Steve had been acting strangely the past week. Not normal, trained killer with a heart of gold and a hidden need to cuddle, but weird, really weird. Danny hadnít noticed it so much the first day as heíd been busy getting Grace up and them both out the door in time to get her to school; then the team had caught a case involving heroin being shipped inówhat elseócrates of pineapple that a friend of the governor had somehow gotten involved in. Just exactly how many friends did the governor have anyway, and were they all going to end up being involved in something illegal? Sometimes he wondered if she was hanging with the wrong crowd.
That case took the better part of three days to wrap up, but by the time the running and shooting startedóand yes, there was always running and shooting when Steve McGarrett was involvedóDanny had realized something was hinky with his partner. Steve kept giving him these looks when he thought Danny wasnít watching, and they werenít your normal ĎDanny, what the hell are you talking aboutí looks either. He didnít even get a ĎBook Ďem, Danno,í when they had the perps cuffed and ready to be hauled away. Weird, definitely weird.
Deciding that maybe it was time to see what the problem was, Danny headed toward Steveís office, but Steve saw him coming and discovered a sudden, urgent need for coffee, nearly bolting across the room to the coffee maker.
Kono watched the show from the data table, looking amused. "Whatíd you do to Steve, Danny? Heís acting really freaked out."
"Hell if I know," Danny sighed, leaning a hip on the corner of the table and scratching at the back of his neck. "Maybe heís coming off his sugar high from Halloween."
She snorted inelegantly. "Iím pretty sure you helped him work that off before he ever went to sleep that night."
Danny winced at that. "You know, itís called private life for a reason."
"You honestly think anythingís private around here?" Kono laughed.
"Remember that next time I come wandering that tent city looking for you after dark."
"Remember that I carry a gun," she told him sweetly.
"And I have a vest," he reminded her.
"I might be willing to sacrifice a board... over your head."
"Why are you wasting a surfboard on Dannyís head?" Steve asked as he joined them, figuring there was safety in numbers.
"Apparently sheís allowed to comment on my private life, but the opposite isnít true."
"Donít you know better than that by now?" Chin asked as he joined them as well.
"Women donít play fair," Steve reminded him.
"I never said he couldnít comment," Kono protested. "I just let him know what he could expect if he decided to interrupt in the middle of the night."
Steve eyed Danny. "Are you nuts? If someone interrupted me in the middle of the night, Iíd shoot him."
"Exactly what I said," Kono said triumphantly.
"I didnít say it was the middle of the night! I just said after dark," Danny protested while Chin tried not to laugh.
"Give it up," Steve advised. "Iíd hate to have to break in a new partner."
"Your concern for my safety is overwhelming."
"Glad you noticed." Steve snickered as he leaned on Chinís desk. "So behave. Iíve gotten used to you."
Danny gave him a wry look before throwing up his hands. "Fine, behaving now."
"Thatís good," Kono laughed, "because Iíd really hate to have to shoot you."
"Way too much paperwork," Chin put in.
"More concern; Iím just feeling the love from you guys!"
Steve laughed, but there was an odd expression in his eyes before he got up and returned to his desk to deal with the paperwork that was waiting for him.
Behind Dannyís back, Kono arched an eyebrow at her cousin, looking intrigued.
"So, so weird," Danny muttered to himself as he headed for his own desk and the work that was piled up there.
"Iíve decided that paperwork is proof of the existence of hell," Steve informed Danny hours later as they trudged out to their cars, a weary slump in their shoulders. "Wanna come over?"
"That depends; you going to talk to me if I do, or are you just going to stare at me like I grew another head?" Danny glanced over at Steve as he spoke though he didnít stop walking.
"Um." Steve looked over at him. "Iíll talk." Even if Danny didnít want him to.
"Well geeze, itís not like Iím going to twist your arm."
Steve gave him a more natural smile at that. "I know. Iíve had something to think about recently, but I think Iíve figured it out now. No more weirdness."
Dannyís eyebrows slowly arched upward from their furrow, and he snorted out a quiet laugh. "With you, Steve, thereís always going to be weirdness."
"Oh, like youíre Mr. Normal," Steve retorted. "Now that thatís settled, do you want to ride with me or bring your car?"
"Compared to you I am," Danny pointed out as they reached his car. "And if I need clothes for tomorrow and a way to get Grace to school, Iíd better take mine."
"Good point. Okay, Iím going to stop at the store to get some stuff to grill for dinner, but I shouldnít be long. Iíll see you at my place in half an hour?"
"Sounds good. You have enough beer, or do you want me to grab some?"
"We can never have too much beer."
"Good point. Iíll grab a couple of six packs. Shouldnít be too long."
"Great, see you then."
Steve slid into his car and drove off, his mind a million miles and a week away. Halloween night, as he was falling asleep, Danny had murmured words Steve hadnít expected, two simple little words that changed everything. It had taken Steve a while, but now he realized that he felt the same, and he was ready to say them back to Dannyóand maybe a few more as well.
It was going to be an interesting night.
It was almost an hour later when Danny walked around the side of the house carrying two cardboard holders with six bottles of beer each inside, the amber bottles dappled with condensation from the heat. "Something smells good," he called to Steve, who was standing next to the grill. "Almost ready?"
"Yeah, the shrimp skewers should be done in a couple more minutes," Steve said, helping himself to a beer.
"Anything I can do?" Danny asked as he opened his own beer, setting the rest of the bottles on the deck near the grill.
"Thanks, but Iím good. I already brought the plates out," Steve nodded toward the table, "so as soon as the foodís done, I just have to serve the skewers up and we can eat. Quick and easy."
"You know," Danny mused after taking a pull from his beer, "youíre going to make someone a wonderful wife some day, at least if they can put up with the psychotic episodes."
Steve looked over his shoulder. "Would that be someone who tells me he loves me?"
"Well, love is a good thing to have in marriage," Danny laughed before looking at Steve curiously when the other man didnít join in. "Okay, are we getting back to the weird thing again?"
"You really donít remember, do you?"
"Remember what?" Danny asked, beer sloshing over his hand when he threw his arms outward. "All I know is that Sunday we were fine, and Monday you were acting like I hid your favorite gun and wouldnít tell you where it was." In the midst of his rant, Danny put two and two together in the form of Steveís previous comments, and his tirade petered out as his eyes widened.
"Figure it out?" Steve asked.
"I am a detective after all." Danny looked down at his beer bottle, then out at the ocean.
"So, uh... me too."
"Me too what? Youíre a detective too?"
Steve glared. "I love you too, you jerk, although Iím starting to wonder why!"
"Well, how the hell am I supposed to thatís what you meant? If I could read your mind, Iíd know when you were going to do the insane things you do!"
"You mean like asking you to move in with me?" Steve snapped.
"The shrimp is burning," Danny replied inanely, trying to wrap his brain around the request.
Steve rolled his eyes, but he pulled the skewers off the grill and set the food on the plates. At least shrimp and vegetables would still be good hot or cold, whenever they got around to eating.
That dealt with, he returned to staring at Danny, clearly waiting for a response.
"So," Danny finally said after he had drained his beer, "I apparently told you that I love you; you told me you love me; and you want me to move in? That got it about right, because I donít want any misunderstandings here."
"Thank you for the recap," Steve said in a tone so dry it sucked moisture from the air. "Yes, thatís where we were before this commercial break. Would you maybe like to answer the damn question now!"
Danny smiled wryly at that remark, taking a deep breath before speaking. "Now thereís the Steve McGarrett I know and love."
Steve seemed to freeze, his eyes turning a bright blue as his lips slowly curved into a smile. "Thatís Ďcause Iím a really lovable guy."
"With a really comfortable bed."
"Thatís the perfect size for two."
"And you did give Gracie a room here, plus it would make it a hell of a lot easier for me not to have to remember to bring a change of clothes every time I come over." Danny rubbed his chin as he spoke as if mulling the idea over.
"Iíd hate to think you were being inconvenienced."
"Hey, itís not like Iíve ever seen you staying over at my place!"
"You never asked me to," Steve protested.
"We would have broken the bed or sent it through the wall, plus you hate my place," Danny countered.
"Your place is a closet."
"All the more reason to give it up then, I suppose."
"It does seem reasonable." Steve took a step toward Danny, who reached out with his free hand, hooking a finger through one of Steveís belt loops and pulling him closer.
"Thatís me, the reasonable one."
"You keep telling yourself that," Steve replied, wrapping his arms around Dannyís waist. "Weíll have to tell the munchkin tomorrow."
"Weíll need earplugs for the shrieking." This was said before Danny pulled Steve in for a deep, leisurely kiss. Once it ended, though neither man seemed willing to move away, Steve chuckled.
"Sheís probably going to want to know what took us so long."
"Why do I get the feeling Kono will ask us the same thing?" Danny sighed.
"Because youíre getting to know her well." Steve stole another kiss and then reluctantly stepped back. "We should eat."
"True." Dannyís thumbs brushed over Steveís sides as he let go and took a step back. "Energy is good."
"Got plans for expending some?"
"Possibly." Danny quirked a grin as he picked up two fresh beers and a plate while Steve grabbed the other, and they walked over to the table. "You have any of those Skittles left?"
"Oh, a few." Steve settled across from Danny and started to eat, realizing that he was hungry.
"Good, I have plans for those." Danny started in on his own food at that.
"Sounds like the nightís going to be fun." Steve grinned at him, his usual good humor restored now that they had sorted out where they were going.
"Are you saying they usually arenít?" Danny asked, pointing the shrimp on his fork in Steveís direction.
"Even more so than usual," Steve amended before leaning forward to steal the shrimp so conveniently aimed at him, Danny scowling at him at the sudden hijacking of his food.
"You stole my shrimp!"
"You seemed to be offering it to me."
"I was using it to make a point!"
"Ah. Well, it was good."
Danny reached over at that and stabbed his fork into one of Steveís shrimp, nodding as he quickly ate it. "Yes, it was."
"Should I bother with two plates for future meals, or are we just going to share one?" Steve eyed him with amusement.
"Youíre the one who started it," Danny pointed out, "I think we can manage with two plates."
"You offered it," Steve protested, grinning.
"That was not an offering to the god of Steve McGarrett machismo; that was punctuating a sentence, making a point, emphasizing." Danny stopped and studied Steveís expression, his own mouth twisting into a half-hearted scowl. "Very funny."
"Yeah, it was," Steve agreed. "Iím a great guy; no wonder you love me."
"I think thatís more of in spite of rather than because of."
"You mean you usually fall for bad boys?" Steve asked, looking interested.
"Why? Do you?" Danny short back.
"Naw, my weakness seems to be cranky blonds."
"Iím not cranky!"
Steve just smirked at him, causing Danny to look down at his plate as if he was contemplating flicking a piece of pepper at him.
"I swear, I must be a masochist," he sighed to himself.
"I consider it good taste," Steve laughed before offering Danny another of his shrimp.
Danny couldnít help but give a pleased sigh at the taste. "Well, you do taste good," he allowed.
Chuckling, Steve speared a shrimp for himself, eyeing Danny thoughtfully as he chewed. "Iíll let you check after dinner if you want to make sure I still do," he offered.
"I may have to do that," Danny mused.
"Itís your duty as a detective to find out."
"I thought I was off duty tonight."
"Itís more of an extracurricular activity."
"Being a detective?" Danny laughed, reaching for his beer and drinking down a swallow.
"Taste-testing me." Steve rolled his eyes, trying not to laugh.
"Look, youíve had more time to deal with this than I have, so allow me some brain dysfunction, will you?"
"I make allowances for that every day, Danno."
"Oh, really funny; I think we must be married already," Danny snorted before he went back to work on his meal.
"Not a chance," Steve assured him. "Iím not saying yes unless you get down on one knee and I get a formal proposal."
"White would wash you out."
"I suppose I could adapt and wear off-white."
Danny ate the last bit of shrimp on his plate and washed it down with the rest of his beer, eyeing Steve musingly as he did so.
"What?" Steve asked, a faint smile curving his lips.
"I was just wondering if they even made cargo pants in off-white."
For long seconds Steve stared unblinkingly, seeming not even to breathe, and then he burst into laughter. "I would definitely dress up more than that for my wedding. Though I think I would want you not to wear a tie!"
"You and my ties," Danny groaned. "I like them; deal with it."
"The only good use for them is in bed," Steve retorted.
"In bed?" Dannyís eyebrows rose as he spoke.
Steve pondered for a moment before nodding. "Although I suppose attached to the bed might be more accurate."
"Control-freak," Danny snorted, shaking his head.
"You can use them on me if you prefer."
"I wasnít complaining about it, just commenting; either way, youíre still a control freak."
"And youíre not?"
"How am I a control freak?"
"You want everything your way: clothes, food... Sound familiar?"
Danny sighed and leaned back in his chair. "Fine, Iím a control freak too; happy?"
"Actually, yeah, I am."
"That I admitted Iím a control freak?"
Steve shook his head slowly, smiling.
"That you admitted your secret desire to tie or be tied up with ties?"
Steve shook his head again.
And Danny stared at him, his eyes narrowing. "Wait a minute, I recognize that smile. Youíre happy, arenít you?"
"Thatís what I just said," Steve pointed out.
"I donít mean for a reason; I mean in general, because of this, us," Danny responded, defending himself and what heíd said.
"Thatís what I said," Steve repeated.
Danny opened his mouth, shut it again then nodded. "Good. I am too."
"Iím really glad you got territorial about my dadís toolbox," Steve said with a grin.
"You just liked holding a gun on me."
"That was fun too."
"Sick, sick man," Danny sighed.
"What does that make you for loving me?"
Danny seemed to think that over for a time before chuckling. "Pretty damn smart."
Steve grinned. "Okay, Iím going to have to agree with you on that one."
"You know, I think I should write this down."
"It might happen again someday."
"You know, my happiness just suddenly evaporated; why am I not surprised at that?"
"What can I do to bring it back?" Steve grinned at him.
"The dishes?" Danny suggested with a wry smile.
"Thank God for dishwashers."
"That doesnít count."
"Then I guess Iíd better come up with something else to make it up to you."
"Somehow I think you can do that. Why donít you get the dishes done, and Iíll meet you in the bedroom." Danny winked as he stood and sauntered into the house then apparently through it as the front door banged in the distance.
Steve was still grinning by the time he finished loading the dishwasher and cleaning the grill, and he even found himself whistling occasionally. He grabbed two bottles of beer and strolled into the bedroom, wondering if Danny was back from his mysterious errand earlier.
The moment he walked into the room, a loop of fabric dropped around his wrist, and he was swung to the side to see Danny, who had stripped down to his boxers and was holding the ends of the tie he had been wearing in one hand and a loose one in the other.
"I see you found a good use for those finally," Steve chuckled, a jolt of arousal running through him at the sight.
"Ahh the wit, it kills me," Danny snorted, plucking the bottles out of Steveís hands and setting them on the dresser. "Weíll save those for later."
"Sounds like fun," Steve said, waiting to see what Danny would do next, and that was to loop the other tie around his free wrist.
"It will be," he promised.
"I like the kinky side of you," Steve told him.
"Iím just going with your earlier suggestion," Danny answered as he nudged Steve toward the bed, then paused. "Better let you strip off first; donít want to ruin that shirt."
"Mmm, what are you planning to do with me that would ruin any clothes I might be wearing?" Steve asked, already getting undressed without looking away from Danny.
"I wonít be doing anything that might do it; you on the other hand..." Danny leaned back against the wall, his gaze never leaving Steveís as the other man stripped.
"Oh really? This is sounding better and better." Nude, Steve stood in front of Danny, perfectly at ease in his skin, Danny humming his approval before nodding toward the bed.
"Get over there, and youíll see how good it gets."
The words had barely fallen from Dannyís lips when Steve was stretched out on the bed, again waiting for Dannyís next order.
"Grab the headboard," Danny rasped as he walked forward, the ties held loosely in his hands.
Steve not only did that, he also spread his legs as if his ankles were bound to the footboard, and Danny hummed in approval as he loosely bound Steveís right wrist to the brass bar he grasped. He stroked a hand down the length of Steveís body and felt the muscles jump beneath his palm as he walked around the bed to tie Steveís other wrist in place.
"Now that youíve got me, what are you going to do with me?"
"Thatís for me to know and you to find out," Danny chuckled, shucking off his boxers and climbing astride Steveís waist.
"Iím looking forward to it."
"You should be." That said, Danny leaned in and covered Steveís mouth with his, laying claim to it, a claim that Steve seemed happy to allow him as he opened eagerly, meeting Dannyís hunger with his own.
The hum of Dannyís pleasure vibrated into Steveís mouth as he ran his hands down Steveís arms, his thumb pressing against the taut muscles that flexed and relaxed under sun-warmed skin.
Steve shivered, tremors of arousal running down his spine, and groaned into the kiss, his eyes falling closed as he concentrated on the sensations Danny was engendering in him.
Danny slowly pulled back, licking Steveís lower lip as he did so, continuing the sweep of his hands down Steveís arms to his shoulders. He shifted his seat so that he was kneeling between Steveís legs and laid a line of biting kisses down the path that his hands had just taken.
"Love what you do to me," Steve rasped, rubbing one leg against Danny.
"And I love doing it," Danny said against his skin before he dipped his head and closed his mouth around one already pebbled nipple, sucking and licking at the small mound.
"Good f-for me," Steve panted, his hands fisting where they were bound above him. He curled his legs around Dannyís waist, giving himself leverage to push up against the blond, groaning at the pressure on his cock.
Danny looked up at him, his blue eyes bright. "And for me," he murmured as he switched to the other side of Steveís chest, making him gasp and writhe against Danny.
"God," he groaned, "more."
Danny hummed his answer around Steveís nipple, swiping his tongue over it before sitting up enough to slide his knees under Steveís ass as he nibbled the crease of Steveís thigh and body.
Steve craned his head up to stare down, the sight of the blond head between his legs sending another surge of arousal through him. "Never felt like this with anyone else," he rasped.
Dannyís eyebrows rose slightly, and he sucked his own finger into his mouth before circling it around the entrance to Steveís body, pressing lightly at the tight muscle.
Steveís head fell back to the pillows, and he groaned, pushing down, trying to get Dannyís finger inside him, Danny giving him what he wanted, watching Steveís expression as his digit slipped inside and flexed to graze Steveís prostate.
"Oh fuck, Danny," Steve groaned, biting his lip as the sensations threatened to overwhelm him.
"Yeah, I want to do that too." Never shifting his gaze from Steveís face, Danny reached into the bedside table for condoms and lube, squirting some of the gel onto his fingers and working a second into Steve.
"So good," Steve gasped out, his ass clenching on the fingers. Danny grunted in agreement, then his fingers were gone and he was rolling the rubber onto his cock and slicking it with lube then groaning as he slowly pressed into Steveís body.
"Could do this forever," Steve said, his fingers clenching and releasing, unable to touch Danny in return.
"Yeah, that would be really good," Danny whispered as he began to move, his hands settling on Steveís hips to hold him in place.
Steve nodded jerkily, his hazel eyes a stormy grey with arousal as they met Dannyís clear blue.
"Need to feel your hands on me." As Danny spoke, his voice dark with hunger, he reached up, loosening the ties and tossing them away.
The instant he was free, Steve reached for Danny, fingers digging into his shoulders at first, and then he took advantage of his newfound freedom to stroke Danny. One hand made its way to his ass, a finger nudging at Dannyís hole.
"Oh hell yeah," Danny groaned, the speed and force of his thrusts increasing in intensity as the pleasure mounted in him, and he worked a hand between them, stroking Steveís cock as they moved together.
Steve managed to work two fingers into Dannyís ass, but the pleasure was growing too intense for him to manage anything more coordinated. All he could do was rear up, driving into Dannyís hand, and capture his mouth in a deep kiss.
Danny gasped into Steveís mouth before his whole body tightened then spasmed, tightening his hand around Steveís cock as he came. Already trembling on the brink, Steve toppled over as well at the additional pressure and the knowledge that Danny was coming, his entire body freezing in a deep arch of ecstasy as he climaxed.
The two of them lay there, entwined, as their breathing calmed, and Danny finally gave a breathless chuckle. "So, you appreciate my ties now?"
"Weíve found one good use for them," Steve admitted, grinning.
"Oh ha ha."
Steve turned his head to kiss Dannyís cheek. "You know, Iíve been thinking..." he said slowly.
"It really should terrify me, but what have you been thinking about?" Danny asked before pushing back and holding up a finger. "Wait a minute, I think this will go over better when weíre not in danger of being glued together."
He gave Steve a quick kiss before getting up off the bed, stripping off the rubber and tossing it into the bathroom trash before wetting a washcloth to clean himself up, rinsing and wetting it again so he could do the same for Steve when he returned.
Once Danny was done and settled back on the bed, Steveís arms around him, Steve started, "Well, like I said, Iíve been thinking, and weíre living together now and exclusive, so..." He took a deep breath. "I was thinking maybe it was time to talk about not using rubbers."
"Ió" Danny raised a hand and rubbed at his forehead. "You really like to throw everything in the basket at once, donít you?"
"It all kind of goes together, donít you think?"
Danny blew out a breath though he was smiling. "Sure, why not."
Steve stilled. "Sure, they go together, or sure, you think we should go bare?" he asked carefully, needing this to be clear.
"Sure we can discuss it and go get some blood tests because, not that Iím worried about you having been safe in the past, we both do tend to get a hell of a lot of peopleís blood on us."
Steve nodded. "Thatís reasonable. So... go get tests tomorrow if the criminals cooperate?"
"Why not; itíll give Chin and Kono one more thing to laugh at us about."
"I donít think we really need to share this information with them!"
"Theyíll find out. I have no idea how, but theyíll find out."
Steve groaned. "What ever happened to the idea of a private life?"
"When I asked that, you laughed at me," Danny snorted.
"That has nothing to do with this."
"Oh, because the fact that weíre sleeping together is so much less private than if weíre using latex or not."
Danny groaned and flopped to his back. "I think I need a beer."
"Donít look at me. Someone fucked me into a wet noodle."
As he sat up and climbed out of bed again, Danny chuckled. "Yeah, you look like a piece of macaroni."
"Limp and bendy?"
"Exactly." Danny grabbed the bottles from the dresser and carried them back to the bed, handing one to Steve before sitting down and settling back against the mounded up pillows.
"Itís my favorite way to be." Steve watched him with a smile. "Convenient that you already have drawers here. You can just have that whole dresser and Iíll use the other one."
"And I can have most of the closet since you have nothing to hang up except for your suit," Danny mused.
"I have uniforms!" Steve grumbled.
Two days later, Danny picked Grace up from school, grinning as he hugged her. "Ready for the weekend?"
"Yes!" Grace hugged him back tightly. "Are we going to surf?"
"How did I know that you were going to ask that, and the answer is tomorrow as long as the weatherís good."
"Yay!" She beamed at him. "Cindy Lawson is so jealous that I get to go surfing with you and Steve... and Kono! Did you know that everyone knows who she is? Leila asked me to get her autograph!"
"Her autograph?" Danny asked as he held the car open so that Grace could climb in. "Iíd say that was easy enough," he continued once he was in as well. "We could get some of the pictures of the two of you printed up as well if you want."
Graceís eyes widened. "Really?" she said in a near squeak.
"Of course." Danny felt a twinge of guilt that he hadnít done this before.
"Wow! Everyoneís going to be so jealous," she said gleefully.
"Yeah well, just remember, donít go crowing about it; you donít want them to feel bad."
Grace looked disappointed, but after a moment she nodded, albeit reluctantly. "I know, nobody likes a show off."
"You got it in one, monkey." Danny reached over and tugged at her ponytail. "Talk about it and show the pictures, but donít brag about it. We can call Kono tonight and see if sheís free tomorrow."
"Okay. Weíre staying at Steveís this weekend, right?" she asked. They had ever since the first time sheíd gone there with her father, but Grace knew that her dad still had the other apartment, so they could be going there.
"Yup, we are," Danny nodded. "You need to use that room, or Steve might start staying in there."
Grace giggled. "Should we get him a crown and wand?"
"Well, we donít want him to feel bad, so we could say itís for you, and he could borrow it when youíre not there."
"Silly Danno, his headís bigger than mine!" Grace laughed.
"Good point," Danny laughed. "Guess weíll just have to hold off on that one then."
"Besides, Steve likes sleeping in his own bed."
"You are just too logical for me today; are you trying to be the parent here?"
"Does that mean I get to stay up late and tell you when to go to bed?"
"That depends," Danny mused, "are you going to go to work for me while I go to school for you because I donít think Iím going to fit in your desk."
"Yeah, that probably wouldnít work too well," Grace decided after giving the matter due thought. "I guess youíre just going to have to keep being the daddy."
"I think Iím okay with that."
Grace nodded, giggling. "Steve will probably like it better too."
The pair of them were still laughing at that when Danny pulled up outside the house, grabbing Graceís overnight bag while she ran up to the door.
"Hi there, munchkin," Steve greeted, catching her up into a swinging hug. "Ready for a fun weekend?"
"Itís always fun with you and Daddy!" Grace beamed, giving him a hug and a kiss. "And Daddy said we were going surfing tomorrow, so thatís even better."
"Do you think we can get Daddy out surfing with us tomorrow?" Steve asked in a stage whisper.
"Someone has to stay on shore and take pictures," Danny answered loudly.
"Aww, Daddy!" Grace pouted.
"I have an idea, not for tomorrow, but soon," Steve told her.
"Can you tell me what it is?" she asked.
Steve carried her inside, out of Dannyís earshot. "Guess what Iím going to tell your dad that I want for Christmas?"
Grace looked back toward the door, then at Steve again. "For him to learn to surf?" she whispered. "Yeah!"
"I think itíll get him out there, donít you?" Steve grinned conspiratorially.
"I can ask for the same thing too, then heíll really have to come!"
"Do I even want to know what the two of you are conspiring about?" Danny asked as he came in carrying Graceís bag.
"Nope," Steve assured him sunnily, making Grace break into giggles again.
"I thought as much, and I should have known better than to get the two of you together."
"Too late, weíre one big, happy family now," Steve informed him, a raised eyebrow asking if it was time to make the announcement to Grace.
"Which means itís a good thing that I gave up my lovely little room, isnít it?"
Grace twisted in Steveís arms to look at her father. "Daddy?"
"Iím moving in here, Gracie; like Steve said, weíre one big, happy family, and we should be together as much as we can be."
"Yay!" She straightened out and hugged Steve tightly, making him smile over her head at Danny.
"So I guess that means you donít have a problem with it?"
"Daddy, weíre here all the time. I donít know why you kept that apartment so long," Grace informed him.
"I think weíre back to that bring too logical thing again," Danny chuckled as he walked over to them, hugging them both. "When we really should be figuring out what weíre doing for dinner."
"Pizza!" Grace suggested.
"I think we can manage something better than that, munchkin," Steve laughed. "Iíve got tilapia to grill and vegetable risotto."
"What about dessert?" Grace asked slyly.
"Well, maybe we can take a drive and go get some shave ice if you eat all your dinner," Danny allowed.
"Mmm, I love shave ice, so youíd better eat up, Grace," Steve told her.
"What flavor do you like?" she asked, squirming to get down, and Danny stepped back to allow her to do so.
"My favorite is the pineapple, coconut and banana combo, but I like pretty much any flavor."
"I like grape, and Danno likes cherry," Grace said decisively.
"Then thatís what youíll get," Steve said, masking his amusement at her emphatic statement even as he wondered if grape had been her favorite before she met Kono.
"I think Steve gets flavors that wonít stain his tongue," Danny told Grace conspiratorially.
"I like pineapple," Steve protested.
"We know!" the Williams chorused, making him grin.
"Donít knock it till youíve tried it."
"We have tried it; we were just commenting that you seem to have a fixation on it," Danny corrected.
"You may have noticed that weíre in Hawaii," Steve pointed out. "Itís fairly common around here."
"We know that, Steve," Grace sighed, sounding remarkably like her father at that moment.
Steve made a face at her. "Just wait till you two are going on about apple pie or something."
"Mmm, apple pie," Danny sighed while Grace shook her head.
"No, itís nearly Thanksgiving; itís pumpkin pie time!"
Steve laughed. "As long as you donít expect to start from a whole pumpkin. My mom always used canned pumpkin to make her pies."
"So does Grandma," Danny said quickly before Grace could start to think about making a pie from a whole pumpkin.
"So weíre good. We can make one pie from each recipe and see which we like better."
"We can make your momís pie together; Grandma will make her pie." Grace gestured Steve closer before whispering. "We donít want to make her sad."
Steve hugged her. "Of course not. But why would pies make her sad?"
"Because my mother isnít happy if she isnít feeding everyone," Danny supplied as they started for the kitchen. "Which means that Thanksgiving morning she is going to be over here before the sun is up."
Steve laughed. "Itíll be like being back in the service."
"Grandma makes better food," Grace promised, patting Steveís arm.
"Iím relieved to hear it," Steve chuckled.
"Huh." He stared at Danny for a moment, obviously struck by some thought. "You know, I could invite Mary to come too."
"Itís less than three weeks until Thanksgiving," Danny pointed out, "are you going to get her a ticket?"
"Who is Mary?" Grace asked, looking up at them both.
"Maryís my sister," Steve told her before looking back at Danny. "And yeah, if she wants to come, Iíll spring for the ticket. I donít know if she will though. We havenít had a family Thanksgiving in years."
"Then itís time you did," Danny smiled, Grace nodding vigorously at the same time.
"Can I call her Aunt Mary?" she asked.
Steve grinned, imagining Maryís reaction. "Of course you can, munchkin. She is your aunt now."
Grace beamed and caught both Steveís and Dannyís hands. "I like getting new family."
"Me too, monkey," Danny assured her, "but youíre going to have to remind Steve of everyoneís names once they get here so he doesnít get overwhelmed."
"I will," she promised solemnly, and Steve smiled, squeezing her fingers.
"I know you will, Grace."
"You guys sure youíre going to be able to survive the week without me?" Danny asking, looking around the office area and the rest of the team members.
"Weíre planning a party for tomorrow, brah," Chin laughed.
"And Steveís not doing without you," Kono pointed out. "You live with him."
"Well, you both are invited over for dinner Thursday; Kono, you can bring Ben as well if you want," Danny said blithely.
"Donít make me shoot you," she warned him.
"Donít try it, Kono," Steve put in. "I like you, but I like him better."
"I was serious!" Danny protested.
"No joking about Ben. Weíre not ready for that yet."
"Iíll make him behave," Steve promised her.
"And whoíll make you behave?" she wanted to know.
"Grace!" Chin laughed.
"Exactly," Danny grinned, "and I meant it about Ben; heís alone, and I thought he might want some company."
"Oh. That was... nice of you," Kono said. "Iíll talk to him today and let you know, okay?"
"Sounds good, and trust me, thereíll be plenty; you have no idea how much my mother cooks," Danny chuckled.
"I may have to pitch a tent in the backyard to sleep as our room is taken over by food," Steve muttered.
"Think of it this way," Chin commented, "youíll have leftovers at least until Christmas."
Steve groaned. "Iím going to have to start jogging more, or the only thing Iíll be able to wear will be that t-shirt!"
Kono smiled slyly at that. "Iím sure youíll manage to work it off, boss."
"Private life!" Danny groaned.
"A very good one," Steve agreed.
"Thatís it; Iím going to the airport. See most of you Thanksgiving and one of you later tonight."
"Sure you donít want me to come with?" Steve offered.
"I thought that meeting my family at the airport wasnít a strategic setting," Danny asked, sounding amused.
"Yeah, well, itís probably best not to spring things on them on my territory. Itís a little unfair."
"Spring things on them?"
Chin and Kono glanced at each other and vanished into their offices.
"I think theyíre going to notice that weíre living together, Danny."
Danny frowned slightly at that. "So you think I havenít mentioned you or that fact to them yet?"
"You didnít wait until you could do it in person?" Steve asked, clearly surprised.
"From that comment, Iím guessing that you havenít mentioned this to Mary."
"In case you missed it, Mary and I donít exactly communicate well. But Iím going to tell her when she gets here. It just seemed too important to tell her over the phone when sheís going to be here."
"I hope you mention it before she walks in on us," Danny mused.
"Iím going to tell her when she gets here," Steve repeated patiently.
"Is that before or after you leave her in the car?"
"Iím not going to leave her in the car!" Steve growled.
Danny rolled his eyes. "Yes, dear."
"Do you want to sleep on the sofa?"
"Not particularly, no. And I need to get going, so you need to decide if coming to the airport is strategic or not."
"Yeah, we need to meet at some point, and not going feels kind of like hiding," Steve admitted. "Besides, this way I start hearing about your childhood sooner."
"I was just like Grace, the perfect child," Danny protested as they started toward the door.
Steve snorted, and Danny smiled. "Ask my folks, youíll see."
"Oh, I intend to. And Iím sure their answer will not be that!"
"Guess weíll have to wait and see."
"Not too much longer," Steve pointed out. "I wonder if they brought pictures..."
Danny snorted at that as they climbed into his car. "Somehow I doubt it."
"Iím a nice guy. Iím sure theyíll send me some if I ask."
"Youíre a nice guy?" Danny asked, glancing at Steve as his eyebrows rose.
"Iím a very nice guy. Just ask Grace."
Danny snorted again, steering them through the traffic and getting them to the airport just before his familyís flight was due in. "Should I remind you of names?" he asked as they walked toward the waiting area.
"Your parents are Greg and Linda; then thereís your brother Michael, his wife Jenny and their kids Robert and Michele and your sister Tricia." Steve grinned at him.
"Iíd applaud except I donít want to give you a swelled head," Danny said dryly.
"We can discuss that tonight after weíre alone."
"My applauding you?"
"And swelled heads."
"Thereís a shock," Danny chuckled as they reached the waiting area for arriving passengers.
"Iím a simple guy with simple pleasures."
"Please tell me you did not just call yourself simple."
"Do you prefer uncomplicated?"
"How about insane?"
"Nope, I can even provide psych evals that prove otherwise."
"Insane if you think I believe that youíre uncomplicated," Danny amended.
"Ah. But it sounded good." Steve grinned at him.
"To you maybe! I really donít need my family thinking Iím living with a madmanóeven though you are one."
"Iím assuming your family knows you, so theyíd know thatís what it would take to keep up with you," Steve retorted.
"Hello, sane one here," Danny said, pointing at himself as he scanned the incoming passengers for his family.
Steve snorted. "In what universe?"
"In any of them and you know it."
"Ha! If youíre an example of sanity, Iíll take insanity!"
"Hear, hear," a voice put in beside them, and both men turned to see Dannyís family grinning at them. The blond man whoíd spoken extended a hand to Steve. "Hi, Iím Mike. And you must be Steve."
"Nice to meet you," Steve said, shaking the offered hand while Danny was enveloped by hugs from his mother, father, sister, niece and nephew.
"I heard that," he called over the laughter.
"You were meant to!" Mike retorted, making Steve chuckle.
"I can see weíre going to get along great."
"Jenny," Danny groaned, speaking to his tall, brunette sister-in-law, "control him!"
"How much are you going to pay me?" she asked in return while the older blond who had been hugging Danny disentangled herself from him to come over to Steve, sizing him up with a single look.
"So, youíre the reason my baby likes Hawaii now, hmm?"
"Ma!" Danny groaned, hiding his face against his sisterís shoulder.
"I hope so, maíam," Steve replied, trying not to grin at Dannyís reaction. "I like him."
"Thatís not what Iíve heard," Linda Williams said, her blue eyes twinkling with humor as she stepped forward, reaching up to pull her younger sonís partner into a tight hug. "Iím glad; he needs someone other than Grace."
Steve nodded. "Yes, he does. And heís kind of stuck with me now."
"Lucky Danny," Tricia chuckled, the blue eyes identical to her baby brotherís taking Steve in.
"Aunt Tricia, do you like Uncle Dannyís boyfriend?" Mike and Jennyís eight-year-old daughter asked while their ten-year-old son made a face.
"You know," Danny said, making shooing motions with his hands as he tried to herd them all toward the baggage claim, "we really should go look for your luggage."
"You know weíre just going to have to wait for it to come out," his father pointed out, "but if it makes you happy, we can do that all gathered around the carousel. Donít think itís going to stop this family from finding out all about Steve though. You should know better, son."
Tricia looked over from where sheíd been explaining to her niece and nephew that yes, she liked Steve but not that way, and sheíd just been teasing their uncle Danny, to laugh. "You know Danny, Dad; he keeps trying even when itís hopeless."
"Which explains why I ended up with him," Danny said wryly though he was grinning at Steve as he spoke.
The whole family was watching for Steveís reaction, and they werenít disappointed when he leaned in to brush a light kiss over Dannyís lips.
"I guess itís a good thing I like impossible causes too then."
"You said that Mr. McGarrett was Uncle Dannyís boyfriend, but you didnít say that they would kiss, Dad!" Rob exclaimed.
"I think heís pretty!" Michele said, elbowing her brother in the side before Mike could step in between them.
"Hey, what did we say about that," he warned her before looking his son in the eyes. "And yes, theyíre going to kiss, deal, kiddo."
"Donít worry," Jenny murmured from Steveís side, "he said the same thing about Tricia and her last boyfriend as well."
"I think Iím more worried about being pretty," Steve replied softly, watching the family interaction with amusement.
"Sheís a little too young to be a real threat; once she sees Grace, sheíll be distracted."
"Iím not worried about her; Iím worried about how long itís going to be before Danny lets that go," Steve said wryly.
"Knowing Danny, Iíd give it at least a year," Greg mused from where he had come up beside them and was watching his children, grandchildren and wife all look for their luggage. "Heís a pit bull."
"Well, thatís better than I thought," Steve said. "I figured Grace might be in college before he gave it a rest."
"Donít worry; Iím sure heíll have moved on to something else by then," Greg said, the wrinkles around his light blue eyes deepening as he slapped Steve on the shoulder, causing Jenny to give him a wry grin.
"Welcome to the Williams family, you can tell they really love you when they all start insulting you."
"By that standard, it must have been love at first sight for Danny," Steve said wryly.
"Was that when you threw a guy in a shark cage?" Rob asked, having found the great luggage hunt boring and wandered back over to the others.
"Dannyís obsessed with that," Steve groaned. "The guy was perfectly safe. Tourists pay money to see sharks up close from inside cages like that. Huh, I should have charged him a fee for that," he mused, making Mike, whoíd followed his son over, laugh.
"Oh yeah, youíll be able to keep up with Danny."
"Just remember how you felt when people told me the same thing about you, dear," Jenny commented, her dark eyes sparkling at her husbandís sudden chagrin.
"Luggage is here!" Danny called, "Pack mules, ho!"
Mike and Steve exchanged a grin, but they joined Danny at the edge of the carousel, retrieving the familyís bags. Of course, once they had most of them, the last one didnít appear for several minutes more, making everyone grumble about the bizarre luggage handling process that allowed bags that were checked in together to come out separately.
"How are you doing?" Danny murmured as he stopped by Steveís side in the midst of the luggage-gathering while his father and brother went to collect the van they had rented for the time they were here.
"Iím good," Steve assured him. "Your familyís about what I expected from knowing you. Theyíre good people."
Instead of getting his back up, Danny just smiled. "Yeah, they are. My mother thinks youíre adorable, and Tricia says if I decide I donít want you, she has next dibs."
Steve chuckled. "Well, your sister is pretty hot. Maybe I should throw you over for her."
"Do that and my mother wonít think youíre adorable anymore."
"Good point. I guess Iíll just have to keep you then." Steve slid an arm around Dannyís waist.
"Are you calling me a kept man?" Danny asked even as he would his arm around Steveís waist as well, feeling the back of his neck heat when he saw his mother looking at them and beaming.
"Hell no, you can earn your own keep," Steve snorted.
"I am, however, willing to cook for you on occasion."
"That I can live with." Danny tightened the arm he had around Steveís waist even as he looked over at his niece and nephew, who had started bickering. "And I think we need to get them all out of here soon before exhaustion meltdown occurs. I figured Iíd drive them; you mind following?"
"No problem. You taking them to the house they rented first or straight to our place?"
"To their place, itís almost eleven their time, and theyíve been travelling all day; I think they need to collapse."
Steve nodded. "We can have them over tomorrow, and Grace can see them then too."
"Exactly." Danny looked over when his father waved, and he started them walking in that direction, getting everyone moving toward the exit and out to the rental lot to collect the van.
They finally got everyone settled and all the vast mountain of luggage stowed, and Steve said a quick goodbye before heading back to the car.
"Heís very different from Rachel," Linda observed once her sonís partner had left them.
"Do you mean genetically or personality wise because the answer is yes to both," Danny answered before wincing when his mother smacked his ear. "Ma!"
"Donít sass me," she warned. "Iím well aware that Steve is a man, and donít think that didnít take us by surprise. But he seems a good man."
"And hot!" Tricia put in from the back seat, grinning when she met Dannyís eyes in the mirror.
"Hush, Tricia," her mother warned her.
"Are you in love with this man, Daniel Patrick Williams?"
Dannyís expression grew somewhat hunted before he drew in a deep breath and nodded. "Yeah, I am. I think I was before I even realized it, or I wouldnít have had Grace around him as much as I did."
"Awww, thatís sweet," Tricia and Jenny said in chorus while Michele muttered sleepily that she wanted to see Grace.
"Tomorrow, sweetie," her mother promised her.
"And Grace likes him?" Linda continued relentlessly.
"Grace loves him, and heíd lay down his life for her," he said simply, catching his fatherís nod out of the corner of his eye.
"All right then." Linda nodded. "Iím happy for you, Danny."
"Thanks, Mom, I appreciate it."
She leaned forward to squeeze his shoulder. "You deserve to be happy. Rachel was never the right one for you."
Danny shrugged at that as he pulled out onto the Queen Liliuokalani Freeway. "Youíre right, but without her I wouldnít have Grace."
His mother started to answer, but his father looked back. "Linda, heís grown up; they all are."
"Yeah, Ma," Mike chuckled, "work on Tricia."
"Well, you are the only one whoís single," Mike pointed out cheerfully. "And who hasnít given Ma grandbabies."
"Danny isnít going to give her any more either!" she protested.
"Already gave her one," he pointed out as he steered the passenger van through the evening traffic.
"And Steve doesnít have any kids," Jenny pointed out. "They might decide to go the route of using a surrogate or adopting. Gay couples have kids all the time nowadays."
Danny groaned at that. "Do me a favor, Jen, donít mention that to Steve, okay?"
"Theyíre still honeymooners; thereís plenty of time for that," Linda nodded.
"Sure, Mom," Jenny said obediently before laughing. "Are you afraid that he will or wonít want kids, Danny?"
"Weíre both on the governorís task force; just who is staying home with a baby?"
"They have these things called babysitters or even nannies, baby bro," Tricia informed him.
"Are you and Steve going to have a baby, Uncle Danny?" Michele yawned.
"Theyíre both guys; they canít have a baby," Rob retorted immediately, starting a shoving match between the two of them that effectively put an end to the conversation as their parents dealt with itómuch to Dannyís relief.
"Youíre looking a little hunted," Steve observed quietly to Danny once theyíd arrived at the house the Williams had rented and they had a brief moment as they started hauling the luggage out of the van while the rest of the family got the kids inside and took a quick look around to decide who was sleeping where.
"You donít want to know, really you donít; itís a lot safer that way," Danny promised.
Steve decided that he really didnít want to know and nodded. "Right, should we start hauling all this inside?"
"Mike and Jenny are getting the kids to bed," Tricia said as they came inside, both burdened with various suitcases. "Iíll take their bags back." She plucked two large duffle bags from the pile and carried them toward the back of the house.
"Thank you for stocking the fridge," Linda called from the kitchen where she was examining the contents she found there.
"And for getting the beer," Greg added.
"Thereís good coffee too," Steve told them. "We wanted to make sure youíd have everything you needed for morning."
"Though I think our morning is going to come a lot sooner than yours," Linda sighed as she sat in one of the chairs around the kitchen table. "I have the feeling that Iím going to be up at what I think is six but really is one here."
"Hereís hoping the kids donít have that problem," Mike said as he, Jen and Tricia came into the kitchen as well, the women dropping into chairs by Linda.
"I bet you all sleep later than you think you will," Danny promised.
"The jet lag will hit you," Steve agreed. "But you have plenty of time to see the island and Grace and Danny."
"Weíre looking forward to it, and to getting to know you, Steve," Linda beamed, before hiding a yawn.
"I think itís time to put Mom to bed too," Mike chuckled.
"It was a pleasure to meet you all," Steve said, smiling at them. "Iíll be out in the car, Danny," he said, giving him some time alone with his family if he wanted it.
"Chicken," Danny muttered under his breath even as his mother, sister and sister-in-law all drew Steve in for hugs and his father and brother shook hands with him then did the same to Danny.
"Iím being a nice guy," Steve protested with a grin.
The look on Dannyís face said exactly what he thought of that statement, and his family was laughing when they said good night and walked the couple to the door, promising theyíd call in the morning once everyone was up and functioning.
"Well, that wasnít so bad," Steve said as he pulled out of the driveway, glancing at Danny as he did.
Danny looked over at him, his eyebrows apparently trying to find cover in his hairline. "You didnít ride in the van with them."
"Oh, come on, it couldnít have been that bad."
"Would you like to adopt or have a surrogate have our child?"
Steveís head whipped around, and he almost drove off the road into a ditch before he wrenched the car straight again. "Okay, yeah, so maybe it was that bad," he said after a moment. "So, uh, what did you say?"
"What do you think I said?" Danny asked. "I pawned Mom off on Tricia."
"Good strategy," Steve approved fervently. "Good God, you have Grace; isnít that enough for now?"
The sound Danny made was an almost pitying laugh. "Steve, she wasnít thinking about me, she was thinking about usóor the part of us that doesnít have a kid."
Steve swallowed hard. "But youíre their son, brother, whatever. Why would they care if I have a child?" he demanded almost piteously.
"My best guess is that they like you. Ma didnít start in on Rachel and me for a couple of years after we got married; you donít even make it an hour. Oh, and apparently youíre better for me than Rachel ever was too."
"Uh... good?" Steve sounded almost faint, and he had a white-knuckled grip on the steering wheel with both hands.
"What? Youíd rather they hate you? Donít worry, theyíll be so busy while theyíre here that they wonít think about it."
"Right." Steve thought about it and decided not to ignore the elephant in the room. "Danny? When did we get married?"
"What the hell are you talking about?" Danny asked.
"Your family is interested in us having kids. It took two years after you and Rachel married but same day for me. Iím better for you than Rachel is." Steve listed the various comments that had contributed to his death grip on the steering wheel.
"Shit," Danny groaned, his complexion suddenly looking rather paler than it had moments before. "I didnít mean we..." He waved a hand between them before rubbing at the bridge of his nose. "I meant, you know, it was the same day they met you. My mother just wants more grandchildren; she doesnít care how she gets them."
Steve took a deep breath and nodded, consciously relaxing his fingers. "Yeah, okay. And, well, Iím not completely opposed to the possibility of the idea someday, you know, just... weíre not there yet," he finished with a helpless shrug.
"Yeah, I think I got that."
Steve nodded silently, glancing at Danny. "So, any plans for tomorrow?"
"I was figuring on taking them to the beach or maybe to see the Pearl Harbor memorial; it depends on how tired they all are. Weíll get Grace after school lets out then head back to the house so the kids can have some time together."
"Sounds good. If Iím free, I might try to join you for Pearl. I like to pay my respects to my grandfather when I have the chance."
"How about we do the beach then tomorrow and go to the monument on Saturday; that way we can be sure you can come along. I donít think Grace has been to see it either."
"Iíd like that," Steve replied. He eyed Danny. "So, you going to show them how to surf?"
"Very funny, Steve."
He smirked. "You know Grace is going to want to."
"No one in the party is going to know how to surf, so sheís just going to have to wait, isnít she."
"What a mean dad," Steve said, shaking his head with mock sorrow.
"I put Huck Finnís father to shame," Danny nodded wryly.
"Hmm, I think that makes me Jim," Steve chuckled. "Does this mean I have to build a raft, or will my surfboard do?"
"Build a raft, definitely," Danny mused, "just donít take a volleyball with a face on it."
"Gee, thanks!" Steve exclaimed. "Though at least youíre not telling me to beware of a series of numbers."
"Wasnít that filmed somewhere out here?"
"Well, I donít think weíll see any polar bears, so we should be good; that show was really strange anyway."
"Yeah, it was. I tried watching a few episodes, but I couldnít get into it. Too much weirdness without any resolution for me."
"Had to be hard to keep up with anything, considering where you were."
Steve nodded. "Uh huh. And that was one show that you needed to keep up with if you wanted to watch it. Easier to find old reruns of Magnum P.I."
Danny snorted at that. "It figures."
Steve grinned. "It had a good location."
"I knew you were going to say that."
"One of these days, Iím going to get you to admit that you like it here."
"There are some things about it that I like," Danny allowed as Steve pulled into the driveway.
"Glad to hear it." After parking, Steve leaned over to kiss him, Danny sighing in pleasure as their tongues slid togetheróat least until the gearshift made itself known against his ribs, and he pulled back with a rueful laugh.
"Címon, letís head inside before the car cracks my ribs."
"Youíre accident prone," Steve chuckled. "Letís get you into bed where youíre safe from harm."
"Itís the company I keep," Danny said as he climbed out of the car and they headed into the house. "But donít you think that something to eat might be good before bed? I really donít want to wake up to find you chewing on the sheets."
"Why would I chew on sheets when I can chew on you?" Despite his laughing words, Steve headed for the kitchen since Danny was right, and unlike Dannyís family, neither of them was suffering from jetlag.
"You Army guys and your kinky ways," Danny sighed theatrically. "Tell you what; you behave and we can take a swim before bed."
"Navy!" Steve growled, trying not to laugh. "Fine, fine, Iíll be good, Dad."
"Do you really want me thinking about my father later?" As he spoke, Dannyís gaze grew sympathetic as he realized Steveís thoughts had to turn to his own father at that moment.
The blue eyes were distant for a moment before focusing on Danny again as Steve shrugged off the memories. "Iím sure I can keep your thoughts focused on me."
"And I can do the same," Danny promised as he looped an arm around Steveís waist, pulling him into a hug as they walked toward the kitchen. "Sandwiches work?"
"Dagwoods?" Steve suggested hopefully.
"Are you going to be able to float if you eat something that big?"
"Iíll just need to make sure to work it off." Steve leered at him.
"Oh damn, guess Iíd better eat as much so I can keep up with you," Danny laughed as they broke apart to start pulling ingredients out of the refrigerator and pantry, putting together plates loaded with sandwiches and potato chips which they ate, washing them down with bottles of icy beer.
"That was good," Steve groaned happily, getting up and stretching before carrying the plates over to the dishwasher. "Still up for a swim?"
"I think I could manage that," Danny allowed.
"You know youíre going to enjoy it."
"If some nocturnal denizen of the deep chews on my balls, you are not to say one word about my girly shriek, understand?" Danny warned as he dropped the beer bottles into the bag to be returned to the grocery store.
Steve laughed, "Donít worry, Danny; Iíll protect your balls. I donít share."
"Just so you know, the feeling is mutual."
"Iím relieved to hear it. Although, if we run into a hot merman..."
Danny smacked him on the back of the head as they walked back toward the master bedroom. "Nice, real nice."
"Youíve never fantasized about a threesome?"
"When I was a hormonal teenager maybe."
Steve grinned. "Well, we can revisit it if we run into that merman. Otherwise, I think a swim will do us."
"I get it, you have a thing for guys with fins," Danny nodded sagely as they changed.
"You gonna wear some for me?"
"No, I refuse to feed your fish fetish."
"How Ďbout my Danny fetish?"
"That doesnít come with finsóor pineapples."
"No, but I like what it does come with."
"Apparently, that would be you."
Steveís grin softened. "Yeah, it would be."
Danny pulled on his trunks, smiling as he did so. "Which means no mermen, fish fetish or not."
"I think I can live with that. A blond detective is plenty for me."
"Well, letís hope that Chin doesnít dye his hair."
Steve burst into laughter. "I think youíre safe. The cheekbones scare me."
"Wimp," Danny laughed. "Get changed unless youíre going out there bare-ass."
"No, I wouldnít want you to have to fight to keep me." Steve grinned at him.
"Yeah, me versus the mermen; I can kick their finned asses," Danny snorted.
"Mmm, a cage fight for my favors. I like the sound of this."
Danny rolled his eyes and shoved Steve toward the door.
"Hey, at least I have confidence that youíd win."
"You didnít say that before; you just liked the idea of me and your merman fighting over your ass."
"Well, I do. Itís hot. But it wouldnít be if I thought Iíd end up going home with anyone other than you."
"Even your fishy friend?" Danny asked as they walked outside.
"Especially my fishy friend," Steve assured him.
"Good, otherwise Iíd have to deliver him up as an all you can eat buffet at a sushi bar."
Steve laughed. "Youíre hot when youíre insanely jealous."
"Iím not the one with the hots for some genetically impossible mutant."
"Now youíre a genetically impossible mutant?"
Danny shook his head and pushed Steve toward the shore. "Swim. Now."
Laughing, Steve caught his hand, towing Danny behind him as he made his way down to the water.
"At least I donít have to worry about stepping on a bottle cap here," Danny muttered as they reached the water and Steve pulled him into the warm, lapping waves.
"No, definitely no bottle caps in my backyard."
"Good thing you rake your sand."
"Thatís me, the beachcomber."
"Yeah, right," Danny laughed, letting go of Steveís hand and diving under the water.
Chuckling as well, Steve dove in after him, both of them enjoying the swim as they played in the surf, Danny finally flopping to his back and floating, looking up at the star-flecked sky and giving a humming sigh as he relaxed.
"Nice view," Steve murmured, treading water next to him, the moonlight silvering his water-darkened hair as well as the rippling ocean.
Danny turned his head to the side, craning his neck slightly to keep the waves from lapping into his mouth. "Yeah, it is," he agreed, smiling easily as he studied the other man.
"Why do I get the feeling weíre not looking at the same thing?" Steve chuckled, letting himself drift a little closer.
"Because Iím not as obsessed with the ocean as you are?"
"Iím not looking at the ocean."
"Neither am I."
"Have you ever made out in the water?" Steve asked, his voice growing huskier as their bodies brushed together with the motion of the water.
"Not since Spring Break in college," Danny said, laughing quietly as he let his feet sink, bringing himself vertical in the water and hooking two fingers in the waist of Steveís bathing suit to bring him closer.
"I think thatís much too long to wait," Steve decided, leaning in to lick a rivulet of salt water from Dannyís neck.
"Not all of us are ducks," Danny muttered, though his voice grew husky even as he spoke, his knuckles brushing the firm expanse of Steveís stomach as he spoke.
"No feathers or webbed feet," Steve pointed out, a shudder rippling through him from the brief touch.
"Yeah, I noticed that. Good thing too, I really donít need to think about groping a duck."
"Iím relieved to hear it. That would just be too wrong."
Instead of answering, Danny pulled Steve in, tasting saltwater as he slowly explored the other manís mouth.
Steve made a soft sound that mingled pleasure, arousal and contentment in something weirdly like a catís purr, and his hands slid under the elastic of Dannyís trunks to curve over his buttocks, flexing against the pale skin beneath the clinging fabric.
Danny hummed his approval into Steveís mouth and arched in against him as he spanned Steveís back with his hands, sliding them down to his waist, his thumbs inscribing circles against Steveís skin.
Holding him close, Steve moved them into even shallower water until they were steady on their feet. He tugged at Dannyís suit, wanting to feel skin on skin.
"You lose that thing and make me run bare-assed back to the house, and Iím going to kill you," Danny growled even as he tugged at Steveís trunks as well and bit at the side of his neck.
"Whoís going to see us here?" Steve scoffed, his nails digging in briefly when Danny bit him.
"You do have neighbors."
"Screw the neighbors."
"You have seen your neighbors, havenít you?" Danny asked before moving to the other side of Steveís neck, his teeth leaving shallow indentations against the warm, salty flesh.
"I didnít mean literally," Steve protested. "For that youíre limited to me."
"Good," Danny murmured against his throat, "not into sharing."
"Right, no mermen." Steve groaned and pulled Danny closer, rocking against him as Danny pushed his hands beneath Steveís trunks, shoving them aside so that there wasnít anything in between them.
"Want you," Steve panted, a hand fisting in Dannyís blond hair while his own head fell back, baring his throat to Danny.
"No lube. Canít fuck. Plenty of other things to do," Danny panted as they ground together, his cock rubbing against Steveís thigh as he felt Steveís cock grinding into his stomach, the difference in their height making their positioning tricky.
"Can fuck when we get back to house... for round two," Steve agreed breathlessly. He clutched Dannyís ass, kneading the firm globes and pulling him up as Steve leaned down, bending his knees slightly so that their cocks rubbed together.
"Works by me," Danny grunted, his fingers digging into Steveís back as they moved together.
"Damn, you feel good," Steve groaned.
"Feel like I need a damn stool," Danny grumbled.
Steve tried, but he couldnít prevent himself from laughing. "Good things come in small packages."
Danny froze and stared at him. "Talk about breaking the mood!"
"It was a compliment," Steve protested, rocking against Danny in hopes of distracting him.
"Not a compliment!"
Seeing that he wasnít going to win, Steve went for distraction, pressing a fingertip against Dannyís hole, Danny pressing a knuckle under his ribcage in retaliation.
"No lube, stick to rubbing."
"No sense of adventure," Steve sighed, relaxing the pressure so that his fingertips were simply brushing over the tight muscle.
"You want adventure, we could try it the other way," Danny grumbled even as he squirmed against Steveís touch.
Steve chuckled. "It would be far from the first time Iíve fucked with nothing more than spit or water as lube. But I wonít push your boundaries... yet." He smirked just before his teeth closed on Dannyís lower lip and tugged gently.
"We are in civilized society!" Danny groused though his speech was mangled by his stretched out lip.
"Danny, if you think fuckingís civilized, you havenít been paying attention," Steve chuckled, releasing Dannyís lip. He dropped to his knees, the water lapping just below his chin, and grinned up at the blond briefly. An instant later, he ducked under the water, and the wet heat of his mouth enclosed Dannyís cock.
Danny groaned, his hands clenching in Steveís hair as he braced his feet against the shifting sand of the ocean flood. Steve demonstrated that SEALs really did have superior lung capacity as he continued suckling on Danny long after most people would have had to come up for air, and when he finally did, clever fingers wrapped around Danny, exploring every sensitive inch of him.
"Have to turn everything into a power issue," Danny gasped as he groped his way around Steveís body even as he felt himself losing his grasp because of the sensation of Steve moving against him.
"Just having fun," Steve told him before ducking down to suck him again.
"Freaking SEALs," Danny groaned as he spread his legs, arching against Steveís mouth, the heat of his body and the salt water swirling around him.
"Okay," Steve panted the next time he surfaced. "Letís move this a few feet closer to shore so I donít have to keep stopping."
"You mean that youíre telling me that you canít hold your breath that long?" Danny chuckled even as they moved toward the shallows.
"Danny, much as I enjoy this, Iíd rather it wasnít my last action in this life."
"Then maybe we should go back to the house so our bare asses arenít hanging out in the air."
"And we have lube there too," Steve pointed out, getting to his feet.
"Of course there is that shower outside..." Danny mused, stepping back to pull up his trunks.
"I like the way you think. You know, I could have made a SEAL of you."
"Iím a cop, not a military brat," Danny pointed out as they headed for the house.
"I wasnít a military brat either," Steve retorted. "My dad was a cop who lived right here in this house, in case youíve forgotten."
"You went to Annapolis and did the whole intelligence, SEAL route; no matter what your father did, youíre a military brat."
"Yes, Danny," Steve said, having long since realized that it was pointless to argue facts with Danny once the other man had made up his mind. "Shut up and march so this former SEAL can finish blowing you and then fuck you through the mattress. Unless youíd rather fuck me," he added after a momentís consideration.
"If you blow me, how the hell can I fuck you?" Danny asked, sounding incredulous.
The look Steve gave him clearly said, "Idiot!"
"Obviously, I wouldnít blow you if you wanted to fuck me," he said, sounding like he was talking to someone not quite bright. "Though since youíre too delicate to deal with just water and weíre heading for the shower, for now, itís a blowjob."
"You are such an ass," Danny muttered as they reached the outside shower enclosure, and he tugged at Steveís bathing suit. "Remind me why I love you again?"
"íCause Iím a great guy," Steve informed him cheerfully. "And maybe because I love you too."
"Iíll agree with one of those."
Steve laughed. "In the interest of harmonious relationsóand shower sexóIíll take it."
Danny shook his head and pushed Steve behind the rattan shower stall as he turned on the water. "Why does that not surprise me?" he asked as he crowded up against Steve.
"Because youíre a guy too. Sex trumps almost anything."
"And here I thought that guns topped sex for you."
"Depends on who the sex is with."
"Just who is here with you?" Danny asked, palming Steve through the fabric of his trunks.
"And that would be why it tops guns."
Danny smiled at that and shoved Steveís bathing suit down so that it caught around his knees. "Glad to hear it."
Steve hooked an arm around Dannyís waist and pulled him close at the same time as he stepped free of his trunks and kicked them aside. "Like you didnít already know."
"True," Danny chuckled as he dropped to his knees and inhaled Steveís cock, delving past the taste of the sea to find his individual flavor.
"Oh damn," Steve breathed almost prayerfully. He combed one hand through Dannyís wet blond hair, not trying to guide him but needing to hold on.
Danny hummed his apparent agreement around Steveís length as he rested one hand on Steveís hip, the other rising to play with his balls. Steve moaned and a tremor wracked his body, only the hand pressed against the wall of the enclosure keeping him from folding over Danny as the other man pulled back to lash the head of his cock with his tongue before diving in again, swallowing down his whole length.
"Okay, I guess you decided whoís fucking who," Steve got out before biting his lip to hold back a needy moan.
"Or you could blow me when Iím done here," Danny murmured, pulling back off of Steveís cock to speak before taking him in again.
"Whatever you want," Steve promised as his hips jerked.
The hand on Steveís hip tightened even as Danny rubbed a thumb over Steveís balls. Steve gasped and jerked again, starting a shallow rhythm in and out of Dannyís mouth, Danny stroking his tongue over the thick length, his cheeks hollowing with suction at each of Steveís thrusts. The hand on Dannyís head fisted in his hair, and Steve groaned his name as his body tightened, and the first spasm of his climax rippled through him.
Danny drank him down, only letting Steveís shaft fall from his mouth when the other man sagged against him, his breathing slowing.
Steve leaned against Danny, faint aftershocks of pleasure running through his body, and the hand still tangled in the blond hair flexed slightly in a caress.
"Much easier out of the water," Danny murmured, tilting his head back and smiling sensually up at Steve.
"Yes, Danny, whatever you say, Danny." Despite the smartass comment, Steveís expression was tender as he gazed down at Danny.
"Hey, not all of us have gills."
"You of all people know I donít have gills."
Danny chuckled as he slowly got to his feet, sliding his hands up Steveís body as he did so. "Good point."
As Danny stood, Steve leaned more heavily against him until they were pressed together along the full lengths of their bodies, Danny supporting most of Steveís weight.
"I could get used to these midnight swims," Steve murmured, nuzzling Dannyís throat, his head resting on the blondís shoulder.
"I think I need to get you inside; swimming and sex seem to combine to put you to sleep," Danny said as he slid his arms around Steveís waist, helping to keep him upright.
"Havenít you ever heard of enjoying the afterglow?" Steve grumbled, though he took more of his weight on his own feet as he straightened up and allowed Danny to lead him inside.
"I wasnít complaining; itís sort of cute like a big, able to kill you in more ways than you can count teddy bear."
"I am not a teddy bear!"
"So what cuddly thing would you compare yourself to?" Danny asked as they walked inside and he nudged Steve toward the stairs.
"Iím not cuddly!"
"Fine, dear, youíre a lean, mean, dangerous machine. Happy now?"
"Absolutely, glad we straightened that out." Steve stopped walking and held on to Danny so that he had to stop too, then pulled him close for a kiss.
"Glad to hear it," Danny mumbled against his mouth.
"And now we should get to the bedroom since I think itís your turn to end up not-cuddly."
"Unlike some people I could name, Iím secure enough in my masculinity to admit to being cuddly at certain times."
Steve chuckled. "A SEAL is never cuddly alone."
"That made no sense even in your post-coital state of mind."
Steve grinned at him. "You just canít keep up with my brilliant mind."
"I think we really need to get you to bed now," Danny said, shaking his head sadly.
"And whatíre you planning to do with me once we get there?"
"Tuck you in and give you a glass of warm milk for your delusions."
Steve stopped in his tracks and gave Danny a mutinous look, Danny raising his eyebrows in return.
"What happened to round two? Or in your case, one."
"Hey, I was just being considerate of your non-cuddly state of mind. If you passed out, I was going to go jerk off in the bathroom," Danny protested.
"Try it and youíll find yourself tied to the bed!"
Danny opened his mouth to argue, then seemed to think better of it and grinned. "Kinky."
"Well, you seemed to like doing it to me," Steve pointed out. "But I donít think we need to get that creative tonight."
"I could live with that."
"Glad we could come to an agreement." Steve started walking again.
"Amazing how that happens, isnít it?" They reached the master bedroom, and Danny pulled away so that he could skin out of his wet and now clammy bathing suit, tossing the damp fabric into the bathroom once he had it off.
"Mmm, one of these nights Iíll get you to go skinny dipping. You look good."
"What do you call what we were doing out there?" Danny asked incredulously. "I seem to recall a distinct lack of clothing for at least part of our time in the water."
"Skinny dipping involves the lack of suits at all," Steve retorted in the instant before he tumbled Danny onto the bed, ending up straddling the blond and grinning down at him.
"I reiterate my earlier comment: neighbors," Danny sighed even as he slid his hands up Steveís legs to his hips.
"Darkness," Steve retorted, his back arching slightly as he pressed down against Dannyís erection, Dannyís expression growing slightly unfocused as he flexed up against him.
"I love a challenge." Steve smirked at Danny as he leaned over, twisting to retrieve the lube and condoms from the drawer of the nightstand and drop them onto the bed beside Danny. "Iíll be glad when we get the results back."
"Me too." Danny sat up enough to drag his tongue over Steveís chest. "Maybe thatíll be our Christmas present."
"One night when Grace isnít here, under the Christmas tree," Steve mused, his fingers grabbing at Dannyís shoulders as his back arched.
Danny was silent as he licked his way over Steveís chest, his hands flexing on the other manís hips. "Yeah," he finally mumbled, "I think we could do that."
"Good. And do you think maybe you could fuck me tonight?" Steve asked in a near purr.
"If you want me to fuck you like this, youíre going to be doing most of the work."
The words had barely left Dannyís lips when Steve rolled them over, ending with him on his back, a smug smile on his face, and Danny on top of him.
"Why does this not surprise me?" Danny snorted, pushing up to his knees and reaching for the rubber, rolling it onto his cock. That done, he grabbed the lube and slicked up his fingers, pressing one into Steveís ass while he steadied Steveís knee with his free hand.
Steve tilted his hips to let Danny slip a little deeper inside him, the simple touch pulling a needy sound from him. The knee not being held by Danny drew up, opening him still more, and his eyes fell half shut as he let himself concentrate on Danny and the pleasure of his touch.
Danny nodded to himself as he added a second finger, crooking them and feeling the jolt that ran through Steveís body as they grazed his prostate. "Damn, you feel good," he whispered.
"You too," Steve replied breathlessly, his lust-darkened eyes locked on Dannyís.
In response, Danny twisted his fingers again, then pulled them back so that he could slick himself and press forward, sinking into the tight heat of Steveís body.
"I wish we could stay like this forever," Steve whispered, clenching his muscles to feel Danny even more.
"Mmm, that would be nice; impractical, but nice," Danny purred, finally giving into temptation and starting to move.
"Weíll just have to do it as often as we can then."
"I think we do that now." Danny finally began to move as he spoke, rocking in and out of Steveís body, the rhythm of his thrusts as slow and easy as the pace of the wavelets coming into shore outside.
"Good point," Steve agreed, enjoying the sensation of Danny inside him even if it was too soon for him to get hard again. His hands skimmed over the muscular shoulders and arms, feeling them flex as Danny moved above him.
Danny nodded, his gaze locked on Steveís as he continued to move, the muscles in his back and shoulders tightening as he strove to keep his strokes long and smooth, wanting to prolong his pleasure as long as possible.
Steve raised his head just enough to kiss Danny, his lips parting, inviting Danny to possess him this way as well, the other man immediately taking him up on the offer, his tongue sliding against Steveís, inhaling his flavor as his thrusts increased in pace. Steveís arms and legs wound around Danny, tightening with every thrust to draw Danny as deep as he could possibly go.
A muffled groan greeted that move, and Danny shuddered, driving inward and letting himself go, the spasms shaking his entire body as he came, his breath harsh against Steveís mouth, which curved in a smile. Steve slowly relaxed the tight grip he hand on Danny, letting his legs fall to the bed to entwine with Dannyís while he petted the blondís back lazily.
"I really hate having to move after sex," Danny muttered as he nuzzled the side of Steveís neck.
"So donít," Steve replied. "Thereís a trashcan next to the nightstand."
"Hrmm, good point, much easier when thereís only minimal mess."
"Yeah, well, Iím looking forward to getting very messy sometime soon. Weíll just plan ahead and have something to clean up with nearby."
Danny chuckled as he slowly pushed up and off of Steve, pulling off the rubber, knotting it and leaning over to toss it into the trash. "Should we get one of those baby wipe warmers?"
"No, you know if we did, your family would somehow find out and think we were having a kid," Steve snorted, pulling Danny back down against him, the other man groaning as he settled into place half on top of Steve.
"Iím locking this door when theyíre here."
"We all learn about Pearl Harbor in school," Mike mused, sitting on Steve and Dannyís porch, with the rest of the family around them and the children playing out back in the yard, "but seeing it... it really hits home."
Tricia nodded in agreement with her brother before looking over at Steve. "It was very sobering, thinking about all those young men who lost their livesóthough if I didnít know any better, I would have thought that tour guide had a crush on you, Steve."
Danny groaned at that, and Steve laughed, leaning over to pat him on the shoulder. "Donít worry, Iím not going to throw you over for him." While Danny was still glaring at him for that, he edged away, keeping a wary eye on his partner, and grinned at Tricia.
"Seamanís Mate McKay and I met a while back in the course of one of our cases, and unlike your brother here, he recognizes the innate superiority of a Navy SEAL."
"The innate superiority in filling everyoneís ears with bull," Danny snorted.
Steve shook his head sadly. "It must be difficult to be so out of touch with reality."
"If I am, itís because of all the head injuries Iíve gotten since I started working with you!"
The elder Williams glanced at each other at that, both fighting to hide smiles.
"Oh please. You have not had an excessive number of head injuries."
"Iíd say any kind of head injury was excessive," Linda pointed out, earning a grin from her younger son.
"But thereís nothing in there to hurt," Steve protested.
"He has a point," Mike mused, grinning at his kid brother.
"Great, two of you who are just alike," Danny groaned as he reached for his beer and leaned over the edge of the lanai to check on the kids below.
"Arenít you lucky?" Steve said, and Jenny snorted a laugh.
"You have my sympathy, Danny."
"I always knew that you were a very smart woman, Jen," he replied wryly, shaking his head.
"Donít encourage him," Steve pleaded laughingly. "He really doesnít need any."
"Something he gets from his father," Linda laughed.
"I canít deny it," Greg said with a shrug.
Steve grinned. "Well, if you survived it, so can I."
"If not, Iíd wonder about that Army training," Danny smirked.
"Navy!" Steve growled.
At his motherís curious glance, Danny shrugged. "Itís a thing we have."
"You two are cute," Tricia grinned.
Steve looked disgusted. "What is with women and that word?"
"Just smile and nod, Steve," Mike advised him, "itís easier that wayóhey!" He flinched when Jenny poked him in the side.
"You can tell Steveís never been married," Greg chuckled.
Danny shook his head at that as he looked down to where the kids were playing, checking on them again. "Thatís not what half the crooks in Hawaii think."
"Well, you do act like an old married couple," Tricia chuckled. She grinned at Steve. "And it is cute."
He sighed. "Iím never going to escape that, am I?"
Linda looked over at him, her expression full of good humor. "No, more than likely not."
Steve glanced at Danny. "Youíre lucky I think youíre worth it."
"Hey, at least I told my family about you!" Danny protested.
"I want to tell her in person!"
"Boys," Linda said sternly. "Donít fight. Danny, Steve will tell his sisteróI assume thatís who youíre arguing aboutówhen heís ready."
"Yes, Ma," Danny sighed.
"Iím going to tell her as soon as she gets here next week," Steve said.
"I can see wanting to share that news in person," Jenny said, defending him.
"Fine. Fine, he can tell her when he wants," Danny sighed though he grinned slightly as he glanced over at Steve.
Danny wasnít sure what woke him from his fitful doze, and he glanced over at the red numbers on the clock radio, frowning when he saw that it was after two and Steve wasnít home yet, which meant that he was still busy booking the thieves the team had caught that evening. Danny hadnít liked sitting out the investigation, but he was on vacation, and he had Grace, so that meant he had to.
The noise came again, and he frowned as he rolled out of bed, going to check on Grace to see if she had gotten up for something she needed. Leaving the lights off, he walked out into the hall, noting that Graceís door was pulled mostly shut. Wanting to check out the lower level and figuring that Steve must have gotten home, he headed for the stairs, padding downstairs in the dark and almost killing himself as he tripped over something on the floor.
"What the-" The lights flared on in the kitchen, and Danny looked over to see Steveís sister Mary staring at him.
"Wow." She looked him up and down, taking in the compactly muscular body. "Danny, right? Is there a reason youíre wandering around my brotherís house in the middle of the night wearing next to nothing?"
"Iím going to kill him," Danny muttered to himself as he fought the urge to move to stand behind the kitchen table as all he was wearing was a pair of boxers. "I thought you were coming in tomorrow?" he countered.
"I was on standby for an earlier flight and got it. So here I am. And here you are." She looked him over again. "I donít suppose youíre my early Christmas present?"
"Sorry, I think Steve might have a problem with that; we have this whole monogamy thing going on, and that cuts into it."
"What?" Mary exclaimed, her eyes wide with shock.
"Oh hell!" Steve arrived home just in time to hear that exchange, and he winced, knowing he was never going to hear the end of this from Danny. "I just wanted to tell you in person," he said on a sigh.
"Mary flew standby," Danny said as he shifted to cross his arms over his chest.
"You wanted to tell me that youíre gay?" Mary asked, staring at Steve.
"Bisexualís probably more accurate," he replied. "I still like woman. I just love Danny more."
Ignoring Steveís sister, Danny caught him by the front of his t-shirt and pulled him in for a kiss.
"Okay, you need to stop that because I refuse to think that something involving my brotherís hot!"
"Your brother is hot," Danny informed her without letting go of Steveís shirt.
"Yes, well, there are laws against me thinking so," Mary retorted, making Steve groan.
"Go away. And make sure you use your old room. Mineís Graceís now, and sheís asleep in it."
"My daughter," Danny clarified. "My seven-year-old daughter who doesnít need to be hearing any of this."
"I donít need to be hearing any of this," Steve muttered.
"Wow, a partner and a kid?" Mary looked dazed. "Anything else you need to share, Steve?"
"Nope, thatís it. Well, Dannyís family is here in Hawaii visiting, so youíll meet all of them tomorrow."
"How many is family?" Mary asked, looking from Steve to Danny.
"Two are kids," Steve offered in response to his sisterís slightly shell-shocked expression.
"Which makes three kids total," Danny added. "My mom will be over here early to start cooking."
"Theyíre looking forward to meeting you."
Mary glared at Steve at that. "You donít know how to use a phone?" she demanded.
"You could have called to say that you were coming in earlier," Danny pointed out in Steveís defense.
"I didnít know there was anyone else involved!"
"I just wanted to tell you in person," Steve protested. "Itís not like I have anyone else to tell."
Mary opened her mouth, then closed it again. "Iím glad you did."
Steve finally smiled, and she pulled him away from Danny to hug him. "Are you happy?" she asked, already knowing the answer, and when he nodded, she smiled. "Iím happy for you."
"You should be," Danny commented though he was grinning. "Iím a great catch."
"Donít encourage him," Steve begged.
"He makes you smile; I think that means heís a great catch," Mary mused, reaching up to tousle Steveís hair.
Steve groaned. "I have to live with him, you know."
"Itís nothing you didnít know," Danny pointed out.
Steve rolled his eyes. "Yes, Danny, whatever you say. Go to bed, Mary. The Williams clan really will be here early."
"And your brother has to explain to me how things went down at work tonight."
"Will I need earplugs?" Mary laughed as she headed for her suitcase, picked it up and headed upstairs.
Now that they were alone, Steve pulled Danny in for another kiss, his hands coming to rest on the blondís ass.
"Did you guys get everything settled?" Danny murmured against his lips. "Without getting anyone shot?"
"All settled and no one shot, sir," Steve reported. "Iím saving the exciting stuff for when you get back."
"Great, just great," Danny groaned.
Steve laughed. "Come on, letís get you back to bed. At least I hope thatís where you were and you didnít just strip down for my sister."
Danny snorted at that. "Oh yeah, I decided that one McGarrett wasnít enough; Iíd go for two."
"No, that would be insane."
Steve laughed. "Yeah, it would. So I guess Iíd better get you upstairs and make sure youíre not thinking of anyone but me."
"I could live with that," Danny laughed, sliding his arm around Steveís waist and starting him toward the stairs.
Noise downstairs woke Steve, and he cracked one eye open to peer blearily at the clock. "Tell me your mom isnít actually down in the kitchen cooking at seven A.M.," he groaned.
"Sheís cooking at seven A.M.," Danny yawned. "We should be glad it isnít fiveóand you didnít have to take her to the grocery store, so donít bitch."
Steve groaned and pulled a pillow over his head. "Itís too early!"
"This from the guy who gets up at sunrise to go swimming!" Bright laughter drifted up the stairs, and Danny chuckled. "And it sounds like Grace is up too. Go back to sleep, sleeping beauty; Iíll deal with the women-folk."
"No," Steve sighed, sitting up. "I need to introduce Mary to everyone, if sheís even up yet."
"She got in after two; do you think she will be?" Danny stood and stretched as he spoke, grabbing a pair of shorts and a t-shirt and pulling them on.
"Probably not," Steve admitted. "Sheís a pretty sound sleeper." He rubbed his head, trying to wake up. "Lemme get a shower, and Iíll be down."
"Donít take too long, or Iíll think youíre hiding up here."
"Donít tempt me," Steve muttered, pausing to kiss Danny good morning before continuing on to the bathroom to get ready to face the day.
"Wimp," Danny called after him before heading downstairs to greet his mother and daughter, who were mixing ingredients for stuffing.
The sight of two blond heads and one dark clustered around a bowl greeted Steve when he made it to the kitchen, and he grinned. "Is the turkey trying to make a break for freedom?"
"If it is, you can tackle it," Danny laughed as Grace hopped down off her chair to give Steve a hug and lead him over to the counter.
"You can help!"
"Good morning, Steve," Linda smiled. "Iíd hug you as well, but, well, you can see Iím a bit of a mess."
"Hi, Linda." Steve smiled at her, a hand on Graceís shoulder. "Oh, my sister arrived unexpectedly last night, so youíll be meeting her once she wakes up."
"So Danny told me," the older woman chuckled. "Iím sure she must be exhausted, so weíll try to keep it down."
"Donít worry about it," Steve said. "Usually, nothing short of a volcanic eruption can wake her." He gave Grace another squeeze on the shoulder before making his way to the coffee maker and pouring himself a cup, inhaling the aromatic vapor before taking the first mouthful.
"Hey, donít think that youíre getting out of helping," Danny laughed. "I didnít even get coffee before they wrangled me in."
"I work better when properly fueled," Steve informed him serenely, brandishing the mug before drinking more.
"You could share."
Steveís expression said that he was wondering about Dannyís intelligence again. "Why didnít you just get yourself a cup?"
"Because I put him to work," Linda cut in smoothly.
"Uh huh." Shaking his head, Steve poured a second cup of coffee, fixing it the way Danny preferred, and set it down where Danny could reach it.
"Linda?" He held up the coffee pot interrogatively.
"I could use a refill," she allowed while Danny headed for the sink to wash his hands then basically inhaled his coffee. "Just milk, please."
Steve prepared the coffee for her and handed her the cup. "Want more milk or juice, munchkin?"
"Can I have hot chocolate?" she asked, looking over at her father, who nodded from behind his own mug.
"I think we can manage that; if you check in the cupboard by the fridge, I think there are some of those mini-marshmallows you like as well."
While Grace went looking for the marshmallows, Steve poured some milk into a saucepan and put it on the stove to heat up. That taken care of, he got the cocoa and sugar out of the cupboard and set them next to the stove, ready to add once the milk warmed.
Once the cocoa was made and a mug poured for Grace, Linda declared it was time for breakfast and shooed them to the table while she started on omelets for the four of them.
"Donít argue with her," Danny muttered to Steve before feet thumped on the stairs and Mary poked her head into the kitchen.
"Do I smell cocoa? Hey, Danny, you didnít have to put on clothes for me."
Grace stared at the blond woman, then at her father, who appeared to be choking on his coffee.
Steve sounded tired as he made the introductions without looking up from his coffee. "Mare, Dannyís mother Linda and daughter Grace. Ladies, my sister Mary."
"Itís a pleasure to meet you, Mary," Linda said, taking pity on the embarrassed young woman. "Would you care for an omelet?"
"Steve made the cocoa," Grace informed her after a moment.
After a quick, sheepish smile and nod to Dannyís mother, Mary turned her attention to the little girl still regarding her curiously. "That must be really good cocoa then. Steve makes it the same way our mom always did."
"I thought she put pineapple in everything," Grace said seriously before she looked at her mug of cocoa suspiciously.
Steve gave Danny a dirty look. "No, munchkin, that was just your daddy being silly and trying to make a joke."
Mary looked from one to the other before shrugging and heading for the coffee pot.
"Is Steve right, Aunt Mary?" Grace asked, looking over at the woman. "íCause he really likes pineapple."
Maryís step paused slightly, but she was smiling when she turned to face Grace. "Yes, he does, but our mom didnít really. So I promise you that you wonít find any in your hot chocolate."
"Good." Dark eyes twinkled as Grace raised her mug to take another drink as her grandmother called for plates and they all started in on breakfast.
"Linda," Steve said, "that was an incredible meal. Could I convince you to dump Greg and run away with me?"
"So youíre throwing my son over for my wife?" Greg asked, sounding incredulousóthat is unless you caught the bright humor in his blue eyes.
"Linda can cook," Steve pointed out, trying to keep a straight face.
"So what do I get out of the deal?" Greg asked mildly while Chin looked over at Danny.
"So, are we going to be dealing with an assault charge here soon?"
"Nah," Danny said, shaking his head, "If Steve made a serious move on Mom, sheíd smack him with the turkey platter."
Steve was laughing, leaning against Dannyís shoulder. "I guess youíre stuck with me, Danno."
"After that, I might smack you with the turkey platter."
Tricia, who was sitting on the opposite side of Chin, shook her head as she laughed. "And you have to work with them every day? You have my sympathy!"
"Theyíre amusing most of the time. Kono gets a good laugh out of it."
"Itís better than a sit-com," Kono agreed, leaning forward to grin at Tricia.
"You should start a blog," Tricia laughed.
"No!" Danny said quickly, proving that heíd been listening.
"Definitely no," Steve agreed, glaring at Kono.
"Oh, I donít know," Mike commented, "Iíd read it."
"So would I," Jenny laughed, "itís good to keep up with family."
"Now I understand why Dannyís the way he is," Steve muttered.
"And what do you mean by that?" the man in question asked.
Steve just grinned at him. "You know I love you just the way you are."
Danny looked at him narrowly at that. "Please tell me you arenít going to start crooning Billy Joel at the dinner table."
"God no!" Steve looked appalled by the very idea, and Mary burst into laughter.
"Oh come on, Steve, you know you want to."
"Should we get the camcorder?" Tricia laughed, causing Danny to shake his head violently from side to side.
"And here I thought you enjoyed my singing in the shower," Steve said, regarding Danny with a mock mournful expression.
"Save me," Danny moaned when everyone else at the table burst into laughter.
"Youíre on your own," Mary told him heartlessly. "Heís all yours."
"You did bring your gun, right?" Ben muttered to Kono under the cover of the laughter that rose again.
"Youíre perfectly safe," Kono assured him with a chuckle. "Theyíre not dangerous."
"It makes them interesting."
"Iíll take your word on that."
Kono reached over and squeezed his hand. "If you can handle my family, you can handle these guys."
"Sure I can," Ben chuckled, "I know when to stand behind the woman with a gun."
She grinned. "Youíre doing better than my partners. They just charge ahead no matter what."
"Thatís because theyíre males," Tricia laughed, having overheard the last part.
Kono laughed out loud. "Yes, and Iím the only sane one against three of them."
"If youíre sane, weíre all in trouble," Steve snorted.
"She punched a guy for taking her wave," Danny pointed out though he was grinning at Kono as he spoke.
"Itís a serious offense here," she shrugged.
"I think it makes sense," Grace said.
"Just donít you go punching people, young lady," Greg ordered his granddaughter with a wink.
"Only in training, Grandpa," Grace assured him solemnly.
"Grace gets to hit people?" Rob demanded. "Dad! You said I couldnít do that!"
"Sheís taking lessons," Steve explained. "And she knows better than to use them against people outside of class."
"Itís no fair," Michele pouted, "she gets to surf and hit people."
"And you get to ride ponies," Jenny reminded her.
"And you get to have snowball fights and go skating," Grace added. "We can only skate inside here."
"The Ice Palace is not real skating," Danny announced loudly.
"It felt real enough every time I fell," Mary grumbled, making Steve laugh.
"Mary and ice skating will never be a good combination."
"I can go with you if you want," Grace offered, looking over at Mary.
"How Ďbout we stick to surfing instead?" Mary suggested hastily.
"You surf?" Grace beamed as she asked the question, and Danny groaned to himself.
Mary laughed. "I grew up here, kiddo. Everyone surfs."
"Maybe we can go before you leave."
"That would be great. Maybe I could get some pointers, Kono?" Mary asked, proving that she knew who the other woman was in the surfing world.
"As long as you donít mean now," Kono laughed, "Iíd sink if I wiped out!"
"I think we all would," Steve agreed with a chuckle. "Weíll stay on dry land today."
"Youíd better," Linda pointed out, "someone has to do the dishes."
"Hey," Danny protested, "Steve, Grace and I helped cook!"
"Which gives you a pass on washing, but not on cleaning up," his mother informed him firmly.
"You do have a dishwasher, right, Steve?" Jenny asked, craning her neck to look toward the kitchen.
"Of course I have a dishwasher; itís not the Dark Ages," Steve replied, shaking his head. "And Mary is very familiar with how it works."
Mary stuck her tongue out at her brother.
"Daddy, how come Aunt Mary can do that and I canít?" Grace demanded.
"Because sheís an adult and you arenít."
"Thatís just what Mom and Dad say!" Robert exclaimed.
"Itís a parent thing," Steve laughed. "My dad used to say the same thing to me when I was your age."
"And to me," Mary agreed.
All three of the Williamsí children looked toward their parents, causing Greg and Linda to laugh and hold up their hands in surrender.
"See, itís not just you," Steve told the kids. "Someday itíll be your kids saying that, and youíll be laughing."
All three of the children wrinkled their noses at that point, making disgusted faces.
"Give it time," Tricia advised.
"Breathe, Danny," Steve suggested, grinning at the blond who was still trying to get past the idea of Grace with children of her own.
"I need a beer." Danny shook his head as he stood and started gathering up plates, everyone else at the table standing to help after him.
"You can have one after we clean up," Linda informed him. "Youíre not getting out of it that easily."
"Does anyone want coffee?" Steve asked as he carried the leftover turkey back into the kitchen. "I can put on a pot."
"Iíd love some," Linda said before she headed into the living room to relax with the kids.
"I guess Iím making coffee," Steve murmured to Danny, looking amused. He busied himself with that and putting away the leftovers with Mary and Dannyís help while the others loaded the dishwasher and washed up the few things that had to be done by hand.
It wasnít long before they were all in the living room, relaxing with coffee, beer or liqueurs, as they preferred, with football playing on the television.
"Not bad, huh?" Danny murmured to Steve as he glanced down at Grace, who was curled up between them.
"I could get used to this," Steve replied, reaching over to lace his fingers through Dannyís.
"Considering that youíre stuck with us, I would hope so."
"Yeah, it works out pretty well for me."
"I hate to say this, Steve, but youíre really cute as a family man," Mary murmured as she walked behind them and ruffled Steveís hair.
"I am not cute!" he growled. "But a family man..." He paused, looking at Grace and Danny. "Yeah, thatís good."
Maryís hand dropped to his shoulder, and she gave a gentle squeeze. "Iím happy for you."
"Thanks, Mare. And you know youíre part of it too."
"Thanks, we never had that, you know, and I wish we had."
Steve nodded. "I hope you find it too, Mary. When you least expect it," he added with a wry glance at Danny.
"Iím feeling that enthusiasm," Danny muttered, though he grinned up at Mary.
"We met at gunpoint," Steve pointed out. "I wasnít looking for love in my dadís garage."
"I really donít need to think about you getting it on over the hood of Dadís car," Mary groaned while Danny looked up at her.
"Little ears," he muttered.
"At least youíre not yanking my head around this time, Daddy," Grace said with a sigh while Steve tried to smother his laughter. Kono and Chin didnít bother, both snickering.
"Earplugs, definitely getting you earplugs," Danny sighed.
"It doesnít work," Mike called over to him.
"We gave up trying by the time Mike was Graceís age, never mind Tricia or you," Linda added with a chuckle. "Itís easier on your nerves, and you canít control the rest of the world anyways."
"Tell that to Steve," Danny protested.
"I donít cover Graceís ears!"
"Maybe not, but you want to control the rest of the world!"
"Give me some time and I will."
"Give it up, Danny," Mary advised. "Heís always been like that, and heíll never change."
"We like him that way," Grace piped up before reaching over to pat Steveís hand.
"Thanks, Grace." He smiled at her, clearly content with his life and his family.
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