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12 July 2012 @ 08:55 pm
BPBB - Tidbits and Breadcrumbs  

Title: Tidbits and Breadcrumbs part 1

Series: Bulletproof Baby Blankets

Rating: G to R (any NC-17 chapters will be marked although I'm not sure there will be any explicit sexy times)

Pairing(s)/Character(s): Steve/Danny and their ohana

Summary:  All of these ficklest are related to the Bulletproof Baby Blanket Universe. I'm writing them for H50Land Comm Big Bang. I'll add to them as inspiration strikes. They aren't fully chapters as much as musings. Some of this and some of that. (Prompts are from an H50 Bingo Card I got quite a while ago.)  Does this make any sense?

Warnings/Notes: None except muses on the loose. These won't be in any particular order.

Part 2 is here




Go the Distance

“Lieutenant,” Steve barked. His voice sounded rough, used, like it hurt for him to talk.

“Yes sir,” Danny said from where he stood beside the bed. Where Steve had been laying for the past two days in and out of consciousness. He handed the Commander a cup of cool water which he drank after peering into it.

“Why are all these civilians in the zone?” Steve demanded, trying to focus on the three unfamiliar shapes looming over him.

“This is a medic, sir,” Danny said, his hand brown against the white sleeve he was touching. “She needs to check you over. Make sure your wounds aren’t festering.”

“I’m wounded?” Steve asked, looking down at his body above where the covers started. He didn’t see any dressing, didn’t feel the customary pull of stitches.

“You were shot, Commander,” a gentle female voice said. Did she report to him? There were no female SEALs. What game was she playing at?

“Lieutenant,” Steve said, looking for the short one with blond hair.

“Sir,” Danny responded making sure Steve could see him.

“Who is this?” Steve asked in a quieter voice but no less hard.

“The doctor,” Danny said in a reassuring tone.

“Doctor. I’m in the hospital?” Steve asked, straining to look around him. It didn’t smell, look or sound like a hospital. It seemed to be someone’s house.

“No sir,” Danny said. “You’re in…my house.”

“Your house,” Steve said, frowning. “You don’t have a house in the zone.”

“We aren’t in the zone any longer,” Danny explained. “We came home.”

“Home,” Steve repeated, again trying to focus on the others watching him. They were probably under orders to guard him. But whose orders? That was the problem. “Did we accomplish the mission?”

“We did,” Danny confirmed. “You were shot as we were… cleaning up.”

“Where? Where was I shot?” Steve asked. “I don’t have any bandages.”

“Here, babe,” Danny said, moving the covers aside to show him the white cloth over his entire right thigh.

“Babe,” Steve repeated in a dangerous tone.

“Sir,” Danny amended. “Apologies, Commander.”

Steve stared at him before looking down to consider his thigh which was tightly wrapped. “Infected?”

“Yes sir,” the female replied. “You have a fever as a result. I need to take some blood and you need to take your medication.”

“How do I know you didn’t give me something to make me sick?” Steve asked, staring at her.

“I’m a doctor, Commander. It’s my job to help,” she said gently. If she was rattled by his accusation, she showed no sign of it.

“Who are you?” he asked the man and woman standing behind her. They looked familiar but he didn’t know any of them except his Lieutenant.

“I’m Chin,” he said, taking a step closer. “A friend from here at home.”

“And I’m Kono,” the slender woman said. “Also a friend from here.”

Steve studied them before turning to Danny. “You cleared them?”

“Yes sir. They check out. They are friendlies. As is the doctor. If she says you need to take your medication, you do,” Danny said in a no nonsense tone.

“And you need to draw blood?” Steve asked her, daring her to lie to him.

“Yes,” she said. “I would allow Danny… Lieutenant Williams do it but he’s not trained.”

Steve nodded slowly. “Did you insert this IV?”

“I did,” she said. “Is it hurting you?”

“No,” he decided, looking at the needle taped to the inside of his arm. “When am I going to be released?”

“Not for several more days,” she said, swabbing his arm before inserting the needle for the blood.

“That’s unacceptable,” he told her. “We need to complete our mission We must go the distance.”

“We completed our mission, sir,” Danny said. “We neutralized the target. We withdrew to await new orders.”

“Why are you discussing this in front of civilians?” Steve asked him, clearly angry at Danny’s violation of the classified nature of their missions.

“They are aware, sir,” Danny told him. “They are undercover intelligence agents.” Danny had to shrug when Kono and Chin gave him sharp looks. He had to tell Steve something to get him to calm down.

“Agents,” Steve said, staring at them. “They don’t look like agents.”

“That’s what makes them so effective,” Malia told him as she covered over the puncture.

“Why are there pink princesses on this band aid?” Steve asked, frowning down at it like he could make them disappear by sheer force of will.

“I borrowed it from the children’s ward,” Malia told him. “I didn’t bring any others with me.”

“Children’s ward,” Steve repeated. “You said we weren’t in the hospital.”

“We aren’t, sir,” Danny assured him. “She just left duty at the hospital.”

“You are dismissed,” Steve said to the other three.

“I’ll be dismissed as soon as you take your medication,” the doctor informed him, three pills cupped in her hand.

“What are these?” he asked, looking at them suspiciously.

“Anti-biotic and aspirin for the fever,” she said.

“The third?” he demanded.

She sighed softly, looking over at the blond lieutenant.

“It’s a pain pill, sir. You need to take it in order to sleep,” Danny explained.

“Absolutely not,” Steve said in refusal. “Unacceptable.”

“All right,” the doctor said, removing one of the tablets. Steve accepted the remaining two and a fresh cup of water from his lieutenant to wash them down.

“You may go,” he said. “Not you, Lieutenant,” he said when Danny started for the door.

“I need to brief them, sir. I’ll be right back.”

Steve considered his words for a moment before nodding in approval.

Danny went into the hallway with Malia, Chin and Kono, closing the door almost the entire way before leading them further away from it.

“I didn’t think it was this bad,” Malia said quietly.

“It’s been worse since he woke up,” Danny said. “At least he trusts me.”

“That’s a blessing,” Chin said. “What do you want us to do?”

“Can you stay out of sight? At least for now? I’m going to need to stay with him or he’s going to try to overthrow the neighbors.”

“Of course,” Chin said. “Anything you need, brah. You know that.”

“Yeah,” Danny said with a sigh. “You tell the Governor?”

“I did,” Kono agreed. “He said if there’s anything you need, just let us know and we’ll call.”

“I still think it would help if one of the Admirals would come and relieve him of duty,” Malia said.

“If he’s still like this tomorrow, I’ll let you call,” Danny agreed, turning toward the door when Steve called for him. “I’ll be right there, Commander,” he called back. “Can you go heat some broth? I don’t know if I’ll get him to drink it but I need to get something inside him.”

“Of course,” Chin agreed. “You better get back in there before he brings you up on charges.”

“He’s welcome to try,” Danny said. “Thank you all.”

“I need to get back,” Malia said with a gentle kiss to his cheek. “Call me any time.”

“I will,” Danny said, turning to reenter the bedroom. “Yes sir.”

“They’ve left?” Steve asked, staring over at the door.

“For now,” Danny said, sitting in a chair next to the bed. He didn’t particularly care that Steve was frowning at him for violating military protocol. He’d barely slept for the past three days since Steve forced his way out of the hospital. Danny thought in retrospect he had already been slipping into warrior mode and that’s why he wouldn’t stay in enemy territory. Danny had witnessed warrior mode once before and if he never had to live through it again, he’d be grateful.

“Where’s your wife?” Steve asked him, his eyes narrowed, a penetrating expression on his face.

Danny glanced down at his left hand where his wedding ring was gleaming against his tanned fingers. He didn’t know if he should point out the matching one Steve wore or not. “I… uhm… I don’t have a wife.”

“That’s a wedding ring,” Steve said in accusation, catching Danny in a blatant lie.

“It is,” Danny agreed. He picked up Steve’s left hand, showing him the identical ring he wore.

“What is this?” Steve asked, studying the unfamiliar band. “I’m married?”

“You are,” Danny said.

“I have a wife,” Steve said like it couldn’t possibly be true.

“No. You are married to me,” Danny said gently.

Steve stared at him before shaking his head. “I can’t be married to you. A subordinate. We would be court-martialed.”

“Don’t ask don’t tell was repealed. You don’t remember. There is no reason we shouldn’t be married,” Danny said sadly.

“I… are we in love?” Steve asked in the same hard tone he’d asked everything else.

“Very much so,” Danny said. “I’m not really in the Navy.”

“Explains your civilian attire,” Steve said. “Why did you lie to me?”

“I didn’t lie,” Danny said. “You believed I was your lieutenant. That was much easier than trying to explain that I’m in fact your husband.”

“Husband,” Steve repeated, looking at his wedding ring again. “I don’t believe you.”

“I’m not surprised, sir,” Danny said.

“What are our orders?” Steve asked, his left hand under the covers so the supposed wedding ring was no longer visible.

“We are to wait until you well. Then we will get new orders.”

“How can I trust you?” Steve asked, his jaw clinched.

“I don’t suppose you have any reason to,” Danny admitted. “Except you have since you woke up. What does your gut tell you?”

“That you are… you would not lie to me,” Steve said a little softer on the edges.

“There you are then,” Danny said. “I wouldn’t lie to you. I never have. I never will.”

Steve nodded at that, looking sharply over at the door when there was a knock. “Check for hostiles.”

“Of course,” Danny said, going over to the door. Chin was on the other side with a cup of broth which Danny accepted with his thanks. He returned to the bed intending to hand it to Steve.

“Who is Danno?” Steve asked as he studied the ring he’d been told was his wedding ring.

“I’m Danno,” Danny replied.

Danno loves you,” Steve read. “Danno.”

“Yes,” Danny said, taking off his ring and handing it to Steve. Inside his was Steve loves Danno.

“I should remember being married to you,” Steve said thoughtfully.

“You have a fever. You were shot. You have an infection. When these things happen, you go into warrior mode,” Danny said, trading his ring for the mug. “Drink this.”

“Is it safe?” Steve asked.

“Who is it you think is trying to poison you?”

“The hostiles,” Steve said before sniffing the broth.

“Chin made it. He’s not a hostile. He’s one of our closest friends.”

Steve continued to frown at the cup until Danny took it back and sipped from it. “There. If I’m not dead in 5 minutes, you know it’s safe.”

Steve frowned at him before sipping it then nodding. “Warrior mode?”

“Yes. It’s a matter of self-preservation. Your missions are classified but I can only imagine that there were times when you would have died if you hadn’t powered through.”

Steve nodded slowly. “How long have we been married?”

“Six months next week. This is our house.”

“It seems…familiar,” Steve said.

“What do you know for sure?” Danny asked wondering if it was a good idea. Steve knew who he was and had a vague idea who Danny was. He thought those were a win. But he didn’t recognize the house where he had grown up. Nor did he know Chin or Kono. Those two facts were almost more troubling than the fact that Steve didn’t remember being  married to Danny.

“That’s classified,” Steve said sternly.

“Let’s start with the easy stuff. Tell me your name.”

“Lieutenant Commander Steven J. McGarrett, US Navy SEALs.”

“You are in the reserves now,” Danny told him.

“That can’t be right,” Steve said.

“Where are you from originally?”

“Hawaii,” Steve said.

“Where do you think you are right now?”

“If you don’t know, I am not at liberty to tell you,” Steve said.

“I do know, you goof. I need to know if you know.”

“Goof?”

“Yes, you are my goof. Not my commanding officer.”

“If you aren’t a member of the Navy, I cannot discuss my location with you.”

“I’m right here too. I clearly know where I am. I’m not the one with a fever cooking his brains inside his thick skull,” Danny told him.

Steve looked at him, his head tilted. He didn’t look angry. Mostly he looked amused which did Danny’s heart a world of good to see. “Where are we?”

“We are in Hawaii. That’s where we live.”

“You’re not from Hawaii,” Steve informed him.

“No, I’m not. I’m from New Jersey. That’s where I was born. Now I’m from Hawaii. This is my home as long as you and Grace are here.”

“Grace,” Steve said with a soft sigh.

“You know who Grace is?” Danny asked.

“Not precisely. But the idea of her is comforting.”

“She’s my daughter. If you are feeling up to it, she’ll be coming over this weekend.”

“Your daughter? Not mine?” Steve asked.

“No. She’s mine from my previous marriage. We won’t discuss my ex-wife. I don’t want to make your blood boil as well as your brain.”

“Rachel is better than she used to be,” Steve said casually before frowning. “Rachel?”

“Never mind,” Danny said waving it away. “Some things surface faster than others. Finish your broth. Then you’ll need to get some sleep.”

Steve seemed resigned to doing as he was told, drinking the last of the warm broth before handing the cup to Danny. “You’ll stay?”

“Of course,” Danny promised. “I’m going to get some work done but I’m not leaving the bedroom. It’s completely safe for you to go to sleep.”

“That is acceptable,” Steve agreed, lowering himself in the bed. Careful of the IV, he turned on his side where he could see Danny in his chair.

Danny glanced up from his computer to smile at Steve who was watching him with heavy-lidded eyes. “What? Go to sleep already.”

Steve nodded but didn’t close his eyes, content to simply watch Danny working. “What are you doing?”

“Paperwork,” Danny said. “Something you abhor.”

“I do remember that,” Steve said.

“Not surprised as much as you hate it.”

“The medic…doctor,” Steve said but then stopped.

Danny could see the worry on his face. “Yeah?”

“Is there any reason to believe I will not fully recover my memory?” Steve finally asked in a carefully neutral tone. He could have been asking for the weather report for all the emotion he was displaying.

“You’ll be fine,” Danny assured him gently. “This isn’t the first time you’ve done this. It’s the fever. Once it breaks, you’ll be back to your ordinary cantankerous self.”

“Cantankerous,” Steve repeated.

“Yes,” Danny said. “Stubborn. Bull-headed.”

“Aren’t those the same?”

“Not when it comes to you. Bossy. Know-it-all.”

“If I’m so awful, why did you marry me?” Steve asked. It was clear he was teasing which was another excellent sign pointing toward his recovery.

“I ask myself that on a daily basis,” Danny claimed with a smile that negated his words.

“Because you love me.”

“Maybe. You can’t be sure,” Danny said, standing up long enough to kiss Steve’s overheated forehead. “Stop fighting it and go to sleep. I’ll be right here when you wake up.”

“Don’t you need to eat?”

“Someone will bring me something eventually. I’ll take it on faith it’s not poisoned,” Danny told him. “Do you want some water?”

Steve shook his head and finally closed his eyes. Danny would have resumed his seat but Steve had wrapped his hand around Danny’s forearm, not that Danny was surprised. Even when Steve didn’t know him, he wanted Danny close by.

Danny waited until he was absolutely sure Steve was asleep before slipping out of his grasp. That Steve didn’t wake reassured Danny that he wasn’t having fever dreams which were the worst.

~0~

“Danno?” a familiar voice was saying as he surfaced. He was cramped from sleep, a low throbbing in his head.

“Hey,” Danny said with a smile when he saw Steve watching him. “How are you feeling?”

“Better,” Steve decided. “Why were you sleeping in that chair?” he asked as Danny moved to sit on the edge of the bed.

“You know who I am?”

“Of course,” Steve said, frowning. “Why? What happened?”

“You were in warrior mode,” Danny said, soothing the wrinkles on Steve’s forehead.

“Not again,” Steve said with a sigh.

“Yeah. Who are Chin and Kono?” Steve told him, Danny nodding in approval. “Sam Denning?”

“The Governor. I’m fine, Danno, really,” Steve told him. “I’m sorry.”

“You have no reason to be,” Danny assured him. “Just don’t bring me up on charges for insubordination.”

“I promise,” Steve agreed, taking a deep breath. “Can you help me to the bathroom?”

“If you let me take most of your weight. You still have a bullet wound in your thigh.”

“Shit,” Steve said, looking down at his leg. “That must have hurt.”

“I’ll say,” Danny said, hoisting him up. Steve was leaning on him and the IV stand he had to roll along with them. “You need a shower,” Danny said, wrinkling his nose.

“I don’t think Malia would approve,” Steve said, letting Danny lower him onto the toilet.

“Probably not,” Danny agreed.

“I really need to brush my teeth.”

“That’s fine,” Danny agreed, coating his toothbrush and handing it to him. “You need to eat something.”

“Okay,” Steve said. “Is it night?”

“It is. It’s 2:30. I’ll run downstairs when you’re safe back in bed.”

Steve carefully brushed his teeth before spiting and rinsing. “I’m not going to stay awake long enough to eat.”

“All right,” Danny said. “You can take your medicine and go back to sleep.”

“Will you sleep with me?” Steve asked with giant puppy dog eyes.

“If you promise not to fight with me all night,” Danny said, hoisting him off the toilet and helping him back over to their bed.

“I’ll do my best,” Steve said, carefully getting back under the covers and waiting as Danny joined him after he took his medicine. Steve rolled onto his side, putting one arm on top of Danny, instantly asleep. Danny smiled at his goof and followed him into sleep.


---------------------------------------------------------

Another Cup of Coffee

“Here,” Danny said, putting a steaming cup at Steve’s elbow.

“What’s this?” Steve asked, looking down at it.

“I believe it’s known as coffee. At least that’s what we called it in Jersey,” Danny said with a smirk, leaning back against the edge of Steve’s desk, nearly close enough to touch Steve’s thigh with his own knee.

“I see it’s coffee, wise guy. Why are you bringing it to me?” Steve asked. He was looking up at Danny with his ever-changing eyes a dark green. Danny thought he looked more delicious than usual but decided this wasn’t the time or place to admit to his feelings. He was beginning to despair that there would never be an appropriate time or place to admit how he felt.

“To assuage my guilt,” Danny admitted.

“Assuage,” Steve repeated, rolling the word around on his tongue.

“Diminish, ease, lighten, mitigate, mollify.”

“I know what it means, Mr. Roget. Thank you.”

Danny shrugged, sipping his own coffee. “How’s the paperwork coming?”

“That’s what this is about,” Steve said in realization.

“Duh,” Danny said.

“You told me I had to do it myself this time,” Steve reminded him.

“Doesn’t make me feel less guilty about it,” Danny said, his words soft and sincere.

“You don’t have to do all of our paperwork, Danno. I told you that how many times?”

“Except when I do it, ‘shot a hole in the asshole’s boat because we didn’t care if we killed him’ becomes ‘prevented the suspect from fleeing’ and the charges stand a better chance of holding up in court.”

“Our conviction rate is just fine,” Steve told him firmly.

“Statistically speaking, it is 47.5% higher on those cases for which I do the paperwork,” Danny said.

“47.5%.”

“I had Jenna run the numbers,” Danny admitted. “So if you’ll buy me lunch, I will do your paperwork.”

“No,” Steve said, shaking his head. “I’m going to do it. And I’m going to do it right.”

“Fine,” Danny sighed. “Don’t submit it without showing it to me first, please.”

“Since you asked nicely, I’ll show it to you first,” Steve agreed with a smile that Danny tried telling himself did not, in fact, make his heart beat a little too fast.

“Thank you,” Danny said, leaving the office before he could say something that he couldn’t easily take back.


-----------------------------------------------------

Full disclosure 712 words

The full moon shining in the window dappled the ceiling with gold and black, shadows cast by the trees that provided shade to the bedroom. Steve watched the quiet swaying of the light and dark over his head and knew sleeping was, again, out of his reach.

How long had it been since he had last lay down, closed his eyes, and opened them again only when the full sun was streaming in to greet him? He couldn’t remember. Maybe sleeping was an illusion, a memory from a different lifetime, one in a world that made sense. His no longer did. He was back home, with a new team, a new purpose, and a heartache that he was certain would kill him if the person causing it didn’t do it first.

He’d broken the first rule of command. He’d fallen in love with one of his subordinates. How many times were they told during training that emotions had to be set aside for effective leadership? ‘Don’t let your heart hold sway over your head.’ That advice had been easy enough to follow in the Navy. Civilian life was a different case entirely.

And the reason for the sleepless nights with the accompanying self-doubt was a short, loud, discontented transplant who wanted nothing more than to escape back to ‘civilization.’ It hurt Steve when Danny disparaged his islands but not as much as the idea that Danny just might get fed up with tsunamis and jelly fish and sand in all the wrong places and flee back to the mainland. But as long as Grace was in Hawaii, Danny would be. At least Steve could count on that. He didn’t know what else he could actually count on. Those truths he once could count as certain had been slipping away little by little.

Where did that leave him? He needed to consider this situation as though it was a strategic op. What was the optimal outcome? Could he admit to himself that his greatest hope was that Danny’s heart would lead him to Steve as Steve’s heart had led him to Danny? Alone in his bed in the middle of the still night, he could almost allow himself to have those thoughts. That if the plans were made carefully enough and the steps untaken with sufficient skill, he would have Danny’s heart.

How could he go about capturing Danny’s attention and hope that his heart would follow? Grace was already in his camp. The affection he felt for that little girl was genuine and enduring. He automatically discarded any strategy that used Grace as a pawn. No, that was untenable.

He and Danny already spent most of their time together. Where was the key to turning the inevitable into the intentional? How did he make Danny understand that he wanted to be with him all the time, that Steve was not beside Danny solely because of the job? He’d never had trouble attracting attention or companionship. But he was usually the one being hit on. Had he forgotten how to successfully hit on someone he was interested in? What were the key steps in the Successfully Seduce Danny strategy?

He could ask Danny to dinner. Except they ate almost all their meals together. He could invite Danny over but that too was commonplace. He could suggest a hike but their last attempt at seeing the petroglyphs hadn’t turned out the way Steve planned. He could… well – what was left? After eating, coming over, sharing an experience, what could he try?

Steve took a deep breath and gave up pretending he’d be able to go back to sleep. Instead he went down and out onto his beach, admiring the giant moon taking up so much of the sky. Seemed appropriate while he was mooning over Danny.

‘Look at it logically,’ a voice inside his head advised. ‘What would you want if he was trying to attract your attention?’ Honesty had always been Steve’s default. Was that what he had been missing? Telling Danny how he felt? But what if Danny didn’t have the same feelings? “Well,” Steve told the moon. “Only one way to find out.”

The moon shone in approval on Steve’s decision until he faded out with the rising of the sun. 


---------------------------------------------------------------
Explosive/ Big bang 1216 words

“Come on, John. We’re going to be late,” Danny called down the hallway. Why couldn’t the kids just be ready when they asked them to be? This was the third Independence Day since Steve had been elected Governor. Surely they knew by now that they had to get to Pearl in the next 45 minutes if the ceremony had any chance of starting on time. Danny wasn’t sure where Emma was and had to take it on faith that she was ready to go. “John,” Danny yelled as he went down to the hall toward John’s room. “What is taking so long?”

Danny opened John’s door the rest of the way to find him hanging upside down from the twin bed where he usual slept, his bare feet in the air, his head invisible. “John? What are you doing?”

“I can’t find my slippahs,” John said, his voice muffled by his upside-down position.

“We have to leave in five minutes or we’re going to be late,” Danny said, coming closer to squat down to look under the bed. There were no flip flops there. All Danny saw was John’s upside-down head. “What about your closet?” Danny asked him.

John’s head disappeared and Danny straightened to see him getting off the bed. “I checked. They aren’t in there.”

“You need to find a pair of sneakers then. Please hurry up,” Danny said, leaving the bedroom to go down to Emma’s room. “Em?”

“Yeah?” Emma called from her bedroom.

“You ready?” Danny asked as he entered her room. She was sitting on the edge of her bed, her hair in a ponytail with a red ribbon holding it up.

“Yeah,” Emma agreed, coming around her bed to stand in front of Danny. “I’ve been ready.”

“All right,” he said, kissing her head. He looked down at her feet, pointing at her shoes. “Those are John’s.”

“Not any more,” she said with a giggle, leaving her room for the sitting room where Steve was waiting. “Hey Daddy.”

“Hey baby girl. What have you done with your brother and your father?” Steve asked.

“Don’t know,” she said, waving casually down the hall. She moved behind Steve when John emerged with his sneakers in his hand.

“Those are my slippahs,” John said, pointing down at Emma’s feet.

“We don’t have time to argue about this right now, Bud,” Danny said. “We need to leave so we aren’t late.”

“Why are you wearing John’s shoes?” Steve asked Emma, looking more closely at her feet.

She shrugged innocently and left the sitting room for the stairs.

“Why is she wearing your shoes?” Steve asked John.

“She left hers at the beach house,” John said with a frown.

“Oh,” Danny said. “Well. It doesn’t really matter. Come on. We can’t be late for the festivities.”

~0~

They made it to the reviewing stand at Pearl with 7 minutes to spare. They were all given their Independence Day leis of red and white flowers, blue ribbons woven through. Steve gave his speech, keeping it short because it was about the celebration, not him.

He sat between Danny and John, the high school band playing all the expected patriotic songs. Some of the cheerleaders were there to perform, Emma deciding she would rather sit with the family. It really was so much easier on the whole.

“When will they start?” John asked Danny, leaning closer to Steve to see his watch. “It’s been dark for 20 minutes already.”

“You sure are the impatient one,” Danny told him. “They’ll start when they start.”

“They’ll start when they start?” Steve repeated. “That barely makes sense.”

“Then tell your son to stop complaining,” Danny said, turning to listen to Emma.

“And then Leul told Dancy that Walkaen likes her but I said Leul likes her. You know, likes her likes her. But Dancy said it’s not true and anyway she doesn’t like Walkaen like that so it doesn’t matter what Leul said and she doesn’t want to go out with Leul either so I don’t know why she even cares or tells me what they tell her when she doesn’t even care.”

“Do I talk this much?” Danny whispered to Steve.

“All the time,” Steve said, his palm on Danny’s knee, a smile on his face.

“Who does Dancy like?” John asked Emma to the surprise of her fathers. They really didn’t think he had been listening.

“She says she doesn’t like anybody like that but I think she secretly likes Walkaen but she won’t admit it because she told me he’s cool and all but he isn’t someone she wants to go out with but I’m not even sure her mom and dad would let her got out with him even though he could take her to the back-to-school dance but who knows if he’ll still like her then it’s so far away and you know how it goes – you like somebody one day and don’t give a flip about them the next day. I’m thirsty.”

Danny laughed at that. “I’m not surprised. What do you want?”

“I don’t care,” she decided, looking over at the refreshment stand. “Coconut water.”

“I’ll go,” Henry said, standing up.

“You don’t have to,” Danny said. “I’ll get it.”

“It’s much easier for me to go,” Henry said, pointing at the line. “You may not make it back in time.”

“Thank you,” Danny said. “John? What do you want?”

“A coke,” John said, turning to talk to one of his friends sitting in the row in front of them. His father was a member of Steve’s staff, sitting in the row reserved for them.

“Governor? Danny?” Henry asked.

“Nothing for me, thanks,” Steve said.

“I’ll have some water,” Danny requested.

“Be right back,” Henry said, climbing down off the reviewing stand. Danny watched him go over to the refreshment stand, all those in line deferring to him and insisting that he go directly to the front. Henry had that affect on people when he didn’t even intend to. One more reason he was so helpful as a member of Steve’s personal staff.

“…and I would have cheered too but it’s so hot and then I’d be in the papers and Daddy said that was okay but doesn’t it get old?” Emma was saying when Danny tuned back into her. “Doesn’t it, Daddy?”

“Yeah, baby, it does,” Danny agreed, feeling Steve laugh next to him, knowing Danny had only heard part of what she had said. “The choice was yours not to cheer, right?”

“Right. Coach said it was completely voluntary and we didn’t have to unless we wanted to and told me she understood if I didn’t want to and wanted to sit with you instead.”

“Good,” Danny said with a nod. He accepted the water from Henry as he distributed the other drinks. Danny got one sip before Steve reached over for it, drinking half in one go. “I thought you didn’t want anything.”

Steve shrugged, handing what was left of the water back to Danny.

“I see,” Danny said. “You wanted mine but not your own.”

“Shh…” Steve said. “Fireworks are starting.”

“And I need to stop talking for that?” Danny asked, looking up at the explosion of colors.

“No. Just stop in general,” Steve teased, making Danny snort at him.


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Oh, shiny! 505 words

“Are you sure this is the ring you want?” Danny asked Steve. They had just had their engagement pictures taken, able to check it off The List, and had popped over the jeweler’s next door to find wedding rings.

“You don’t like it?” Steve asked, looking at the rings which featured a wave undulating in the center, the silver sky above a golden ocean.

“They are very traditional,” Mr. Schiffman said with a genuine smile. It wasn’t his I’ll smile so they’ll buy smile. It was one he reserved for friends and friendly acquaintances. Steve and Danny fell in the later category and he sincerely wanted to help them find the perfect rings.

“I like them,” Danny said, pitching his voice lower so that everyone in the store wasn’t privy to their conversation. Not that either of the other couples were focused on anything but their own purchases. “It’s just… I don’t know… shiner than I expected you to choose.”

“Really?” Steve asked, focusing on Danny. “You thought I’d go for something more subtle?”

“Subtle’s never been your style, babe,” Danny assured him with a smile that crinkled the corners of his eyes in a way Steve found entirely irresistible. Not that he didn’t think every single part of Danny wasn’t just as irresistible. “But it’s not like you ever wear any jewelry.”

“Wedding ring’s different,” Steve told him. “I want to make sure everyone knows to keep their hands off of you.”

“I see,” Danny said. “You want it as a warning beacon.”

“Precisely,” Steve agreed, turning his focus on the shop owner. “We’re getting married in six weeks. Is that enough time?”

“Absolutely, Commander. We’ll have them back in four weeks at the most,” Mr. Schiffman assured them.

“All right then,” Danny said with a nod.

“Do you know your ring sizes?” Mr. Schiffman asked.

Danny thought he had some idea but decided to measure his finger to be certain. Steve also had to measure his, having no reason to know his ring size.

“Do we need to pay you now?” Steve asked.

“You are welcome to wait until they arrive,” Mr. Schiffman said. “Do you want anything engraved inside? Many couples do but it’s entirely your choice.”

“Oh,” Danny said, looking up at Steve. “I hadn’t thought about that. What do you want?”

“I don’t know either,” Steve said. “Can we let you know in a couple of days?”

“Certainly,” Mr. Schiffman said. “They will be engraved right before they are shipped so you have plenty of time.”

“Thank you,” Steve said, shaking Mr. Schiffman’s hand and waiting as Danny did as well. They left the store together, returning to the Camaro.

“That makes it real, somehow,” Danny said as Steve pulled out of the parking lot.

“Even after the engagement pictures, the invitations, and picking out flowers?”

“Yeah,” Danny said. “Those are the trappings. The rings are just between you and me.”

“This is true,” Steve agreed, reaching over to take Danny’s hand and lace their fingers together. “This is true.”

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When Pigs Fly 489 words

“No,” Danny said again. He was trying to finish making dinner although having all four children under foot was making it more difficult than it should have been. It was one of their weekends back at their house where they could find a temporary reprieve from the demands of being the Governor’s family. They could have brought the residence’s chef, Lolhol Pu, with them but Danny enjoyed cooking for the entire clan when he had the chance. “None of you are going with Steve tomorrow. You have school. And you aren’t invited,” Danny said.

“But Danno,” Alicia said from where she was sitting at the kitchen table. As the oldest, she was often the spokesperson for them all. She didn’t mind and gladly relinquished the position to Grace whenever she was around. “He’s going to be gone an entire week. We can go with him and come back on Wednesday.”

“No,” Danny said, turning around to face the four children who were looking at him with equal expressions of hope and excitement and possibility. “No. You aren’t going.”

“Where aren’t they going?” Steve asked when he came into the kitchen. He was wearing one of his oldest, rattiest tee shirts and a pair of cargo pants that Danny had intended to throw out years ago. How they kept ending up in Steve’s drawer remained a mystery. Not surprisingly, they had fresh grease on them from his never-ending battle with the Marquis. Why he didn’t give up on that car was a question for the ages but it kept him happy so they never bothered to ask.

“They think they should go with you,” Danny said, waving a wooden spoon in the general direction of the children.

“Why shouldn’t they?” Steve asked, leaning against the kitchen cabinet right in Danny’s way. Which Danny knew he knew and was absolutely doing it on purpose.

“What about school?” Danny asked, hitting Steve with the spoon to get him to move. “What about rehearsals and practice and what-not?”

“What-not?” Steve repeated, looking at each child. “Are you engaged in what-not again?”

“Not me,” a chorus of voices said.

“There’s no reason they shouldn’t come, Danno,” Steve said, the kids agreeing. “It will be a good experience for them. You are coming.”

“You weren’t supposed to tell them that,” Danny said.

“Oops. Like they wouldn’t notice when you disappeared,” Steve laughed.

Danny shrugged, turning to look back at the children. “Fine. I give up. Go wash your hands,” he said, watching them run out with their excited voices staying behind. “When will you learn to say no to then?” he asked Steve, looking up at him with something resembling disapproval on his face.

Steve just laughed and kissed him. “I will say no just as soon as pigs fly.”

“I should have guessed,” Danny said, standing on his toes to kiss Steve. “You big softie.”

“Only when it comes to you and the kids.”


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Snuggles and cuddles 647 words

“I said no,” Steve said, his arms crossed over his chest, his face blank which was a dangerous sign all on its own.

“And that’s it?” Danny demanded, hands waving, feet pacing, blue eyes flashing in anger. “You said no so that’s that.”

“Yes,” Steve ground out between clinched teeth. “The discussion is closed.”

“No. No it’s not,” Danny retorted, pacing back toward him. A movement above his head caught his eye and he looked up to see Emma and John staring over the balcony at them. “Go back to bed,” his voice softer and reflecting his guilt that the children had been witness to one of their rare fights. That was the last thing either Steve or Danny would want.

“What’s wrong, Daddy?” John asked, his voice shaking. Next to him Emma was clutching her teddy bear in her chubby arms, tears streaming down her round face.

“It’s okay, babies,” Danny said, going up the steps. He could feel Steve right behind him. Danny picked up John as Steve scooped up the sobbing Emma. “It’s okay.”

“Why’re you yellin’?” Emma asked into the damp shoulder of Steve’s tee shirt.

“Daddies yell sometimes, baby. You don’t need to cry,” Steve soothed, kissing her head. “We aren’t mad at you.”

“We aren’t,” Danny added, carrying John into their bedroom as Steve brought Emma. They all piled up on the queen bed, Danny soothing their son as Steve tired to get their daughter to stop crying. “I’m sorry you heard us being angry. We aren’t angry at you,” Danny said, reaching over for a tissue to wipe away John’s tears. Steve was using the same care to try and mop up Emma’s tears.

“What were you yelling for?” John asked with a hiccup.

“We were yelling about Daddy things,” Steve told them, reaching over to kiss John on the head. “You don’t need to cry. We would never want to scare you.”

“But why?” Emma asked, her eyes wide and worried. The set of her mouth was directly from Danny and said she was no more capable of dropping the subject than her father would be.

“Your Daddy was talking about doing something I didn’t think he should,” Steve said quietly.

“Is it dangrus?” John asked, looking from Steve to Danny and back.

“No more than usual,” Danny said. “I know what I’m doing and it would be just fine.”

“It’s an unnecessary risk,” Steve said in the same quiet voice. “Please, Danno. Please tell me you won’t do it.”

Danny sighed and leaned over Emma enough to kiss Steve on the mouth. “All right. Now that I’ve upset you and the kids, I’ll give up the idea.”

“Thank you,” Steve said in relief. “Do you babies want to sleep with us tonight?”

“We aren’t babies, Daddy,” Emma claimed as she and John shimmed under the covers in the middle of the bed.

“You are our babies,” Danny reminded them with a smile. “Do you want to watch a movie?”

“A movie,” the kids cheered, all earlier upsetment forgotten.

“All right,” Danny laughed, going to the TV. “What do you want to watch?”

The kids argued about it for a few minutes before they decided, Danny putting on their chosen movie.

“Daddy and I are going to put on our pajamas,” Steve said, kissing the kids. “We’ll be right back.”

“’Kay,” John said absently, all of his focus on the movie they’d watched several times already.

Danny shook his head with a smile before following Steve into the bathroom.

“I’m sorry,” they said at the same time. That made them laugh, Steve gathering Danny close to kiss him.

“Thank you,” Steve said to the top of Danny’s head.

“I’m not sure you’re right but it’s not worth upsetting the kids for,” Danny said, burying his nose in Steve’s chest and inhaling the familiar scent. It was home. “Or you.”



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Quarantine: 556 words

“But I was vaccinated for it when we thought we might be exposed in Los Angeles,” Danny complained from the inside of the quarantine area. How was it possible that he could be exposed to the smallpox virus twice in such short amount of time? No one else he knew had ever been exposed, except Chin and the guys from NCIS. But seriously. They weren’t even sure it was smallpox. Did they really expect him and Steve to stay in isolation for upward of 17 days? What were the kids supposed to do?

“I understand your concerns, Detective,” the doctor said from the other side of the glass. “But until we are sure that you were not exposed, you’re going to be required to stay in quarantine.”

Danny frowned at the tall, blond haired doctor who did not look like he was about to change his mind. Danny didn’t care that he was one of the foremost authorities on smallpox flown in by the Governor to make sure Steve and Danny got the best care possible. Danny was only interested in being released in time to pick the kids up from school.

“He’s right, Danno,” Steve said from where he was sitting in one of the plastic chairs. There were three in the room along with a double bed and a small, round table. That was it. There was a bathroom adjourning their isolation room but they weren’t supposed to use it without alerting the hospital staff first. There was some concern they could contaminate the water supply.

“What about Emma and John? Who is going to pick them up? Who is going to watch them while we’re trapped in here?” Danny demanded, his fists on his hips.

“Kono and Charlie are taking them in,” Steve assured him. He stood to cross over to Danny, wrapping one arm around his shoulders. “Come on. You may as well relax. We’re here until they say otherwise.”

“Stop being so calm,” Danny demanded, sitting in the chair next to where Steve resumed his seat.

“Ranting isn’t going to change anything, babe,” Steve pointed out. “How would you feel if you gave all of Hawaii smallpox by accident? Especially if the kids got it.”

“Ranting may not change anything, but it makes me feel better,” Danny decided.

“I know,” Steve said, kissing him on the head. “They’ll vaccinate us and they’ll know in just a few days if we have to stay here.”

“We don’t have to wear these gowns the entire time, do we?” Danny asked, looking down at the hospital gowns they had been given when their clothes were removed and burned. His seemed about to swallow him while Steve’s was barely decent, not that Danny minded that he could see all of Steve’s tattoos. He just wasn’t all that happy about everyone else seeing so much of Steve.

“We’ll provide you sweats,” the doctor assured them. “I’ll be back in a few minutes with the vaccines.”

“Thank you,” Steve said, kissing Danny gently. “Are you going to be okay?”

“I guess,” Danny sighed. “The kids can come, right?”

“Yes. They’ll be here as soon as Charlie goes to get them. He’ll explain what’s happened.”

Danny nodded, leaning against Steve’s solid, comforting body. “At least I’m not in this alone.”

“No you aren’t,” Steve promised, hugging him tightly.


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Lost & Found 454 words

“Don’t ever do that to me again,” Steve said, wrapping strong arms around Danny.

“Do what? What’s up with you?” Danny asked into Steve’s chest. It wasn’t that he minded being manhandled by his best friend. He was just a little surprised by Steve’s reaction.

“I didn’t know where you were,” Steve said, pulling Danny closer to the Camaro that he had parked illegally in front of Kamekona’s shaved ice stand. “You were gone and I didn’t know where.”

“What?” Danny said, looking up at Steve with a tiny frown. “What?”

“You said that already,” Steve said. “Are you okay?”

“I’m fine. Why are you freaking out?”

“I’m not freaking out,” Steve claimed. “I asked Kono where you had gone. She said she didn’t have any idea. I called you. I texted you. Kono tried to track your phone. She couldn’t find you. Where were you?”

Danny stood staring up at him, the line between Steve’s eyebrows deeper than usual which was saying something. “I told Chin I lost my phone when I was thrown off the boat and into the ocean. I went to get a new one. There was a lot of traffic and then your truck broke down, thank you so much.”

“Oh God. It overheated again?”

“Yes it did. I called a tow truck from here but it took longer than expected for them to come.”

“Why did you go to get a new phone? Your phone is Five-0’s responsibility,” Steve said.

“I know. But I asked for a new one and the governor’s assistant said it would be a week before I could get one,” Danny said.

“A week?” Steve said, frowning down at Danny. “That’s just stupid.”

“I thought so too. But she said since it’s my fourth one this month, I have to wait for the new shipment. I can’t wait an entire week so I went to get one. Why didn’t Chin tell you I left?”

“Chin left right after you did. I guess he forgot,” Steve said with a shrug. “I’ll take you back.”

“This is what I get for letting you take my car,” Danny said, getting into the Camaro. “Hopefully the police garage will be able to fix your truck this time.”

“I hope so. And next time, tell me your phone needs to be replaced.”

“I would have if you hadn’t been tied up,” Danny said with a shake of his head. “I’m really okay. You can stop with the freaking out.”

“I’ll take it under advisement,” Steve said as he pulled into the street going much too fast. Danny didn’t bother to say anything, just holding on more tightly as the goofball drove with a happy smile plastered on his face.