A black Camaro and a scowling blond was not what Junior had been expecting.
It was not what he had been wishing for.
But he should have known better than to expect his mum’s silver Clio. He should have known better than to expect his parents, his dad to come pick him up after being away for 3 months. He thought they had made amends, that his dad understood that the Navy was still his job.
Not that he expected Danny to come, either. He had planned on getting a cab.
He heard some of the guys, those who didn’t have anyone to pick them up and weren’t engulfed in loving hugs and cries, whisper about the car and Danny, because it didn’t matter where on the island, Danny would always attract people’s eyes, be it because of the car, because of his accent, because of his clothes, his ass as he had heard many people whisper about (Tani and Noelani included), or simply because he was yelling at Steve about being reckless.
The last one, he knew, was the most common.
“Hi, sir. You didn’t have to pick me up.”
The blond looked up from the screen on his phone and groaned, completely ignoring Junior's statement. “You are right, I didn't have to. And we had been doing so good with the ‘Sir’ thing. Damn the Navy, now we’ll have to start all over again.” He smiled at him before tugging him into a one arm hug. “Welcome home, kid.”
“Thank you.” He would never admit that ever so briefly he clung to his shirt, taking comfort on his presence.
The second they pulled apart, Danny held him at arm's length, giving him a once over. “No major injuries, good. Anything I should know before I drop you off?”
“No, sir. Danny.” He corrected at the glare.
“Good. You need to say goodbye to someone or anything?”
“Nah, we are good to go.” He rounded the car and slipped inside, taking in the feel of the seat underneath him.
He wasn’t used to being in the Camaro to begin with, but this was the first time he was in the front seat of the Camaro. The other two times he had been in the back.
Danny finished sending his texts, probably to Steve if the fond yet somehow irritated huff was anything to go by and got inside the car, turning the ignition on.
Junior was about to guide him out of Pearl when he realised Danny already knew the way.
How many times had he picked Steve up over the years? Because it wasn’t that he knew the way, it was that he was comfortable enough with rolling his window down and flashing his badge at the guards by the gate with not a single word.
“Ok, so here’s the plan: I’m going to drop you off wherever you like, you take a shower and sleep. You are to take the next three days off, and if you want we can go out for dinner tomorrow night. Lou has been dying to go to that new place near his place.”
“Three days off? I can come back tomorrow!”
“Yes, I know you can. But if I didn’t let Steve come back the next day, I sure as hell am not letting you come back.” Blue eyes levelled him, and he had known him long enough to know that this was not a battle he would win. “Good. Now, where do you want me to drop you off?”
He squirmed in his seat. He knew what he wanted, but he wasn’t sure he’d be accepted there.
“Junior. Where. Your parents’ house?”
“No!” He exclaimed, turning around to stare at him, just realising that he had been played into talking. Into asking . Danny probably already knew what he wanted, anyways. “Can I… With you? And Steve?”
“Of course you can, you know that. Steve and the kids are coming tonight over at mine.” He nodded, he loved family nights the best. “You can crash in Charlie’s bed, he can sleep with us tonight.”
“I’m fine with the sofa, Danny.”
“Yes, I know you are. I also know that sofas are not meant for sleeping and I don’t care if there was one time you had to sleep on a bed of nails or something, you are not sleeping on the sofa in my house.”
“Yes, sir. Thank you.”
“Yeah, yeah…” He took a turn and rolled to a stop in his driveway. “Is there anything you’d like for dinner?”
“Dinner, Junior, typically the last meal of the day. Is there anything you want to have?”
“Oh I don’t really care…” Danny turned to look at him, glaring and he had forgotten how scary that could be. He had met C.Os with a less frightening death stare. “Poke, please.” He requested in a small voice.
“Good. Now go shower while I change the sheets.”
He didn’t even think of saying anything, he just headed to the guest’s bathroom, at the end of the hall. “Thank you.” He called out, minding his manners.
When he came out precisely three minutes later, Danny had already changed the bedding, fetched an extra pillow from somewhere and was in the kitchen. He quickly changed into the soft pyjama bottoms that had been left at the end of the bed and the NPD tshirt and then padded to the kitchen.
“There’s cold pasta al pesto in the fridge, help yourself when you are hungry.” Danny started, as soon as he crossed the threshold. “There’s lemonade too, with no sugar. And there’s fruit in the dining room.”
“Now go to sleep, you look like you’ll crash. Shoo.” He even moved his hands. “We’ll be back around 4.30-5. What fish do you want?”
“Oh. Hum… Tuna, please.”
“Alright. See you later, kid.”
He waved at him before the door closed.
It should probably feel weird to be alone in Danny’s house, he mused as he slipped inside Charlie’s bed, sighing when his head hit the fluffy pillow, but somehow it didn’t, it felt like home as much as Steve’s place did, maybe even more so because of the family feel it had to it. Grace’s purse hanging by the door, Charlie’s toys in the chest next to the TV, Nahele’s backpack by the entrance, Steve’s combat boots in the garage.
Steve's place didn’t feel like this, even if the kids spent there a lot of time too it was mostly on the weekends: there were no toy race cars or legos, no purses, no school backpacks. There were, however loafers by the entrance, swimsuits and rash guards in the laundry closet and surf boards in the garage, along with sand toys. But Steve didn’t have a whole shelf dedicated to pictures of Grace and Charlie or the team.
He had a total of five pictures in the whole house: one of himself, Mary and their parents, high up on the shelf in the studio, almost being impossible to see, the ones that were at eye level were one of Mary, him and Joanie riding on his shoulders that Danny had insisted on taking for Joanie’s 5th birthday.
One of the team, the first one: Chin was at one end, Kono under his arm, her own arms around Steve’s middle, and Steve had an arm around her shoulders, hand wrapped around Chin’s bicep’s and the other around Danny’s shoulders, hanging onto his chest, and the blond man had his around his waist, probably wrapped Kono’s elbow. They looked tired as fuck, muddy and with blood caked on their faces and Steve looked the worst of them all, but they were clearly happy. There was the tail of a helicopter on the back and he knew that wherever that picture was taken was not in Hawaii. He never dared ask what had happened before that picture.
The third one was Steve, Danny, Gracie and Charlie. He had asked about that one: it had been in celebration of Charlie’s last day at the hospital and they had taken him out for dinner, just the four of them. Charlie and Gracie looked so tiny compared to when he met them.
The fourth one was him and Nahele, sweaty and grinning after finishing the Honolulu Marathon last year. Lou had taken that picture. Tani, Danny, Renee and Adam putting together the feast they had afterwards.
The fifth was with a man of Steve’s age, both in their fatigues. Hart, read his name tag. Considering no one had ever mentioned that name, Junior could guess what had happened.
He fell asleep wondering if his dad still had any pictures of him in their hallway.
“Junior!” He scooped the energetic tiny version of Danny Williams in his arms. “You are back! You are here!” He exclaimed as he wrapped his arms around the young man's neck
“Hey Charlie! Howzit?” The kid started talking about what he had been doing in school, just as Grace and Nahele came in. Grace hugged him and Nahele clasped his hand before following the girl into the kitchen.
“Charlie, kiddo, breathe. ” Danny said, ruffling the blond hair. “And don’t stand here in the middle of the way, Junior, go sit on the sofa.” He ushers him to the living room.
He obeyed almost immediately, setting the youngest Williams on the sofa first. “So you aced a maths test? That’s awesome buddy! I wasn’t very good at maths, but I was great at History!” He confided, leaning in, as if telling him a national secret.
He heard Danny and the two teens talking in the kitchen, but Charlie captured his attention again when he started talking about the cool trick he saw the other day on TV.
“Are you two planning on doing your homework today or next week?” Danny questioned when he saw the two teenagers on their phones, arching an eyebrow at them.
“It’s still early Danno! And it’s Friday!” Grace complained, but she still put the device aside, knowing how to pick her battles.
“Sure it is Monkey, but tomorrow you are both busy, we are having dinner out with everyone and you wanna go surf on Sunday, so wouldn’t you say it’s better to be done with it today?”
“Yes Danno.” They both mumbled. And god did it fill him with love and pride when Nahele used the family nickname for him.
He started preparing everything for dinner. Chopping the fish, the onions, both green and Maui, and the limu. He had also put some kukui nuts in the oven for Grace and Steve, knowing how much they liked them as a midnight snack. He could hear Junior and Charlie building something with the Lego set.
“Danno?” Nahele called, pen in his mouth as he looked over one of the questions. “Can you help me with this?” He turned the notebook over and pointed at the question.
He washed his hands and sat down next to him. Steve and him had managed to convince Nahele to go to a vocational school, for auto-repairs and while most of it was related to cars and engines, he did have basic classes like English and Maths and they had convinced him to take basic Economics so he understood what really went on in business. It would also give him an edge over others.
He slid in the chair next to him, explaining what they were asking, but letting him resolve the question for himself, asking him various times if he was sure, regardless of him being correct or not, he wanted him to process the information and understand it.
“Yeah, you got it. Good job, kid.” He messed his hair and moved to Grace, going over her English essay.
She was good, but as Steve usually teased him about, it was impossible for her to be bad at English with the parents she had. He said it probably was in the DNA.
“Good job, Monkey.” He kissed her head. “Anything else I need to go through?”
“I’ve got Chem next. I was going to ask Daddy.”
“Yeah, that’s the best option.”
Junior knew Steve had become Daddy not too long after they started dating, as Grace a she admitted she had considered Steve another dad shortly after he went to pick her up at school when Danny had been poisoned with sarin. And Charlie had just picked it up from her, always happy to do everything like his big sister.
There was a cry of Daddy! and running steps, heavier more calmed ones following behind.
“Junior is here, Daddy!”
“I can see that, squirt!” He picked him up, Charlie squealing in happiness. He set him on his hip before hugging Junior with one arm, ignoring the way the kid trembled for a second. “Everything alright?”
Steve groaned at that.
"Yeah, the sirs are back full force.” Danny called from the kitchen. He came out seconds later, wiping his hands on a towel. “Where on earth did you go to get the grapes? Went to pick them yourself or something?” He said as he took the bag from his hand, going onto his tiptoes to kiss him lightly, all in one uninterrupted, fluid motion.
Junior always thought he made it look effortless. He’d probably bump noses or something.
“No kisses Danno!” Charlie exclaimed, batting him on the shoulder.
“Well, if I can’t have kisses, you can’t have grapes!” He told him, his fingers tickling his side, making him squirm in Steve’s hold.
“No Danno! No!” He laughed, Danny chuckling and leaving them alone to head back to the kitchen.
“You three, go wash up and start setting the table.” He ordered, and the three of them marched to the bathroom because a) they were hungry and b) it was useless to argue with home-Danny, as Junior had dubbed him. “Grace, Nahele, start clearing up please. And Nahele, it’s your turn to pick a movie, so go do that.”
“Need help with this?” Grace questioned, walking up to him and tucking herself under his arm.
“Of course Monkey. Can you start peeling the nuts?"
She nodded and started working on them while arguing with Nahele about movies, asking for something that wasn't a Vin Diesel movie and yes Hele, that includes Guardians of the Galaxy. You are bad as Charlie! and At least I never had a Twilight team, Gracie!
Dinner, as always when the kids were around, was loud, with half spoken sentences and looks that finished them, with everyone talking over each other and Danny and Steve arguing about this and that and as usual it was about nothing of relevance.
Junior didn’t want it any other way.
The food had been delicious, somehow better than he remembered. Maybe it had been the limu; his dad hated limu, so his mum never used it.
Maybe it simply had been the company. Gracie was always a bundle of joy, always ready to help but with a quick tongue and sharp wit, much like her father and, according to Steve, her mother, too. When Nahele moved in with Steve and Danny he had been a nervous wreck at the beginning, worried he’d do or say something that would make them mad at him. Or that he would somehow drive Steve away, as if he couldn't see how much the Commander loved him but now he was relaxed, as if he had always been part of the Williams-McGarrett family and he couldn’t be happier for the kid. Charlie was just a sweet 8 years old who had too much energy and curiosity for his own good. He was sure one day they’d find him stranded on a tree or their roof.
Grace and Nahele took care of taking everything back into the kitchen, and he offered himself to do the dishes.
“Don’t even think about it.” Danny said, glaring at him. “Go, go sit. Steve can do the dishes. And you two, finish your homework. And Charlie, don’t you have a book to read?” The boy nodded. “Ok, go do that. And Junior… I don’t know, do whatever you want, I guess.”
“But not the dishes.” He said, grinning at the shorter man.
“Exactly, not the dishes. You need to rest.”
“I agree, Junes.” Well, whatever chance he had of winning an argument with Danny, however slim it was, it just flew out of the window the second Steve agreed with his partner. If people thought they were stubborn separately, that was because they had never experienced the terror that was the Williams-McGarrett duo teaming up against you.
He was sure a lot of criminals would agree with him.
He watched Danny follow Steve into the kitchen, but they all knew better than to go there. It’s not like they would ever do anything inappropriate with them in the house, or nearby, to be honest, but they all knew that the kitchen was where they talked when they didn’t want to be heard.
He sometimes had the need to sneak and listen to them, but not only was that a blatant lack of respect for his bosses, for the men that had taken him in into their houses with no hesitation, he really did not want to face an angry Danny Williams.
He had heard stories in HPD about him beating a guy who had killed a teen and kidnapped another girl while the guy was tied to a chair so badly that he had been put in traction for months.
Something about a guy tied to a speeding car hood in downtown Honolulu with Danny driving and Steve smirking the whole time in the passenger seat.
The reason why the chairs in rendition were screwed with the really heavy duty screws.
About Marco Reyes. He didn’t know what had happened, but there had been talk about two Americans killing him off. And there were only two people on the face of the planet who would be crazy enough to kill one of the most powerful drug-lords in Colombia and that, somehow, could get away with it (or sort of, but he didn't want to ask about that). He didn’t know why or how. He didn’t want to know, either. It was not his business unless they made his business too.
Afghanistan. He had never told anyone, but he had been in Pearl the day Danny stormed into Captain Kim’s office. He didn’t know what happened in there, no one knew, but whatever he had said to the Captain, it had been enough to get himself in a plane heading to the middle of a war zone with nothing but a sports bag slung on his shoulder and an impressive murdering stare in the next fifteen minutes.
Or the only one that really hit the news, him landing a plane and immediately after going after a meth ring and burning them to the ground and then giving Steve his liver. He had a friend in DEA who told him about how they had been after them for months, and Five-0 had just gotten to them in less than twelve hours. Apparently Five-0 had been flooded with gifts and bouquets for Williams when the Hospital redirected them there.
Everyone expected Lieutenant Commander Steve McGarrett, the decorated Navy SEAL entrusted to run a task force, to dangle criminals off of roofs, or throw them in shark cages, threaten the CIA, FBI, NSA and any other company in the world if they stood in his way, to make enemies of friends and friends of enemies, and he definitely met those expectations. Sometimes even exceeded them. But no one expected Detective Danny Williams, the haole cop from New Jersey, proud father of two and a sticker for protocol to be the wilder of the two when the occasion needed it.
Hell, he had had a hard time concealing the image of the blond man wearing loafers and slacks and button downs with someone who would beat someone to an inch of his life, or tie someone to his car’s hood. So yeah, he didn’t want to anger Danny. Or disappoint Steve after all the faith the man had put in him. He sat down next to Charlie, reading the book with him, helping him with the difficult words, missing the soft smile Grace sent his way.
Steve and Danny came out about fifteen minutes later and plopped down on the chaise longue unit and within minutes everyone was comfortably set on the sofa: Steve against the armrest, Danny under his arm, Grace next to her father, Nahele next to her, a bowl of grapes between them, Junior between the young man and Charlie was curled up against him on his other side, another bowl of grapes between them. He was about to offer some to the older men, but it was then that he realised they both had tumblr’s of whiskey on their hands.
He didn’t know much about flavour pairing, but grapes and whiskey didn’t sound too good.
They ended up watching Pirates of the Caribbean and Junior could not remember the last time had felt so at ease, so happy.
Grace had teased Nahele about his crush on Orlando Bloom. He had teased her about her crush on Johnny Depp. He was pretty sure neither Steve or Danny had watched more than five minute at a time and Charlie had been overall happy that he had grapes and people could turn into skeletons, including the Monkey.
He felt like he had a family. Like he belonged.
But he didn’t. Not really
They weren’t his family. He wasn’t theirs. He had his own family, and he wanted them back so, so much, but they didn’t want him. Not unless he left the Teams, the Navy and Five-0, and he couldn’t do that. He liked his work, he liked the people he worked with. He loved them.
And he had no guarantee they would want him back even if he left his current life behind for them.
He stared at the ceiling of Charlie’s room, taking in the fact that Steve and Danny had also decorated it. With a sigh, realising that sleep would not come to him any time soon, he rolled out of bed and decided to have a glass of cold water.
“I have the water, Junes.” He jumped almost two feet in the air when Danny spoke from the sofa.
“Fuck!” He exclaimed. “What are you doing up?” He asked as he headed to the kitchen to fetch a glass, going back to the living room once he had it. “Is Charlie taking up too much space? I can still sleep…”
“No one is sleeping on the sofa, Junior. Charlie is plastered on Steve’s side, I just can’t sleep, my insomnia has been acting up lately.”
“So you are doing… paperwork?” He questioned, peering over his shoulder.
Danny shrugged, patting the space next to him. “I’m pretty sure I’ve watched every infomercial ever made, so I might as well use this time to do something useful so I don’t swim in paperwork in the office like other people I know.” Junior sat down next to him, chuckling softly when he realised he meant him and Steve. “What about you? Can’t sleep?”
“Must have slept too much when I got back.” He replied and while it wasn’t the whole truth, it wasn’t a lie, either. Danny hummed as he compared notes, all Junior saw were a bunch of scrambled numbers. “What’s that?” He questioned, scooting closer.
“The victim's company financial record when they opened seven years ago” he pointed at the stack on the right. “and this is from when they declared bankruptcy 6 months ago.” He shook the one on his hands. “There is something going on here and I need to find it if we want to be done with this case. Steve spoiled me: before I met him working on the same case for two weeks was the norm, now it feels like it drags out forever.”
Junior nodded. “Can I stay?”
“Of course, kiddo. But it’s not very exciting.” He said, smiling at him.
“I just want to… want to learn.” Danny smiled at him and before Junior knew what was happening, Danny was petting his head, the same way he did with his kids.
“Alright then. Let’s see if we can improve your Maths, then.”
He probably shouldn’t feel so happy to know that Danny had been paying attention to him too, not just his son, but he did. When was the last time someone treated him like their son? Not a fellow sailor or a coworker? When was the last time someone patted him on the head and allowed him to stay and watch them work?
It wasn’t particularly interesting, it was mostly Danny circling numbers in different colours, and Junior was sure he had a system, je just didn’t understand it.
“I use the blue for the transactions that look more genuine, the red for the ones I know are not and the yellow for the ones that I’m not sure.” Junior nodded.
“And the green?”
“The ones I already checked and turned genuine. Purple is…”
“For the ones that were not?”
Danny’s proud smile made him lean towards him some more. “Yeah. C’mon, let’s go to the table and we can spread this out. Grab that notebook for me.”
He did as told and sat down next to him.
“Alright. Let’s see if we can crack this.” Danny said, as he grabbed the first page of the bankruptcy pile.
“You did say you wanted to learn, didn’t you?” Junior was aware he was beaming, but he couldn’t help it. “That’s what I thought. Here, do you see this transaction? 555.66. It’s a weirdly specific amount that I’ve seen more times, we need to write down the dates and see if there is a pattern.”
Junior couldn’t know for how long they stayed there, scribbling numbers down on the notebook, Danny pointing out different things here and there.
“You know a lot about this.”
Danny chuckled, stretching. “Of course I do, Junes. I’ve got a minor in Business and when I was working with NPD I worked on Organised Crimes murders.” He explained, flashing him a smile. “So usually…”
“Are in bed at 4am. What are you two doing?” Steve’s voice made them term around and Junior would scold himself for dropping his guard so much around them if it wasn’t something he was happy he was able to do.
“Hi babe.” Danny replied, tilting his head back and Steve rolled his eyes, but still bent over to kiss him on the lips, the blond humming. “Did we wake you up?”
“No, Charlie’s elbow did.” He replied, eyeing the mess of papers over the table, but they had a system, they really did. “The bank statements?”
“Might as well do something productive.” Danny shrugged. “A Puppy SEAL here says he slept too much when he got back.” He rubbed his hand over Junior’s head again, but he didn’t even make a show of getting away from it. “And you know, this way Junes learns something about real Detective work.”
“Yeah, and these are all good things. But they can wait until tomorrow morning.” He pulled Danny up to his feet. “Let’s go to bed. You too, Junior.”
Steve groaned. “And drop the sirs.”
“Sure… sir.” Danny laughed at that, before grabbing him by the elbow and pushing him to Charlie’s bedroom. Steve simply rolled his eyes as he wrapped an arm around Danny, tucking him against his side. “Good night.”
“Good night kiddo.” Danny called out.
“Good night Junes.”
He heard them talking in whispers and he was sure his name was said, but right now, he didn’t care.
He doubted it was something bad.
When he woke up the next morning the house was silent and everyone was gone, so he stumbled into the kitchen in shorts and picked the first piece of fruit he spotted in the fridge.
It was then that he saw the note on top of the table, rubbing his eyes he grabbed it.
If you want to stay home, go running or something or other do that, but if you are bored or don’t want to be alone you can come down to the Palace. That was Danny’s writing and he couldn’t help but smile at that: Danny knew he’d grow restless if he didn’t go to work.
B ut you’ll stay inside with Danny working on the bank statements, you won’t be out on the field for another couple of days. You seemed to like doing that, for some reason. He wondered if Steve ever followed that same rule. He already knew the answer, though.
Good morning Junes!! Will you stay for dinner today too? Charlie’s handwriting was easy to pick apart, all uneven letters.
Morning Junes! Danno said if he gets home early he’ll make lasagna and the good garlic bread! No one, absolutely no one he knew, got more excited than Grace about her dad’s garlic bread.
Morning J! Come by the truck, Kame has come up with something new! Nahele. It always warmed him when he invited him to visit at the truck when he was working, he wasn’t sure why, it just did.
He smiled at Charlie’s handwriting before folding the note and scribbling his response. He checked the clock: 9am. If he hurried he could be there by 10 and get back to work with Danny. He finished his breakfast, washed everything and left for McGarrett's house, where he had all of his clothes.
“Junes!” he wrapped his arms around Tani when she stood up to hug him, grinning. “We heard Danny and Steve kidnapped you, how are you?”
“I’m good, thanks. What about you?”
“Bored… This case is soooo slow.” She moaned and he nodded. “McGarrett has me and Adam going through his schedule for the past month, him and Lou are going through interview and witness statements and Danny is…”
“Working on the financials, I know.” He grinned. “He’s teaching me.” Tani looked at him, surprised, but all she did was grin in response.
“Catch you for lunch?”
“You bet.” She stretched her arms over her head and went back to their office, where Adam was going through some files.
He headed straight for Danny’s. “Morning.”
“Morning kiddo. How did you sleep?”
“Oh, really good.” He dragged a chair next to him. “What are you working on?”
“I was just getting started on where we left it tonight. Had a meeting with Steve and HPD’s chief.” Junior nodded: he knew that Danny went to all the meetings Steve had, but since he was the second-in-command, it made sense. “Alright, tell me exactly what we were doing.”
“We were trying to find a pattern on the days they received…” Maybe it should have felt more like he was at school, but it somehow like Danny was helping him do his homework, like he helped Nahele and Gracie.
It was a good hour later that they found a definitive pattern in all the 555.66 transactions, so they gathered everyone outside and Danny asked Adam to work the table for him, since he was the best at it out of all of them.
Junior couldn’t help but smile every time Danny said “we”, or whenever Steve nodded, glancing at him and looking at him with a somewhat foreign proud twinkle in his eyes.
When they headed home that afternoon they didn’t ask where Junior was staying, they simply crowded him into the car and drove off. Steve asked him if he had liked working with Danny and for a moment warning bells went off in his head: the last thing he wanted was to break their partnership.
“We’ve been thinking of giving you and Tani more training on proper detective work, so we were talking about that if you were okay with it, Tani would pair with Lou or me and you could go with Danny? And Adam occasionally.”
Danny looked at him through the rearview mirror. “Of course, Junior. We are not going to be here forever and you two are more than capable, you just need the experience.”
He nodded. “I’d… really like that.”
“Alright.” Steve smiled at him. “I’m going to drop Danny off at his and you and I can go get some of your clothes. Go for a run or a swim, if you want.” He nodded his agreement and Danny muttered something that included the words crazy, ocean, SEALs
Danny’s lasagna had been amazing, as always. Dinner had been loud, as always. But unlike the night before, there had been no movie and everyone went to their rooms quite early.
Danny and Steve had stayed in the living room, watching a game and cuddling and that was their time together and none of them would ever intrude on that. They didn’t want to see them making out, either.
And as he lay on the bed, he let his brain imagine what his life might have been like if his family had been as supporting and understanding as Danny and Steve were with each other, their kids or the team, how maybe he wouldn’t have gone to the shelter upon coming back to island after years of being away, or wouldn’t have had to almost beg for a chance at Five-0, wouldn’t have had to live with his boss because he was useless outside the Navy.
They would realise how dumb he really was and why his family kept pushing him away whenever he tried to get close, why Layla couldn’t wait for him.
He was just some loser who was too much of a coward to avenge his sister’s death.
He wasn’t aware he was crying until the door opened and he shot up, sitting on the small bed and looking up at a perplexed Steve.
“Junes! What’s wrong?” The man quickly sat down next to him, curling a hand around the back of his neck and bringing him into a hug.
He should try to pull away, Steve shouldn’t see him like this. He was his boss! And he was supposed to be a SEAL, and they didn’t cry!
“Shh, shh, it’s alright, let it all out, you are safe, you are safe.” He kept muttering. “Danny!” He yelled and seconds later the door flung open, the steps stopping for a second before the door closed with a soft click and the bed dipped on his other side.
Danny didn’t say anything, surprisingly, he simply hugged him close and he went, Steve releasing his side to let him do that, but his hand stayed a solid weight on his nape.
And as much as he felt like he didn’t deserve that kindness he leaned into them and wept for everything he wanted and didn’t have, and everything he had but didn’t deserve to have.
When he finally calmed down, he couldn’t look at either of them, embarrassment creeping up his spine and he tried to pull away, but they were like solid weights not allowing him to move a millimeter from the safe cocoon they provided.
“Is this about me coming to pick you up and not your parents?” Danny questioned, his voice warm and soft like a blanket. He opened his mouth to reply, but closed it again. Could he really say that it was? Could he really admit it to his bosses? “Don’t think about lying to us, kiddo.”
“I just, I thought they understood.” He said and then they let him go. “I should have known…”
He saw Danny glance at Steve, confused. “Junes, has something happened between the two of you?”
He shrugged, rubbing his cheeks to dry them. “I called one day, to tell them when I was alive and coming back. But dad… He, uh. He said that so long as I was… in the Navy and with Five-0 to never call again.” He could feel another sob working its way up again and he shook his head.
They were silent. For the longest time neither of the other men said anything, which was making Junior assume the worst, and he was just about to get out of the bed when Steve’s hand shot out and grabbed him by the wrist, Danny opening his mouth to speak again.
“With all due respect, fuck your dad, Junior.” It wasn’t the words what knocked the air out of his lungs, it was the raw hate in his voice. Because Danny being angry? Nothing new there. Danny being furious? A bit rarer, but not unheard of. But a hateful Danny? That was a first.
A quick glance at Steve and how rigid he had gone told him that was not the first time he had seen that, and for a second he wondered why Steve was also gripping Danny’s arm. What had Danny done that made Steve fearful of the outcome?
“No.” He cut him off, glaring at him. “No kid deserves to be pushed away from their family. YOu and Mary didn’t deserve it, Junes doesn’t deserve it either. Different circumstances, different reasons, same fucking outcome.” He growled.
“Danny it’s-it’s alright I should have known better than to expect them to come.”
“No, you shouldn’t have. Listen to me, no son or daughter should ever have to think ‘My parents are not picking me up.’ Especially not when you are coming from some fucking village in the middle of fuckland, ok? Never.”
“Junior,” Steve said, interrupting him. “He’s right. I know he’s right.” He ran a hand down his own face, sighing. “I never knew how much I wanted to have someone who would come pick me up when I got back until I had Danny in my life.” He turned around to give his boyfriend a thankful smile.
“Well yeah, you are together, it’s not the same…”
Steve did a funny face as he shook his head. “Junior, Danny and I have only been together for four years. I’ve known him for nine. He’s been picking me up at Pearl for nine years. The first time he picked me up I hadn’t even told him I was coming back, but he was there, waiting for me. And he came to pick me up every single time, without a fault. I never told him.”
Now that he thought about it, how did Danny know he was coming back? He hadn’t told anyone other than his dad.
“How did you…?”
Danny shrugged, and Junior was relieved to see that his anger had died some, a mischievous glint in his eyes. “You Army boys have your secrets, I have mine.” He replied before his looks turned more serious again. “What we are trying to say, Junior, is that you don’t have to go through this alone, you never did.”
He felt a new wave of gratitude and love for those two men who had taken him in when he had nothing except for his clothes on his back and all the help he could offer.
“We are here for you, Junior, if you want us. You are part of this family. Not just the Five-0 ohana, but the Williams-McGarrett one.” Steve said, hugging him again with one arm as he brought Danny closer to them, pressing a kiss on the blond hair.
“Thank you. Thank you.” They would never know how much that meant for him, they would never understand what it felt to know that you had people who loved you and supported you like a parent should. He would never be able to pay them back for the amazing gift they had just given him: family. A strong, united, loud , loving family. A family that could ease your worries without needing you to voice them, the kind of family he had once, years ago, before they decided he wasn’t worth the trouble.
But Danny and Steve did, they had kept him close, they had taken a chance on him without knowing him at all, with all of his baggage and mistakes, they had taken a chance on him without asking anything in return.
He hugged them tighter and they both smoothed their hands down his back at the same time.
He had parents now who loved him. He had younger siblings that looked up to him and he swore to protect them for as long as he could.
He had a family. And that was the best feeling in the world.