So, uh, because I am the one trickiest pony ever to only have one trick, here is...20K of trope-filled Steve/Danny curtainfic? And...um...oh, god, I've really got nothing else to even say.
Title: Curving Like the Ocean Toward You
Author's Note: angelgazing, I'm apparently determined to write a ridiculously long love song to you in every fandom we share; this is the H50 edition, and I hope it passes muster. And hermette, thank you--for the plotting help, for hand-holding, for the amazing beta job. I love you guys ♥
Summary: If it ain't broke, fix it anyway.
The first anniversary of Steve's father's death falls on a Friday; Danny's had the date marked in his phone for months, with an appointment note attached that just reads "!!!". He's glad of the reminder, glad he took the time to figure out how setting them worked, even though he wouldn't have needed it--Steve gets testier and testier, the short fuse on his insanity growing ever shorter as the day approaches.
Danny goes in to the office on Friday expecting to find Steve there already, maybe threatening a suspect with a hot poker or staple-gunning someone to the wall. Instead it's quiet, empty, and he settles in at his desk with a hollow feeling in the pit of his stomach.
Chin comes in a few minutes later, looks at Steve's empty desk, and gives Danny a speaking look. Kono comes in after him and does the same, but follows it up with a gentle smack to the back of Danny's head.
"Right," says Danny, "so, I am suddenly feeling unexpectedly ill, oh, the illness, it is so terrible, I'll just be taking the day now."
"Hug the boss for us," says Kono.
"Make sure he's not drunk," adds Chin. "I used to have to pry his old man off the bottle in times of grief."
"Check and check," Danny says, gathering his things. "Any other advice?"
"Don't let him drive," they say together, and they all laugh a little uncomfortably. The truth is, Danny's pretty sure they're just as worried as he is by what he's likely to find at Steve's place, but he is McGarrett's Official Partner, and this is his job.
Some days, when Danny is feeling particularly down on his luck and the guys at the bar are looking particularly unappealing, he wishes he was actually Steve's partner in the non-work sense. Not for any reason, really, certainly not because he's madly in love with the lunatic, no, no, that would be crazy and in direct violation of his self-preservation instincts. Just because it would make it a little better, having to do all these things for Steve that a girlfriend would do, that a boyfriend would do, that a different kind of partner would do if he had one.
Then again, the chances of Steve finding someone willing to deal with his insanity on a regular basis are probably the same as Danny's chances at locating anyone able to tolerate his constant rage problem. They're more or less stuck with each other.
In any case, he drives to Steve's place with his apprehension growing, more than a little worried about what he'll find. Steve's truck is in his driveway, which doesn't necessarily mean he's home--he could be out for a swim or running up mountains or beating a criminal to death with an ice-pick, it's hard to know. Danny lets himself in through the front door and punches in the alarm code, figuring he'll wait Steve out if he's not around.
"Babe?" he calls, and winces. He has got to stop doing that.
"In here," is the response. Danny follows the sound of his voice to the study, where Steve is sitting in a chair, staring at the wall.
Which--okay, for anyone else this would look normal enough, a little bleak, maybe, but nothing to panic about. For Danny, who was the first person on the scene after Jack McGarrett's murder, it's a little more complicated. Steve's chair is sitting in the exact same spot as the one his father was tied to when he was shot; Danny would be willing to bet it's even the same chair, although why the hell Steve would have held onto that he doesn't know.
He's staring at the wall where the blood spatter was, once.
Danny's heart is in his throat, fellow-feeling welling up inside him, coiling sick in his stomach. He doesn't think, just crosses the room until he's right in front of Steve, blocking his view. He reaches out a hand and puts it on Steve's shoulder, and Steve just sighs and leans forward, sagging into him, his head on Danny's chest. The line of his back is a long, pained slope, and Danny can't help but reach down to rub it, as soothing as he can be. They're surrounded by decor Steve would never have picked himself, couches and curtains he hasn't changed at all, and Danny thinks mausoleum, wonders how he never saw it before.
"I think it's about time to get you out of this house, Steve," he says.
"Yeah," Steve sighs, "yeah, that sounds about right."
"You're not serious," the realtor says, looking between them like they're crazy. Her name is Nalani and she comes highly recommended, but Danny is starting to doubt her commitment to this venture. "You want to sell this place?"
"We do," Danny says, elbowing Steve in the side to keep him from using this as an excuse to back out. "Time for a change of pace, shake things up, everybody needs a little something new sometimes--"
"Don't let him get started," Steve warns. "He's been giving me this lecture for three days, he knows all the ins and outs--"
"That is because I know you, my friend, and I know that you will try to ninja your way out of this."
Steve makes a noise that means "fuck you very much for being right," which, coupled with the face he's making, makes Danny grin. He really is the biggest baby in the world, if you set the SEAL training and shark cages aside.
Nalani is laughing at them, but what else is new. "You two are adorable," she says, "and it's not that I don't understand--new relationship, new house--"
"We're not--" Danny starts, but Steve's the one doing the elbowing this time, giving him a look that says it's not worth it. Danny rolls his eyes but shuts up, and Nalani's grin fades a little as she glances between them.
"I also understand your desire to move given what happened here last year," she says, softer. "I'm very sorry for your loss, Commander McGarrett, but--"
"Steve, then," she says, sighing as she glances around. "It's a lovely property and well-located, but it's a small island. The recent of history of the house is going to make it difficult to unload, especially considering the remaining structural damage from--"
"He fixed all that," Danny says hastily, trying to salvage the situation. Steve will use this as an excuse to stay put, Danny knows he will, and staying put would be bad for his already decidedly lacking mental health.
"There's a bullet hole right there," Nalani says, pointing to a spot right about the fridge.
"Shit," says Danny.
"Knew I missed one," says Steve, too innocently, which is how Danny knows he shot a fucking hole in the wall to insure this very eventuality. Tricky bastard.
"Well," Nalani says, "in all honesty, I think your best bet is to play on the tourist market. You'll probably do better renting it out as a timeshare then you will trying to sell it right now--mainlanders aren't going to know the story--but…"
"But?" Danny prompts, not looking at Steve, who is making faces about the idea of tourists in his house, Danny just knows it.
"Well," Nalani says, "the decor is a bit…dated. Your average tourist is looking for someplace they can picture their family staying without having to change much--and obviously, if you were renting it out, they wouldn't be able to change things, that'd be your call. You should really consider redecorating, repainting--"
"Is there any specific way that should be done?" Danny says, before Steve can pitch a bitch fit about the house being fine as it is. "Colors, furniture, you know? Things people are looking for?
Nalani shrugs. "Use your best judgement. Generally anyone looking to rent a house this size is going to have kids, so you'll want at least one room that's child friendly, but other than that I'd mostly just try to make it look welcoming. Right now it's…"
"Careful," Steve says, in that half-growl of a voice that usually accompanies "Hands where I can see them."
"…a little old-fashioned," Nalani finishes, her eyes wary. She looks pointedly towards the sofa in the living room, which is, yeah, totally hideous. "The house has a lot of fantastic features--private beach, lots of windows, draws natural light. But it's a little on the dark side, as it is. You guys should really consider changing some things around; when you're done, give me a call, and I'll sell it if I can or give you some tips on how to break into the rental market, alright?"
She offers Steve her card, but Steve just glares at her, and Danny sighs and takes it himself.
"Thank you," he says, "and I apologize for him; his social skills are lacking on the best of days."
"It really is a lovely home," Nalani says, picking up her briefcase and following Danny to the door. "I'm just sorry I can't be of more help."
"Trust me," Danny says, smiling at her, "you've been very helpful."
"I can't believe we're doing this," Steve says for the sixth time. Danny sighs and manfully resists the urge to punch him in the face.
"I told you before," he says, "it's your own fault. You're the one that decided to handcuff a suspect inside the car wash and leave him--against my strenuous advice, you will recall, because it is crazy and against police procedure and crazy--so you can't blame me for this at all. If you didn't want to get dragged in here, you should have picked a different car wash, or, oh, wait, not done that--"
"Okay, fine, fine, shut up," Steve mutters. "Let's just get this over with."
They're in Pacific Home, which--okay. Danny may or may not have promised himself that he would never again enter this kind of store after the last time he and Rachel had a screaming fight in the pillow section of a Bed Bath & Beyond, but a good cause is a good cause. Steve's tense next to him, every part of him screaming that he doesn't want to do this, that he doesn't want change, and if Danny were an asshole he'd remind Steve exactly how they ended up making this call to begin with.
He's not, though--not a complete asshole, anyway--so he just kind of claps Steve on the back and lets his hand linger a bit longer than he means to.
"We're just looking," he points out. "This is not the traumatic incident you're making it out to be, my friend. Hell, if it makes it better for you, we can forget the tourist angle and just consider the whole thing an exercise in making your house less--er--"
"Old-fashioned?" Steve snaps, because he's still a little bitter about that.
"I was going to say 'full of painful memories,' actually," Danny says, quiet. "But we can go with old-fashioned if you want."
Steve swallows; Danny feels him shift under his hand, realizes his hand is still on Steve's back, and removes it at speed.
"Right," Steve says, sounding--god, Danny hates when he whips out that voice, the one that's half resolve and half confusion, the one with the hint of uncertainty underneath. Steve being uncertain is wrong, because Steve is always certain about everything, even things he shouldn't be certain about--things like handcuffing suspects inside of car washes and hanging people off roofs.
So Danny does the only thing he can think of to do, and grabs Steve's arm. He half-drags him over to the couch section, bypassing the beds (dangerous) and the office furniture (likely to remind Steve of his father's study). Couches are easy enough, and anyway Steve's couch is the part of his house Danny is best acquainted with, and it really does need to be the first thing to go.
"Look," he says, "just--if you were setting up a place of your own, without all the baggage, right, what would you pick?"
Steve steps forward a little and then stops, his head cocked. He looks past Danny with his eyes slightly narrowed, like he's trying to figure something out, and Danny refrains--barely--from throwing his hands up in despair.
"What," he says, "what, what is it now, where is the stumbling block in hypothetically picking out a hypothetical couch? Do you need one that's going to have a built in ejector seat, because I will find you one with a built in ejector seat, McGarrett, if it means you will actually consider attempting to make a decision. "
Steve laughs, his head tilting back ever so slightly. "Sorry, I've just--I've never really done this."
"What," says Danny, "bought a couch? Does the Navy have some kind of anti-couch policy that I don't know about?"
"No," Steve says, waving a hand at the store at large. "This, I mean. The whole…furniture thing."
Danny stares at him, waiting for the rest of that sentence, because surely Steve doesn't mean he's never bought furniture before. Steve just glances back at the couches, though, and Danny is forced to conclude that that is what he means.
"I'm sorry," he says, "I'm sorry, I am, but, okay, what? You are a grown man, Steve McGarrett, please do not tell me that before I met you you were sleeping on floors, because if that is the case I'm going to have to retroactively smack you for every time you ever mocked my apartment."
"Your apartment is a hellhole," Steve says easily.
"Not to a floor-sleeper!" Danny cries, which is not particularly sensical, but whatever. "Explain, please, for the sake of my sanity."
Steve shrugs. "Well, I was at Annapolis, they put us up, and then in the SEALs we just kind of went where we were told to go. I had an apartment I'd go back to when I was on leave, but I bought it furnished and never really had time to change anything around. When I was in Naval Intelligence I lived on the base."
"Oh my god," Danny says, "okay, please remind me to stop presuming that you're a normal adult in any aspect of your life, it only ever bites me in the ass. You've never picked out furniture before, alright, okay, you're a freak, you know that you're a freak, right?"
"I've been told," Steve says, looking amused now. "I like this one, kind of."
Danny follows the line of his hand to a couch, which…"No," he says firmly, "no, nope, not a chance, babe. This couch is white."
"You got something against white couches?"
"No," Danny says, "I have several things against white couches. Thing one, stains. Thing two, stains. Thing three, you would not be considering this couch if you'd even once had to deal with a small child for more than five minutes, because, I say again, stains. Thing four, even if your super-human ass never spilled so much as a drop of anything on this, I give it, like, a year before it starts to look all ratty and--"
"Okay, okay," Steve says, and he's actually laughing now, this is encouraging. Maybe all Danny has to do is carefully balance insults and insight for the rest of this process--and hey, really, that's practically his job description anyway, so it's not like it'll be hard.
"Now this one," Danny says, leading Steve over to a weathered leather sectional, "this one is a shining paragon of all things holy. This, my friend, is a couch. This is--"
"Four thousand dollars," Steve says, sputtering, "Danny, oh my god, what the hell would I do with a four thousand dollar couch, does it grow legs, does it do the dishes for me--"
"Like you'd ever let a couch do your dishes for you," Danny scoffs. "The finished product would undoubtedly not live up to your stringent military standards."
"Just because you are terrible at washing dishes," Steve starts, but he's cut off by the approach of a salesgirl who looks, frankly, predatory.
"Hello," she purrs, having obviously latched onto what they appear to be, which is--goddamn it, why does Danny never realize this until it's too late--a happy couple looking for overpriced furniture. "Is there anything I can help you find today?"
"We're just looking," Danny says, because Steve has the This is A Social Situation I Can't Extract Myself From With My Usual Semi-Homicidal Methods face on, and that never leads to anything good. "We'll let you know if we need anything."
"This is a lovely model," she continues, breezing over this like Danny got down on his knees and begged her for assistance. She takes Steve's arm and pulls him towards the other side of the display, and Danny's frowning, meaning to follow, when his phone rings. He glances down to hit ignore, but it's HPD, so he sighs and picks up.
"Detective Williams," he says, and yeah, maybe he says it a little loud, maybe he's hoping to intimidate Little Miss Handsy a bit, what's so wrong with that?
"Williams," says Sergeant Lukela, "I tried McGarrett, but it went through to voicemail. Everything alright?"
"Yeah, he must've left his phone in the car," Danny says. He doesn't know if that's true, but he can't think of any other reason Steve wouldn't be answering calls right now. "What've you got?"
"Well," Lukela says, "we just got a call from a car wash in Honolulu; apparently there's someone handcuffed inside, screaming that he'll talk if they'll just turn off water. Figured I'd check and make sure it wasn't you guys before I sent the black and whites."
"Oh, Jesus, yeah, it's us," Danny says, already cataloguing all the ways they're never going to hear the end of this. "Don't send anyone; I'll tell McGarrett. We'll pick him up."
Lukela hangs up, muttering something that Danny doesn't catch about immunity and crazy haoles and proper procedure, which, honestly, Danny would probably agree with if he could hear it. He goes over to Steve, who is being regaled about the benefits of double-reinforced padding by the salesgirl.
Her hand is still on Steve's arm, but Steve mouths "Save me" at Danny over her head, so Danny isn't really that annoyed by it.
"I hate to break this up," he says, "but our perp is ready to be done with his spin cycle. They called HPD on us, McGarrett, do you know how embarrassing this is gonna be the next time I swing by the precinct, huh? I swear to god, if I wasn't afraid you'd hunt me down and kill me I'd make you try all these so-called crime solving techniques out on yourself first, just so I could know for a fact that you have a solid understanding of--why are you looking at me like that, you think we've got all day here, c'mon, c'mon."
"Stop back whenever you like," the salesgirl calls after them, sounding forlorn as Danny steers Steve out the door, keeping up a steady stream of chatter all the while.
"I'm not going back in there," is Steve's conclusion, when they've got their dripping perp in the backseat of the Camaro.
"No, you are not," Danny agrees. "That was a traumatic experience for all of us."
"Mostly for me," the perp mutters, but they ignore him.
"You're still not getting out of this, though," Danny continues. "Just because that didn't go well doesn't mean you can continue living this way. There are standards of basic mental health, Steven, and it is my responsibility as your partner to try and make sure you meet at least one of them, occasionally, and it's a hard task, okay, it is supremely thankless, one overbearing salesgirl is not going to break my resolve. And anyway you obviously need guidance, because you have, somehow, never done this before, and you do not understand the basic rules, which shouldn't really surprise me at all. White couches, I ask you."
"Was there a point somewhere in there?" Steve asks, slanting a grin his way.
"Yes," Danny says, "the point is, we're going to Home Depot and getting paint chips after we drop this guy off, and you are not allowed to buy a chainsaw to keep as a weapon. And I wouldn't be involving myself in this…ugh, this homemaking process for just anyone, McGarrett, so you will do what I say and you will be grateful."
Steve's face goes strange for a second, like he's got words in his mouth he's not sure how to say, and the hairs on the back of Danny's neck stand up all at once. There's a soapy criminal in the backseat of his car and a mountain of paperwork looming and he can't handle this face on Steve, doesn't know what it means, can't run it through the translator and come up with something rational.
But then Steve's smiling, a soft, goofy smile, because he's got that stupid heart under all his lunatic ninja stoicism and he is, in Danny's expert opinion, pretty shit at hiding it.
"Yeah, Danno, okay," he says. "Whatever you say, I got it."
Danny should have known better than to assume it would be that easy.
"Okay," he says, a hand to his forehead, "okay, I know you were--I know you were dropped on your head as a child and have been through a wave of apparently very damaging military training, I get that your worldview is based on the Navy SEALs, babe, I do, but these? These are not acceptable color choices."
"What's wrong with them?" Steve asks. He's all defensive again, because their slippery perp had been literally slippery this time, and he'd kind of wrangled free from Danny's grip and headbutted Steve in the face a little before they managed to subdue him.
Which is not Danny's fault, it's not, this is what comes of handcuffing people to the insides of car washes, but try and tell Steve and his bruised cheek that. Honestly, some people.
"They are," Danny says, waving his hands over the shades Steve has picked out, "camouflage colors. I recognize that there was that one time with the break in and the stun-gun, but I don't think it would have helped you if the walls had been painted to look like the forest."
"I like green," he says, and Jesus, Grace is more mature than this, how Steve manages to function in the real world is honestly beyond Danny most days.
"It's fine to like green," Danny says. "Green is totally fine as a color, that is great, you go ahead and like green all day long. But this is olive green, can you admit that, huh? This is the same color as all your cargo pants. You want a nice jungle green, fine. You wanna go with a healthy-looking spring green, you go ahead--"
"Are you naming Crayola crayon colors?"
"I have a nine year old," Danny reminds him. "The fact that you know that's what I'm doing is actually only embarrassing for you."
"You keep telling yourself that," Steve says, and hey, there's a hint of a smirk, maybe Danny can stop having heart palpitations over crazy thoughts like He's got a brain bleed he's not telling me about and Secretly his jaw is broken but he's trying to tough-guy his way around admitting it.
"Look," Danny says, despairing of the world, "the thing is, McGarrett, that I hate this store, I hate this store so much, there is no reason that shopping for home repair items should be an exercise in machismo and labyrinth solving skills, so I need you to just. Just, jeez, this isn't hard for normal people, just pick some colors you like, okay, so we can get out of here, please, please, I am begging you."
Steve looks at him for a second, a mixture of Confused But Willing To Negotiate and What The Hell Are You Yelling At Me About Now, Danno and…something else...on his face.
"I like blue," he decides finally.
"Blue!" Danny says, grabbing wildly at some paint chips. "Fantastic, we have a lead. You like blues, you like greens, these are what are known as cool colors, my friend--"
"What are you," Steve says, grinning at him now, "an interior decorator all of a sudden?"
"No," Danny says, "I am a man who survived ten years of marriage, and contrary to popular belief wives do actually notice when you don't listen to them. I learned these things because I had to, okay, now shut up and pick your favorite ones so we can go."
Fifteen minutes later, they have what feels like every single paint chip in the goddamn store thrown across the backseat of the Camaro, because Steve turns out to somehow be worse than Rachel about making these kinds of decisions. He's humming under his breath, though, and tapping a beat against the steering wheel, so Danny can't really bring himself to mind.
And that's kind of it, for awhile. They get caught up in a case involving the Governor's childhood best friend and some international terrorists, which is more than a little time consuming, and it's not like Danny actually lives with Steve. He asks about how it’s going a few times, on stakeouts and running for pizza, but Steve just grunts at him about having more important things to worry about.
Then the case ends right before Danny's weekend with Grace, and he spends Saturday and Sunday in a Steve-free state of paternal bliss. It's only after he drops Grace at Rachel's that his phone buzzes with a text message, and he fishes it out of the cup holder at a red light to see what it says.
Text from Steve McGarrett to Danny Williams, 7:45 PM HST
you should bring me beer
Danny frowns at his phone, confused by the lack of perfect grammar and uncharacteristically cheerful emoticons that normally adorn a text from Steve. He has time to dash off a quick response before the light turns green.
Text from Danny Williams to Steve McGarrett, 7:46 PM HST
Text from Steve McGarrett to Danny Williams, 7:47 PM HST
Nevermind didnt mean to send have a good night
"Right," Danny says to himself, veering off the road to stop at a gas station for a six pack, "let's go see what that's about."
Danny's not really surprised--he'd kind of figured, given the texts--but he is surprised by the impetus of the binge, if only because he should have seen it coming. Steve's in his attic, surrounded by half-unpacked boxes, photos spilled out across the floor around him. He didn't notice Danny come up--sign enough that he's trashed out of his mind--and he's kind of swaying a little, even sitting down.There's a shot glass and a bottle of Scotch sitting by his feet, the label worn enough that it could have belonged to Steve's father.
Which it probably did, Danny realizes, and sighs.
"Doing some excavating?" he asks, knocking lightly on the wall. Steve jumps anyway, jerks unsteadily to his feet in a defensive stance, and then blinks, confused, when he realizes who it is.
"Danno," he says, and he's starting to smile when he sees the six-pack. His face falls. "Oh, hey, hey, buddy, you didn't really need to--you know. I just kind of wanted you to come out here, you know, only I don't really think I meant to. Uh. Shit."
"Beer's for me, McGarrett," Danny says, overlooking the rest of it out of the kindness of his heart. "You obviously don't need it. You wanna sit back down and tell me what's happened here?"
"You are," Steve says, plopping back down without ceremony, "a detective, and I know because you're always telling me, man, all the time, about your detecting, alright? So you should solve this mystery yourself, because I don't, uh."
"Want to talk about it?" Danny supplies, when it becomes clear that Steve's not going to finish that thought.
"Yeah," Steve says. "That."
"Okay," Danny agrees. He pops one of the beers open and takes a long swig, considering the best way to go about this. He decides to try the direct approach--a drunk Steve is still Steve, after all. "Well, it looks to me like you decided to start cleaning some stuff out--which is a step in the right direction, Steven, let me go on the record as encouraging that, by all means continue to take steps down this most enlightened path--but I'm guessing you found some shit you didn't expect to find, huh?"
"He told us he threw it all out," Steve says, apropos of exactly nothing. Danny takes another swig of his beer and waits him out, folding down onto his bad knee to sit next to him. "My dad, I mean, said he tossed it. My mom's stuff. After she died."
"And it turns out he didn't?"
"You're a good detective," Steve says, slurring it a little, turning to stare at him. "A really good detective, I should pay you more."
"I'll remind you you said that in the morning," Danny says.
He looks Steve over then, takes in the dark circles under his eyes, the twist to his mouth, and wants to punch something. There are days--whole weeks, sometimes--where he can forget about the fact that Steve's crazy is layered like a goddamn onion, peeling back to reveal new depths of "oh shit, that's fucked up." Then again, Danny's pretty sure that between the two of them they've got enough family issues to occupy a therapist for life, so maybe he's not one to judge.
Mostly he wants to forget about the therapy thing, wants to forget about the sick feeling in his chest that wells up when Steve looks like this. He'd like to reach out across the space between them and pull Steve in, but he knows better than to let his feelings get the best of him.
He nudges Steve with his elbow instead, gentle, prodding.
"Hey," he says, "hey, McGarrett, let's make a deal, alright?"
"That depends," Steve says, "on the deal."
Danny shouldn't find it encouraging that Steve can still be a stubborn ass this trashed; he shouldn't, and does anyway. "How about I do this with you, huh? Because, and do not take this to mean that my life wouldn't be better without you, I can count at least ten ways my existence would improve without your constant crazy presence--but I will, begrudgingly, admit that I kind of like you, and it's hard to pick up the slack when your partner's suffering from liver failure, alright?"
"I'm not going to have liver failure," Steve mutters, sullen. "Not even how medicine works."
"Yeah, yeah," Danny says, "let's get you up, alright?"
He hauls Steve to his feet, his bad knee screaming bloody murder at him, and guides him downstairs to the best of his ability. Steve, nothing if not predictable, gets drunk like he does everything else--like he's hell-bent on it, like it's his goddamn mission in life. He wavers between belligerent and oddly sweet, but Danny's used to that, has seen him trashed before; when Steve tries and fails to put in him a headlock as Danny steers him towards his bedroom, he gives it up and takes them both downstairs.
"No sleeping," Steve says, when he's sunk into the couch, feet kicked up on the coffee table. "Too early for bed. Wouldn't be, you know. Very hooyah."
"Okay, first of all," Danny says, "you are smashed at eight P.M. on a Sunday, did it ever occur to you that maybe that's the worry here, and not your bedtime? Because, I am just saying, healthy habits these are not. And secondly, did you just use hooyah as an adjective?"
"Hooyah," says Steve, apparently in agreement. He's grinning at Danny like an asshole, head back against the hideous couch, eyes playful for all they were heartbroken ten minutes ago.
And, okay, yeah, you know what, Danny's a little--hell, goddamn it, maybe a lot--in love with this jackass. It's not like anyone has to know about it.
"Stupid military habits," Danny mutters.
"My habits are not stupid," says Steve, "they are hooyah."
"Can I get you to break up with that word for the next half an hour or so?" Danny asks, figuring that's about how long he'll have to wait before Steve passes out like a champ. "Just, you know, a little time apart, might do you and 'hooyah' some good, take it from me."
"You don't say it right," Steve says. "It sounds stupid when you say it."
"It sounds stupid when I say it," Danny repeats. "McGarrett, I said it the same way as you, you are deranged."
"Nope," Steve says, "nope, nope, I have--superior--senorit--something, okay, I have a thing, it's like when we're doing a thing, only this is a thing that is just me. My thing. The thing."
"We are never doing a thing," Danny says, "it's always just you, and I think the only thing you've got right now is a seriously looming hangover."
"Hooyah," Steve says, smug, listing a little to the left as he says it. Danny snorts, giving him up for a lost cause, and fishes the remote out from between the couch cushions.
He flicks through the channels until he comes across Sunday Night Football and leaves that on, the sound of it washing over him as he relaxes. Except for the way Steve's laughing at nothing, it's a lot like any other night they end up winding down together--volume on low, the sound of the ocean outside, Danny's beer chilling the pads of his fingers. He's halfheartedly yelling at the television after a bad call when he hears a snore.
Steve's asleep, head tipped back against the couch, mouth wide open.
And it's not that Danny's watching him sleep, exactly, because that would be creepy and invasive and creepy, thank you very much. It's more that--well, he should leave, right, he should definitely leave, except that he's comfortable and the game's not over and the idea of Steve waking up to an empty house is…upsetting, somehow. So he keeps checking, little glances, making sure Steve's where he was five seconds ago, which is stupid. It's stupid, it's not like he's going anywhere, but Danny just feels better, making sure.
Steve looks different when he sleeps; it's hardly the first time Danny's noticed it. They've been on stakeouts together, after all, and no one has forgotten the terrible day when Steve, three days awake, had passed out at his desk and drooled all over their paperwork. And so Danny knows, knows about Steve's sleeping face, knows how he looks somehow softer and fiercer at once, like he's gearing up for battle.
He knows too about Steve's tendency to sprawl everywhere, the way he's always taking over any space he's in, awake or not. This is why he shouldn't be surprised by the way Steve is suddenly slumped into him, head tucked into the curve of Danny's shoulder, breathing soft against his neck.
He's surprised anyway, because his life is just like that.
"Damn it, McGarrett," he mutters, and Steve just shifts, and Danny's hand is on his back now, how did that happen, why did that happen, he has to go. He has to go, because he's in over his head here, has maybe been over his head this whole time. Steve's hair is brushing against his jaw, cropped close, probably threaded through with sand from his morning swim. Danny could find out, if he wanted to, could bend his neck a little and press his mouth to the hint of a widow's peak and--
"Right," he says, shoving him a little, "going home now, you lush, seriously, problem drinking, this is what it looks like."
Danny slides free and stands up, has to catch Steve by the shoulders to keep him from crash-landing in the vacant spot. Steve smiles, kind of, when he settles, his head flat against the ugly fucking cushion, and Danny can't help himself; he grabs a pillow and tucks it under Steve's head. And that should be that, he should be done, except that Steve reaches out and catches him by the wrist, wakes himself up just enough to blink up at Danny in the faint blue glow of the television.
"Danno?" he says, and his voice is a scraped raw rasp, and Danny's never wanted to kiss anyone so much in his entire goddamn life.
"Yeah, babe," he says, because Steve's half-asleep and entirely drunk and it's not like he curbs the urge that much anyway. "I'm going home before I get drunk just from breathing the same air as you, someone's gotta hold it together tomorrow, am I right? Drink some water or--Steve, give me back my arm, can you do that, huh?"
Steve frowns for a second, his brow furrowing, like Danny's said something confusing--like Danny's said "No, don't throw the grenade" or "You know what's so funny is how I don't want to jump off that cliff," or "It's salt, McGarrett, it's not going to kill me." Then he winces and lets Danny go, rubbing his forehead.
"Yeah," he says, "that's, yeah. Water. I'll just--do that."
"Okay," Danny says, and the pressure building in his chest is ridiculous, it's pointless, but he can't deny it, has to get out of here before it crescendos and leaves him to do something he'll regret. "Okay, I'll just--see you tomorrow, alright?"
"'Kay," Steve mumbles, and Danny's out the door so fast even he can't believe it.
"Fuck," he says, putting the car into gear and peeling out of the driveway, "shit, fuck, fucking fuck, Williams, what the hell is the matter with you, Jesus Christ." Because the thing of it is, right, the thing of it is that he's hard, has been hard since Steve's head hit his shoulder--since before that, even, since the first sidelong glance he'd cast at Steve's sleeping face. And hell, if you want to look at how long he's been hard up, how long he's been jumping at every goddamn touch, it's been weeks and months, it's felt like years.
And hard--hard is the last thing Danny wants to be right now, okay, he'd take anything over this, take the shark tank or a bullet hole, take divorce court all over again. The way his dick is straining against his boxers, creasing the damn inseam, might as well be torture, because this whole thing is torture, because he can't do this, can't play house with Steve, can't put himself in this place.
He can't do this, but he can't not do it either, because the idea of Steve going it alone is...worse, somehow. Is not something Danny wants to consider.
He settles for driving home faster than he should, faster even than Steve would, for stumbling up the stairs to his shitty apartment and slamming the door. He can't even make it to the couch--he crashes into the nearest wall, one hand braced against it, and reaches a hand into his pants like he's going to die if he doesn't come. And maybe he will, you know, maybe that's just one of the side effects of his life right now, it wouldn't really be any crazier than any of the other shit that's been going on. But it doesn't matter, not really, because Danny's pulling at his dick with a desperation he hasn't let himself near in fifteen years, Steve's name on his lips, on his tongue, caught at the back of his throat.
When he's done--when he's let it rip out of him, staining his boxers, leaving him sticky and spent but nowhere near sated--he glances up. And the thing of it, right, okay, the real bitch of it is that the color he's painted this place, the color he'd let Gracie pick out, that he'd bought without even thinking about it--he recognizes that color now. He knows its name and its collection from the paint chips still sitting in the back of his car, from the way Steve had lingered over it in the store.
"Goddamn it," Danny says, and then he laughs like he's choking on it, like he's lost his mind, until his neighbor starts pounding on the wall.
Steve’s hungover the next day, which is a surprise to exactly no one. Between the two of them--Danny with circles under his eyes, Steve with sunglasses permanently attached to his face--they’re even more of a mess than usual. Kono takes one look at them, says “Whoooo boy,” and heads right back out of the office; Chin just sighs resignedly and turns the computer table on.
“I think we should do some team building exercises or something,” Steve says, and he even sounds hungover, and Danny has to bite down on the urge to force some greasy food into him.
“I think you should stop drinking on Sunday nights,” Danny says. “Actually, I think you should stop drinking in general, you are an embarrassment to yourself and others when you’re plastered. And you scared the rookie.”
“I am not scared,” Kono yells through the open door. Steve winces at the volume, and Danny is torn between feeling something like schadenfreude and something like pity. “I’m taking a few cleansing breaths of fresh air, because at least one of you reeks.”
“That’d be Captain Hangover here,” Danny calls back, and, okay, it’s mostly schadenfreude now. “Seriously, did you even shower?”
Steve makes a face, and then, somehow--because Danny’s life is a terrible parody of itself, that’s probably why--he ends up being the one to usher him down to the locker room.
“Towel,” Danny says, handing him one. “Soap. Use them, or stop talking up what a hard ass you are all the time, honestly, over a little bit of a hangover, my confidence in you as a leader right now, it is not high.”
“Team building,” Steve says again, and then, more hopefully, “and coffee?”
He’s pulling his shirt off as he says it, revealing all those stupid muscles, and Danny’s cock twitches in his pants. It is the first--and hopefully last--time he has ever considered dick-punching himself, because, seriously, had the whole thing last night done nothing for him, is his brain actually damaged, what is happening.
But then Steve makes that face at him, the one that’s half affection and half frustration, and Danny’s resolve crumbles like it was never there at all. He gets the bastard a coffee, and when Steve comes back he looks a little more like a human being, and Danny can’t resist the urge to bump their shoulders together, just a little, just the once.
Steve smiles at him and it’s like a pressure valve coming loose, it’s like he’s lost his mind, it’s like the goddamn sunrise. Danny swallows hard and turns to the latest crime scene photos, blames the brutality in them for the sting behind his eyes.
“Danno,” Steve says, eyebrows up, when Danny shows up at his door the next night. “Wasn’t expecting to see you so soon.”
Danny can’t really blame him for being surprised--the last time they saw each other was three hours ago, and Danny’d more or less ripped his fool head off. Not that Steve didn’t deserve it, not that this whole...project thing...they’ve got going on makes his behavior any less horrifying, oh no. Steve pushed someone in front of rush hour traffic, okay, and the fact that he’d pulled the guy back before he was actually splattered into a million pieces does not excuse the action. Steve’s in the deep shit, he is on Danny’s list, he’s going to be in trouble for the rest of the decade--but that’s work, isn’t it, and this is different. Danny’s trying to learn to draw the line.
“We,” Danny says, waving a hand, “are going to forget about your little transgression--for now, Steven, just for now, not forever, do not doubt my commitment to making you suffer for that--in the face of the greater good. Because I am a deeply magnanimous guy, okay, and also it occurs to me that we’re not going to get any further on the road to you not being crazy by ignoring all of your issues.”
“Are you my therapist now?” Steve asks, but his mouth’s quirked up a little. “You want to run me through a physical? Do you need my insurance card?”
Danny does, very much, want to run him through a physical, but he’s not going to mention it. “Like anyone would insure you, god, you’re a walking liability,” he says instead, pushing past Steve into the house. “Go get the boxes from my car, they’re in the backseat.”
“Boxes?” Steve says.
“Yes,” Danny says, “boxes, made of cardboard, good for packing up things that you don’t want to look at anymore, which, babe, I’ve gotta tell you, is most of the things in this house. And while I am not your therapist, it doesn’t take a lot of medical knowledge to diagnose you drinking alone in your attic as a thing, am I right?”
Steve meets his eyes, and his jaw’s set, and Danny’s pretty sure this is going to be a fight. He feels his blood go up for it without warning, because he’ll beat Steve’s head in if he has to, he really will--but then Steve’s sighing and going out to the car without a word. It’s almost discouraging, Danny would almost be worried, except for the way he’s smiling when he comes back.
“You brought beer,” he says.
“Yeah, well,” Danny says, “we’re cops, aren’t we? Rule back in Jersey was always that it’s not problem drinking if you’re not doing it alone.”
They work their way through the house together, because Danny doesn’t trust Steve with his feelings and Steve doesn’t trust Danny with his stuff. They start with the living room and work their way up and around; Mary’s room is easy, Steve’s childhood bedroom less so. Steve lingers over things Danny wouldn’t have expected to find--a collection of baseball cards kept messily, a frayed piece of junk that Danny gathers was once a stuffed animal. The master bedroom only takes them five minutes, because Steve had apparently taken all his father’s things and shoved them into a drawer when he moved back in--”Creeped me out,” he says, shrugging, when Danny asks, “to think about what he might’ve, you know. Done in here.”
“You mean sex,” Danny says, relishing the look of horror on Steve’s face. “So this is the only room where that was a possibility, huh?”
“Don’t,” Steve says, pulling a face and laughing a little, “oh, god, Danny, don’t even go there.”
“I’m just saying,” Danny says, “I’ve seen the photos, he was kind of a silver fox, your dad. He was probably--”
“If I never sleep again I’m blaming you,” Steve says, a piece of packing tape twisted around his index finger, and Danny grins at him, and hey, hey, maybe this is going alright.
Then they end up in Jack’s study, and everything rapidly goes all to hell.
“Huh,” Steve says. It’s soft, uttered on an exhale, and Danny’s not facing him; he’s face-deep in the desk, digging around in what must be an entire lifetime’s worth of receipts. Steve wasn’t kidding when he said his father was a pack rat, and Danny’s trying to sort through how much of this he can just toss out, but he freezes when he hears Steve’s voice. He doesn’t even need to turn around to know this is a disaster--Steve only sounds nervous, careful like that, when he’s come across something he doesn’t know how to attack.
“What?” Danny says, turning, and yeah, there it is, Steve’s face frozen in that rictus of No Of Course I’m Not Having A Feeling, with his eyes too bright. Damn it.
“It’s nothing,” Steve says, and Danny tears his gaze down to the object he’s holding. It’s a trophy, one of the cheap plastic ones you can pick up in most sporting goods stores, and there’s what looks like an egg on the top. “It’s just--my dad and I won this egg toss when I was in, I don’t know, fourth or fifth grade. It was, he was always busy, you know, at HPD, but there was this--we did it every year, and I always wanted to win. Only time we ever did, though; I always caught too hard and cracked the shell. Mary was better at it, but this one is ours--my name’s on it, see? I didn’t think he even remembered.”
“Of course he remembered,” Danny says, before he can help himself. “Look, there’s--it’s kids, okay, when it’s your kid you remember that shit, trust me. You know when she was six months old Gracie won a cutest baby contest? Rachel entered her, right, and I thought I was gonna kill her, because--pageants and shit, you know, not my thing, but then she won, and it was just a stupid little contest, but I was all puffed up about it for weeks. I’ve still got the certificate somewhere, Grace hates it when I tell the story, says it’s embarrassing, but--”
“It’s just,” Steve says, and runs a hand through his hair. “Sometimes I think about what it would have been like if I’d never left the island, you know? The what-ifs.”
“Yeah,” Danny says, “and I get that, but it wasn’t really your call, was it? I mean, don’t get me wrong, but there’s not a lot you could have done.”
“Right,” Steve says, “right, I know, but I had this whole life and then I--”
“I think that’s just how it goes, sometimes,” Danny says. He crosses the room carefully and pulls the trophy out of Steve’s hands, because it’s about time someone did. “You can’t--you know, there’s what was and what is, right? You gotta live in one or the other.”
“Deep, Williams,” Steve says. His voice is a little off, like he’s trying at a levity he doesn’t feel, but at least he’s trying. Danny claps him on the back and presses a little with the pads of his fingers, just enough to say he’s there, because for all he’s good with words he’s a pretty terrible liar, and god knows what he’d say if he opened his mouth. Steve leans back into his hand, just for a second, takes a deep, calming breath before he moves on.
My father died in this room, he doesn’t say, and Danny doesn’t say, I know, I know, man, I’m sorry, but it hangs between them anyway, thick in the air. And Danny’s going to take all the furniture in here and burn it if he has to, if it makes Steve stop working his jaw like that, if it lifts that tired ache from his eyes. For now he contents himself with trashing receipts and taping boxes closed, with climbing to the attic and straining his back, with shutting the door on Steve’s past, at least for a little while.
“More beer in the car,” he says, when the house is clean of history, when they’ve finally, finally got a clear slate to work with. Steve looks gutted, and the first thing Danny’s going to do is wipe down the counters where dust has formed, a chalk outline of the things they’ve pulled away. But it’s a slow process, right, it’s baby steps, and Steve’s got a Longboard in his hand and fire in his eyes.
Danny follows him out onto the lanai, watches as he lets the salt air clean his wounds, and does what he can, for all it probably isn’t enough.
It’s like a switch goes off in Steve’s head.
That’s the only way Danny can think to explain it, the only description that makes sense, because it really is like some kind of button has been pressed; before he’d been dragging his feet about the whole renovation business, coming up with reasons not to go there. But now, apparently, he’s decided to do it, and once Steve has decided to do something...well. Danny keeps catching him looking at furniture online, finding him with fabric swatches in his pockets.
Kono thinks they’re both crazy and says so, often, constantly. “Seriously,” she mutters, “this is not the lesson in ass kicking I was expecting today, you guys. Can we put down the interior decorating for a minute?”
“Cuz,” says Chin, who has gotten into this enough for the both of them, “have a heart. Just because your apartment is the size of a shoebox--”
“Not helping,” she says, “and also, we have criminals to catch. Am I the only person worried about that?”
“You’re starting to sound like Danny,” Steve says, grinning at her.
“Maybe this is a test,” Danny adds. “Maybe we’re, I don’t know, confirming your resolve, huh? You should trust us.”
“Okay,” Kono says, narrowing her eyes. “Is it is a test?”
“Er,” says Danny.
“Well,” says Steve.
“I think you should go with the eggshell blue in the living room,” says Chin, and catches Kono’s wrist before she can punch him. “C’mon, don’t be like that. This is better than some of the shit they make us do by a long shot.”
“I’d rather be cliff-diving,” Kono says. “Or busting a drug ring or something, you guys, this is boring, how can you not see that this is boring? We’re an elite crime fighting team, do you think we could maybe fight some crime?”
“I’m sorry,” Danny says, turning to Steve, “it’s me you think she sounds like?”
Steve grins at Kono, who rolls her eyes back at him, and then they get a call, a line on a hot pursuit. It’s arms dealers, because it’s always arms dealers on Wednesdays, and Danny is not exactly comforted by the identical looks of glee on Kono and Steve’s faces.
“It’s you and me against the lunatics, Chin,” he says, not even bothering to put up a fight as Steve grabs his keys and hits the door.
“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” Chin says, and pockets the paint chip. “You’re all crazy. It’s me against the world.”
Danny considers letting that bother him, but ten minutes later he’s in the middle of a high-speed car chase, Steve whipping around corners like he’s a race car driver instead of, you know, an over-enthusiastic jackass. Danny’s grip is white knuckled on the door and Steve’s got that unholy look of joyful focus on his face, and they’re arguing about tile grout.
Tile grout. In the middle of a pursuit. While they’re being shot at.
Damn it, Danny thinks, Chin’s fucking right.
Here’s the thing about becoming embroiled in a project Steve McGarrett has decided to devote himself to: once you’re involved, you can’t become uninvolved.
Not that Danny would like to become uninvolved, exactly. It’s just that this whole situation is not really helping his more personal problem, vis a vis the whole...Steve...issue. Because now that Steve is doing this he’s really doing it, okay, he is doing it as crazed and hardcore as he does anything, and it’s too late for Danny to say, “Just kidding about helping you, need some space so I don’t jump you, see you at the office, buh-bye.”
So he’s at Steve’s house, three, four, six nights a week. He’s at Steve’s house so much that he starts packing a bag and leaving it in the room that used to be Mary’s, where he ends up sleeping more often than not. It’s just painting clothes, at first, shirts and sweats that he doesn’t mind getting covered in spackle and primer, but then Steve says “Danno, driving to your apartment every morning is kind of a hassle, bring some work clothes or something,” so Danny does.
He doesn’t notice how bad it’s gotten until a Friday rolls around, a Friday the precedes his weekend with Grace, and he realizes he hasn’t been at his apartment since his last weekend with Grace.
“Shit,” he says, mostly to himself, staring at the wall of his office.
“What?” Steve says, because he does that sometimes, sneak in places on his stupid SEAL feet and scare the living daylights out of people. “Everything okay? “
“Yeah,” Danny says, smiling, trying to cover the, you know, screaming terror, “I just, I’ve got Grace this weekend, I’m going to need to rescue some of my shit from your guest bedroom.”
“Oh,” Steve says, the corner of his mouth turning down, and really, really, he’s got to stop doing shit like this, he’s going to give Danny the wrong idea. He puts his hand on the back of his neck, a little awkward, and tries on something like a smile.
It’s not a smile. It’s more like a grimace. Danny wants to wince, looking at him, but is better at controlling his impulses than that.
“I actually wanted to talk to you about that,” Steve says.
“You wanted to--” Danny starts, and stops. “Okay, Steven, I am going to give you the benefit of the doubt here and assume you’re not actually about to, to ask me to skip a weekend with my daughter in order to help you--”
“No!” Steve says, and he actually looks offended, and Danny lets his hackles go down a little. “No, Danny, of course not, what the hell. No, I just--you know, Nalani, the realtor, she said there should be a kid’s room, that’s all.”
“So?” Danny says.
“So,” Steve says, like Danny’s being stupid just to irritate him, “I am not a kid, and you are not a kid, but you have a kid. I thought maybe Grace could...help. Pick out the colors and the, um, the furniture and stuff. If she wanted.”
“Oh,” Danny says, and knows immediately that it’s a terrible idea. Grace is already too fond of Steve for anyone’s good, least of all Danny’s--Grace is already too ready to hug him and laugh at him and draw him pictures while she’s watching television. And she’s only nine, and the things she could end up thinking...
...but then again, he remembers painting his apartment with her, the way she’d squealed with delight and splattered him with pigment, the way she’d looked proud when they were done. He remember her furious focus at the hard bits and the report she’d written about it for school, how Rachel, with her eyes softer than they usually were then, told him she’d decided she wanted to be a painter that week.
“You guys could both stay over,” Steve says, and he’s talking too fast now, like he’s taking Danny’s silence as a bad sign. “And it wouldn’t have to be--you know, we can do other stuff, it just, I thought it might be fun, but if you don’t--”
“No,” Danny says, and then holds up his hands when Steve’s face falls. “No, I meant stop trying to convince me, I’ll ask Rachel, that sounds--yeah, Steve, sure. I’ve gotta run it by Rach first, wet paint, you know, co-parenting, whatever, but, yeah, it should be fine.”
“Good,” Steve says, and then his face splits into a grin and he says, “Great, yeah, okay,” and really, Danny’s in so far over his head that it’s not even a little bit funny anymore.
“So,” Danny finishes, when he’s gotten through the whole admittedly strange explanation, “what do you say?”
Rachel’s staring at him like she can see right through him, and oh, man, Danny’s forgotten what this is like, the force of her million-watt stare. He shifts his weight from one foot to the other and tries not to feel like he’s forgotten to take the trash out, like he’s conveniently neglected to mention that his parents are coming over for dinner.
“You and Commander McGarrett...are redecorating his house together,” she says finally, in doubting tones.
“Well,” Danny says, “it’s really mostly Steve, it’s Steve’s thing, I’m just helping, because he’s basically helpless, okay, it’s very sad, all that training and he’s still, you know, kind of a moron, and actually he’s never even picked out furniture before, we had to have that conversation, and--jeez, Rach, stop looking at me like that, just say no if you want to say no.”
“I don’t want to say no,” Rachel says, a slight smile playing at the corners of her mouth. “It’s just...Daniel, is there anything you want to tell me?”
“No,” Danny says, and he’s rambling, why does she still do this to him, make him lose control of his vocal cords like this, “no, nope, nothing, can’t think of a thing, fresh out of things, he just--we just thought it might be fun, you know, for Grace, that’s all, nothing else.”
“If it’s that you expect me to be angry,” Rachel says, “you’re not really giving me enough credit.”
“There’s nothing for you to be angry about,” Danny says, which is god’s honest truth. “It’s, look, if there were anything to tell you I would, okay, but there isn’t. This isn’t--it’s not a thing, okay?”
“If you say so,” Rachel says, and Jesus, she’s laughing at him now, of course she is, he can hear it in her voice. “Grace will be thrilled, of course, you know how fond she is of Steve.”
“I know,” Danny says, and can’t help smiling a little as he says it. The look Rachel gives him is kind and sharp all at once, a warm sort of scrutiny.
“Daniel,” she says, “I’m sure I don’t need to tell you this, but if it should turn out to be a...thing, as you so eloquently put it, I trust you’ll be the one to talk to our daughter about it.”
“Yeah,” Danny says, a little annoyed, “well, yeah, Rachel, of course--”
“Because it would be rather cruel to her,” Rachel continues, “to allow her to get overly attached without explaining what’s going on.”
“There is nothing going on,” Danny says. “Nothing, look, I promise you, nothing, I will come to you, I will tell you if things change, which they’re not going to, because--”
He shuts up, but obviously not fast enough, because Rachel’s gaze has gone softer now, laced with a little bit of pity.
“Ah,” she says, “well. You always have been a bit obtuse about these things, haven’t you?”
“What the hell is that supposed to mean?” Danny demands.
“Nothing, Danny,” Rachel says, sighing. “I’ll just go get Grace, shall I?”
She vanishes up the stairs, leaving him in the foyer with its high ceilings and natural light. Danny finds himself looking at the sconces with interest and wants to shoot himself in the face.
But then Grace is barreling down the stairs, yelling, “Danno, Danno, are we really going to hang out with Steve all weekend, are we?”
“Hello to you too, Monkey,” he says, scooping her up. “How ‘bout a ‘Hi, Danno, nice to see you,’ huh? Is that so much to ask? Maybe a little hug, I’m just saying, I haven’t seen you in a couple of days, might be nice.”
“Hi, Danno, nice to see you,” Grace says, throwing her arms around him dutifully. “Now, are we really going to Steve’s?”
Danny sighs. “Yes, yes, we are. God help us all.”
“Alright,” Grace yells, pumping her fist in the air, and Danny has just enough time to catch Rachel’s speaking look before they’re out the door.