How Long…?

Warnings: Friendship, Working Relationship, Friends-to-Lovers, Unrequited Love
Summary: They’ve heard it pretty much since they started working together: How Long Have You Been Married?  Is it just a joke, or really that obvious?

 

Danny and Grace

The Five-0 Crew

Paperwork, swear to God, is the absolute worst. Everything, in triplicate, justifying anything and everything they do to solve a case. Necessary evil, my ass.
“Was the explosion absolutely necessary?” Danny Williams muttered lowly.

“What was that, Danno?”

Danny looked up at Steve McGarrett, Danny’s boss and partner.  “The explosion. Was it absolutely necessary? Did you really have to blow up the house? Was the fireball absolutely necessary to the solving of this case?”

“What are you talking about?” Steve frowned.

“The paperwork, Steven. I’m trying to fill it out so that it makes sense. The Governor needs it to make sense. I doubt he’ll think that blowing up the suspect’s house makes sense.”

“Seriously, Danno? I can fill out my own paperwork. I am capable, you know?”

“Can you make the explosion make sense?”

 

Kono returns to the office in a rush.
“Hey, guys, we just finished up with what was left of the crime scene. We found traces of what may have been a Meth lab.”

Steve turned a smug smile in Danny’s direction.  “See, Danno, the explosion makes sense.”

“Yeah, yeah, your charmed life continues. Let’s finish this up, and you can buy the beers after.”

“Yes, dear.”

Smirking, Kono turned toward her own office.  “Seriously, how long have you guys been married?”

“Ha, ha, ha.”  Danny muttered again, darkly and returned to his paperwork.

————————————————————————————

It’s not like he’s never heard that question before. Pretty much since day one, in fact. It’s kind of funny; Danny willingly migrated from New Jersey to be with his daughter, after getting rid of one spouse, and people think he picked up another by default.

He could do a lot worse.

Danny had had attractions to other men before. He noticed the physical, of course, but his parents always taught him that personality, intellect, and sense of humor were more important in a relationship. Rachel was smart, and wily, very engaging, and for a while they were a good match. As it turned out, she was not hardy enough to handle being a cop’s wife. She needed a glamorous existence, and that was not it. It broke Danny’s heart when he figured it out, but at least he got Grace out of it. For a long time, his daughter was his only bright spot. Paradise isn’t really paradise when you’re at the bottom of your life and all alone.

Sparks flew when he met Steve McGarrett. And not in a good way. Arguments, car chases, and getting shot were not Danny Williams’ idea of a good time. Not at all. And the whole “job high-jacking” thing? Not cool. Not that Danny had had it great at HPD, but still, there is the principle of the thing. Still, the 5-0 taskforce had become almost a family very quickly, and Danny had allowed himself to settle in.
Settling-in meant getting to know his team-mates on more than a surface level. Danny came to love Kono’s cheerful humor and energy. She reminded him of his sisters and that made being so far from home much easier. Chin Ho’s intellect and loyalty, so often proven, made him one of Danny’s very best friends. They both knew what it was like to be ostracized at HPD, they both threw in blindly with McGarrett and came out better for it. Danny loved and trusted Chin Ho like a brother.
Steve McGarrett, on the other hand, became so much more than a friend to Danny. Danny never really wanted to be partnered with Steve. Frankly he thought Steve was a bit unhinged. He knew Steve was reckless. But, slowly, over time, Danny began to see beyond the Navy SEAL, beyond the recklessness. Working side by side every day, spending Grace-days at Steve’s house, surfing and football games, and bitching about paperwork. They became friends, and if Danny began to feel something more than friendship, well he doubted anyone would blame him. And really, it was nobody’s business but his anyway.

 

 

Somebody, somewhere, once said Scouting and camping were fun. Character Building, even. Danny would like to find this person and smack him, because Danny is positive that person lied. And lying to children should be a crime.

“Why are we here, again?”

“Come on, Danno, this is supposed to be fun. Grace and the other girls were looking forward to this weekend.”

Danny turned a narrow glare in Steve’s direction.  “In case you haven’t noticed, Steven, I am not a Scout Leader. I’m not even really a camper. I have no idea what I’m doing here.”

Steve smirked.  “It’s okay. I know what I’m doing.”

“You know what you’re doing with a SEAL team. These are tween-age girls. They aren’t exactly made like you.”

Steve rolled his eyes.  “I do know they aren’t SEALs, Danny. But they were all looking forward to camping and learning about the summer constellations. I know the stars pretty well. I know how to camp.”

Danny rolled his eyes right back at the taller man.  “And me, Steven? Why am I here? I don’t do wilderness survival. I’m a city boy. I don’t camp. I use hotels and GPS when at all possible.”

“You’re my partner, Danny. We do stuff together.”

“I’m your work partner. We do work stuff together.”

Steve clapped his hands together and settled into the arguement.  “Okay, how about this: You’re Grace’s father. She looks to you for help with things like this. She looks forward to having fun and spending time with you. This weekend is perfect for you.”

Grace came over, leading a group of seven girls under the age of twelve. Most, Grace included, looked anxious.  “Danno, Uncle Steve, is everything okay?”

Danny turned a wide smile toward his daughter.  “Yeah, Gracie. We’re good. Just discussing stuff.”

“Mr. Williams? Are we still going camping?”  Lara, age eleven, attitude: smart ass. One of the doubtful campers in the group, she had been nay-saying this weekend ever since Grace suggested that Steve and her dad may be able to assist their Scout Leader with the astronomy lesson. Danny wanted to succeed, if only to shut her up. Spending time with Grace was just an awesome bonus.

“Yeah, Lara,” Danny said confidently, “we’re still going camping. Steve and I are just figuring out the location for star-gazing.”

As she walked back toward Steve and the Scout Leader, he swore he heard her say: “How long have you been married anyway?”

****************************************************************

Sometimes, spending time with Steve is agonizing. He’s way too smug sometimes, too casual with the touching, and has a really bad habit of taking off his clothes in public. Not that he’s particularly aware of how he affects Danny. In fact, Danny is fairly certain that Steve would stop if he knew. If Steve knew how Danny really felt about him, who knows what else Steve would stop doing.
Oh, sure, Danny didn’t think Steve would stop being his friend. But things would be strained. Work could be strained, too. So not worth the risk. Besides, with Catherine around all the time, Danny felt lucky to get what time with Steve that he did.

When Danny used to let himself think about finding love again, he figured it would be with someone a little like Rachel. Smart, beautiful, tougher than she looks. Sounded good in his head. He was so not prepared for Steve. But really, would anyone be?

When the Governor visited the office to talk about some convention, Danny wasn’t really sure he was interested. Law Enforcement conventions were never a good idea. Too many cops from too many jurisdictions never went well in one place. Especially for the host city. Sometimes cops thought they were above the law. Danny was not looking forward to a bunch of vacationing cops invading his new home. The island was just not big enough.

When the Governor explained that what he wanted to do was send two members of Five-0 to Washington, D C for the actual, OUT OF THE STATE OF HAWAII convention, to brain-trust with other major-crimes task force members, Danny figured somehow this meant he’d get a three day break from Steve. No way would the Governor send both the leader and the 2IC of the task force to this thing. One or the other, but not both. As the event took place during a time when Grace was scheduled to be in London with Rachel and Rachel’s parents, Danny neither minded going to the convention nor staying behind to run things on the island.
Turns out, Danny’s intuition needed work.

 

 

Chin Ho Kelly is working on prosecuting a nasty body trafficker. Well, a body-parts trafficker, which in Danny’s opinion is even nastier. Prosecuting in this instance means being court-ready for a trial beginning the week of the convention. Obviously, this meant that Chin Ho Kelly was not going to be able to attend said convention.

Kono would have been an interesting choice to attend, but the Governor deemed her to be too junior a member to bring much to the table. Danny would have protested that. Five-0 was not exactly an ancient and established taskforce, and all four members joined at the same time. Danny could not, however, fault the Governor’s reason for excluding Kono. Basically, Steve was going as the Leader of a successful taskforce, and Danny was going because of his experience—long experience—in law enforcement. Length of time on the job was something Kono did not have, even if the quality of her work was excellent.

“A weekend in D C with other taskforces. The lack of joy in my life could not be any greater.” The dour note of Danny’s voice was common, so nobody really took him too seriously.

Especially Steve.  “It’s not like you have Grace that weekend. You could try to enjoy it.”

“We’re not going to this thing for enjoyment. I have a feeling I’ll be too busy trying to keep you from infesting everybody else with your crazy.”

“It’s not crazy if it works, Danno,” Steve replied with a smug smile.

“I’m sure someone there will be able to impart wisdom of arresting without explosions, Steven. And when I find that person, I may lock the two of you in a room until you learn those techniques.”

Steve merely grinned widely.  “Aren’t you afraid locking me in a room with people would ‘Infect them with my Crazy?’”.

Danny rolled his eyes in response.  “I’m hoping experienced law officers can resist. I have managed to stay sane. Chin has remained sane. Poor Kono was exposed to you too early in her career. I couldn’t save her.”

******************************************************************

If Danny were to be completely honest with himself, he was looking forward to the trip. It was autumn now, and after four years in Hawaii he was feeling nostalgia for the turning leaves and icy breezes. He was even thinking about extending his stay so he could visit with his family. New Jersey was not far from Washington D C. If he could not extend his stay, maybe he could ask the family to come down for a visit. Dinner and sight-seeing after workshop hours could be cool.

What Danny was not particularly looking forward to was three nights in the same hotel room with Steve. While he did feel that they could be productive and informative members of the conference, after all—after four years working as a team, Danny and Steve could show how working closely together could increase intuition. They communicated well, and could almost read each other’s minds in tense situations. They use their own skill sets effectively, and Danny had managed to turn Steve into a darn good cop. But at the end of a normal work day, Danny had the option of going home alone. His heart could handle going home at the end of the work day, but possibly not the close quarters of a hotel room.

In the week leading up to their departure, Danny enjoyed a long, expensive phone call with Grace (it’s raining a lot, Danno) and his parents (your father and I can’t wait to see you). He packed his nice shirts and favorite ties that he no longer wore at work. He picked through case files to find the best of the worst to discuss at the convention. But, worst of all, the night before they left for the mainland, Danny had to endure a Bon Voyage meal with the whole team, plus Catherine. The same Catherine who was Steve’s “with benefits” friend. The same Catherine who spent a good part of the evening sitting on Steve’s lap.

“You could have just stayed here tonight, Danno. Chin’s just going to have to make two stops before taking us to the airport,” Steve said with a slight frown.

Danny shrugged slightly.  “I wasn’t really thinking about it, Steve. But my suitcase is at my apartment, and I figure I’ll get a tiny amount of sleep there since I won’t sleep on the plane.”

Danny probably wouldn’t sleep at home, either. But at least he wouldn’t have to watch the Steve and Catherine cuddle show until morning.

Despite a long day and even longer flight, Danny slept very little.  They arrived at the hotel and checked in with time for a two-hour nap, which Danny sorely needed.  Standing in the doorway of their room, Danny glared at the single, King-sized bed.  Then he sighed in resignation, and fell backwards upon it.

Steve looked worriedly at his partner.  “No complaints, Danno?”

“I’m too tired,” Danny’s voice was muffled from under the pillow.  “You can go and complain for me.  Rant loudly in my name—I know you know how by now.”

Steve sighed.  “I doubt I’ll have time to work up a good rant.  The  Meet-and-Greet is at six o’clock.”

Danny removed the pillow from his face and placed it under his head.  “Fine, then we’ll both go and complain together after dinner.  I need to re-energize right now.”

Steve shrugged and sat on the opposite edge of the bed.  “You should have just slept at my place.  Or at least on the plane.”

“I was too stressed to sleep.  And, no Steve, I do not have a good reason for the stress.  Maybe it’s because of the grand Cop-Gathering, but I just did not feel like sleeping.  Now I feel like it.  Just please let me rest now.”

“Okay, I’m going to shower and nap, too.  I’ll make sure we’re up for dinner.”

 

Danny knew why he was stressed.  A whole conference full of police officers and detectives was bound to contain more than a few people who would pick up on his feelings for Steve.  Frankly, he wasn’t ready to deal with that when not on his home turf.  Police departments housed a rather large amount of homophobic dickheads.  For certain one of those dickheads would make a smart-ass remark to Danny.  Possibly a remark would be made to Steve.  Danny’s secret would be made not-secret, and he wasn’t entirely sure how to deal with that.

 

It wasn’t the fact that Steve might be homophobic that worried Danny.  He knew for a fact that Steve had several openly gay friends.  One of those friends was such an outrageously flamboyant character that Danny had to fight to keep from laughing whenever they were near each other.  No, Danny was more positive that Steve would react badly to the fact that it was Danny who had fallen in love with him.  They were friends, close friends, and close friends did not fall in love.

Danny enjoyed hanging out with Steve.  He had even come to enjoy surfing, much to his dismay.  Because, seriously, that much exposure to all that naked skin and those tattoos could not be good for him.  The last thing Danny wanted was for all those good, relaxing times to become awkward.  With his job, Danny needed all the relaxing fun time he could get.  And work becoming awkward was also a consideration.  Danny was almost sure that Kono knew he was in love with Steve because she was freaky that way.

 

*************************************************************

 

The nap helped revive Danny a bit, and the shower helped more.  As he dressed for the dinner, the reality of sharing a one-bed room with Steve finally set in.  The napped together on that bed for two hours and the world did not end.  As a matter of fact, the bed was super large, and they never even made contact with each other.  Still, why risk that happening later, when Danny knew total exhaustion would not keep him motionless in his sleep.

“We need to see about getting another room,” Danny mumbled as he dressed for the dinner.

“With the Law Enforcement Convention, the hotel might be booked solid, Danny.”

“Well, then, we may have to see about another hotel.”

“Aw, Danny, what’s wrong?  Are you afraid you’re going to cuddle with me in your sleep?”

Yes, in fact, Danny Williams was afraid of that very thing.

One dinner past, and half a day into the conference, and Danny thought things were going surprisingly well, despite Danny’s lack of comfortable sleep.  He may have held himself rigidly in his sleep, but he was able to relax in front of the other Task Force teams.  The friendly competition of “Worst Case Ever” was a good lead in to the idea exchange, and he and Steve had shown that sometimes unorthodox worked best.

“So, how did the two of you get together, anyway?”  Lt. James Elroy, local Task Force leader from D. C., had been the most receptive to Steve’s military-style leadership in the Civilian law profession.  Probably because he was ex-military himself, Elroy seemed to enjoy hearing about Steve’s trouble with legal constraints.

“Me and Steve?” Danny replied, concentrating on ignoring the ulterior meaning of the question.  “Not quite a funny story, actually.  I was investigating his father’s murder when he invaded the crime scene.  Then he conscripted me into his Task Force so that he could use my leads to investigate the crime himself.  Despite the hassle, we actually work pretty well together.”

Elroy laughed.  “Oh, I already got that story from him—though he didn’t use the word ‘conscripted’.  I meant, how did the two of you get together romantically?  I figure that must be one hell of a story.”

Danny shifted uncomfortably.  “We, uh, are not together romantically.  Steve is my boss, my work partner, and after a fashion, my friend.  In fact, he has quite an attractive Lady Friend back in Hawaii.’

Elroy frowned.  “Huh.  It’s just that some of us were wondering how long you’d been married.”

“Fantastic.”

**************************************************************

 

The crisp fall weather was a strange relief to Danny.  He missed the cold, no matter how odd that seemed to his new team.  During his lunch break, while Steve traded non-confidential war stories with the few other Vets at the convention, Danny took a walk into the hotel courtyard to enjoy the turning leaves.  The conversation with Elroy sat heavy in his mind.  Later tonight, Steve would no doubt admit that someone had had a similar conversation with him.  Danny just had to decide how to handle himself when that happened.  Stressing himself out further would do him no good.  Taking a deep breath of cool afternoon air, Danny turned and returned to the large conference area.

 

*********************************************************

 

The rest of the day passed without incident, and Danny begged off of going out to dinner with Steve, Elroy and a few other convention goers.  Danny wanted to call his parents and finalize their plans to meet the day after next, and then get an early start on sleep.  There was one day left of the convention, and then Danny would be spending the day after with his family playing tourist in the Nation’s Capitol.  Danny had already changed his flight plans to stay an extra day, and confirmed the time off with the Governor.  Steve was aware as well, but hadn’t commented other than to say that he hoped Danny enjoyed his visit with his folks.  Plans were made to visit several monuments and possibly the zoo.  Danny wasn’t usually keen on visiting animals without Grace, but the National Zoo was within walking distance of the Kennedy Center for Performing Arts, and Danny’s mother always wanted to see that.  His parents undoubtedly had other ideas about how to spend their visit, but Danny was content to roll along easily.  He was just turning down the blankets on his side of the bed when Steve returned.

“You get everything settled with your folks?” he asked amiably.

“Yeah.  Looks like the zoo and the Kennedy Center in the morning before traffic gets stupid, and then Kodak moments for the rest of the day.  How was dinner?  You all didn’t blow anything up did you?”

Steve rolled his eyes.  “No explosions, Danny, I promise.  Just lots of talk about Task Force structure.  Did you know that the Seattle and Detroit groups never socialize outside of work?  And Elroy probably couldn’t pick out his team’s family members in a lineup?”

Danny frowned.  “That’s pretty sad, actually.”

Steve nodded in agreement.  “Some of these guys felt like Five-0 were at a professional disadvantage because we didn’t keep our personal lives out of the office.  I had to explain that because Oahu is not a large island, we were practically in each other’s pockets anyway.  I educated them all in the advantages of knowing my team as well personally as professionally.”

“As long as nothing even mildly explosive went on, I am a happy person.  Do you think any of these team leaders will make an effort to get to know their teams further?”

Steve shrugged.  “Maybe.  You never know.  Of course, Elroy seems to think that I don’t know you all as well as I think I do.  Especially you.”

Danny frowned at his partner.  “What makes him think that, I wonder?  I mean, I doubt I tell you every little thing, but we know each other well enough to be best friends and practically family.”

Steve grinned broadly.  “That’s nice to hear you say, Danny.  I knew you’d never keep secrets from me.”

Okay, Danny thought, maybe keeping one secret wasn’t too bad.  Especially if he wanted to sleep at night.

 

 

 

Sleep was a wonderful thing as far as Danny is concerned.  When sleeping, Danny could fully relax—could let his stress go and set his mind free.  He never remembered his dreams, but he always woke up feeling like he just returned from a vacation.  Before the day started, before the tension built up and caused headaches and shoulder aches, he started the day refreshed and eager.  But on this day, after this sleep, he woke muddled and confused.  He went to sleep thinking he would never be able to relax, much like the night before; he would have to be still and stiff and hold himself to the very edge of the bed.  He woke still on his side of the bed, warm and settled, and completely wrapped in Steve’s arms—totally being the little spoon.  From the sound of the breathing, Steve was awake and startled, too.

“Steven?”

**grunt**

“I think maybe you need to wake up.  One of us is cuddling, and I’m sure it’s not me.”

Steve sat up and scooted away to the other side of the bed.  “Oh, god, Danny, I’m so sorry.”

Danny sighed, ran his hands over his face to compose himself, and stood from the bed.  He was emotionally frazzled from spending the last two nights so close to Steve.  He wasn’t sure what was going to happen now.

“It’s okay, Steve.  Stupid stuff happens.  Just remember I was the one that wanted another room.  Being your teddy bear was not on the agenda for this convention.”

Steve frowned miserably.  “I never intended to use you like a teddy bear, Danny.  You’re my partner, my friend.  I’d hardly treat you like a toy.”

Danny shook his head.  “Treat me like a toy—you know, I’m going to need pants and coffee for this conversation.  Because, let me tell you, that is not what I meant.”

Steve nodded drowsily, obviously not quite awake.  “Yeah, pants would be good.  I really think we should talk, Danny.  I think it’s way past time we talked.  I can’t not talk about this anymore.”

“Talk about what, Steve?”

“I made the room reservation here, Danny,” Steve murmured softly.  “I made it for an extra two days after the convention, not just one, so that we—you—could spend time with your family.  I made the reservation for one room because I wanted to spend as much time with you as possible.”  Steve laughed mirthlessly.  “God, Chin and Catherine both told me this would backfire.  I guess I still need to work on my mammal-to-mammal skills.”

Danny stared at his friend for a moment before shaking his head again.  “Okay, what the hell?  This is before coffee, so none of this is making sense.  What do Chin and Catherine have to do with any of this?”

Steve hung his head in shame.  “They both told me to tell you how I felt about you before the convention.  They said it was only fair that you knew before we were here together.”

Huh.  Now that Danny was dressed, he felt marginally more able to deal with this turn of events.  After yesterday’s chat with Elroy, Danny had expected at least a mild confrontation.  In no way was he prepared to wake up wrapped in Steve like all his dreams came true.  And, now, after all his anxiety about sharing a room—much less a bed—with Steve, it sounded like Steve planned the whole thing.  He wasn’t certain what was going on, and he didn’t know if he could handle it.  He really needed coffee.  At least he had his pants.

“Food, Steven.  We will talk over breakfast.  I’m not near awake enough right now.”

 

Because they actually had one more half-day of the convention to participate in, and because staying in the room would be way too tempting for Danny, they opted for breakfast in the hotel restaurant, although they sought out a secluded table.  Steve has begun to admit something rather personal, and Danny had a feeling that his own turn was coming, and he really didn’t like the idea of anyone overhearing them.  Once food was ordered and coffee was safely in his grasp, Danny regarded Steve.  He looked nervous and uncomfortable, which was how he looked when ever Danny forced him to admit that he has feelings.

“So, uh, what’s going on?”

Steve huffed into his coffee.  “God, Danny, where do I start?”

That was a good question, and Danny was sure he has a good answer.  Something Steve said in the room had struck him hard.  “Why don’t you start with what Chin and Catherine have to do with this?”

Steve fidgeted slightly.  Huh.  Steve did not fidget.  He would probably tell Danny that SEALs were trained to not fidget.

Danny squared his shoulder and clasped his coffee mug tightly between his hands.  “Okay. Um, let me start then, and please don’t interrupt because this will not be easy for me.”

Steve relaxed minutely.  “Okay, Danny, I’ll not interrupt.”

Danny nodded and stared into his coffee.  “Alright, well, first I wanna say that since we started working together, you have become a good friend.  You’re my best friend, actually, and knowing you and Chin and Kono has made living in Hawaii easier.  You were right; I only had Grace and my job at HPD, and I was miserable.  And although it’s not like my family in Jersey, it is a family and I am happier.  Heck, I’ve even learned to like surfing, so now Grace and I have another thing in common.  I like the fact that I can once again spend civil time with co-workers.  I like that I can have intelligent adult conversation.  I like that we have each other’s backs and that we care about each other.”

Steve let him talk, and then their food arrived.  Danny munched on his bacon while he considered what next to say.  Maybe it was long past time to say all of this.  He certainly wasn’t doing himself any favors keeping it in, and seeing Steve every day and loving him in secret was not fun.  With a sigh, Danny finished his coffee and began.   “I haven’t been really happy lately, and it has everything and nothing to do with you.”

“Danny, What???”

“No interrupting, Steven, you promised.  I really need to do this.”

“Okay.”

Steve looked like Danny had just kicked his puppy, and Danny hated that.  “I don’t know when it happened, or how it happened, I guess, but I started thinking about you as more than a friend.  I didn’t mean for it to happen.  I mean, this sort of thing would not make our relationship easier.  I see you at work every day.  I spend time with you outside of work.  I spend time with you on my Grace weekends and my daughter loves you.  Maybe she loves you as much as I do in her own way.  But I never planned on falling in love with you, but I did and I have been trying for a very long time to deal with this because I do not want to stop being your partner or your friend.”

That may have been as much as Danny had ever said to Steve all at once that was not case-related.  It was all out now, like ripping off a band-aid, and all that was left was Steve’s reaction.  He wondered how bad it could be.  He looked up cautiously, only to find Steve smiling into his orange juice.

“I always thought the distance you were putting between us was a bad thing,” Steve said softly.  “Normally I would have talked to you about this, but I couldn’t.  So I talked to Chin.  I talked to Catherine, which was really weird.”

“Uh-huh.  And, um, what did Catherine have to say?”

Steve laughed roughly.  “Catherine does not mince her words.  She told me that I was being a dumbass, and if I couldn’t at least admit to myself that I was in love with you then I deserved to be miserable.”

Danny’s eyes widened in shock.  “Catherine said that?  I, uh, thought you two were so happy together, what with all the lap-sitting and all.”

Steve’s mouth turned down slightly.  “Yeah—about that…Catherine and I haven’t been together like that in a very long time.  She’s actually dating a marine biologist.  I think the lap-sitting was her way of forcing the issue.  You left before I could really say anything.”

Danny nodded absently.  “And the room arrangements, Steve?  How exactly was that supposed to work out?”

Steve shrugged.  “I honestly do not know.  I only know that I might only have this time to be really close to you.  I was willing to listen to you rant and complain if I could spend all of our time together.  And I always wanted to meet your family since you and Grace talk about them all the time.”

His family.  Danny almost forgot about them.  He talked to his mother at least once a week.  He told her about how Grace was doing in school, even though she called herself every week.  He told his mother about work.  He told his mother about the surfing lessons, and hiking trips, and that awful Scout camping trip.

Danny told his mother that he’d done something stupid and heart-breaking, and had fallen in love with his partner.  Maggie Williams was ever supportive.  She missed her oldest son, knew he didn’t really want to move and only did because of family.  She was happy that he had made a home there for himself.  When Danny told her that he was in love with Steve, their weekly chats became pep-talks.  Maggie would urge Danny gently to tell Steve the truth, but would totally understand when he said he couldn’t.

This meeting between Steve and his family could possibly be a disaster.

 

Danny and Steve talked through the rest of breakfast, both marveling at the relief of revealing their feelings.  On the surface nothing had changed.  They weren’t going to walk around holding hands like love-stuck teenagers.  Maybe they smiled more often, laughed more, gave more shoulder bumps, but mostly it looked like they were enjoying the end of a successful Law Enforcement Convention.  They exchanged numbers and database information with the D.C., Seattle, and Los Angeles groups.  Danny promised to do some follow-up work for the Detroit team for an arms running case they had.  Steve made arrangements for him and Danny to join Elroy and his wife for dinner.  Danny’s family would be arriving late, and they would meet early for breakfast.  It was a good weekend, and Danny was pleased.  There was only one thing really bothering him.

“It’s a friendly dinner, Danny; you do not need to wear a tie,” Steve called from the bathroom.

Danny rolled his eyes in mirth.  “But it’s a good tie, Steve.  Grace gave it to me for Christmas the first year we lived in Hawaii.”

“It doesn’t have Hula Dancers on it, does it?”

“No, you cretin, it does not.  My baby-girl has good taste.  It’s blue with coconuts.  Teeny, tiny coconuts”

“Very nice,” Steve laughed.

Danny hesitated while tying his tie.  “Um, Steve, you know I’m happy we talked everything out, right?  I mean, you do know that I, uh, love you?”

Steve looked at him from the mirror, and smiled big and happy.  “I love you too, Danno.”

“So, um, why is it, when we’ve spent the last two days sharing a room—not to mention the bed—that we have not shared even one small kiss?”

Steve frowned and put down his toothbrush.  Leaning on the bathroom door jam, he regarded Danny.  “We haven’t, have we?  I was so worried about how I was going to tell you, I’m surprised I didn’t just grab you and kiss you at breakfast.”

Danny raised one eyebrow in good humor.  “Do you think we could perhaps take care of that little detail before dinner?”

Steve grinned at him  “I think I should like to do that very much.  In fact, I’ve wanted to do this for a very long time.”

Steve walked over to Danny and grabbed the length of his necktie and pulled him closer.  Danny raised an eyebrow at the semi-rough treatment, but Steve just smirked and lowered his head toward Danny.  Their lips met softly, tentatively, and Danny felt the bottom drop out of his world.  The kiss was not perfect; they banged noses a bit, and their teeth clacked together, but to Danny it felt warm and inviting, just like coming home.  He gripped Steve’s shoulders to pull him closer, enjoying his warmth and solidity.  Much too soon they parted, each a little breathless.  Danny smiled and stroked Steve’s cheek.

“We should go, huh?”

“Yeah,” Steve sighed happily.

`******************************************************************

 

Dinner was a pleasant affair.  The restaurant was a small hole-in-the-wall Italian place with lots of character and wonderful food.  James Elroy and his wife, Janice, were great company.  They married while Elroy was still in the military, and their partnership was as solid as any Danny had seen.  The four of them laughed and told stories and generally had a good time.  Steve and Elroy talked about tough missions away from home, and Janice told about how difficult it was being a military wife.

“I’m sure you know all about it, though, right Danny?”

“What do you mean, Janice?”

“Well, you know; worrying about all the crazy, dangerous stuff that Steve does.”

Steve coughed lightly.  “Actually, Janice, Danny is my partner on the Task Force, and he’s usually right beside me during all the crazy, dangerous stuff.”

Danny chuckled.  “Yes, and I’m usually complaining about it the whole time.  This man has no parameters for personal safety.”

Janice smirked at them.  “So you do know what it’s like to worry.”

“Of course I worry.  Do you know how many times he’s gotten me shot at?  The first time we worked together, he got me shot.”

Janice smiled fondly, but persisted.  “But you worry when he’s on a mission for the military, right?  I mean, he’s in the reserves, so he still gets called.”

Elroy looked amused by the exchange.  “Janice, there is one big difference here.  Steve and Danny are not married.’

“James Elroy, I am not a stupid woman.  I know they aren’t married.  But they could be.  If they were going to be here for a few days longer, they could be married.”

Steve’s eyebrows rose in incredulity, and he looked at Danny.  “Tell me more, Janice.”

 

 Chapter 9: Hare-brained Scheme

Janice Elroy was happy to report all the facts of marriage—even same-sex marriage—in D.C.: Thirty-five dollars fee for the license, three-business-day wait for the filing, fee to officiant, and witnesses lined up, then they could be married.  Since Danny’s family had called to confirm their arrival, witnesses were assured.  In fact, as far as Steve was concerned, the whole thing seemed assured.  Danny, however, had a few misgivings.  He waited until they were back in their own room to broach the subject.  While he was, in fact, thrilled at the thought that Steve actually loved him as much as Danny loved Steve, marriage was a difficult topic for him.  His last foray into that territory did not go well.

“Maybe we should talk about this for awhile longer?”

“You don’t want to marry me, Danno?”

Danny shrugged.  “I’m surprised, is all.  I only just recently told you how I feel about you.  We may live in each other’s pockets every day, but we actually live apart.  I have loved you for so long, but I’m still on uncertain ground.  I have no actual idea of what I’m doing here.”

Steve reached out and pulled Danny close.  “I love you Danny.  With my whole self, I love you like I’ve loved nobody else.  I need you in my life.  I want to marry you, to show you how much you mean to me.  You make me feel alive, and I was so afraid to tell you because I didn’t want to lose you.”

“You won’t lose me, Steven.  I’m totally in this with you.  Marriage is not going to change that.”

“I want to commit to you, Danny.  I never thought I would want this with anyone.  Now, I want the certificate and I want the ring and I want to tell everyone that I belong to you and you belong to me.”

Danny’s heart stuttered a bit.  The utter joy he felt at hearing those words almost took his feet out from under him.  “It won’t be legal in Hawaii, you know that don’t you?”

Steve shrugged.  “It’ll be legal to me, in my heart.  We can file all the paperwork for Power of Attorney and Medical Proxy, we can change our wills, we certainly will change living arrangements.  We can make things as legal as possible.”

“My mother will be shocked,” Danny said, bemused.

Steve grinned.  “I look forward to shocking her.  Hell, this could really kill my mother.  Almost a bonus.”

“Grace is in London with her Grandmother.”

“I’m sure if you call Rachel and explain that something important is happening, she can make sure that Grace is here.  Even if it’s only for a day or two, and I’ll even buy the tickets.  We can call right now.  Since tomorrow is Friday, we can pay the application fee and do this on Wednesday.  I can clear the vacation time as a family matter.  I can even call Mary and see if she can make it.  You call Rachel and I’ll call Governor Denning and Mary.”

Danny smiled and pulled out his phone.  “I think first, I should call my mother at her hotel.  She should have warning that her oldest child losing his mind, and is planning to prove it in a very public setting.”

 

 

Steve called the Governor of Hawaii, and without going into great detail, managed to convey a family issue that required almost an entire extra week.  Since neither Steve nor Danny had taken much vacation time since the inception of Five-0, the time request was granted with a plea to not cause an inter-state incident while they were here.  All Steve could do was promise to try not to.  Steve’s sister, Mary, was so excited that she let out a squeal loud enough that Danny’s mother heard it from over the other phone connection.  Danny’s own phone calls were easily accomplished.  They were just not easy to get through.

“Daniel, what a surprise to hear from you,” Rachel huffed.  “What do you want?”

Danny gritted his teeth.  “Hello, Rachel.  Listen, I need a major favor from you involving Grace.  It’s important.  Steve will pay everything; I just need you to let it happen.”

“What’s going on?”

“Well, um, I’d like to have Grace come to D.C. on Tuesday, to stay through Wednesday. It’s a short visit, for a family thing here.”

“It’s nothing serious is it?  Not your mother?”

Danny smiled.  For all that their marriage did not work out, Rachel still cared very much for Danny’s family.  “No, Rachel, Ma is fine.  It’s, um, actually something with Steve.”

“Don’t tell me; you’re getting married?”

“….”

“Daniel?  Is that it?  Seriously?”

“He, um, asked tonight.”

Rachel actually squealed!  “That’s wonderful!  Oh, of course I’ll make sure Grace gets to you.  Don’t worry about Steve paying for the tickets; I’ll take care of everything.  I’ll call you with her flight information.”

Danny sighed in relief.  “Thanks, Rach.  This means a lot to us.”

“Just make sure you get lots of photos for me.”

That was possibly the easiest conversation Danny had ever had with his ex-wife.  They had gotten on better terms, mostly because of their daughter, but they would never be great friends.  Still, she knew him pretty well, and she knew how he felt about Steve.  She could honestly be happy for him.  The next call would be possibly easier and more difficult, all at once.

“Hey, Ma, sorry to call so late.  I know you had a long drive.”

“The drive was worth it to some see you.  It’s been way too long since you’ve been home.  I’m just sorry that your sisters couldn’t make the trip.”

Danny smiled into the phone.  “Well, maybe they still can.  We, uh, Steve and I, sorta changed some of the plans for this visit.”

****************a high pitched squeal pierced the air**************

“Daniel Arthur Williams, what sort of hare-brained scheme have you cooked up now?”

 

Danny gave the short-version explanation to his mother, with a promise to explain further over breakfast.  In the meantime, Danny’s father called the front desk to extend their stay and to get a recommendation for breakfast.  After checking the Public Works Website, Steve got the operation hours and directions to the Wedding License Office in City Hall.  They were going after breakfast to pay for their license, and then hitting the Metro with a map and cameras in hand.  Steve had undressed for bed while Danny was talking to his mother, and he lay propped-up on pillows watching as Danny finalized morning plans.

“What is that smile for?  I hope you are not amused by watching me get scolded by my mother.”

“I get to cuddle with you tonight,” Steve smirked.

“You were cuddling with me this morning, Steven.  Did you forget that?”

“That was accidental.  Tonight I get to cuddle with intent.”

Danny laughed.  “Cuddle with intent?  Is that the only thing you plan on doing with intent?”

Steve shrugged happily.  “We’re getting married in a few days, Danny.  Don’t you want to save something for the wedding night?”

Danny laughed sharply.  “Excuse me?”

—sigh—

“It’s just, this is new for us.  I’d really like our first time together to be special.  I’d not want to rush it either way, but as we are getting married….”

Danny nodded.  “Yeah, okay, I get it.  I really do.  And I agree with it.  So, we’ll cuddle with intent, and maybe more kissing?”

“Definitely more kissing.”

“You do realize that my mother is going to take us ring shopping.  She loved Rachel, but hated the ring.”

Steve grinned.  “Then I shall happily accept her assistance and advice.”

Clad in boxers and a t-shirt, Danny crawled into the bed beside Steve.  Leaning down, he pressed his lips softly to Steve’s, sighing in pleasure as Steve pulled him closer and deepened the kiss.  Pressed close together, they kissed and stroked each other, seeking not to arouse but to comfort and reassure.  They settled onto their pillows, Steve resting his head on Danny’s shoulder.

“Tomorrow is going to be good, Danny.  A good start to our new future.”

“And he picks now of all times to become a romantic sap.”

 

****************************************************************************** 

Breakfast in a diner near the courthouse was almost a relaxed affair.  Danny’s mother was busy calling his sisters, and almost forgot to eat.  Danny’s father as questioning Steve about his Navy career and generally making Steve feel welcome into the family.  By the time Danny had had his second cup of coffee, Danny’s sisters were confirmed to be driving from Jersey on Tuesday, his mother was sitting arm-in-arm with Steve, talking about ring possibilities, and Danny and his father were reviewing the Metro map and plotting their excursion.

“We’re going to be here a lot longer now Danny, so why don’t we spread this out a bit.  We have time to see all the major monuments now, which is pretty awesome.”

“Yeah, Pop, we can do that.  There are lots of theaters around, so maybe we can check out a show or something.”

“Maybe, but I know I’ll have to at least check out the Air and Space Museum.  The guys at the station house will never let me live it down if I miss it.”

Danny nodded in agreement as he looked at the museum website on his phone.  “Oh, yeah, look—they’re doing some kind of Star Trek exhibit going on there.  There’s a guy we work with that would kill to see that.  We’d better go to that, because I know Max will grill the hell out of us.”

 

***************************************************************************

At the end of a long eventful and landmark-filled day, the foursome prepared to go their separate ways.  Their hotels were not far apart, both being within walking distance of the Convention Center, and they would be able to spend every available bit of time together without crowding each other.  During the course of that first day Danny and Steve had been able to make an appointment with an officiant for their small ceremony (Wednesday, late afternoon, near the Botanical Gardens), get recommendations and make reservations for the celebratory dinner (local seafood restaurant with a long list of five-star reviews), confirm Grace’s itinerary (coming in late Tuesday evening, leaving early Saturday morning, staying with Danny’s parents in between), and purchase decent-looking outfits (and ties) for the ceremony.

Before heading off to their own hotel for the night, Danny’s mother pulled him aside.  “Are you happy, Danny?”

“I’m stunned, Ma, but I think I’ll be happy.  I didn’t want to, but I love him.”

“He seems like a good man.  Your father and I make him nervous.”

Danny chuckled lightly.  “Yeah, I can’t wait to see how Amy and Trish make him twitch.”

“I’m so glad for you, Danny.  Now hug me and go to bed.  We’ve got a busy five days ahead of us.”

“Yeah—who said vacations were supposed to be relaxing?”

 

While Danny’s sisters were informed about the commitment ceremony, Grace was not because Danny and Steve wanted to tell her in person.  Because of this, the family trip to the National Zoo was postponed until Wednesday morning.  Grace was excited and happy to have so much of her family together in one place, and she was always thrilled to go to a zoo, but she did question why she was adjusting her Grandmother-visit by a two-day detour.

“How come you’re on the Mainland, Danno?”

“Steve and I had to come to a police conference for a few days.  The Governor thought we could teach some people a few things.  And we figured we’d visit with my family since we were going to be so close.”

“How come Mommy said I could fly all by myself to be here just for a day?”

Danny sighed and settled back on the bench they were occupying.  “Well, Monkey, something came up while we were here—a sort of surprise—and I really wanted you to be part of it.  It was too important for you not to be here and we couldn’t do this in Hawaii, so it had to be now.”

“What’s happening?”

“Steve, uh, and I are gonna get married.  We filed the paperwork on Friday and we’re meeting the officiant this evening.  I couldn’t do that without you.  It was too important.”

Twelve-year-old eyes shrewdly assessed Danny, then Steve, who had hovered nearby while Danny talked to his daughter.  Finally, Grace spoke.  “You love him, right?”

“Yeah, Grace, I really, really do.”

“And he’s going to be my Step-Steve, now?”

“If you want him to be, he is.”

“Can I be flower girl?”

Danny shrugged.  “Well, baby, you could be flower girl, but I was really hoping you’d be my Best Man.  Well, Best Girl.”

Grace’s smile widened in surprise.  “Really?!?  But who’s gonna be Uncle Steve’s Best Man?”

“Well, maybe you can be Best Man for both of us, okay?”

The rest of the zoo visit went without a hitch.  Grace favored the seals and otters, but Steve was most interested in the Batcave.  Since there was plenty of time, the whole group trooped off to the Kennedy Center before hitting the Metro back to the hotels to change for the ceremony.  Danny’s nerves started jingling when he was in the shower, and by the time he was knotting his tie he was almost vibrating.  He swore he wasn’t this nervous when he married Rachel.  He hoped that was a good sign.

 

****************************************************************************** 

Steve’s sister, Mary-Ann, got along well with Danny’s family.  Danny’s sisters welcomed her like she was one of their own, which was almost scary.

“I never thought I’d see the day Steve got married,” Mary stated to her new conspirators.  “Of course, I never thought I’d ever see Steve really happy.”

Danny’s sister, Amy, smiled at her as they checked their makeup.  “They both look really happy.  Even if Danny looks like he’s gonna barf.”

Mary chuckled along with her.  “Yeah, well, dealing with my brother full-time will do that to you.”

******************************************************************************

 

“You look so pretty in your new dress, Gracie,” Maggie said to her granddaughter.  “Are you sure you don’t want to carry some flowers?”

“I can’t carry flowers, Gramma.  I’m the Best Man, not then flower girl.  Should I wear a suit instead of a dress?”

“I think your father and Steve would be okay if their Best Man wore a dress if that’s what you really want to wear.”

“Good, because I really really like this dress, and I don’t think we could find a pink suit in time for the ceremony.”

 

******************************************************************************“Son?’

“Yeah, Pop?”

“You are happy with this, right?”

 

The whole family, well, the ones that mattered, were gathered in the lobby of the Notary Public waiting for their appointment.  Danny supposed the day would be more complete with Danny’s brother and Steve’s mother, but Danny’s brother made major mistakes against the law and possibly may no longer be alive, and the less said about Steve’s mother the better.  Danny’s mother and Grace were talking with the Elroys, who Steve had called to invite at the last minute.  All of the sisters were chatting and laughing like old friends.  Danny and his father were standing apart from the rest, just watching the interactions.  The question was spoken quietly and without rancor, but Danny knew what his father meant.

“You know,” Danny said finally,  “I loved Rachel with everything I had.  She took all of that from me, and when she took Grace to Hawaii, it just about killed me.  And then, Steve, well—meeting him almost really did kill me.  I really did not know when my feelings for him turned from exasperation to love, but I fought it all the way.  Being with him without telling him how I felt was torture.  Then, while we’re here of all places, he tells me that he not only loves me but also wants to be with me in a forever kind of way.  Yeah, Pop, I’m happy with that.  Crazy has become part of my life.”

 

“I now pronounce you Joined In Matrimony.  You may kiss in celebration.”

Danny smiled softly as Steve reached for him and drew him closer.  They had kissed a total of three times, and never once in public, and this was a momentous occasion for him.  He had declared himself to be Steve’s partner, in every sense of the word, for all the world to see.  Well, not the whole world, but at least the important parts of the world; his parents and daughter, his sisters—ever doubtful that he would be happy again, Steve’s sister—so long from his life.  So what if Matt and Doris were absent, this was all about the happy, and Danny was happy.  He raised a hand to Steve’s shoulder and their lips met true.  There was no tongue, no slobber, no desperate panting.  There was a universal sigh of happiness from the gathered family.  And there was the perfect kiss:  The warm press of Steve’s mouth against his, the mingled breath they shared, the caress of hands across his shoulders and back.  Danny left one hand on Steve’s shoulder and with the other he stroked along Steve’s jaw line.  The soft rasp of stubble just brought the whole thing home for him.

They parted and held hands as they faced their family.  The officiant “announced” them to the room, and James Elroy led the applause.  Janice may have whistled, but it could just as well have been Grace.  Danny wondered if his smile could grow any larger, and then he remembered that tonight was his wedding night and he figured it could.

“Thanks, everyone,” said Danny happily, “for going along with this folly of ours.”

“Folly, Danno?  Really?”

“It means act of foolishness—and clearly I was being foolish to think marrying you would be the safe option for my life.”

“You don’t mean that,” Steve said with a little pout.

“No, I really, really don’t.  The folly may have been to let this go unsaid for as long as I did.”

 

They shook hands with the officiant and paid for their wedding, then collected their new Wedding Certificate—suitable for framing.  Then they herded the clan out toward dinner.  Danny had a feeling that he’d need whatever energy food would give him.  Suddenly, butterflies erupted in his belly.

Fantastic.

He was nervous about the wedding night.

Not even with Rachel was he nervous about a wedding night.

Hell, he wasn’t even nervous the first time he fooled around with a guy in school.

Maybe he would just take this as a sign that this union was truly meant to be.  He was absolutely certain that he and Steve were solid like granite, and they would be just as hard to break.

 

“Let’s eat, people!!  It’s been a long day of family togetherness, and I have worked up an appetite.”

 

Grace ran to walk between him and Steve, holding hands with both of them.  His life was as close to perfect as he’d ever want it.

 

****************************************************************************** 

Dinner was a fun affair.  The Elroys joined them, and Janice enjoyed telling everyone that the wedding had been her idea.  Neither Steve nor Danny could refute the statement, because essentially it was true.  While Steve and Danny were happy to admit their feelings, getting married probably would never have come up.  But thanks to Janice Elroy pointing out that it could happen, and Steve’s habit of flying by the seat of his pants without a parachute, Danny was the proud owner of a new wedding band.

And a new husband.

And Danny would always consider himself Steve’s keeper.  He was now even more invested in keeping Steve safe.  They had much more at stake now.

Dinner conversation ranged from “When Is Danno Moving In With Steve So I Can Swim There Every Day?” to “Is Anyone Going To Change His Name?” to “How Will This Affect Your Work Life?”   That last bit was more involved than the others.  Steve was sure nothing major would change—certainly not either of their names, for sure—but he would arrange a meeting with the Governor as soon as they arrived back home.  Danny wanted to join in that meeting, but Steve wisely delegated him to the duty of informing the rest of Five-0.  Chin and Kono might freak out less if Danny explained things.  They were certainly used to Steve’s impulsiveness, and Danny probably had the ability to provide a much more rational explanation.  Danny planned to totally throw Steve under the bus on this one because he was the one to propose.  Hopefully the Governor would accept Steve’s version of events and go easy on them.  At the very least, Danny hoped then Governor wouldn’t throw them a huge party.  That would be beyond awkward.

 

But right now, Danny had more on his mind than what would happen when they got home.  He had kissed his daughter goodnight and sent her off with his parents for the night.  They would have breakfast in the morning before they took her to the airport for her return trip to her other grandmother.  Promises were already made for a visit by Danny’s family to Hawaii for sometime in the near future, after they all got settled.  Probably in the spring or summer, since there were kids still in school.

Danny was currently sitting on the edge of the bed, removing his shoes and socks, as Steve brushed his teeth and finished in the bathroom.  His butterflies had settled.  His heart-rate was only slightly elevated, from excitement and not terror.  His smile was firmly in place.  On the nightstand was a bag containing lube (two types) and condoms (because safety first).  When Steve entered the room, shirt undone and pants open, Danny rose to take his place in the bathroom.

“You aren’t scared, are you Danny?”

Danny turned to Steve with a slight frown.  “Scared?  No.  Should I be?  Do you have equipment that I may not be familiar with?”

Steve laughed softly.  “No, I only have the standard equipment.  But this is kind of a big deal, you know?”

Danny nodded.  “I do know this.  And I told you, I have done this before.  Well, not the whole thing, but some.  I’m not afraid that we’re going to hurt each other, if that’s what you mean.”

Steve nodded before admitting, “Well, I’m a little scared.  What if, after all that we’ve done, this part isn’t good?”

Spitting and rinsing one last time, Danny left the bathroom and closed in on Steve, wrapping his arms around his new husband.

“What are you talking about?  How could this not be good?  Seriously, you are a goof.  I love you.  You love me.  My main goal here is to show you how much I love you, how much I appreciate you.  Not to sound too corny, but I want to totally worship you.  How could that possibly not be good?”

Steve smiled and sat on the bed, pulling Danny closer to stand between his legs.  He kissed Danny softly on the mouth, then the jaw, then the neck, unbuttoning Danny’s shirt as he went.

“Never let it be said that I kept you from worshipping me.  Just let me return the favor, yeah?”

“Absolutely.”

 

And words were left behind.

 

Steve removed Danny’s shirt, running his hands along Danny’s chest.  Danny’s muscles rippled under the gentle touch.  Lips met again, more frantic than ever before.  Steve shifted to lie on the bed and Danny took the time to undress completely.  He may not be model-gorgeous like Steve, but he worked out and had nothing to be ashamed of.  Boxing and running and now surfing had left him well-sculpted, and Steve’s eyes were appreciative as they roamed over him.  He reached over and began to assist Steve in disrobing, kissing each inch of skin as it was revealed.  Miles of golden skin tempted his touch and he gave in to the urge.  Danny traced Steve’s tattoos with his tongue before laving his nipples, teasing them to stiff points.  His hands ghosted along Steve’s torso before resting on his hips.  He kissed his way downward, licking and nipping, smiling when he heard Steve’s breath hitch and stutter.  He licked deep into Steve’s navel, and Steve groaned deeply.

Danny followed Steve’s happy trail with his mouth as he rubbed his thumbs along Steve’s hip bones.  Steve’s moans grew louder as Danny placed a kiss on the head of Steve’s flushed cock.  He could feel the heat on his lips and opened his mouth to take the dark red head deep inside.

“Oh, god!!!!”

Danny swallowed deep and fluttered his tongue against the vein along the underside of Steve’s cock, and Steve bucked upwards.  His hands scrabbled against the sheets, trying to gain purchase.  He struggled not to push into Danny’s mouth, not wanting to choke him, but the pleasure was too great.

“Danny, Danny………..god, y’gotta stop.  I’m not going to last.”

Danny hummed and swallowed deeper, digging his hands into Steve’s hips to hold him down.  A few head-bobs later, and Steve shuddered and came hard.  Danny swallowed every drop, and kissed his way back up Steve’s body to search out his mouth.  Kissing Steve deeply, Danny hummed against his tongue.

“You okay, babe?”

“I think you broke me.  I seriously have never come that hard ever.”

“So, I worshipped you pretty good, huh?”

Steve laughed weakly.  “You worshipped me wonderfully.  And now I get to worship you.”

Danny blushed.  “I, uh, may want to wait a bit.  Getting you all excited kinda got me all excited.  I may, uh, have come when you did.”

Steve kissed Danny deeply.  “That’s seriously hot, Danno.  But after we rest a bit, your body is all mine.”

“I wouldn’t have it any other way.”

 

Chapter 13: The Return, Part One

 

Their loving was sweet, tender, and utterly exhausting.

Danny woke the next day sweaty, sticky, and wrapped in Steve’s arms.  It was the best waking he had ever had.

But they were going to have breakfast with Grace and his parents before putting Grace on a plane back to London.  So, with great reluctance, he pulled away from Steve and made his way to the shower.

Then he turned back around and kissed his husband awake.  Because he could.

“Good Morning, sunshine.  We have to get up and showered.  Grace is leaving this morning, and we’re leaving this evening.  Lots to do today.”

“Is it early enough to shower together?”

Danny lifted one eyebrow at Steve.  “We need extra time to share water?”

Steve wiggled his eyebrows back at Danny.  “We need extra time to play a bit in the water.  I may have plans for you and that huge shower.”

“In that case, I’m glad I woke up early.  Let’s see what those plans are.”

 

Steve rolled gracefully out of the bed and ushered Danny into the bathroom.  Their shower was easily big enough for four people—a perk of the large room.  They adjusted the water temperature and climbed in.  Steve pushed Danny against the rear wall of the shower, using his body to shield Danny from the water.  He kissed Danny deeply, pushing his tongue past Danny’s lips and licking into Danny’s mouth.  His hands stroked across Danny’s chest and down to his belly.  Steve played a bit with the thick hair covering Danny’s torso before flicking Danny’s nipples with his thumbs.  Danny moaned into Steve’s mouth.

Steve kissed across to Danny’s jaw and down his neck, biting gently at the juncture of neck and shoulder.  Then he proceeded to kiss down Danny’s chest and stomach.  He lowered to his knees and flicked his tongue into Danny’s belly-button, causing Danny to moan loudly.   Steve dragged his mouth lower to lick and kiss Danny’s quickly hardening cock.  He sucked the head into his mouth and ran his hands along Danny’s flank and around his hips to grab at his hard ass.  Steve loved Danny’s ass; it was hard and firm and round and perfect to hold on to.

Steve sucked Danny’s cock deep into his mouth, bobbing his head and flicking his tongue against the tip at each down-stroke.  He slid his fingers along the crease of Danny’s ass, pushing slightly at the pucker at the center.  Danny grasped at Steve’s shoulders and bucked backwards toward his fingers.  He gasped and moaned as his orgasm shot through him, Steve sucking and swallowing every drop.

Steve rose to his feet and kissed Danny again, allowing Danny to taste himself on Steve’s tongue.

“I need to be in you, Danno.  I need you right now.”

Danny turned in Steve’s arms, until he was facing the wall.  He braced his hands on the wall and propped one leg on the ledge of the shower.

“Do it.  Do it now.  I want you so bad, babe.”

Steve reached for the soap and used it to lubricate his fingers.  He gently opened Danny’s hole, which was still partly open from the night before.  Danny let out an impatient noise, and Steve used the soap to slick himself.  In one stroke, he slid into Danny and they both moaned.  Steve grasped Danny’s hips and began thrusting in and out in slow rhythm, but the intensity made him pick up speed.  He pulled Danny into him, grasping his hips hard enough to bruise.  He thrust deeply and bit down on Danny’s shoulder as he came.

“That just keeps getting better and better.  If I were a decade younger, I would have come again.”

“The day is just starting, Danny.  We will have time to do that again.”

“Maybe with proper lube next time, huh.  I’m gonna need to rinse really good in here.”

Steve chuffed a short laugh.  “At least we’ll be sure to be super clean for when we see your parents again.”

Danny slicked shampoo into his wet hair.  “Don’t even think they aren’t aware of what we got up to last night.  No matter how clean we get, they’ll still give us the ‘look’.”

 

****************************************

Grace was smiling and waving a newspaper when they reached the lobby of Danny’s parent’s hotel.

“Danno, look what happened!!  You can be legal now!”

“What are you talking about, monkey?”

Danny’s father slapped Steve on the back as they met in the middle of the lobby.  “Turns out, while you were planning this whirlwind wedding, your local government decided to become part of the modern world.’

On the front page, in a short column at the bottom of the page, read a headline:

HAWAII LEGALIZES SAME-SEX MARRIAGE

Steve held out the paper to Danny.  “Huh.  Look at that Danno.  We’ll be legal back home.”

Danny smiled and took Steve’s hand.  “Wouldn’t matter.  I’d have still married you anyway.  You got way too under my skin not to.”

Danny’s father clapped his hands and asked, “So, back to that neat diner for breakfast?   The food there was really good, and it’s close by.”

Danny nodded and reached for his daughter.  “Sounds good, pop.  Come on, Grace, let’s find the best pancakes in town.  Are you all packed and ready to go back to your grandmother’s for the rest of your vacation?”

“Yes, Danno.  Gramma even transferred our wedding pictures onto a thumb drive so I can take them to show Grandmother and Grandfather when I get there.  They wanted to know why I had to fly over here, but I couldn’t tell them because I didn’t know.”

“I’m sure they’ll be very surprised.”

 

************************************

 

The flight back to Hawaii was much less stressful than the flight to D.C.  For one thing, Danny was well-rested.  Everything he had been worried about turned out to not be a huge deal.  For another thing, he was going back with a spouse—something he could never have planned for.  He knew they had to legalize everything in the next few weeks, including moving all of his stuff into Steve’s house, but that seemed so much less stressful than originally planning this trip had been.  He snuggled into Steve’s shoulder and gave a rueful smile.  If they had opened up to each other long ago, they maybe could have planned a better commitment ceremony on the island.  Of course, his family wouldn’t have been there, so maybe what they had was for the best.  He just had to fortify himself to deal with the recriminations of Kono and Chin reacting to the news.  All Steve had to do was deal with the Governor.

The big worry now was the Governor telling them that they could no longer work as partners because they were married.  Danny hoped that wouldn’t be the case, because they were an effective team.  Danny already had trained himself to deal with Steve’s crazy.  He knew Steve always watched him in the field.  They had meshed well from the very beginning, and being married would not change that.

Steve held his hand all during the flight, and they napped lightly during the long flight, leaning on each other.  Danny found himself fondly admiring his new ring rather than watching the in-flight movie.  He flexed his fingers around Steve’s, and enjoyed the feel of Steve’s ring against his hand.  His life was really good right now.

They disembarked the plane and walked to baggage claim hand-in-hand.  In public.  In Hawaii.  For the first time.  Danny felt a bit of a thrill, because they were fairly well known, thanks to Steve’s derring-do.  Anyone around them could recognize them and say something.  They certainly weren’t being shy.  After they gathered their luggage, they walked to Passenger Pick-up to meet their ride.  They could have caught a taxi, but this particular driver volunteered.

“Rachel, hi, thanks for coming to get us.”

“Of course, Daniel, Commander, I wouldn’t have it any other way.”

Danny’s ex-wife reached out to hug and kiss Danny, and then Steve, her smile wide on her face.  “I wanted to be the first in Hawaii to congratulate you.  You finally look so very happy.”

Danny returned her hug.  “We really are, thanks.  And thanks again for allowing Grace to be there.”

“Oh, don’t even think of it, Daniel.  That was where she was meant to be, after all.  Now, let’s get you out of here before traffic becomes intolerable.  I assume we’re going to your house, Commander?”

“Yeah, thanks.  We’ll be moving Danny into the house soon.  I think we may want to think about redecorating a bit, to make it ‘our’ home.”

Danny nodded.  “As long as we get a new bed, I’m good with things as they are.”

 

*************************************

Early Monday morning, Danny made coffee in Steve’s—well, his, really—kitchen while he waited for Steve to get out of the shower.  Steve still woke up insanely early for his morning swim, but he let Danny sleep.  Today was the day the news got broken.  Steve had an appointment with the Governor first thing, and Danny was taxed with telling Chin Ho and Kono before the daily crazy started.  He’d already planned to stop for Cocoa Puffs before going into the office.  Hopefully, they’d accept the peace offering with grace, and not kill them too hard for getting married without telling anyone.  Then Danny would have to explain that they did tell people, and that their families were there, but they couldn’t logistically get Five-0 there for the un-event.  He was not looking forward to this morning.

 

Steve laughed at him, of course.  “Stop frowning, Danny.  It’ll be okay.  I have the hard part, you know.  I have to convince the Governor that nothing is going to change in the office.”

“See, right there you have it wrong.  Things are going to change in the office.  Chin and Kono are going to rag us mercilessly.  HPD is going to look at us sideways far worse than they already do.  We’re just going to be an official couple, which is probably against all sorts of regulations.  You have to convince the Governor not to send me back to HPD, where I shall be abused and offended daily.”

Steve pulled Danny’s coffee away from him and wrapped his arms around him.  Once Danny returned the embrace Steve kissed him sweetly.

“It’s going to be fine.”

 

************************************

“This is not going to be fine, Commander.  This is not going to be fine at all.  There are Fraternization Rules for a reason.  Detective Williams is your work partner.  He is supposed to remain objective at all times.  Are you seriously going to tell me that he’s going to remain objective?”

Steve frowned as he regarded the Governor.  “With all due respect, Governor, Danny hasn’t been objective about me since I made him part of Five-0.  He started closely watching my back because he was convinced I was going to get him killed.  That hasn’t changed.  We’re just going to go home to the same home after work, now.  I promise you, sir, I’ll still be in charge.  Daniel Williams will still be my second.  Five-0 will still bring in the bad guys and keep the Islands safe.  We will not let our married status change the way we work.  And you know, Five-0 isn’t exactly a normal Cop Shop.  We have always worked differently.”

Governor Denning sighed and sat back into his chair.  “All right, we’ll see how it goes.  Nothing changes—for now.  I reserve the right to change things up if I see any problems.  And my problems are always going to be different than your problems.”

“Yes, sir.  I understand completely.  Thank you for your consideration.”

“With that being said, congratulations on your new union, Commander.  I do hope you will be happy.  Barring that, I do hope you won’t kill each other on my watch.”

 

Steve smiled and inwardly patted himself on his back.  His job was easy, just like he told Danny.   Now if only Danny’s job went just as well….

 

********************************

 

“Ho, brah—first day back after a Law Enforcement Conference and Family Emergency, and you’re bringing us treats?  What’s up?”

 

Danny swallowed deeply and turned to face his team-mate.  “Hey, Kono, how’s it going?  Where’s Chin?  I have things to tell you all about the trip and don’t want to say it twice.”

Kono shrugged and helped herself to the Cocoa Puffs.  “He’s running late, should be here in a minute.  Anything seriously wrong in the Williams family?”

“No, nothing’s wrong at all.  I had a nice visit once the workday was done.  Oh, here’s Chin—come on in, pal, I have news.”

“And Cocoa Puffs,” replied Chin, whose eyes widened in appreciation.  “What’s the occasion?”

Danny sat on the long sofa in the reception area and sipped his coffee.  Three cups in, and he still wasn’t ready for this.  “Well, the conference was informative.  Personally, I think Five-0 has a lot over all those Task Forces, but for the most part the people were intelligent.  We had a good exchange of information.  We brought plenty of Flash Drives and Discs full of good information and contacts in several cities on the Mainland.  They all thought we were a bit nuts and totally undisciplined at first.  The D.C. taskforce had some good people that I wouldn’t mind working with at some point.

Danny took a breath and sighed.  “Look, you both know I went there reluctantly, and you both know why.  I caught the pity-looks you’d shoot each other, especially in the last few months.  I had it really bad for Steve in a big way.  I tried to hide it so I could work with him every day, but I suppose I failed.”

Kono reached out and patted his hand.  “You really did, Danny.  I thought for sure you’d break and tell him—or kill him—but you never did.”

“Yeah, but the trip out was no picnic.  I was stressed.  And when we got there, there was only one room—and one bed.  And I was too tired to argue the first day, so I sucked it up and we kept to our own sides.  Look, stuff happened—no, not that, Kono.  But we did end up talking.  Very serious talking.  And I told Steve how I felt, and for how long.  And then he told me how he felt.  Which was the same.  And we couldn’t do anything about it because we still had time at the conference to get through.

“But Steve let it slip that he had arranged the room deal, hoping to tell me how he felt.  And we talked, a lot after that.  He wanted to meet my folks, so he extended his own stay without telling me.  And the wife of one of the D.C. cops put this weird bug in his ear about legalities in D.C.—and SteveandIgotmarriedwhilewewerethere.”

Chin and Kono looked at each other in disbelief.  “Um, brah, could you repeat that, slowly?”

Danny took a deep breath.  “Steve asked me to marry him.  We called my family, and Mary Ann, and arranged for our leave to be longer.  And I got Rachel to allow Grace to be there for, like, two days so she could be there.  And we went sight-seeing, and had lots of family meals, and then we got married.  On Wednesday.  Then we spent Thursday through today getting used to being married.  Steve’s breaking the news to the Governor as we speak.”

Kono squealed and launched herself at Danny, hugging him hard and violently.  Chin pulled Danny away from his cousin and into a more manly hug.

“That’s so cool!  And so unexpected.  Oh, my god! We have to have a party!  Is the Governor going to split you two up?  That would be so wrong, because you so obviously belong together.”

“We don’t know, Kono.  Steve will tell us when he gets back.  I was worried about how to tell you guys.”

“You shouldn’t have worried.  We’re just glad that you’re happy.  I don’t think you could have stayed here for much longer.”

“Truer words, Chin, have never been spoken.”

 

*************************************

 

The following weekend passed with a moving party.  Kamekona catered the event, and supplied cousins to help with the move.  Steve and Danny bought a new king-sized bed and bedroom furniture, and they broke in the bed spectacularly.  Danny’s kitchen gadgets were newer, so Steve’s got donated to Goodwill.  All of Danny’s sheets and towels got donated, and Steve’s kitchen acquired a new coffee maker and waffle iron.  Steve learned to love waffles on the weekends.

Grace quickly got used to spending her weekends at the beach-house, swimming with Steve like the little mermaid she wanted to be.  Rachel seemed to think being married made Danny more responsible as a parent, and she allowed Danny to have much more time with his daughter.  She even allowed/begged Danny to babysit baby Charlie on occasion so that She and Step-Stan could have private time.  Danny and Steve didn’t mind one bit.

Steve’s mother, however, minded a lot.

Doris McGarrett became a royal pain in the ass to Danny and Steve.   If Danny heard one more time how Catherine was “such a nice woman, would make a lovely wife”, he was going to blow a gasket.   Catherine never encouraged the woman.  In fact, Catherine spent about three weeks complaining about not being able to give a double-bachelor party for the men.  She was fast becoming Danny’s favorite person.

As for the Governor’s fear that their team dynamic would be different, they totally proved him wrong.  Kono remained a badass.  Chin remained a calm techno-whiz.  Steve remained reckless and unapologetic.

And Danny remained convinced that he was getting an ulcer.

 

“Seriously?  What have we said about dangling people off the sides of buildings, huh?”

“You told me not to do it, Danno.  You told me it would give people the wrong ideas.”

“Yes, Steven.  I told you not to.  And yet, there you are, dangling a known drug dealer over the side of this nice building.  What is wrong with you?  Bring him up.  Bring. Him. Up.

Together, they pulled the perp onto the rooftop, and cuffed him for the HPD officers to take away.

“For all of that, did you at least get any good information?”

Steve smirked as he passed the dealer over to the officer that was waiting nearby.  “Yes, Danno, just before you got here, he told me where to look for the supplier.”

“Good.  Now don’t do it again.”

The breathless crook looked back at them as he was being led away.  “Hey—how long have you been married?”

The other officers laughed as they pulled him away.  Danny shook his head.

“About a month.  Thanks for asking.”

 

THE END

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