Title: when your boots are well worn in
Rating: G/PG, unless you count the assorted foul language.
Summary: Steve's sick, Danny knows it, and "Fuck you," like "Book 'em Danno," is mostly a term of endearment.
Steve drags through the day, lets Chin drive to the crime scene, doesn't make a pithy comment about the grease-soaked sandwich Danny orders at lunch. He puts the first violent offender of the morning out with one solid punch, threatens the second at gunpoint, and lets Kono handle the third; he yawns, a big, cracking thing, at three in the afternoon, and again at ten after five. Danny knows he crashed hard the night before, did some fairly creative things to ensure it, maybe woke up once or twice in bleary surprise at sleeping next to someone so still--he cocks his head, watches Steve fail to notice he's being watched, and sighs. He waits, not really expecting much, for a confession that doesn't come, and eventually decides the few sniffles Steve doesn't manage to stifle count as close enough.
By six fifteen, they've cycled through what passes as normal for them--Chin's sweat-soaked from his takedown, Danny's knee is aching from twenty minutes in a crouch, and Kono's flexing her fist compulsively, showing off bruised knuckles like she's proud of them. They're bright eyed and bushy tailed still, the three of them, used to worse; Steve's hunched over the computer like a train hit him, exhausted where he'd normally be adrenaline-filled.
"Hey," Danny says, taking pity, "you wanna call it a day?"
"Huh?" Steve says, and then, "Oh. Uh, yeah, that's probably--yeah. Nice work today, guys."
Kono hits the door, Chin hits the showers, and Steve follows Danny to the Camaro, doesn't say shit when Danny gets into the driver's seat. He's quiet when they stop for takeout, picks at dinner, lets out another whopper of a yawn before the clock hits seven. Danny can't decide if it's irritation or affection he's feeling, if it's some strange combination of both--that's about par for the course, with Steve, but sits strange on his shoulders all the same.
When he runs to take his own shower, he leaves Steve on the living room couch, comes back down to find him unmoved. "Hey," Danny says, "hey, yeah, you--the thousand yard stare, you wanna pull it criminals, you go ahead, and you wanna pull it on me, it's nothing I'm not used to, but let's direct it away from the abyss, huh? You're freaking me out here."
"Oh," Steve says, blinking, and then, "sorry," and Danny tosses him the bottle of Advil he grabbed from the medicine cabinet, nods at the nearby bottle of water.
"Jesus," he says, flopping down on the couch next to him, "you're not subtle, you know that?"
"What're you talking about?" Steve says. He dry swallows two of the pills, goes for the water afterwards, and considering that it's Steve, that's practically a white flag in the air. Danny sighs, wondering what he did to deserve this asshole, and glares at him a little.
"This," he says, gesturing. "You. It's okay to tell me you're feeling shitty, Superman, you don't have to pull the whole tough-guy act. You're not as good at it as you think you are, anyone ever tell you that?"
"It's not an act," Steve says, "and also fuck you," and Danny laughs.
"Been there, done that," he says. "Got the t-shirt and everything, it's probably even around here somewhere."
"Nope," Steve says, slanting him a shade of his typical smirk. "Gave it away. I was afraid you'd try to wear it with a tie."
"Ha fucking ha. You're a funny man, McGarrett, you should take that tour on the road." He grabs at Steve's sleeve and pulls, says, "Come on already, I'm tired just looking at you, move it--oh for fuck's sake, you want me to make you? 'Cause I can make you, if that's what you want, don't think that I can't. I hate to break it to you, babe, but you're not exactly scary right now."
Steve makes a noise under his breath, some nasty name that Danny could probably identify if he felt like it, but he flattens out easy enough, his head in Danny's lap. Danny, the oldest of a big family and a parent for going on nine years, is a professional unprofessional checker of fevers--he brushes his palm across Steve's forehead while he's reaching for the remote, and yeah, he's a little warm for comfort. Danny flicks on the television with one hand, buries the other in Steve's hair, and seeks out the sweet spot; Steve's like a puppy in many ways (lack of understanding vis a vis danger, tendency to bark at things that are not threats), but this one is the most ridiculous.
Sure enough, he goes boneless in about three seconds, body sinking into the couch, head heavy on Danny's leg. From the right angle, his foot's even twitching a little, and Danny grins despite himself.
"You know what you're being right now?" he says.
"A terrible SEAL," Danny says, not without glee. "What if there's an attack from above, huh? What're you gonna do, snore at them?"
"You can handle it," Steve says, drowsy already, and maybe that shouldn't make Danny's heart clench, but there's fuck all he can do about it.
"You think so?" he says, and manages to keep from sounding like a lovesick jackass by the skin of his teeth. "Little presumptuous there, don't you think? Maybe, I'm just saying, you might wanna ask a guy before you drop a responsibility like that on his shoulders."
"Fine," Steve says, yawning, shifting just a little. "If we're attacked from above, you think you can get it? 'M comfortable."
"Yeah," Danny says, pressing his fingers a little harder against Steve's scalp. Steve lets out a whining sort of moan, sighs out a breath like he's been holding it all day, and he must have some kind of headache going on to be reacting like that. "I'm all over it."
"Fantastic," Steve says, and closes his eyes.
"From the front, now," Danny says, pitching his voice low, "you're gonna have to take care of that. I got this goofball in my lap, might screw up my angle, you see what I'm saying here?"
"Danno," Steve says. He groans on it, giving up the ghost entirely and pressing his face into Danny's stomach. "Shut up, would you?"
"You're a jackass," Danny informs him, but it's gentle, a little too fond. Steve's fingers find the hem of his shirt and curl around it, scarred knuckles pressing into his skin. Danny cups the back of his neck, slides down to put his feet on the table.
"'S better," Steve says, "quieter."
"Fuck you too, babe," Danny says, soft, easy, like it's breathing, and knows full well Steve will be out cold before he can reply.