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24 April 2012 @ 08:24 pm
Bulletproof Baby Blankets - Choice of the People?  

Title: Choice of the People?
Series: Bulletproof Baby Blankets
Rating: PG-13 for this chapter
Pairing(s)/Character(s): Steve/Danny and their ohana
Summary:  Steve is asked a very important question. What will he and his ohana decide?
Warnings: None except muses on the loose. And the ending is a little abrupt. This chapter has been languishing on my computer, taunting me, for too long. I may write an additional chapter to tie up some loose ends. Not that this universe doesn't have its share of loose ends!
Word Count: ~6500



“Go upstairs and take a nap,” Steve said not for the first time. Danny was laying on the couch in Steve’s office while Steve worked steadily through the reports on his desk.

“What good will that do? We have to leave for the thing in less than an hour,” Danny moaned. Maybe he was whining but he’d never admit to it.

“Thing? What thing?” Steve asked, checking his calendar. There was no ‘thing’ anywhere on it for that evening.

“You know,” Danny said, lifting one hand high enough to wave it around. “The thing.”

“Repeating that over and over makes it no clearer, Danno,” Steve said, looking over at him. His left foot was on the floor, his right arm thrown over his eyes. “Why didn’t you tell Emma she was calling way too late?”

“Our baby girl had her heart broken, Steven. Shattered by that no good devil spawn. And you think I should have hung up on her?” Danny asked, his voice rising in indignation at the mere thoughts of hanging up on their daughter.

“It was 2 a.m. here, Danny. Clearly she inherited your inability to actually tell time.”

“Not her fault, SEAL. It was the first time she had a chance to call. I told her we’d have him killed if she wanted.”

“What’d she say?” Steve asked, reading his email at the same time. Because he’d heard all this before. But apparently Danny had the need to rehash it once more. Like he always did. So Steve mostly tuned him out, like he always did.

“She appreciates the offer. By the time we hung up, she had stopped crying,” Danny said, sighing. “Why can’t they build a Naval Academy at Pearl? Then she wouldn’t be 600 hours away.”

“Only one academy per service branch. It’s the law,” Steve reminded him.

“Law sucks,” Danny said, removing his arm to look over at the door at the knock. He didn’t bother to move as Leon came in at Steve’s invitation.

“Tomorrow’s briefing?” Steve asked, looking up at his top aide.

“Yes sir. If now is a good time.”

“Perfect. Danny’s being grouchy and complaining about ‘the thing’ we have to go to tonight,” Steve said.

“You have nothing on your calendar for tonight,” Leon said, consulting his iPad to double check.

“That’s what I told him,” Steve said triumphantly, smirking at Danny. “See, Danno. Nothing.”

“Oh right. Kono was supposed to attend that charity event. But with her kids so sick, she can’t go and leave Charlie to fend for himself. So we’re going,” Danny told him.

“What event would that be?” Leon asked, glancing over at Danny who had hoisted himself up on one elbow.

“The surfing one. With Kawika,” Danny said.

“And your security detail is aware of it?” Leon asked.

“Yeah. Kono told them. You aren’t on the podium. We just need to show up,” Danny said.

“What time?” Leon asked, glancing at Steve who looked like he had excused himself from the conversation.

“She said 6:00. It’s at tent city. Barbeque, music, the usual,” Danny said. “Which means Steve can wear blue jeans and flip flops.”

“Slippahs,” Steve corrected automatically.

“Yeah. Whatever. And don’t forget your wallet. It’s a charity auction.”

“The Governor is not being auctioned, is he?” Leon asked with as straight a face as possible.

“I’ll pay someone to take him,” Danny said, laying back down and putting his arm back over his eyes.

“I’d bring more than you,” Steve informed him.

“Only if the price was by the pound,” Danny said, otherwise ignoring him.

“How long will this take?” Steve asked Danny. Danny just waved a hand and didn’t answer.

“According to the lieutenant governor’s schedule, you only need to stay for an hour, sir,” Leon said.

“All right,” Steve agreed. “And tomorrow?”

“You have a meeting with the representatives of Senator Sofia Dupree’s campaign at 9:00,” Leon said.

“About her campaign appearance here this weekend?” Steve asked.

“That’s the information we have, sir. I’ll have all of the security briefings from 5-0 on your desk first thing in the morning.”

“Good,” Steve agreed. “After that?”

“Wait. Does that mean we have to go listen to her speech?” Danny asked.

“She’s probably going to be the next president, Danny. Don’t you want to hear what she has to say?” Steve asked, one eyebrow raised that was lost on Danny.

“Of course she’s going to win. Her opponent is the dumbest kind of dumb-ass,” Danny said. “And we know what she stands for. Does Steve have to be there?” Danny asked Leon directly.

“They have not specifically requested his presence. It is, however, what is done,” Leon reminded them.

“But if he goes to her appearance, he’ll have to appear with that dumb-ass.”

“There is that,” Leon agreed with a resigned smile.

“It’s fine, Leon. I’ll appear with them both if that’s what it comes down to,” Steve assured him. “And I’ll lock Danny in the closet if I have to. So no one will have to listen to him complain.”

“He always comports himself appropriately in public, sir,” Leon reminded him with a smile.

“Thank you,” Danny said with only a thin edge of sarcasm in his voice.

“What else is on the schedule tomorrow?” Steve asked, deciding that was enough of the conversation between Danny and Leon, not that there wasn’t anything but true respect between the two. They just liked to argue which seemed to be Danny’s default with most people.

Leon gave Steve the entire list for the next day, Steve sighing when he was done.

“That all?” Danny asked, sitting up to look over at Steve, laughing openly at him.

“That is all,” Leon said with a nod.

“Thank goodness,” Steve said.

“Do we need to arrange for John to fly to New York for next weekend?” Leon asked, looking from Steve to Danny and back.

“He said he doesn’t need to be at the draft. And he has his astrophysics final that next Monday,” Danny said, glancing at Steve.

“I thought he’d decided to go,” Steve said.

“I asked him last night after you went up to bed. He said he would prefer not to make the trip. But then ESPN will send a camera crew here,” Danny sighed.

“That’s fine. If that’s what he prefers, they can come here rather than his apartment,” Steve said with a nod.

“Are there any new rumors about his selection, sir?” Leon asked.

“ESPN is still saying he’ll be selected first or second, as quarterbacks tend to be,” Steve responded.

“We hope he goes second so the 49ers will take him. Closer to us,” Danny said.

“You just don’t want the Giants to get him with the first selection,” Steve said, making Danny frown at him. “You know it’s true. You’ll have to root for the Jets arch enemies.”

“No. I don’t want him on the east coast. Too far from us,” Danny corrected.

“Uh huh. You keep telling yourself that, Danno,” Steve said with a laugh.

“Are the Redskins no longer a possibility?” Leon asked.

“I heard they are working hard to trade up. But who knows if they’ll get it done,” Danny said, standing up. “Come on, Governor SEAL. We need to change for the thing.”

“You done with me?” Steve asked Leon as they stood.

“Yes sir. Unless you need me to stay, I’ll see you tomorrow.”

“Tomorrow,” Steve acknowledged, going out with Danny to go upstairs to the residence. “Only an hour? You’re sure?”

“Yes. Kono said we just have to put in an appearance, you’ll shake some hands, pose for some pictures, then we can leave. There may be night surfing but Chin will have your head if you try it,” Danny warned as he pulled on a fresh pair of jeans and a clean polo shirt.

“Yeah,” Steve sighed, stepping into his slippahs. “Well, I’ll only be governor 7 more months. Then I can go night surfing all I want.”

“You’re going back to 5-0. I can’t have you home all day,” Danny warned, frowning at him, his hands on his hips.

“You want me home and you know it,” Steve said, stalking Danny who evaded him around the bed.

“Not. Go back in the Army. Anything,” Danny said, backing toward to door so that he could escape before Steve delayed them. Steve laughed, following him down and out, the car waiting for them at their entrance.

“Hi,” Steve said with a smile when they discovered Chin in the car already.

“What brings you here?” Danny asked, pressing closer to Steve than strictly necessary in the spacious backseat, Chin facing them.

“Night surfing or the lack thereof,” Chin informed Steve sternly.

“I have no intentions of it,” Steve said, elbowing Danny when he opened his mouth to interject.

“All it will take is Kawika asking you to go in the water. Or one of his kids. Not happening, Governor,” Chin warned.

“I already told Danny I have no intentions of it,” Steve assured him. “I’m going to nod and smile and leave.”

“That is what you always tell us,” Danny reminded him.

“You were with me when I changed clothes. Did I put on my trunks under my jeans?” Steve asked him.

“Like you’ve never surfed in your jeans,” Danny said.

“I’m not going to night surf. You two can stop any time,” Steve groused, Chin staring at him like he could read Steve’s thoughts. “Stop.”

Chin glanced over at Danny who shrugged. “When he leaves office, you’ll take him back, right?” Danny requested.

“Not a chance, brah. You’re stuck with him,” Chin said, shaking his head.

“Then take me back,” Danny said.

“Sure. Any time.”

“Wait. You’ll take Danny but not me?” Steve asked, trying to sound angry or wounded or… like he thought there was any chance at all that Danny would return to 5-0. Neither of them had any plans to do much of anything once Steve left office. Danny had finally persuaded him he had more than served his time to the people of Hawaii and the nation and he could stand down.

“He doesn’t blow things up at an alarming rate,” Chin reminded him.

Steve snorted at that, turning to look out his window at the passing scenery. It didn’t take long to arrive at tent city where they were greeted by Kawika and a swarm of excited children, all clamoring to talk to Governor Steve. Steve’s huge smile was genuine and contagious just like it was any time he was surrounded by children, all of whom wanted to tell him exactly how long they had stood on their surfboards and how much longer they would stand up next time.

“Welcome,  haole,” Kawika said to Danny, the nickname affectionate rather than angry like it had been when they met so many years earlier. “Chin.”

Kapu,” Danny replied with a smile, watching with Kawika as the kids drug Steve over to the pit to get something to eat. “This is the biggest one yet.”

“Having the support of the Governor’s office helps,” Kawika said with a nod, looking at all of the tables filled with items available at the silent auction.

“He didn’t do anything, really,” Danny said, going with Kawika and Chin to the first table. There were native arts on display, some rare and some beautifully ordinary. Every table seemed to be filled to overflowing with donations generously provided to Kawika in support of his charity.

“Kono told you she couldn’t come, right brah?” Chin asked Kawika as they stood next to the podium supported by two palm trees. There was a light shining on it but it was not so bright that it disrupted the view of the stars above them.

“Yeah. She called. The kids okay?” Kawika asked.

“Flu. One gets it and it becomes a family affair,” Chin said with a shrug.

“That’s for sure,” Kawika agreed before excusing himself to go answer an inquiry from one of the volunteers.

“Are you coming to the briefing about Senator Dupree’s visit?” Danny asked Chin as they browsed the rest of the tables.

“Not planning on it. I talked to her people. They said we had it all under control. I don’t need to come,” Chin said, pausing by one of the tables to write his name on a bid sheet.

“What are you going to do with a week long cruise around the islands, Chin Ho?” Danny asked him.

“Go on vacation with my wife,” Chin said with the smile of a happily married man.

“When was the last time you had off more than 36 hours?” Danny asked, shaking his head.

“Uhmm… what year is this?” Chin laughed, making Danny smile in return.

“I hear you.” Danny stopped by the next table, looking at the framed autographed picture of Steve with Kawika. “Who would buy this?”

“You’d be surprised,” Chin said, picking up the bid sheet to show Danny. The bidding was up to $125 after starting at $5.

“I’d pay someone $125 to take him off my hands,” Danny claimed as Chin returned the sheet to its place.

“You talk tough. But you are marshmallow inside. We all know it,” Chin reminded him with a smile only Chin could accomplish – happy, devilish, all-knowing.

Danny shrugged, looking at the next table.

“Is Emma okay?” Chin asked Danny as they browsed all of the tables and checked out the bid sheets.

“She is now. I think. I haven’t talked to her since this morning. This morning at 2 a.m. You know how hard it is to reach her,” Danny said with a shrug. “I think John’s going to call her tonight.”

“If John goes to New York for the draft, are you going with him?”

“No. He’s probably staying here anyway. I said if he wanted to go, his professors would understand. And we could swing down to Maryland to see Emma. But he’s worried about his finals. Got to give him credit for that,” Danny said.

“I hear ya,” Chin said with a nod. “Good for him for applying himself when his future’s really made in the NFL.”

“He wants to have a plan in case the worst happens.”

“He always does, much like Steve,” Chin agreed.

“Steve never had a first plan, never mind a second one. He just charged in, guns blazing.”

“’Cause he knew you’d get him out in one piece,” Chin said, clapping Danny on the shoulder and making Danny laugh.

“Yeah, I’m the back-up. Lord help me,” Danny said, grinning up at Steve as he came over to them. “Hey.”

“Kawika says I can go,” Steve said, smiling at Danny and Chin.

“You sure you’re ready?” Danny asked, looking at all the kids who were temporarily distracted.

“Yeah,” Steve said with a shrug. “Hard to compete with free shaved ice. We’ve been here for more than an hour.”

“Have we?” Danny said, looking at Chin with a frown.

“Sure have. Time flies and all that,” Chin said.

“You bid on anything? For show at least?” Danny asked Steve who was still smiling down at him like they had been apart for days instead of a little more than an hour.

“Yeah. Couple of things. We don’t have to be here to win. They’ll contact us for our payment info,” Steve said, going with Chin and Danny back to where the car was waiting.

“Because you are so hard to find,” Chin laughed, opening the door so Steve and Danny could get in. He followed, the driver starting the car and carefully leaving the park.

“You know it,” Steve agreed, pulling out his cell phone and speed dialing. “Hey ya,” he said when John answered.

“Howzit. What’s up?” John asked, his ever present laugh in his voice.

“Not a whole lot. We just left Kawika’s charity auction. I bid on UH football tickets. Hopefully I won’t win them,” Steve laughed.

“I hope not,” John agreed. “What’d you bid on, Danno?”

“An autographed picture of the governor. You want it if I win?” Danny asked with a laugh.

“God no,” John laughed.

“Thanks,” Steve said in supposed complaint. “Listen, people want to know if you are going to New York or staying here.”

“Come on, Dad. We talked about this,” John said with dread evident in his voice.

“It doesn’t matter to me. But Chin needs to know. And Emma’s wondering if we’re coming or not,” Steve explained.

“You aren’t planning on going,” Danny reminded Steve.

“I might,” Steve said with a shrug.

“Great. Like the draft won’t be a big enough circus, Dad. I really want to stay here. I mean, you don’t mind if the cameras come to the residence, do you?” John asked.

“It’s fine, Bud. Chin can call ESPN tomorrow and talk to them,” Steve assured him.

“Thanks Chin Ho. That’s one more I owe you,” John said.

“You will never repay all your debts to me,” Chin confirmed with a laugh.

“Don’t I know it. Danno, you aren’t going to lose it if I go to the Giants, are you?” John asked.

“No. I told you I don’t care. Giants. 49ers. Redskins. California’s my first choice but you go where they take you,” Danny said.

“Good,” John said.

“Any new rumors?” Chin asked him.

“I try not to look at the rumor sites,” John said. “Coach said Buffalo called for some of the tapes. God I don’t think I could play somewhere that cold.”

“They have to know that, Bud,” Steve said.

“Giants Stadium can get awfully cold,” Danny reminded him. “San Francisco would be a much better choice.”

“Danno,” John said in warning.

“All right. If the Governor of the Great State of Hawaii would just get an NFL football team, you could stay here,” Danny said.

“Right. Because all the other teams want to have to fly to Hawaii,” John laughed.

“Okay. So there’s a flaw in my plan,” Danny conceded.

“And Emma can’t be stationed at Pearl. You remember that, right?” John said.

“Yes, I remember. And Alicia has to be in New York to dance with the Ballet Company,” Danny sighed.

“At least Grace and Zacchary are still here,” John reminded him. “And I’ll be here in the off-season.”

“Yeah, I know,” Danny said. “The birds are supposed to fly out of the nest.”

“Easier said than done, brah,” Chin said in sympathy.

“Yep,” Danny agreed. “We’re home, Bud. Are you coming over for dinner tomorrow?”

“I was thinking of spending the weekend with you. It’s easier to study there than here,” John said.

“That’s fine,” Steve agreed. “We don’t have much on our schedules for the weekend. You’ll be here around 3 tomorrow?”

“Closer to 2. My last class tomorrow was cancelled so we can work on our research projects. Good thing my assignment is to interview the Governor, huh?” John laughed.

“That’s quite a coincidence,” Chin suggested, getting out of the car as Steve and Danny said good-bye to John.

“See you tomorrow?” Steve asked as they prepared to enter the residence.

“Naturally,” Chin agreed.

“Come to dinner. Bring Malia,” Danny suggested.

“Love to. Thanks,” Chin said with a nod before getting in his car and driving off.

~o0o~

“Governor,” Leon said when he was in Steve’s office at precisely 9 a.m. the next morning.

“Senator Dupree’s representatives have arrived?” Steve asked, standing behind his desk. He walked to the front at Leon’s nod. It wasn’t long before the Senator’s staff members were in the office with Steve.

“Governor, thank you for seeing us,” the woman said. She was in her mid-40’s, short and plump. Her graying hair was stylishly cut, her coral colored suit well-tailored and a good complement to her fair complexion. “I’m Helen Branson. This is Gabriel Austin.”

Steve shook Gabriel’s hand as well, looking down at him. He was a slight man, one Steve thought was a little shorter than Danny. His dark eyes looked serious, his short cropped hair fully black. Steve thought he was probably still in his 20’s, his suit well-cut and impeccably tailored. He had dispensed with what Steve felt sure was his customary tie in deference to the Hawaiian weather.

“Mr. Austin,” Steve said in acknowledgement.

“Please, Governor, call me Gabriel,” he replied, his smile making him look even younger.

Steve nodded, motioning to the chairs in front of his desk in invitation. “Have a seat.”

They complied automatically, waiting as Steve went back behind his desk. “I take you are here to discuss security for Senator Dupree’s visit.”

“That’s not entirely true,” Helen said in a low voice as though trying to avoid being overheard. “We are actually here to discuss a matter of more importance. And we are wondering if Detective Williams-McGarrett would be available to join us.” She held Steve’s gaze with a steady one of her own, seeing the surprise in his expression.

“Danny’s upstairs,” Steve said, unable to think of anything else to say.

“Is he available to meet with us?” Helen asked patiently.

Rather than try to answer for him, Steve took out his cell phone and called Danny. “Hey. Can you come down to my office?”

“Sure. Everything okay?” Danny asked. Steve could hear him already moving, heading down the hallway for the staircase.

“I think. Senator Dupree’s representatives would like to talk to us both,” Steve explained, his own puzzlement in his voice.

“Huh,” Danny said. “Okay.”

“Okay,” Steve echoed, hanging up. “He’ll be here very shortly.” Helen and Gabriel nodded, Helen looking faintly pleased with the news. “Should we move to the sitting area?” Steve suggested. There was enough room to accommodate them all with the two wingback chairs and the loveseat. And it would be more comfortable. “Can I offer you a cup of coffee? Tea?” he asked as they moved over to the sitting area.

“I would love another cup of coffee,” Helen agreed warmly.

“Certainly. Gabriel?” Steve asked.

“Nothing for me, thank you, Governor.”

Steve nodded, going to the door to his office to ask Leon to bring three cups of coffee. As he was returning, the nearly invisible door next to Steve’s desk opened to admit Danny who was wearing jeans and a tee shirt that had been forced on him by Kamekona. At least this one wasn’t big enough to be used as a tent.

“Hi,” Danny said as he entered, squinting at Helen and Gabriel in a way that meant he was considering their presence.

“Danny,” Steve said, nodding at Gabriel then Helen. “Gabriel Austin and Helen Branson from Senator Dupree’s staff.”

“Mr. Austin. Ms. Branson,” Danny said, shaking their hands in turn.

“Gabriel,” he corrected with a smile.

“And I’m Helen,” she told him warmly.

“That coffee for me?” Danny asked Steve with a smile up at him when Leon came in carrying a tray with three cups and a small ceramic pot. There was also a gleaming sugar bowl and creamer ready for the coffee.

“One of the cups is. One is for Helen,” Steve told him in a tone that made Helen laugh.

“Good to know,” Danny said, waiting as Leon poured the coffee, accepting the second cup before sitting on the loveseat with Steve who had his own cup.

“Thank you, Leon,” Steve said, Leon nodding and leaving, carefully closing the door behind him.

“Governor, Detective,” Helen said in a calming tone. “We are here at Senator Dupree’s behest. But we aren’t here to discuss the security arrangements for her visit. We are here to determine your interest in being her running mate.”

There was a shocked silence from Steve as Danny continued to calmly drink his coffee. Steve stared first at Helen and then at Danny, his eyes narrowed. He’d get the truth from Danny later.

“Well,” Steve said, stalling. “I have to say this is a surprise.”

“Yes,” Helen acknowledged. “We aren’t ready to make our short list public. In fact, we’d like to ask that you not discuss this conversation with anyone.”

“It’s not a decision I can make on my own,” Steve told her. “Our ohana would need to vote.”

“Your ohana?” Gabriel repeated, looking from Steve to Danny and back. “Your children?”

“Certainly Emma and John would have a vote. As would Grace, Alicia, and Zacchary. It would change their lives as much as ours,” Steve said.

“And Kono and Charlie,” Danny reminded him.

“True,” Steve said.

“That’s a lot of people to weigh in,” Helen said lightly.

“It impacts them,” Steve said firmly.

“Indeed,” Helen said. “Of course you would need to discuss it with your family.”

“When would you need a decision?” Danny asked as though they were discussing a new paint color for the living room, not whether or not Steve should run for Vice-President of the United States.

“Senator Dupree is going to be in New York next weekend. She was hoping to speak to you while you are there,” Gabriel said.

“New York,” Steve said, shaking his head. “John has decided not to go to New York for the draft.”

“I see,” Helen said. “We understood differently.”

“We are arranging ESPN to come here,” Danny added.

“I see,” Helen repeated. “Certainly Senator Dupree wants to meet with you both in person before any final decision is made.”

“So if Steve says yes, she might still say no?” Danny asked.

“It’s much like a marriage, isn’t it, Detective?” Helen asked good-naturedly. “Even if two people look compatible on paper, they may still not be suited for the long term.”

“There is that,” Danny agreed. “If we don’t go to New York, what then?”

“Her final campaign stop in Hawaii is Monday. At Hickam Air Force Base. Would you come to meet with her there?” Gabriel asked, consulting his iPad.

“What time?” Danny asked.

“She speaks at noon. Her flight is scheduled to leave at 1:30. We can delay it for an hour,” Helen said, checking silently with Gabriel who nodded in agreement.

“Hold on,” Danny said, going to Steve’s desk for his iPad and checking the calendar. “We can do 1:30.”

Steve leaned into Danny’s solid shoulder to look at the appointments on Monday, seeing only a meeting with Chin Ho in the middle of the afternoon. “All right.”

“Very good,” Helen agreed. “You must have many questions.”

“I’m sure I do. I don’t know what they are,” Steve admitted, looking at Danny in hopes he’d know what to ask.

“You have to know there are people who won’t vote for her because Steve and I are…. married,” Danny said, seeing no point in dancing around the topic. The elephant in the room had to be acknowledged. It wasn’t leaving.

“Yes,” Helen agreed. “However, from the polling we’ve done, there are more voters in favor of same-sex marriages then against them. Those who are opposed have enough other reasons not to support Senator Dupree that your inclusion on the ticket will not lose a significant number of voters.”

“Your record as Governor along with your military service will gain voters,” Gabriel said.

“I see,” Steve said. “In all honesty, I’m not entirely sure I know what the Vice President does.”

“No one knows,” Helen said with a laugh. “If you accept, we’ll arrange a meeting between you and Vice-President Kenstone. We’ll ask that her husband be there so that you can speak with him, Detective.”

Danny nodded, sipping his coffee nonchalantly which Steve frankly resented. How dare he be so completely calm about this? He needed to be verging on a freak-out, not the Steve would ever freak out. SEALs, even retired ones, most certainly did not ever freak out.

There was some additional discussion of logistics for the meeting at the Air Force base, much of which Steve did not hear. He had far too many thoughts whirling aimlessly around for him to make sense of them. Not until he could talk them over with Danny who always corralled them.

Steve stood when he heard that the conversation had come to a conclusion, automatically walking the visitors to the door with Danny’s assurances that they would see them on Monday. Once the door was closed, he looked down at Danny would was openly laughing at him.

“Come back here, Super SEAL,” Danny said, one palm against Steve’s cheek, grounding him and helping him find his center.

“I’m here,” Steve said, holding Danny’s hand in place. “You knew?” he asked, a mildly accusatory tone in his voice.

“I had no idea until you asked me to come down. She’s the presumptive candidate and has not announced a running mate. They didn’t need me to discuss security plans,” Danny said, pulling Stave with him to the loveseat and sitting down with him. “What do you think?”

“I don’t know,” Steve said honestly. “I was looking forward to being out of office.”

“Yeah,” Danny had to agree.

“I respect her openness in choosing me. But are the people ready for a gay Vice President?”

Danny shrugged at that. “It’s been a long time since anyone has used that against us.”

“They still bring it up. When I do something the religious right doesn’t like.”

“Good thing Hawaii is filled with open-minded folks, huh?” Danny said.

“Call a family meeting?” Steve said. He wondered why it sounded so much like a question. Of course they’d need an ohana council. This was not a decision they could make on their own.

“Not if you don’t want to run, Babe. It’s a moot point. You have to decide. Then we get to vote,” Danny said.

Steve shook his head, staring out the window that overlooked the swaying palm trees. Just beyond the parking lot was the ocean not that he could actually see it from his office. But he knew it was there. That would no longer be true if they moved to Washington.

“It’s not forever,” Danny said, once more reading his thoughts in that scary way of his. “Eight years tops. Then we come back.”

“You promised me that when I was forced to run for Governor,” Steve reminded him.

“Oh well. Tell her no if that’s what you want. And we never speak of it again.”

“Because I won’t be mentioned on any of the news shows. The children will never find out I could have been Vice President.”

“Well, there is that,” Danny agreed with a smile. “But you still have to decide.”

“Call an ohana council for tonight.”

“What if they vote yes? Are you going to do it?” Danny asked.

“I don’t know,” Steve admitted. “Do you think they’ll say yes?”

“Zacchary won’t,” Danny said.

“Yeah. What will we do?”

“He’ll move to Washington with us. He practically lives here. I’m pretty sure I heard him in his room before I came down. Well, his office. The one with the bed in it,” Danny laughed.

“His bed and 16 computers.”

“Not quite that many. Have you seen him?” Danny asked.

“No. I assumed he was here. I thought he’d be at breakfast,” Steve said with a shrug.

“Me too,” Danny said, standing up to look down at Steve.

“Where are you going?” Steve asked.

“Back upstairs. You have to meet with the speaker of the house at 10:00. I have no interest in anything he has to say.”

“Me neither,” Steve agreed, standing up next to Danny. “You’ll call the council?”

“Yes. For 5:00. Hopefully Emma and Alicia will be able to phone in. I think Alicia’s performance ends at 10:00.”

“I’ll call Emma’s commandant. Ask that she be allowed to call,” Steve said to Danny’s nods.

“Good. John and Zach will be here. Grace is home. Amou isn’t but she can tell him.”

“Right,” Steve agreed. “Will you call Kono or should I?”

“I’ll call her. You have enough going on. I’ll tell her she has to phone in. We don’t need her flu germs.”

“True,” Steve said. “And Chin’s coming for dinner with Malia. Ask them to come at 5 instead of 6.”

“Roger that,” Danny said, sneaking out the family door when Leon opened the main door to announce the arrival of the Speaker.

Danny went back upstairs, considering the conversation they had just had. He could see pluses and minuses to Steve being on the Presidential ticket, and if hard pressed to commit, he thought he might vote “no.” But if Steve decided he wanted to run and their ohana said yes, he would go along with that decision. Steve, and by extension, Danny had been in the public eye for so long that Steve running for Vice President would almost be ‘another day at the office.’

As Danny passed the room that Zacchary had taken over for his combination office/ bedroom, Danny knocked and entered.

“Hey Zach,” he said.

“Danno,” Zach responded. He was sitting at his desk, staring at the three computer screens glowing in front of him. Danny had no idea what he was doing and figured that even if Zach tried explaining it, Danny still wouldn’t know.

“You busy?” Danny asked, looking at the screens as they danced with tiny flashes of light.

“No,” Zach said, still studying the screens.

“Is this for school?”

“No,” Zach said, typing furiously on his keyboard and making one of the screens change patterns.

“Can I talk to you for a second then?”

“Okay,” Zach said, not looking over at Danny.

“Steve was just asked if he would be interested in running for vice president,” Danny told Zach, Zach’s fingers still flying over the keyboard.

“Vice president of what?”

“The United States. Senator Dupree of Iowa wants Steve to run with her,” Danny explained.

“Run for vice president of the United States,” Zacchary said slowly, finally looking up at Danny.

“Yes. Steve hasn’t decided if he’ll say yes or no. We’re having an ohana council tonight at 5,” Danny told him.

“Move to Washington?”

“If Senator Dupree wins,” Danny confirmed. “What do you think of the idea of Steve running?”

Zach returned his focus the computers, his fingers over his keyboard unmoving. “Does he want to?”

“He doesn’t know. That’s one of the reasons for the council,” Danny said.

Zach looked up at Danny, his eyes wide but steady, his breathing even. “I could come?”

“Of course. You know you can live with us wherever we are,” Danny assured him.

“I’m not technically yours.”

“When has that ever mattered, Zach? You’re over 18. You can live wherever you choose. You don’t think Rachel and Stan would try to prevent you from coming, do you?” Danny asked in a soothing voice.

“No. Steve said I can come?”

“Of course. That’s a given,” Danny told him. “But if you want to vote no tonight, that’s your decision.”

“Washington would be an advantageous location,” Zach finally said.

“All right. The council is at 5:00,” Danny said, going toward the door to Zach’s bedroom. “Did you sleep last night?”

Zach turned slowly to focus on Danny before shaking his head.

“Could you try sleeping for a little while now? I’m going to have lunch with Steve at 1:00. I’ll wake you up in time to eat with us.”

“No,” Zach decided, returning to his computer screens. “I’ll sleep tonight.”

“All right. Do you want me to get you something to eat? You missed breakfast.”

“I’ll eat lunch with you,” Zach said absently. Danny knew he had lost Zach’s attention and left him to his work.

When Danny got to his small office down the hall from their bedroom, he opened his email, reading the ones he had from friends and family. There were two dozen from organizations and businesses asking for his endorsement or appearance or… he wasn’t sure but his staff would deal with those emails.

The email he composed was addressed to the Ohana, and he marked it important:

Red alert: Top priority ohana council tonight. 5:00 p.m. HST. This is not a drill. Repeat. This is not a drill.

Regrets only. But you better have a really good reason.


~o0o~

Steve and Danny lay in their bed after the council had concluded, the discussion lasting until 10:30 when Danny finally decided that was enough talk. The tally of the votes had been in favor of Steve joining the Senator on the ballot, three members voting no, one abstaining.

“Were you the abstention?” Steve asked Danny as they continued to stare up at the ceiling. Their bodies were pressed close to each other, as always. Any distance between them felt like too much.

“First, all votes are secret, Steven. And second, no, I did not abstain.”

“Who was it?”

“Why?” Danny asked, turning his head to look at the beautiful profile of his goofball husband.

“Curious. Nosy. Thought it was you.”

“It wasn’t. I think it was Grace but I’m not entirely sure. Doesn’t matter,” Danny said, rolling on his side to place his hand in the center of Steve’s impressively firm stomach. Even after all these years, Steve managed to retain his impressive physique which sometimes totally pissed off Danny. Not that Danny had let himself go. But compared to Steve…well, almost no one could live up to Steve’s standards. “Are you going to do it?”

Steve sighed and closed his eyes, his eyelashes fanned out over his tanned cheeks. “Will you be mad if I say no?”

“Of course not. I understand. Either way, I’m on your side, Babe.”

“Yeah,” Steve agreed.

“They have to know about Matt, right?” Danny said softly, reluctant even to bring it up. But outside of Steve and Danny being married, Danny’s brother being one of the FBI’s most wanted, even after all these years, could possibly derail Senator Dupree’s candidacy, providing Steve agreed.

“They must,” Steve said. “No way did they talk to us without doing the entire background check.”

“Yeah,” Danny sighed. “Could they access your classified files?”

“I doubt it,” Steve said. “I’m thinking I don’t want to run. It’s way too complicated.”

“It isn’t that complicated after all the years you’ve been governor,” Danny pointed out.

“I…. we will be on the national stage, Danno. Mud will be slung. Names will be called. Pejoratives will be hurled.”

“Yeah,” Danny had to agree. “Then tell them no. When you’re out of office, you can stay home with me and… hmmm….”

Steve laughed, turning enough to face Danny, rubbing their noses. “Maybe I’ll take up needlepoint.”

Danny shook his head. “Too many sharp objects. Needles. Scissors. Nope. Way too dangerous.”

“Oh. How about… cake decorating?” Steve suggested with a smile.

“All butter cream frosting?”

“Sure,” Steve agreed. “I’ll call them tomorrow and tell them ‘no thank you.’”

“You sure, Babe? You don’t want to talk to Senator Dupree first?”

“No. I’ve spent enough time in public. Being home with you, baking and vacuuming, sounds perfect.”

“All right,” Danny agreed, kissing him. “You can still change your mind.”


 
 
 
Lizet Elaine: Rapunzelsimplyn2deep on April 25th, 2012 01:03 am (UTC)
I got to thinking about those who voted and while not trying to figure out the 3 no votes, I think 1 abstaining vote was Zacchary. He might be opposed to it, but not so much that he'd vote no.
Are 6 dogs too many?: BPBBtkeylasunset on April 25th, 2012 01:14 am (UTC)
Honestly, I don't know who abstained. But you're right. It's most likely Zach. He wouldn't want to disappoint Steve and Danny but he wouldn't want to go to Washington either. Pretty sure Grace voted no. Emma voted yes. John... I'm not sure about. Probably voted no - could he play in the NFL if his father was Vice President?

Would Kono vote yes? It'd make her defacto Governor.

So many questions!! So few answers!!!

:-)
Lizet Elainesimplyn2deep on April 25th, 2012 01:24 am (UTC)
I don't see why John wouldn't be able to play in the NFL. There would already be lots of security anyway, but I'm sure it'd be a logistical nightmare for Secret Service.

As for Kono, she'd only be acting Governor while Steve is out campaigning and until the next election for Hawaii
winky3018winky3018 on April 25th, 2012 01:19 am (UTC)
I never want this verse to end, I want you to keep writing forever and ever and ever!! :D

Great addition to this verse, it just keeps getting better. I love the bantering between Danno and Leon *giggles* "They just liked to argue which seemed to be Danny’s default with most people."

I am kind of torn on whether I want Steve to be VP or not, it would be fun to see.

*hugs*
Are 6 dogs too many?: grace giggles 2tkeylasunset on April 25th, 2012 07:39 pm (UTC)
You are so sweet. Thank you!

I think Steve won't be running for VP. I'm not sure I could do it justice. I have no idea what a VP does and don't you think he and Danny deserve some time to themselves? Then they can go to more of John's football games!

I may still change my mind. Good thing I left the ending open, huh?

Thanks again!
From a little spark may burst a mighty flamedante_s_hell on April 25th, 2012 03:11 am (UTC)
I really just love how Danny and Steve gravitate toward each other. This series just rocks!
Are 6 dogs too many?: Muscles and McGootkeylasunset on April 25th, 2012 07:40 pm (UTC)
They have to be right next to each other - you're right!!

Thank you so much!!! :-)
middimiddivampira on April 25th, 2012 06:00 am (UTC)
absolutely love this. Can't wait to see more. (If it matters at all (idk if you take readers ideas into account or not as far as like actual plot points) I don't think he should be president. I think the rest of the verse would be awesome just exploring the kids lives' if Kono is the next governor and such. :D
Are 6 dogs too many?: grace and dannotkeylasunset on April 25th, 2012 07:41 pm (UTC)
Thank you for the vote! When I started the chapter, I planned for Steve to run for VP. Since then, I've changed my mind. I have no idea what the VP does and I do think Steve, Danny, and the kids deserve some time out of the public eye.

I may still change my mind. But right now, I've voting no. (There's always a chance for a "recount"!)

Thanks again!!!
ambard10ambard10 on April 25th, 2012 10:46 pm (UTC)
i like this verse very much, poor Steve he will be in the public eye, and people can be bad and defamatory...