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21 June 2012 @ 01:15 pm
Bulletproof Baby Blankets - Is Yesterday pt 1  

Title: Is Yesterday part 1
This is a direct sequel to The Only Easy Day. This chapter has gotten so long, I've decided I need to break it into 2 parts. I guess this is kind of part 2 of The Only Easy Day but it's part 1 of Is Yesterday. Is that confusing enough?
Series: Bulletproof Baby Blankets
Rating: G for this chapter
Pairing(s)/Character(s): Steve/Danny and their ohana
Summary:  Steve, Danny, and the children go to New York so Steve can debunk the false claims of the man who was never a SEAL.
Warnings/Notes: None except muses on the loose. I hadn't planned to write a sequel to The Only Easy Day but it was requested by several readers. (Thank you those requests!) This chapter's gotten away from me! There's a big surprise I know! I hope to have the second half written before the end of the weekend.
Word Count: ~7400



When the plane finally landed at JFK Airport, Danny made sure all the kids were present and accounted for. They had flown on the Governor’s jet, the Navy agreeing to reimburse the state of Hawaii for the expense of flying the family to New York. Flying commercially would have cost almost as much and Danny couldn’t imagine trying to deal with the airlines with the four kids plus Henry.

Emma had asked and gotten permission to invite Dancy. Her fathers understood that she needed another “girl” to hang out with. Since Alicia had mandatory rehearsals, she couldn’t come with them. Dancy was excited about visiting New York City for the first time, hoping she and Emma would be allowed to visit some of the stores about which they had heard so much. Danny had tried to discourage that talk but he and Steve secretly agreed it was inevitable that they would be going to Macy’s if not Saks.

Steve had told Zach that he should come and when John had encouraged him to agree, he had. John knew it would fall to him to watch out for Zach. He didn’t mind. As long as Zach’s concerns were addressed and he felt like he had a voice, he would manage being away from home. Rachel had expressed some reservations on John’s behalf, but John wanted Zach to come so that settled it.

The family was accompanied by Henry Emery who was practically a member of their extended family. They didn’t think they really needed security but Chin Ho had been insistent. He wanted to go with them but was too involved in an on-going investigation to make the trip.

Danny would have liked to bring Grace and Amou but they had politely declined, busy as they were moving into their new house. Danny and Steve both respected their choice.

“Come on, baby girls,” Danny said when Emma and Dancy lagged behind going through the terminal.

“We aren’t going to get lost, Daddy,” Emma said.

“I hope not. Governor SEAL is on a mission and won’t slow down for stragglers,” Danny warned.

“What happened to no man left behind?” Emma asked, speeding up enough to catch Steve’s hand. He smiled down at her, wrapping his long fingers around her smaller ones.

“You aren’t a man,” he teased, looking over his shoulder at Zach who was focused on making sure Dancy didn’t get lost. That was a surprise to Steve but he wasn’t going to comment on it and make him self-conscious. John was telling Danny something Steve couldn’t hear which made Steve suspicious. Henry brought up the rear, directing the porter who was handling the overflowing luggage cart.

“The car rental place is right over there,” Danny said, pointing to the row of counters. The one they needed had a line 10 people deep waiting.

“All right,” Steve sighed. “I’ll flip you for it.”

“I’ll go, sirs,” Henry said.

“Thanks, Henry. But you can’t pay for it. I’ll go,” Danny said, herding everyone over to some uncomfortable plastic chairs. “It will help me get back in a New York state of mind.”

“Don’t yell at anybody,” John warned, standing in front of Steve who was sitting between Emma and Zach, Dancy on Emma’s other side. “Can I have some money, please?”

“For what?” Steve asked as he reached into his pocket.

“Sodas,” John said, looking around. “Oh. Or not.”

“They’re on the next floor up, Bud,” Steve said.

“Never mind,” John said in disappointment.

“I’ll go up with,” Henry said, standing up with him. “You’ll need help bringing them all down.”

“That’s true,” John agreed. “Zach, do you want water or Coke?” John waited but when Zach didn’t raise his head from his computer, he tried again. “Zach?”

“Yeah?” Zach said, looking up at John.

“Water or Coke?” John asked patiently.

“Water,” Zach said before returning to his computer.

“Okay. Hopefully we won’t be long,” John said, detouring by the line where Danny was waiting. “Daddy, do you want Coke or coffee?”

“Coffee please,” Danny said before looking behind him at the woman who was smiling openly at the two of them.

“He’s your son?” she asked brightly.

“Yes ma’am, he is,” Danny said, returning her smile and looking up at John. “All five feet ten inches.”

“Such a handsome young man,” the woman said.

“We think so,” Danny agreed, smiling at John’s blush. “That’s our daughter. The one with blonde hair,” he said, pointing to Emma who was busy talking to Dancy, their heads close together. They made quite a contrast, with Dancy’s ebony hair and darker complexion. “And her best friend. That is our sometimes son, Zach.”

“Quite a family,” the woman said. “And the attractive man with them?” Steve was listening to Emma and Dancy tell him where they wanted to go and what they just had to see. Zach was researching each place as they named it, bookmarking it for their later perusal.

“He’s my father,” John said proudly.

“Yes, I can see that now. Why does he look familiar?” she asked, a look of concentration on her face. “We’ve never met you, have we?”

“I don’t believe we’ve had the pleasure,” Danny said, extending his hand. “I’m Danny Williams-McGarrett. This is my son John. That’s my husband Steve Williams-McGarrett with Emma, Dancy, and Zach.”

“I’m Betty Ann Morrison. And you said Steve Williams-McGarrett?” the woman repeated. “The governor of Hawaii?”

“I’m afraid so,” Danny laughed, telling John to go ahead up for drinks. “I’m surprised you recognize him.”

“He’s hard to miss,” Betty Ann said. “My goodness. You shouldn’t be standing in line.”

Danny shrugged, turning to glance toward the counter. “We need an SUV big enough for all of us. We have one reserved.”

“Don’t you have special privileges or something?” she asked, almost affronted that the governor of Hawaii had to wait like anyone else.

“No ma’am,” Danny laughed. “We aren’t here on official state business. More like a semi-vacation.”

“I see,” Betty Ann said. “What all do you have planned, if it’s not too forward of me to ask?”

“Not at all,” Danny said. “The girls are begging to go to Fifth Avenue so I’m sure we’ll end up there. We were going to go to a Yankees game. But since they aren’t home, we may go to the Mets game instead.”

“Hard to root for the enemy,” she said with a knowing laugh.

“Yeah but the kids need to see a professional baseball game,” he said. “We’re going to try to go the Metropolitan Museum of Art if we have time.”

“A must,” she agreed.

“What brings you to New York? Before I became First Gentleman of Hawaii I was a detective and I have the feeling you aren’t from around here.”

“Oh gracious no,” Betty Ann agreed with a warm laugh. “I’m from Georgia. My daughter’s gettin’ married in October. I’m here to help her start makin’ all the plans.”

“Congratulations,” Danny said. “Hawaii is a lovely honeymoon location,” he laughed.

“They already have reservations,” she assured him with a sunny smile. “The brochures are all so picture perfect.”

“Much like the state,” Danny said. “Have you ever visited?”

“I haven’t. I asked her if I could come but she didn’t seem too keen on the idea,” she laughed.

“Kids these days,” Danny said, shaking his head and laughing.

“Your son and daughter are beautiful,” she said warmly, glancing over at Emma again.

“We’re very lucky,” he agreed. They were three people away from the counter, the line moving much more swiftly than he had expected. Lively conversation would do that. He smiled at John when he got back, he and Henry equally loaded down with drinks and snacks. “How much did Steve give you?”

“Not enough. Henry paid the rest,” John said, giving Danny his large coffee and a real New York bagel.

“I’m sorry,” Danny said to Henry who shook his head.

“You know it’s not a problem,” Henry said affably before going with John to distribute the rest of the refreshments.

“Is he a family member?” Betty Ann asked with a laugh.

“He’s our security detail. And aide de camp, if you will. Steve’s assistant wanted to come but none of us are too fond of him, frankly. And Henry doesn’t have any problems being security and personal assistant.”

“Your husband doesn’t like his own assistant?” Betty Ann asked.

“It’s complicated,” Danny admitted. “We inherited him. Makes it harder to get rid of him. And he is good at his job. He just thinks he should be governor instead of Steve.”

“That’s unfortunate,” Betty Ann said.

“Yeah. But he has gotten better about not looking down at Steve like he has no real business being Governor,” Danny said.

“He must think very highly of himself.”

“That’s Sebastian,” Danny agreed. “The kids threatened to boycott if we brought him. Given the choice, the kids will always win.”

“As it should be.”

“We think so,” Danny said, approaching the counter when the man in front of him concluded his business.

“Can I help you?” the man behind the counter asked, not bothering to look up from his intent focus on his computer. He was barely older than a teen-ager, his manners as lacking as his ability to grow the facial hair that Danny thought ought to be banned.

“I have an SUV reserved,” Danny said, trying to withhold his impatience. Steve was right. He had gone native. But that didn’t mean the obvious rudeness of the rental employee didn’t make him want to reach over and punch him.

“Name?” the guy asked, still not looking up.

“Williams-McGarrett,” Danny said, reaching into his Zen Place that Chin had finally helped him achieve. It always came in handy dealing with the demands required of him being married to the Governor.

“No reservation for McGarrett. You sure you have the right counter?” he asked, uninterested in the answer.

“Not McGarrett. Williams hyphen McGarrett,” Danny explained with exaggerated patience.

“Spell that?”

“Williams? You don’t know how to spell Williams?” Danny asked, repeating calming words in his head. The rudeness of this guy was beyond belief.

“All right,” he conceded, typing into the overly fascinating computer. “Here. Williams-McGarrett. Number 36. Paperwork’s all complete. Car’s outside and to the right. You could have gone directly there.”

“How would I have known that?” Danny asked, his tone hard enough to finally attract the man’s attention.

“You should have…uhm…email?”

“I see,” Danny said, staring at him.

“I apologize for the inconvenience,” he said, having enough sense to understand Danny’s frustration.

“Yeah. Thanks,” Danny muttered, turning to Betty Ann. “Enjoy your stay in the Big Apple.”

“I will. You do as well,” she said with a return smile.

Danny went over to his family, all of them hopping up at his approach.

“Can we go?” “Is it all taken care of?” “Where is it?” “Are we going?” “You need help, Henry?” “We’re finally going to see the city?”

Danny answered as well as he could, leading the group out the indicated doors and to slot #36. It was a dark blue Escalade, Danny whistling at the luxury. “Our tax dollars at work, huh?”

“It had to be big enough for all of us,” Steve said, helping Henry put the luggage in the back. “We aren’t moving here permanently. Why do we have so many bags?”

“Don’t go there, babe,” Danny said, situating the kids. “Everybody buckled up?” They agreed they were, ready for their adventure in the big city to begin.

“All set back here,” Henry announced, climbing into the seat behind Steve. Danny was not letting Steve drive through the city, afraid for the pedestrians who might not survive the encounter.

~o0o~

They managed to get up to the 12th floor with little drama, the helpful bellboy pushing the cart of luggage. Steve opened the door to the suite that had been reserved for them, the sitting area flanked by two bedrooms. The girls would be in one, Steve and Danny in the other. John and Zach had the room directly across the hall, Henry in the adjourning room. Danny would have preferred them all be within easy access but that wasn’t possible. Henry having the connecting room with the boys helped to ease his mind.

“All right,” Steve said when the luggage was sorted, the girls had stopped squealing, and the guys had stoically announced their room ‘fine’ which translated to ‘oh my goodness I had no idea,’ he got them all in one place. “I have to go meet with Commander Swenson. I’ll be done in a couple of hours and we’ll have dinner.”

“I’m hungry,” Emma announced. She was sitting on one of the loveseats, Zach next to her, nodding.

“I’m not surprised,” Steve said, checking his watch. It wasn’t quite lunchtime in Hawaii but all of their internal clocks were off. They wouldn’t be in New York long enough to completely adjust to the 6 hour difference. The best they could do was to eat when they were hungry and try to sleep in New York time as much as possible. “Danny can take you for some authentic New York pizza. If you hate it, you will never say so.” The kids laughed at that, Danny frowning at him.

“Then what?” John asked. He was standing by the window looking down at all the hustle and bustle of the city.

“We’re less than a mile and a half from Macy’s at Herald Square,” Danny said, making the girls squeal again. “I take that as a yes.”

“Please, can we, Daddy, please?” Emma said, bouncing in the loveseat. Her face was alight with excitement, Dancy nearly has animated at the idea.

“If you really want to,” Danny said in teasing. “John? Zach?”

“I don’t mind,” John said with a smile. There wasn’t much, in truth, he wouldn’t do for his baby sister and by extension her friend.

“Zach,” Danny asked. He didn’t endow the word with any discernable emotion, letting the decision be entirely Zacchary’s.

“Would it be acceptable if I were to remain here?” Zach asked, looking at Danny then Steve.

“If Henry doesn’t mind,” Danny said.

“I’ll be glad to stay,” Henry agreed pleasantly. “I have some paperwork I need to finish. This will give me the perfect opportunity to do it.”

“All right,” Steve said with a nod. He reached in the pocket of his slacks and gave the children some money, Danny frowning briefly. “No point in going to one of the world’s most famous stores if you don’t have any money.”

“Thank you, Steve. But Mom gave me some,” Dancy said politely, trying to return it to him.

“Keep it, love. You might find something you just have to have,” Steve said with a wink, making Dancy’s face the most adorable shade of pink.

“Thank you,” she said, sitting by Emma and whispering furiously with her about where they’d go first.

“Thank God for cell phones. Otherwise I’d have no hope of keeping track of you all,” Danny said, walking Steve to the door. “We’ll see you back here in two hours.”

“Roger that,” Steve agreed, leaning down to kiss him, the children making kissing noises behind them. “Stop that.”

They just laughed, their happy sounds following him down the hallway and into the elevator. He would have given anything to have stayed with them but that wasn’t the main purpose of their trip to New York. He sighed to himself, wondering if his life was ever going to be simple. Or at least simpler. Simple was not a description that could have ever been used to adequately define his life. Well. No point perseverating over it. He needed to put aside his druthers and focus on the meeting he was going to, the one where the Navy stiffs were going to try and tell him how to comport himself in public. On TV. Whatever. Like he hadn’t spent the last two decades of his life doing just that. Really? He could talk around any subject. True, there had been a time he was more a ‘damn the torpedoes and full steam ahead’ kind of guy. That was before he’d had to learn to deal the bureaucracy that kept Five-0 funding flowing. And then he’d become the one who funded it. He’d learned the fine art of bullshit. Partly from necessity. Partly from Danny.

He left the elevator when it arrived on the second floor, going down the plush hallway to room 221 where the meeting was to take place. The door stood open to the small conference room furnished with an oblong table and 6 comfortable chairs. Two of those chairs were already occupied by Commander Swenson and an older woman Steve did not yet know.

“Ah, Commander,” Commander Swenson said, standing up as Steve entered. “Or I suppose Governor is more appropriate,” Swenson said, holding out his hand, a smile of greeting on his face.

“Either one. Or Steve,” he responded with a smile, shaking the Commander’s hand. He was several years older than Steve, military bearing in full force. His short cropped hair was completely grey, his uniform impeccable. He had a kind face, much less stern than Steve would have expected. He always thought if he’d stayed in the Navy, he’d have looked the part of the hard-ass Danny still accused of him being. Although mostly those accusation flew when they were fighting.

“Very good. This is my assistant Lieutenant Mildred Brown,” Swenson said. Steve shook Lt Brown’s hand wondering if she always sized up those with whom they met. Or if he was an exception to the rule. She was not quite as old as Swenson, her brown hair in a tight French braid at the back of her head. She didn’t smile at Steve, her gaze even and piercing. He didn’t think her usual job was to be anyone’s assistant. He was fairly certain she was in some form of intelligence gathering and wondered briefly if she knew Catherine. Not that it was in any way relevant to their discussion.

“Nice to meet you, Governor,” Lt Brown said, her voice pleasant and with no trace of an accent discernable. Definitely intelligence then.

“You as well,” Steve replied.

“Would you like something to drink? Or to eat?” Commander Swenson offered, waving at the refreshments on the side table.

“Some coffee,” Steve agreed, pouring himself a cup before accepting the invitation to sit at the table. They already had cups at their places so he didn’t feel any obligation to fill their cups for them.

The far end of the conference room was all windows that overlooked Park Avenue and the leafy green of Central Park beyond. The near end was made up of a screen, the mechanisms for projecting onto it secured to the ceiling. The other two walls were graced with mass produced art of generic flowers in overly ornate frames. Not the worst conference room Steve had ever met in nor was it the nicest.

Lt. Brown closed the door before sitting by Commander Swenson on the opposite side of the table from Steve. She had an iPad at her place which she turned on to study.

“First off, thank you for agreeing to make the rounds of publicity to debunk Mr. Greenly’s false claims,” Swenson said pleasantly. If there was a certain amount of barely hidden anger in his smooth tone, Steve could certainly understand it.

“I read most of his book,” Steve said. “How anyone could think it was true is beyond me.”

“Those less versed in the tactics of the military might find it plausible,” Swenson said. “It is, of course, a pile of manure.”

“That’s an understatement,” Steve said. “It’s not even particularly well written manure.”

“True,” Swenson said with a chuckle. “But we all love heroes. And the release of his book has given him that moniker – one he does not deserve.”

“Did he really think he’d get away with it? Lying so blatantly?” Steve had to ask.

“We hypothesize that he didn’t expect us to call him on it. Because SEAL activities are classified, he thought that would serve his purpose,” Swenson said.

Steve shook his head at that. “Have you met him? Is he really so stupid?”

“No. And apparently he is,” Swenson said. “We have been surprised by the number of phone calls and emails the Navy has received, questioning his authenticity.”

“That’s reassuring,” Steve said. “I guess the American people aren’t so easily fooled.”

“Not from the amount of contact we’ve received. Because it’s summer and in a traditionally slow news cycle, his book is getting more traction than it normally would. They also timed the release to coincide with the anniversary of the raid.”

“But he was booked on all those shows,” Steve said. “How did that happen when it was only just published? Did they read it before they asked him to appear?”

“He has a canny publicity machine working practically around the clock. The only way for us to slow it down is to man a counteroffensive.”

“Which is where I come in,” Steve said.

“Yes. Former President Obama has made some noise about Greenly being less than truthful. That has helped a little. You following in Greenly’s footsteps will make a much broader impact.”

“All right,” Steve said. “How many appearances will I be making?”

“Tomorrow you will tape Jon Stewart’s Daily Show, The Rebecca Fields Show, and appear on the CBS evening news. That one will be pre-taped as well, at their studios. Friday you’ll be live on the Good Morning America Show and tape an appearance on the Chatter With Cathy Show. And Sunday, we’re trying to arrange for you to be on Sunday Morning Round-up with Kirby Greenly there as well.”

“Will his publicist agree to that?” Steve asked. Steve was certain he could chew the man up and spit him out without batting an eyelash. Surely this Greenly knew that too.

“If you drop well placed hints that you are anxious to discuss his service in the SEALs, compare notes as it were, we think he’ll agree to try and bolster his fabricated history.”

“He can’t win,” Steve said.

“No. But you can’t admit you were in on the raid. He’ll use his supposed experience to prove he was there. There is a chance former President Obama may be available to appear with you on the Good Morning America Show. But as his daughter is due to have her baby any minute, his first priority is to remain with his family.”

“I can understand that,” Steve agreed. What they were suggesting he do made strategic sense. But he still wasn’t sure how he felt about this entire thing. Couldn’t Barack Obama just deal with it? The former President knew as well as Steve that Kirby Greenly wasn’t there. He hadn’t been at the top secret lunch the President had hosted for Steve and the other SEALs who had succeeded in taking out Bin Laden.

“We have tapes of all of his appearances,” Lt Brown said. “It might be beneficial if you were to watch them.”

“How many shows has he appeared on?” Steve asked.

“Only three so far,” Lt Brown said. “We think he was scheduled for two more but when doubts began to surface, those appearances may have been terminated.”

“If doubts are already setting in, is my participation really necessary?” Steve asked. Maybe he could still get out of appearing on national TV. That’d be a huge win. But then they’d have to reimburse Hawaii personally for the cost of the travel. That would not be a win.

“….completely,” Commander Swenson was saying.

“I apologize, sir. I missed what you just said,” Steve admitted, covering his momentary embarrassment by sipping from his coffee. He didn’t usually let his mind wander when he was in a meeting. Oh well. No harm no foul he supposed.

“Your appearances will help debunk his claims completely,” the Commander repeated with an understanding smile.

“I see,” Steve said, trying very hard not to sigh. “Perhaps I should watch his appearances. Knowledge is power, after all.”

“Certainly,” Brown said, using the remote at her place to lower the lights and turn on the overhead projector. With the click of a few more buttons, the screen was illuminated with the logo of The Daily Show, the clip playing the same one that had started Steve down this road.

The Daily Show was followed by two equally ridiculous appearances, Greenly’s story already starting to fray by the time he reached the end of the third interview. This one was on Kevin Overman’s show. Anyone who had ever heard of Kevin Overman or seen a few minutes of his program knew his interviews never included softball questions. He thrived on controversy, creating it if he couldn’t dig it up. His questions to Greenly had been pointed, tough, and thorough. In the eight minutes Greenly spent with Overman, he contradicted himself and his book at least three times Steve was sure of. It was unbelievable to Steve that Greenly’s publicists had been stupid enough to book him on that program. Steve said as much to Swenson and Brown.

“He thought once he convinced Overman, the rest would be a cake walk,” Swenson said. “We didn’t even bother calling Overman to tell him our version. He got Greenly to damage his own reputation.”

“Please tell me I don’t have to visit with Kevin Overman,” Steve requested. “He’s not a fan of mine. Although why he’s decided to focus on Hawaiian politics is beyond me.”

“He was sure Obama wasn’t born in Hawaii. When your predecessor released the long-form birth certificate, it put a stop to his campaign,” Swenson told him.

“Oh. Right. Sam Denning did tell me how much Overman despises him. And now me,” Steve said with a laugh.

“Not all gifts are to be cherished,” Lt Brown said, surprising Steve and making him laugh again.

“You are right about that,” Steve agreed.

“Have you ever met Overman?” Commander Swenson asked Steve.

“No I haven’t. All of his attacks are from a distance. He probably thinks he’s banned from coming to Hawaii,” Steve said.

“Is he?” Brown asked with a light laugh.

“No. But if he ever comes, he’d better be on his best behavior. Or he’ll be arrested for sure,” Steve said with a smile. It was a smile of someone who held all the cards and didn’t care who knew it.

“Without a doubt,” Swenson agreed. “Are you confident in what you are going to say during your appearances?”

“Yes sir. I’ve learned not to answer questions that I’m not asked. And when I do answer a question, answer only that question.”

“Excellent advice,” Swenson said. “And if you are asked how you are so certain he was not in Pakistan?”

“The Navy has informed me that he wasn’t there.”

“Do you have first hand information to verify their story?” Swenson asked, taking the role of an interviewer to see how Steve would handle himself.

“There is no Kirby Greenly who ever served in the Navy. This is pubic record which anyone can access. And no Kirby Greenly was ever a SEAL. While those records are not public, I’ve seen them and he is not on the rolls,” Steve said with an unmistakable authority and air of conviction.

“You’ve seen them in your position as Governor?” Swenson asked.

“Yes. And as a former SEAL. My security clearance remains high enough that I can say without a doubt that Kirby Greenly was never a SEAL.”

Swenson nodded, certain they had chosen the correct spokesman to counter the impostor’s claims. “Very good.”

“Thank you, sir. I don’t like to think of myself as a politician but, well, the truth is that now I am,” Steve said.

“And a very good one,” Lt. Brown said, making Steve give her a crooked smile.

“Thank you, ma’am. I think.”

“I meant it in the best way possible,” she assured him with a genuine, warm smile.

“I know your husband is a huge Yankees fan,” the Commander said, accepting an envelope from Brown. “But since they were inconsiderate enough to be out of town, we thought the Mets would make an acceptable substitute.” He handed the envelope to Steve who looked inside to find 7 tickets to Saturday’s game.

“This isn’t necessary, sir,” Steve said, trying to return them.

“Please,” Swenson said, refusing to take them back. “We called their front office. They were thrilled that you wanted to come. Those tickets are directly behind home plate. Since your children haven’t been to a professional game, the Mets wanted them to have the best view possible.”

“Thank you,” Steve said, looking at the tickets. “This is…very generous of you.”

“Not at all. They were happy to provide them. At no charge. And Jon Stewart will be thrilled that you are going to see the Mets. I wouldn’t mention that Danny is really a Yankees fan,” Swenson said with a laugh.

“I wouldn’t dream of it, sir,” Steve agreed. He had to laugh when Brown reached under the table for a box which contained seven replica Mets jerseys. “These are great.”

“Even if Danny won’t wear one, maybe the rest of your family will,” Brown said with a smile.

“He probably will. Since the kids and I will be wearing them. He didn’t bring a Yankees jersey. And unless he’s buying one at Macy’s, I think we’re safe,” Steve said.

“Your children wanted to go to Macy’s?” Brown asked conversationally. Steve wasn’t sure it was a casual question but what possibly motivation would she have for asking if not out of simple curiosity?

“My daughter and her best friend did,” Steve agreed. “My elder son went with them. Our younger son didn’t.”

“I understood you only had one son,” Swenson said.

“Biologically, John is our only son. Zach is what Danny calls our sometimes-son. It’s complicated,” Steve admitted.

“I’ve heard of your fluid family,” Lt. Brown said with a genuine smile. “I think it’s fabulous.”

“Thank you. Fluid. That pretty well describes it,” Steve agreed.

“Is there anything else you need from us, Governor?” Commander Swenson asked pleasantly.

“I don’t believe so. I feel like I have all of the information that I need,” Steve said.

“Very good. Lt Brown has volunteered to be your driver. I know you are capable of navigating Manhattan but having someone else drive can be beneficial.”

“I appreciate it,” Steve told them both.

“I’ll pick you up tomorrow morning at 0900. You will tape the appearance on The Rebecca Fields show at 1000. From there, we will go to the CBS studios for you to tape the Good Morning America segment at noon. The taping of The Daily Show is at 1400,” Lt Brown told him, handing him a sheet with the times printed out. “I’ll also email these to you.”

“Send them to Danny and my assistant Henry Emery as well, please,” Steve requested.

“Certainly,” Lt Brown agreed. “You’ll need to bring two changes of clothes. It would look better if you weren’t wearing the same shirt and jacket for each appearance.”

“All right,” Steve said, seeing that note at the bottom of the itinerary.

“What does your family have planned for tomorrow while we have you tied up with our dog and pony show?” Swenson asked with warm-hearted sympathy.

“I’m not entirely sure, sir,” Steve admitted. “I think they may go to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Or we at least want them to.”

“One of the must-sees,” Swenson agreed. “If you need reservations or tickets to any shows, you only need let Mildred know. She’s first-rate at scoring the hardest to find tickets.”

“That’s good to know, sir,” Steve said with a nod. “I believe when we leave here, we may fly down to DC. The kids have never been and we’re so close, it only makes sense for us to go.”

“Absolutely,” Swenson said. “An excellent plan.”

“If the state of Hawaii cooperates,” Steve said, standing when Swenson and Brown did. “I’ll see you tomorrow at 0900.”

“I’ll meet you in the lobby,” Brown confirmed.

“Thank you,” Steve said, shaking hands and leaving the conference room. Once he was in the hallway and Lt Brown had closed the door behind him, he shifted the box and took out his phone. He had six missed calls; two from Chin Ho, one from Kono, one from Sebastian, one from Grace, and one from Danny. There were three new voice mails; one from Chin, Kono, and Sebastian. Emma had texted him: I am never leaving macy’s. you’ll explian to zach, right? ;-)

He laughed at her message, calling Danny on his way up in the elevator. “Are you having fun?”

“More than I can possibly express,” Danny said, sounding put-upon to the worst extent possible.

“How much money have you had to spend?” Steve asked.

“Surprisingly not much. I bought John a shirt and Dancy a pair of shoes,” Danny said.

“Nothing for Emma?” Steve asked, surprised by that.

“Not yet. She and Dancy are trying to decide which backpacks are the most rad.”

“Rad, huh?” Steve laughed.

“Yeah. John is…somewhere. I’m not really sure. Swim trunks maybe.”

“I see,” Steve said.

“You’re done with your meeting?” Danny asked.

“I am. I have three appearances tomorrow, two on Friday and possibly one on Sunday.”

“None on Saturday?” Danny asked to make sure.

“Nope. But I do have seven tickets to the Mets game, if you know anyone who might like to go,” Steve said. He could hear Danny laughing on the other end of the phone.

“I can’t think of anyone off hand. Should I ask your son or your daughter?”

“Sure. Will you go and not razz the Mets?”

“I’ll consider it,” Danny said, laughing.

“Hey Daddy,” Emma’s excited voice said from Danny’s phone which Danny was apparently no longer in charge of.

“Hey baby girl. Are you having a good time?” Steve asked.

“The best. This store is the best. Oh. My. God. Can you just come get us tomorrow? We’re going to spend the night,” she said, all bright excitement.

Steve had to laugh at her. “I don’t think that’s a good idea, baby. How am I going to explain to Chin Ho Kelly that you were arrested in New York city?”

“Oh,” she said. “Okay. I don’t want to disappoint Uncle Chin. Wait up, Dancy.” And with that, Danny had his phone back.

“She’s never going to sleep tonight,” Steve predicted.

“She’ll wind down eventually,” Danny said.

“I’ll come meet you there,” Steve decided, staying in the corridor until he finished their conversation.

“All right. They have a restaurant where we can eat. Emma will be thrilled,” Danny laughed.

“I’ll see if Zach wants to come. If not, he and Henry can order room service.”

“All right,” Danny repeated. “Call me when you get here so we can find you.”

“Roger that,” Steve agreed, opening the door to enter the suite. Zach wasn’t in the sitting room but Henry was at the desk, writing with one of his fountain pens. ‘Computers have their place,’ he always said. ‘But I like my fountain pens.’

“Hi Henry,” Steve said as he entered, putting the box down on the dresser.

“Governor,” Henry said with a smile. “Is the Navy bribing you?”

“The Mets are,” Steve laughed. He reached into the box for a large jersey, handing it to Henry. “There’s one for each of us.”

“Oh my,” Henry said. “Will Danny wear his?”

“I doubt it,” Steve said with a shrug, smiling over at Zach as he emerged from the bathroom. “Hi.”

“Steve,” Zach said with what sounded like a sigh.

“Everything okay?” Steve asked evenly. He studied Zach and decided he was mostly tired.

“Yeah,” Zach said, shrugging. “When are the kids coming home?”

“They – well, mostly Emma – want to stay a little longer. I’m going to meet them at Macy’s to eat dinner. Do you want to come?”

“To Macy’s?” Zach asked.

“For dinner,” Steve said.

“They sell food?” Zach asked, a familiar line between his eyebrows.

“They have a restaurant,” Steve replied.

“Oh. That would be interesting,” Zach decided.

“If you want to stay here, I will as well,” Henry said after listening to what was and what was not said.

“It would be interesting to go to Macy’s,” Zach said.

“All right,” Henry said. “Then I’ll come to Macy’s as well.”

“Excellent,” Steve said. “Are we ready to go? Are those shoes okay to walk a mile and a half?”

“They are good for walking,” Zach said, looking down at his tennis shoes.

“Henry?”

“I’m good,” Henry agreed, rolling down his sleeves to button his cuffs.

“What are these shirts?” Zach asked, looking into the box.

“Mets jerseys. Courtesy of the Mets. They gave us tickets for Saturday’s game,” Steve explained.

“Oh,” Zach said with a nod. “Will Danny go?”

“Yes,” Steve laughed. “He said he’d try not to disparage the Mets.”

“He may have a hard time remaining silent,” Zach said, making Steve and Henry laugh.

“You are right about that,” Steve agreed. “I need to return several phone calls. Do you want to go ahead and start toward Macy’s? I’ll catch up in a few minutes.”

“Okay,” Zach agreed, looking at Henry who nodded. “We will see you there.”

“Absolutely. Henry, you have the directions?”

“I do, sir,” Henry agreed, taking out his phone. “Danny left them with me.”

“I shouldn’t be long,” Steve said as Henry and Zach left. Once the door was closed, he called Danny back. “Hey.”

“What’s wrong?” Danny asked.

“I… nothing, I think. Henry and Zach have already started toward you. I have to make a few calls. Zach seems tired so please watch him.”

“I will. We’ll get a taxi home if we have to,” Danny assured him.

“It may take two,” Steve laughed. “I shouldn’t be long. If the kids are hungry, take them to the restaurant and I’ll meet you there.”

“That’s fine,” Danny said. “Chin Ho called me. They arrested a suspect in the Tomlinson case.”

“That is good news,” Steve said. “He was on the top of my list to call.”

“Make your calls so you can come,” Danny said, a smile in his voice.

“I won’t be long,” Steve promised.

“Right,” Danny said, hanging up.

Twenty five minutes later Steve had finished all of the phone calls and changed into a pair of jeans and a blue polo shirt. With that, he left for Macy’s. It was a nice day, not too hot with a blue sky. Not Hawaii blue but still pretty, in a huge-city kind of way.

“I’m in the front lobby, I guess,” Steve said when he had called Danny. “I didn’t know department stories had lobbies.”

“Most don’t,” Danny laughed. “We’re on the fourth floor. Toward the back. Emma and Dancy are trying to decide which bathing suits they want.”

“Zach okay?” Steve asked quietly as he made his way to the elevator in the corner of the store.

“Fine,” Danny said.

“All right. I’ll be there in a minute,” Steve said, hanging up. He emerged on the fourth floor directly into prom dresses. All the brightly colored fabrics and sparkles momentarily discombobulated him until he blinked and cleared his vision.

“May I help you?” a woman asked, appearing from between the racks of brightly colored dresses. The expression on her face implied she wasn’t strictly talking about assisting him with shopping. She had more personal ideas on how she could help him.

“Thank you, no,” Steve said. “I’m meeting my husband and children here.” He was equally pleased and annoyed by the disappointment that announcement was met with.

“I see,” she said. “Well, if there is anything I can do, don’t hesitate to ask.”

“Of course,” Steve agreed with a curt nod, making his way through the dresses. He could feel her eyes on him until he rounded the corner into the swimwear. He heard Danny before he saw him, telling Emma that under no circumstances whatsoever would he purchase her that bathing suit when his handkerchief had three times the amount of fabric.

“You don’t even need a new bathing suit,” Danny was saying as Steve walked up to them.

“I only have four,” Emma replied, still holding the blue and white scraps of cloth strung from a hanger.

“No,” Steve said, shaking his head. Emma frowned at him but put it back on the rack.

“One word? It takes one word from you and she believes you? We’ve been arguing for the better part of half a day and you just sashay up and tell her no? What is that?”

Steve could see Emma smiling at her father’s rant, so very typical of him. She started whispering to Dancy and they both were giggling as they walked away. “She does it to you on purpose,” Steve told him when Danny paused to take a breath.

Danny glared up at Steve, fists on his hips. “I blame you.”

“I’m not surprised,” Steve said with a shrug. “Where are the guys?”

“Henry took them to…” Danny waved vaguely to his right as though that explained everything.

“To?” Steve prompted.

“This one?” Emma asked, holding a one piece that was stripped like a zebra, if zebras came in red and silver.

“Do you want to try it on?” Danny asked her.

“No. It’s my size,” Emma said, studying it.

“Where are your brothers?” Steve asked her, accepting the bathing suit when she handed it to him. Because he was apparently now her porter.

“Henry went with them to electronics. There’s a new game…thing Zach wanted to look at,” Emma said, more of her focus on the bathing suits than her fathers.

“One of the salesladies tried to pick me up,” Steve said to Danny as Emma went over to look at the rack of swimsuits Dancy was examining.

“Did you tell her yes?” Danny asked, watching the girls.

“I have a date later tonight,” Steve said.

“Good. It’s about time you made some new friends,” Danny said.

“Uh huh. Because I don’t have enough friends already.”

“You have no friends except me. Everyone else just puts up with you,” Danny told him.

“I see,” Steve said, watching Emma take out another tiny bikini. “No.” She put it back without glancing over at him. “Henry likes me.”

“You pay him to be your friend,” Danny said.

“I think the state pays him to be my friend,” Steve corrected.

“Good thing for you,” Danny said, turning to smile up at him. “You need some new polos.”

“No I don’t. I have plenty,” Steve said, looking down at the one he was wearing.

“The Governor should not wear shirts that have holes in them,” Danny said, poking Steve’s flat belly where there was a tiny hole in his shirt.

Steve shrugged, accepting another swimsuit from Emma. “This is just like the first one.”

“That one is Dancy’s,” Emma explained as though it was the most obvious thing in the world and seriously why couldn’t her fathers just understand that? “And you do need new polo shirts. We’re tired of seeing the same ones every single day.”

“Fine,” Steve said with a sigh. “We’ll go get some.”

“Good,” Emma said, turning her back to Steve and leaning up against him.

“Comfy?” Steve asked with a laugh.

“Uh huh.”

Dancy came up to them shortly afterwards, smiling secretly at Emma.

“Do you want any more?” Danny asked, looking at the two suits Steve was holding.

“No thank you,” Dancy said politely.

“You’ll just complain,” Emma said to Danny with a laugh. “Let’s go find the boys and eat.”

“Good idea,” Danny agreed, taking out his phone. “Hey Bud. Where are you?”

“Uhm…sixth floor. Toward the elevator,” John said.

“Okay. The girls are hungry. You ready to eat?” Danny asked him. He could hear John talking to Zach and Henry before talking again to Danny.

“We’re ready. We’ll meet you on the top floor,” John said.

“All right,” Danny agreed. He relayed the information to the others, telling them to go ahead while he paid for the suits.

“Hurry up,” Steve said, kissing him on the mouth.

“Roger that,” Danny said, turning to go to one of the registers as Steve and the girls went toward the elevator.



 
 
 
hellbells101 on June 21st, 2012 06:53 pm (UTC)
Yay the sequel. I loved and have re-read this, I've been driving my family mad with nervous pacing and are relieved to have found something that calmed me. Still looking forward to Steve ripping into him and six dogs will do sufficiently.
Are 6 dogs too many?: book me a toweltkeylasunset on June 22nd, 2012 03:09 pm (UTC)
I'm sorry you were nervously pacing. I hope everything is okay now.

I hope to post the second part this weekend. If my muses will let me actually finish it!

Thank you for the lovely comment.
hellbells101 on June 22nd, 2012 03:51 pm (UTC)
Oh yeah I had a job interview today but its all of the good as they gave me the job :)

Looking forward to the end of the chapter and really it was a good chapter!
tucker_liz on June 21st, 2012 08:12 pm (UTC)
Great as always. Love how each of the kids are distinct personalities. Not many people can do that in their writing.
Are 6 dogs too many?: beautifultkeylasunset on June 22nd, 2012 03:09 pm (UTC)
That is so kind of you to way! Thank you so much! Glad you are enjoying it!
d_odyssey: Steve Danny Wolwiegirl13d_odyssey on June 22nd, 2012 02:30 am (UTC)
Love the frenetic energy and excitement of the trip. All the details of the luggage, the lines and the trip to Macy's bring everything to life. Can't wait for Steve to rip into Kirby. Great sequel, happy it is a long one.
Are 6 dogs too many?: camo stevetkeylasunset on June 22nd, 2012 03:08 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much!! I'm working on the next chapter now. Kirby is going down!!!

:-)
middimiddivampira on June 22nd, 2012 07:00 am (UTC)
Super excited to see the next part. I love this fluid family so much and I love that Zach isn't the most like well adjusted kid or something. It's really good to have diverse personalities. Also, what timeline is this in again b/c is this Obama didn't win his second term or both terms have passed? :]
Are 6 dogs too many?: 2 guystkeylasunset on June 22nd, 2012 03:07 pm (UTC)
thank you so much!!

Obama served both his terms. Not to fear! This is after his 8 years in office!! :-)

Zach has his challenges, as we all do!

Thank you again!