reached forward, knee braced on the seat, his moves slow and deliberate, watching the driver carefully, but Danny just sat idly as Steve pulled the keys from the ignition and pressed the release on his seatbelt.

"Want to cuff me, too?" Danny snarked, holding out his wrists. Steve actually looked to be considering it as an actual offer. "No, Steven," he dropped his arms, "You cannot cuff me!"

Steve rolled his eyes. "You offered!"

Danny scoffed. "Offered, he says. Sarcasm, Steven, sarcasm." He shrugged the seatbelt off and got out of his car, closing the driver's door only to open the backseat door. He stacked two of the boxes and picked them up, shutting the door with his hip; Steve shouldered the large duffle and picked up the file box up by the handle. He proceeded the blond onto the porch and unlocked the door, stepping aside to allow him entry first before closing the door and turning off the alarm. Danny set his boxes down with a faint grunt alongside the stairs, taking the others from Steve and setting them on top.

And there it was—Danny had moved in with Steve. No muss, no fuss.

Steve gave the crook of his neck a warm squeeze as he passed. "Want a beer?" already heading for the kitchen.

"Sure," Danny mumbled. He looked at his three boxes and stuffed duffle for a second and shook his head; that really couldn't be all his stuff. He decidedly remembered having more every time he was evicted from one apartment for one reason or another. Scoffing, he quickly went upstairs and into the master bedroom.

He searched all the places Steve had mentioned: closet, dresser, medicine cabinet—and it was all true. Practically his entire wardrobe was present and mixed with Steve's, and with the duffle downstairs, that concluded the collection. The medicine cabinet was cluttered with his own toiletries that Steve hadn't heard of until Danny. But what truly sealed the deal that he had somehow moved in with Steve and not realized it, was on the nightstand on his side of the bed; the origami swan Grace had been meticulously labouring over in art class, gifted to him. It was here and not at his apartment (which was lucky, considering. It would have been washed away in the water) and didn't that just say it all? 'It's decided'. Danny gazed slowly around the room, his hand unconsciously smoothing over his tie, a familiar comforting gesture as he felt nauseous butterflies in his stomach, was there such thing as a good nauseous feeling? Dropping his hand to his side, he turned from the master bedroom.

Danny paused halfway down the stairs and peeked down over the banister to find Steve bent over the open file box, beer in his hand. "Sure. Why not." Danny took the Longboard Steve had left for him on the coffee table and took a long pull from it. "Find something you like?" Danny flopped into the reclining chair nearby.

"Yes," Steve straightened, a picture frame in hand. He stared at it, a tender look on his rugged face as his thumb traced the edge of the frame. He cleared his throat, a little smile at the corner of his lips as he turned the frame and showed Danny.

It was one of Grace's homemade frames, painted blue and covered in macaroni, stickers, and the glittered world FAMILY on the bottom edge. The picture in the frame was of the three of them—Grace, Danno, and Uncle Steve. It wasn't any 'special' occasion, just the three of them at lunch at Kamekona's Shrimp Truck with shaved ice, all their tongues sticking out (blue, red, purple respectively). He just liked how happy Grace and Steve looked in it, and as Danny leaned forward to look at it, how happy he looked, too. He covered his mouth his hand, "Yeah, I like that one, too, babe."

Steve smiled and turned. He cleared away some of the cluttered on the side table by the couch arm and door and set the picture frame front and center. Danny swallowed as warmth engulfed his chest. There was no missing it upon entry, front and center. 'Welcome home, Danno!' it said clear as day as Steve stepped back to examine his handy work. Danny looked at his profile and couldn't help but think 'Welcome home, Steve!'.

The detective inhaled sharply, set his beer down and rose. "Hey, Steve?"

Steve turned but the sort of glow he had going on waned somewhat at the sight of Danny's worried and conflicted one. "Yeah, Danno?" he asked softly.

"Do you really think this is a good idea?" Danny finally blurted after a pregnant moment. "Kono was right. The last time we tried this, it got pretty tense between us and I was here only a week."

"That's a completely different." Steve reasoned. "It was a different time. Now we're sleeping together."

Danny sighed. "That's just it, Steve." He paused for a second to gather his thoughts, fingers pushing unconsciously through his hair. "If we're going to be living together—I don't think we should sleep together."

Steve's brows furrowed in confusion. "What?" he set his beer down. " But--"

"It was one thing to come over and stay the night sometimes; after a long day or hard case or god forbid an injury..."

"I just thought--" he swallowed and gave his head a little shake, deflated. His fists clenched briefly before they went lax at his sides, like all the fight was drained from them. Steve swallowed. "Danny... I'm not going to force you."

"You hardly have to force me, Steve." Danny scoffed gently. Steve stayed silent. "Steve..." Danny grasped his upper arm, but the touch was like some kind of release and Steve pulled him into a sudden tight hug. "Hey." Danny didn't hesitate in hugging the man back. "This doesn't mean I'm leaving, okay? Babe, tell me you get that." Steve nodded against him. "Good. Because I'm not."

He turned his face against Danny's neck below his ear. "I just miss you, you know?"

"How can you have the chance to miss me when we're together more than we're not?"

Steve just gave a little shrug. "I like you that much."

Danny chuckled lightly. "I like you, too, babe. I love, respect, trust, appreciate and need you, Steve. On the job, laying next to me in bed—all of it."

Steve's arms tightened around him. "Then I don't see the problem, Danny."

"I hate labels, what we have is its own force where only we can apply and ever understand, there is no box to be checked but--"

"No, ‘buts‘," Steve interrupted him. "It doesn't have to mean anything," Steve countered, "Or it just mean's I love, respect, trust, appreciate and need you, too, Danno."

Danny swallowed and tucked the lower half of his face against the front of Steve's shoulder. He gave a little nod, his eyes closed as he started to lean into the taller man but before he could say anything Chin's courtesy knock was all the warning the partners had to pull apart before Kono let them in.

"Hope we're not interrupting something," Kono smiled as she slipped off her thin-strapped sandals; Steve Aneurysm Face stated that she had and Danny's unimpressed right brow said the same. She gave a small apologetic shrug.

"This is a great picture, brothers." Chin said, picking up the frame from the end table. "Don't think I've seen this one before."

Kono rested her chin on her cousin's shoulder as looked over it at the picture. She gave a little smile before she pulled back. "You three look adorable."

"Alright, alright. We get it already," Danny undid the knot in his tie and pulled it from beneath his collar to hang on the end off the banister. "You're just jealous, dear rookie, but the question is," he stepped forward and took the tote bag from her as she watched him with amusement and curiosity, "Of whom exactly?" he pecked her on the check and stepped back.

"I think Steve's the jealous one right now," she laughed.

"If Danno kisses you, it's only fair to kiss everyone otherwise it's just favouritism." Steve announced reasonably with a sniff, his arms crossed.

"I think I can survive without a kiss from Danny," Chin disagreed, his hands raised.

Danny put a hand to his chest in mock dismay to the older detective's entertainment. "You wound me, Chin! And don't worry, babe," Danny stage-whispered, patting Steve on the chest with a wink as he passed the man toward the kitchen. "You know you're my favourite." Steve scowled after him, not sure if he should feel special or patronized.

Chin and Kono brought the sides, Steve threw the patties and dogs on the BBQ, and Danny served the drinks on the lanai. "To greener pastures," Chin sent a friendly wink at Danny and held up his beer in toast; Danny rolled his eyes at the man but clinked bottle necks with him and the others around the table.

"So, you guys gonna share a bed?" Kono chirped innocently.

"Kono!" Danny glowered at her as she smirked.

He shot a glance over at Steve who gave him a tentative smile that just made the blond detective flush with guilt and want to hug the SEAL so damn bad and make sure Steve never ever gave him that look again. He glanced away taking a drink from his Longboard but from view under the table his foot nudged Steve's cargo-clad knee. Steve buried his own little smile in his drink, relaxing back.

It was with the moon out when the cousins bid their goodbyes with hugs and waves. The partners finished cleaning up, locked up the house for the night—and Danny, with a confused and frustrated resignation found himself in the guest bedroom bed. He stared up in annoyance at the ceiling, the other side of the bed empty and the dark room feeling like it was in its own dimension as 'So, you guys gonna share a bed?' kept running in his head unbidden.

It was just a good-natured tease, there was no malice or disgust in Kono's voice but the more the sentence rang through his mind, like running through that annoying, natural negative filter in his brain, the more it took on the tone of your generic, mocking, douchebag bully of his pre-school years. 'You guys gonna share a bed?' like he was a little boy being mocked for still sleeping with his stuffed Teddy. And Steve really was like a big, soft, goofy Teddy Bear—the soft-baked cookie with the gooey center—the deadly SEAL could also most definitely be considered an utter Cuddle Monster, particularly in his octopus mode but Danny never really minded it even if he did tease Steve for being such a big softy sometimes. A fond smile teased his lips even as he thought about it now, yet he lay here, alone and wide awake as his chest ached with the urge to wrap his arms around the warm body that wasn't there.

Steve had been right—not that Danny would admit it that willingly to the man himself; Steve's head was big enough as it was, there was no need to go making it a bigger target for the gun-wielding idiots on the island that were always seeming to try and blow it away. When Danny thought back on it, he could barely discern being at his apartment this month let alone the number of times last month or the ones before that. It was all just a jumble of Steve-Steve-Steve, which wasn't a concept as bad as he usually made it out to be.

Danny kicked off the covers in annoyance and paced the length of the bed in the moonlight filtering through the curtain, his arms crossed and hands tucked into his armpits to prevent himself from automatically carding them through his dark blond locks as his frustration rose. A bit at Steve because it was always some part (mostly) his fault at the situations Danny had found himself in since coming to Hawaii, but right now, particularly at himself. He was an adult man, not some child to be bullied, not even by himself so the fact of it was simple—he liked sleeping with Steve and the sweet, sweet memory-foam mattress wasn't even the deciding factor of it.

He glimpsed the clock on the nightstand before he left; 2:30. His steps were instinctively quiet on the floorboards as he tiptoed down the hall. He gnawed the inside of his cheek; Steve was probably already asleep. Would Steve even want his sorry ass to crawl back into bed with him? It felt like he'd broken his promise to the man of not going anywhere, even if it was just the bedroom down the hall and not skipping back to Jersey; it felt like he'd tried to break something vital between them, as if he rejected Steve.

Danny stopped in the cracked doorway of the master bedroom, froze immobile on the threshold peering into the darkness. He could just make out the outline of Steve under the covers on his side of the bed closest to the door, laying on his side with his back to the detective. Danny scrunched his bare toes, rubbing one foot against the other. His feet got cold at night; Rachel always hated his cold feet but didn't like him wearing socks to bed. Now, more times than not he didn't need to wear socks to bed because Steve didn't seem to mind cold toes tangled with his own feet and the Animal ran like a his own self-sustaining furnace for Danny to tuck up against.

"Are you just going to hover in the door all night like a spectre or are you going to come to bed already so we can both get some sleep? We both have a job to go to tomorrow." Steve's wry voice filtered through the dark. Danny made a beeline across the room for his side of the bed in the dark furthest from the door, without incident, the path more familiar than it had been in his own apartment. "Did you get lost in the hallway or something? Took you long enough."

The blanket was already thrown back, an inviting space waiting for him. "How do you know it wasn't just the memory-foam that enticed me back?" Danny questioned.

"Nah," Steve voiced with a lazy confidence, "You just use the memory-foam as an excuse for your true desire—me." Was the smug declaration.

Danny snorted, but didn't say anything to negate the assumption. "It is a bonus." He barely even sat on the edge of the mattress before Steve, with his octopus arms wrapped around his waist, pulled him the rest off the way in. "Steve!" he gave a grunt. "I'm coming, just give me second." He flailed a little in the man's arms as Steve tugged the covers over him before he was ready, but after wiggling some he found himself hugged to the man's chest comfortably. "See? I'm right here." And he tucked his feet against Steve's to prove it.

"God, your feet are like ice!" he complained but didn't pull away and instead started to rub Danny's with his own, warming them up. "How does that even happen?"

"Don't ask questions, just keep rubbing."

"Sir, yes, sir!" Steve chuckled.

"And I won't ask questions on exactly how all my stuff really ended up over here." It started out with his toothbrush necking with Steve's in the bathroom and finished with his overnight bag being unpacked. He had his suspicions about Steve sneaking his stuff away (his jean shorts), it wouldn't be the first time.

"I have no idea what you're talking about, Danno." Steve told him promptly.

"Mm-hmm." But Danny didn't say anything more as he shifted up from the comfort of Steve's chest so they were both on their sides, chest-to-chest, legs tangled, and sharing a pillow and breath by consequence. He sighed softly. "I get what you meant earlier. I missed you." Danny told him and it was absolute truth. "I couldn't sleep at all. You really messed with my center, Steve. I used to be dependent. I could go to my apartment and enjoy being alone—not to mention I used to be able to sleep alone like an adult man. You ruined me, babe."

"I'll try not to feel too proud of that."

"I think you mean ‘bad‘."

"No, I mean proud." Steve shook his head. "I was serious when I said you're my retirement plan, Danno. No going out in a hail of bullets or ball of fire—just you and me, old, wrinkled, and retired sitting out on the lanai with a couple Longboards and the setting sun."

"That actually sounds like one of your hair-brained plans that I can actually get behind." Danny cupped the back of the brunette's head and pressed their foreheads together. "I always be there to have your back to make sure that happens."

Steve made a pleased sound in the back of his throat. "There was also something I never got to officially tell you tonight before," he murmured.

"Yeah?"

"Welcome home, Danno." Steve's lips brushed against his like a butterfly kiss.

Danny licked his lips reflexively at the sensation and leaned his head back an inch, blue eyes narrowed to peer at the man's shadowed face so close to his own. "Did you just kiss me, Steven J. McGarrett?"

"I think that could hardly be classified as a kiss, Danno."

"What else could you dine to call it?"

"Simple. I call it 'Welcome home, Danno'."

"You had this one prime opportunity to lay one on me, and that was what you go with? See, now I'm just offended by the whole thing. I love you, I'm sleeping with you, I just moved in—and that's all I get? That truly hits a guy where it hurts, Steve." He gave a heavy exhale. "But seeing as this is all such a big change for you and we're new roommates, I'll be generous here, let the unintended insult slide... and give you a freebie."

Steve stilled in the face of the announcement. There was a pause and Danny could feel Steve's intense scrutiny through the dim darkness more than he could see it, assessing if he was teasing or being true; Danny felt the little satisfied growl through the SEAL's chest at whatever he saw. Steve's arm snaked up and he palmed Danny's nape, his finger's pushing into the soft hair at the base of his skull. Steve angled his head, the tip of his nose grazing Danny's cheek before he pressed his lips against that beautiful mouth that he loved. There wasn't tongue, it wasn't even like it was open-mouthed—yet it was searing. Danny's eyes closed briefly at the intensity, his fingers clutching into the bare skin of Steve's back. Steve finally broke the kiss, nuzzling his partners cheek briefly before he laid his head back on the pillow, their foreheads back together and once again sharing breath.

"You kiss me like that," Danny teased. "Maybe we really shouldn't sleep in the same bed." He just smiled when Steve tightened his arms and in a classical move, threw a leg over him. He finished the sequence by shifting the shorter man back and sprawled comfortably on him. "So, did you have a name for that one, too?" he wondered, his fingertips tracing along Steve back under the cover.

"It's been classified as 'Goodnight, Danno'."

"That's very presumptuous, Steven."

Steve tilted his face up, the tip of his nose tracing alone the bottom on Danny's jaw line. "I'm a trained Navy SEAL, there's no presumption, this is exactly in my pilot house and I have jurisdiction of this op. The rest, I'm sorry to say, is currently classified."

"Excuse me, classified, he says." Danny leaned up on his elbows, somewhat dislodging cuddle-pus. "You cannot classify my life an operation, you Neanderthal, and this has nothing to do with the Army, alright?"

"Goodnight, Danno." Steve cupped the side of his face and with a grin, pressed a brief kiss to his lips.

Danny palmed Steve's face and pushed him back down onto his side of the bed. "Goodnight, Steven." He rolled onto his side, his back to the other man.

Steve shifted over and was instantly pasted to his back, leg thrown over Danny's thigh, his foot nestled between the chilly pair, arm wrapped snugly around his waist, skin-on-skin contact on his forearm where Danny's tee had ridden up in the move.

"Don't even think about saying it," Danny scolded.

Steve bit lightly into the back of Danny's shoulder through his shirt in resistance. "I can't wait for 'Good morning, Danno'."

"Don't I get a say in this?"

"You being here says it all."

He sighed. "You just can't help yourself," Danny grouched.

"You can't be angry with me; this is really your fault, babe, face it."

"My fault, he says. How so?"

"You're irresistible." He said simply and Danny rolled his eyes in the dark.

"And you are utterly ridiculous," Danny returned. "Unbelievable, infuriating, frustrating…"

Steve stroked his fingers through the hair on the blond's stomach. "Yet you keep coming back." His blunted fingernails went sensually against the grain as he drew his fingers back.

Danny swallowed. "This damn memory-foam, and I can hardly leave you alone for a second or you go wander off like a wild animal."

Steve nuzzled against his nape. "Admit it... you kinda like it."

"I kinda like you and we’ll leave it at that. I am not encouraging your anonymous stealth kamikaze missions; permission denied, Commander." Danny nudged him ineffectually in the ribs, "And rubbing my stomach like I’m a dog is not gonna get you anywhere—you’re just transferring."

Steve paused and leaned up on his elbow so he could see a profile of Danny’s face in the sliver of moonlight leaking through the curtains. "You saying I want my stomach stroked?"

Danny shifted his torso better so he could look back a Steve without hurting his neck, their legs still tangled. "You saying you don’t?" he raised a decisive brow. "You’re stomach’s been all fluttery on you all day."

Steve regarded him, his fingers having resumed their soft caressing. "Speaking from experience, Danny?"

"Yeah,"

Steve pressed his mouth briefly against Danny’s shoulder before he took his arm back and shifted back onto the bed, disentangling their bodies. Danny rolled onto his stomach. Danny’s warm breath ghosted across his skin before warm hands, the opposite of such cold feet. After the second stroke Steve stopped watching and laid his head back against the pillow, his stomach settling and eyes slipping closed at the gentle and soothing touches. He didn’t think it was long before he started to drift; tired, the anxiety leaking away, trusting his partner completely, the soft insensible murmur of Danny’s voice.

Danny pressed a chaste kiss amongst the spatter of laparoscopic scars on Steve tan skin, the tiny lines looked silver with the dim light. "Thanks for inviting me to stay, Steve." He murmured, lips ghosting over sensitive skin.

Steve had already been dozing under his soothing ministrations, but he was awake and lifting his head in response to both touch and words, looking down to find Danny with his head pillowed on his stomach, his blue gaze half-lidded as he looked up at the SEAL.

Steve licked his lips and pulled Danny up from his stomach so they were snuggled together better. "Danno, it was never really home without you." He stroked his fingers through Danny’s soft blond hair. "So, did you have a name for that?" he couldn’t stop himself from the half-tease and half-wonder.

"Welcome home, Steven."

"Do I get a proper ‘Goodnight, Steve’?" Danny lifted his head enough to give his best-friend a droll stare. "Is that a yes?" Steve prompted.

"You’re incorrigible," but Danny gave in, shifted a little and pressed a kiss to the Neanderthal’s mouth before he could try and say anything more.

A huge grin broke across Steve’s mouth as Danny leaned back some. "Goodnight, Danno." He swooped forward to claim a chaste kiss before the blond could dodge it swiftly.

Danny huffed. "Give you a lemon and you’re gonna plant a whole damn tree, aren’t you." He surmised wryly.

"Why would I waste it on one measly pitcher when I could grow a tree and get a Lemonade Stand?" Steve countered reasonably. "Play my cards right, I could grow an orchard and one Stand becomes a processing factory."

Danny stared at him dumbfounded for a moment. He gave his head a little shake. "All I’m going to say is… thank god you’re one of the Good Guys." Danny patted his side and laid his head on Steve’s chest, instantly comfortable with his arm laid over the man’s torso and his own thrown over Steve’s muscled thigh to nestle between his legs, Steve’s arms holding him in an extra package. "I’ll see you in the morning, babe." He murmured, his eyes already closed.

"I look forward to it, Sugar."

~ f ~

 

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