|The Dark Side of Paradise
Author: jenthetrulysly PM
A deadly new force of terror comes to Hawaii and it is up to Steve and Danny to stop the horror that is about to ravage the islands and turn the streets red with blood. Co-written with the lovely, talented and amazing traw.Rated: Fiction T - English - Angst/Hurt/Comfort - Steve M. & Danny W. - Chapters: 8 - Words: 23,642 - Reviews: 9 - Favs: 1 - Follows: 1 - Updated: 11-13-12 - Published: 10-06-12 - id: 8585104
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
The Dark Side of Paradise
By jenthetrulysly and traw
The idea occurred to the lead detective as he was drying his hands on a kitchen towel. Making up his mind, he hung it back up on its hook and turned around to see where the young man was. They needed to talk things through properly if this undercover operation had any chance of success. Dan's reactions to their dinner guests tonight could be explained by initial meeting nervousness, but it couldn't be used for long. They needed a better solution, and Steve believed that if he could get Danny to understand the importance of this assignment and stop his discomfort, then it was very definitely possible. He had every confidence that they would be able to sort out Dan's discomfort. They had worked through some truly horrible cases together and the one thing he could count on was his Second-In-Command's ability to see reason.
Taking a deep breath, he began to approach the sofa where the young man in question was reclining against the cushions, apparently watching television. The dark haired detective took a few moments to observe Danny. The younger man gave off an air of being relaxed and to the casual observer he looked the picture of someone settling down for an evening in front of the television, but Steve knew better. The stillness of his body and the unseeing look in those clear blue eyes indicated that his thoughts were far away from what was happening on the screen; they were still on the events that had just transpired.
The Second-In-Command barely acknowledged it when the dark haired detective went to sit next to him. With a sigh, McGarrett laced his fingers together before he cleared his throat and said seriously, "Danno, we need to talk."
It was a few moments before the younger man answered with a sigh of his own. "I know," he admitted as he ran his hand over his sandy curls before he looked his boss, "I blew it!"
The urge to reassure his friend that he had not endangered the assignment tonight was pushed aside as McGarrett drew a deep breath and frowned. He took a few moments to choose his next words carefully, "You didn't blow it Danno, but you did risk blowing our covers tonight with your reactions." he began as he turned to face his detective, "This time I managed to explain your reactions away as shyness, next time we might not be so lucky."
"I know you didn't mean to jeopardize the case but we can't risk such a mistake happening again." Steve interrupted him firmly. "I understand how difficult this is for you Danno, really I do. It's not easy pretending to be something that you are not, but you're a cop...a cop who is undercover. I know we didn't have much time to prepare for this case..."
A small nervous laugh erupted from the younger man as he suddenly stood up and walked across to the closed glass lanai doors, looking out into the darkness before he spun around, "How were we suppose to prepare for a case like this Steve?" he asked incredulously, "How were we supposed to practice to get into the role of lovers?"
"No Steve...okay I almost blew it tonight, but just how am I supposed to act? How?"
"Like an undercover cop!" McGarrett growled. Swallowing down his anger, Steve lowered his voice but not the intensity as he added, "Like a cop who is undercover as my homosexual lover because that's the type of people we are dealing with, anything less and we will blow it! There will be times when we will have to kiss and touch intimately and appear to be comfortable with it. I need to know tonight if I can rely on you to do that?"
"You need to know, if you can trust me enough?"
Steve's eyes widened as he realized how his words had hurt his young friend. This wasn't the way he had wanted the discussion to go nor was it what he was trying to say. He quickly tried to reassure Danno that was not what he meant. They were on dangerous ground and he knew it. "Danno, that's not what I am saying."
"Isn't it, Steve?" Danny asked quietly, his blue eyes blazing with anger.
Some part of him was aware things could get very ugly, but he pushed on regardless. Danny had obviously read into things and Steve had to correct the young man before things got out of hand. This matter of trust had nothing to do with Dan's character; he trusted Danno with his life but he needed to know if the younger man could carry out the this undercover role when it came down to it. Since it was their lives and the outcome of the operation at stake here, he had to be sure. It was just another assignment and it should be treated like any other.
He had to get through to the young man at all costs and tried to keep his voice carefully level with his next words, "Danno, this is not about whether or not I trust you." Taking a breath, he tried to continue in the same steady voice, but it got a bit louder at the end, "This is about whether or not you can carry out this assignment! Of course I trust you! I would trust you with my life if it came down to it."
"If you do trust me," Dan shot back, "why all of this? You clearly have doubts as to whether I can carry out the job. How do I prove to you that I want this undercover operation to succeed, just as much as you do? What EXACTLY do I have to do?"
"I want you act normally," Steve retorted, before he abruptly stood up and moved to the lanai, where he leaned against the frame. He turned to look at the man beside him, "There should be none of this discomfort. I shouldn't have to remind you of how closely they are watching us, waiting for us to slip up!"
"Steve..." Danny began, but the lead detective continued relentlessly paying no heed to his words, such that all he could do was wait for McGarrett to finish.
"Did you not see how closely we were being watched this evening? We need to be able to fall seamlessly into our roles, such that a normal person wouldn't be able to tell us apart from who we are meant to be. Tonight your performance was not good enough. They got suspicious. I had to make excuses for you, and pray that they bought it." The lead detective paused for a few moments as he collected his breath before continuing, glaring at Dan, "You have to stop letting it get to you! You are a cop on an undercover assignment, you can't AFFORD to let it get to you!"
Danny was furious by the time the other man finished. "Fine! Tell me EXACTLY how homosexual lovers are meant to act." The anger dissipated substantially with the next bit, leaving behind a weary sense of defeat. "Or better yet, tell me how I am supposed to cope. How would you take it if one day your boss told you out of the blue, that you had to go undercover on an assignment like this. I'm not gay, so how am I supposed to feel about all of this?"
The sudden change in his Second-In-Command's voice hit McGarrett like a proverbial sucker punch, and he was left reeling by the revelation. Any irritation and frustration that Steve was feeling instantly melted away as he stared into the eyes of his closest friend. Of course, there was anger, confusion and hurt like he had expected, but there was also a vulnerability there that haunted him.
Looking across at Danno, Steve felt his heart sink as the younger man turned back to stare out of the door at the darkness of the night beyond. Even though only a few short feet separated them physically, it felt like they were worlds apart. He had to do something to try and bridge the gulf that now lay between them, not only to save this case but their friendship as well.
Stepping across to where his Second-In-Command now stood, McGarrett lightly placed his hand on the younger man's shoulder and gave it a light squeeze as he murmured, "I'm sorry Danno, I know this has not been easy for you."
Danny nodded as he continued to stare out at the darkness. "I'll try harder Steve." He promised softly before he sighed heavily and turned, unable to look McGarrett in the face as quietly announced, "It's been a long day. I think I might go to bed."
The dark haired detective nodded silently as Danny brushed past him and hurried towards the stairs. It was a few moments before Steve shook his head in quiet self-reproach. He should never have agreed with the Governor to rush into such a difficult undercover operation without making sure Danny was prepared adequately. It was clear that the young man was trying his best but it wasn't good enough. It was obvious that the very personal and intimate nature of this assignment was something that he had never come across before. Being undercover didn't stop a cop from feeling fear, and just then, he realised that his best intentions had done more damage than initially thought between them.
He watched the retreating back of his Aikane, wondering how his outburst had affected the young man, and just how he was going to resolve all the tension and misunderstandings between them. McGarrett was sorely tempted to call out and make the young man stop and listen to what he wanted to say, but that was likely to widen the gaping chasm between them, so he resisted.
With a heavy heart, he hurried up the stairs to their bedroom, where sleep would be an unattainable luxury tonight.
Steve slipped carefully out of bed, trying hard not to wake his partner and padded downstairs to the kitchen. He felt that fixing Danny breakfast could somehow start to make amends, or give them something to distract themselves from what had happened the night before.
He himself didn't usually eat a large breakfast, and he realized to his chagrin that he had no idea what Danny usually ate. Deciding on a global approach, he used contents of the well-stocked refrigerator to make an elaborate spread of French toast, bacon, and sausage. He was wondering how Danny liked his eggs when the man himself came into the kitchen. Steve took a small measure of pride as he watched the younger man's expression change to one of surprise at his culinary efforts.
Quickly grabbing one of the mugs he had put on the breakfast nook, the dark haired detective began to pour some coffee in an attempt to cover up the sudden nervousness that rippled though his body before he looked up and he smiled. "Morning, Danno, just take a seat out on the lanai, breakfast is almost ready."
Steve's heart sunk when Danny nodded silently and turned towards the table set outside. The younger man had not been able to look at or even speak to him. He truly began to fear just how much damage he had caused with his loss of control the evening before. It had seemed a good idea at the time after he had noticed just how uncomfortable Danny was with the intimate contact necessary to pull off this charade.
When sleep evaded him the dark haired detective had pulled all the case files they had available on this community. Dread bloomed following a quick perusal of all the sketchy information available. After an intense background search of Wilhem, Boris and the other known members of this tightly bound community, Steve was acutely aware that anything less than a perfect performance of being an intimate and swinging homosexual couple could blow their covers. The stakes were too high already, as several known members had disappeared without a trace.
McGarrett was determined to do everything he could to ensure that this operation went smoothly. Especially with the added danger that if things turned sour there would be no back up, no one rushing in. The Governor had insisted that this undercover operation be done covertly; not even the other two members of the Five-O team were to be told about the clandestine operation. Any objections that the lead Five-O detective voiced were quickly squashed by the two small words of "National Security" and a reminder that the people they were investigating held high positions within the White House. No one was sure just how high this moral and legal corruption went up the chain and they had to find out.
Still, the guilt and regret of what happened the night before tugged at the dark haired detective's heart. All he had tried to do was make Danny feel a little more comfortable with the idea of being touched by another man, someone who Danno had said that he trusted with his very life. But it had ended up failing spectacularly as he let his sense of duty come close to overriding their friendship.
Serving out the food onto the warmed plates, McGarrett found that his hands were shaking. He snuck a glance at the man sitting out on the lanai staring out over the ocean, and wondered just what he was going to say. Drawing a deep shuddering breath, Steve placed the plates and the two steaming mugs of coffee onto a tray before he picked it up and headed out to the lanai. He still with no idea of how he was going to explain himself for the angry, misdirected outburst at his friend.
Placing the heavy tray onto the table next to his aikane, Steve silently put the warm plates on their placemat settings. He barely restrained himself from sighing audibly at Danny's lack of response. Pulling out his chair, Steve sat down and waited for Danny to turn towards the table to eat, but the younger man seemed lost in a world of his own.
"Danno," Steve said softly as he reached across the table and lightly touched Danny's arm, forcing a small smile to cover up the desperation he felt to make things right, he nodded towards the food and said softly, "Breakfast, Aikane."
The young detective moved to pick up his knife and fork, and began to tuck into his food. Sighing audibly this time, Steve mirrored Danny's actions and began to eat. The silence was deafening between them, the clatter of silverware was too loud for comfort. The soft sounds of the ocean should have been soothing, but they reminded him that there was something very important they had to discuss.
Having had enough, Steve delicately laid his knife and fork down. This awkwardness between them had gone on long enough and it had to stop here. Danny, having noticed that Steve had stopped eating, laid his knife and fork down as well before he turned his expectant clear blue gaze towards McGarrett, waiting. It was good that Danny was willing to give him the time of day, and he was very grateful.
"Danny…" Steve began, only to falter. He looked into those eyes and hoped against all odds that the other man would understand, could understand all the things that had to be said.
Danny sighed as his eyes softened, the edge of tension dissipating from his body. "I know." There were a few more beats of silence before Danny continued, his voice somewhat back to its normal vibrancy. "So, are we going surfing today, then?"
Steve was glad for a break when it came. "You will be," he said softly, allowing a small smile to break across his face before he glanced down at his watch and frowned, "But we better get a move on. I'm sure Wilhem and Boris will be heading there soon."
"Do you really think they will turn up?" Danny asked as he resumed eating, spiking a piece of French toast onto his fork before placing it into his mouth.
McGarrett nodded as he picked up his mug of coffee and looked over the rim at his partner before reminding him softly, "They will be checking out every move that we make and test us continually. We can't afford to make a slip, Danno, our lives depend upon just how well we pull this off."
It was on the tip of his tongue to apologize for his outburst last night, but given what they were about to embark on, it probably was the last thing Dan needed right now. They could not afford any distractions out there on the beach today.
Making up his mind, the lead detective began to rise from the table, "Come on, we better get going," he ordered, confident his Second-In-Command would follow.
Steve pulled the Chrysler onto the gravel parking area fronting the secluded beach. As Danny unfastened his board from the roof rack, he was heartened to see that the younger man looked more relaxed and carefree than he had seen since they went undercover. The silence that stretched as they walked across the sand was almost back to their usual companionable state. To anyone that was watching, it looked like two close friends heading out for a day at the beach.
After they spread their towels on the sand, Danny slipped out of his shirt and board shorts before he seized his surfboard. He was itching to get into the water, but managed to ask with no small trace of amusement, "Steve, are you going in at all?" looking pointedly at the detective's long-sleeved flowered aloha shirt and white slacks.
"I think I'll watch from here," his dark haired boss told him, before lowering himself gracefully onto the towel.
"Suit yourself!" Danny said with his usual cheeky grin before he raced into the breaking swells, his surfboard in hand.
Steve settled down on his beach towel for a few moments before the heat of the morning sun disappeared as a shadow loomed over him. He pushed his sunglasses up on his head at the sight of Boris and Wilhem, identical saccharine smiles plastered on their faces. "Morning, gentlemen," he greeted cordially, as he rose to his feet and eyed the two men in front of him, who looked like they were getting ready for a fun day out at the beach.
"Morning," Boris echoed, as he allowed his eyes to roam hungrily over the man who stood in front of him. Steve noted that only Wilhem was carrying a surfboard, "it was simply too much to miss out on, all this wonderful weather," the younger man continued, smiling somewhat predatorily, "A day at the beach was too much to pass on."
"Indeed," Wilhem added, as his eyes flicked down to the second beach towel next to Steve's. He raised a hand to his forehead and scanned the area, "I see your wonderful partner is nowhere to be seen. I hope I didn't make him that uncomfortable yesterday evening."
Steve allowed a small hint of jealousy to color his voice. "No, he's out there, on the waves." The dark haired detective looked past the two men, out towards the ocean. Soon enough, they turned away from him, and the three men stood in the morning breeze to watch Danny.
"He rides well," Wilhem noted, grinning, as he continued to watch Danny, "the circuit is really missing out."
"Their loss, my gain." McGarrett replied nonchalantly, as he observed the young man out on the waves for a few more moments, before directing his gaze back to the two men in front of him. "Do you get to surf much?"
"I don't," Boris chimed in, "but Wilhem does. He's pretty good at it." The smaller man shrugged, his eyes never wavered from the tube that Danny had just disappeared into, "But I have to admit I am not as good as he is. Why doesn't he turn pro? He seems to have the talent for it."
McGarrett's face beamed with pride as he turned back to watch Danny re- emerge from the collapsing tube of water before suddenly flicking his board in a different direction to deftly catch a new and larger wave that barreled towards the shore. "They tried to coax him but he decided he wanted to stay with me."
The dark haired detective did not miss the quick glance exchanged between the two men standing beside him but remained silent as he watched his partner surf. He rarely had the chance to see his friend participate in his favorite pastime and had even gone as far as to forbid him from surfing the big waves. He honestly believed that they were exposed to enough risks during the job as things were, and that there was no need to add another risk to the ones they faced.
For a moment he regretted never taking more interest in his Second-In-Command's favorite sport. He held his breath in a combination of awe and fear, transfixed by the way Danno sliced down the front of a towering wave, almost as if daring the wall of water to try and crush him before darting back up the wave's face again. "Wow!" the soft unconscious whisper of admiration slipped past Steve's lips as he watched his friend surf.
For the first time in two days, Danny allowed all his fears about the case to disappear. His fingers danced playfully with the powerful wall of water beside him as he enjoyed the sheer force of the wave. He was able to forget the guilt and shame about what had happened last night for a moment. Here he felt completely in control of his fate.
Topping the crest of the current wave, he glanced towards the shoreline as he began to maneuver his board into the next one. However, his heart sank when he saw the two men standing with Steve. Even from this distance he could feel Wilhem watching him, and shuddered at how the man was mentally undressing him with his eyes. The memory of the sleazy business man's foot rubbing suggestively against his thigh made Danny feel nauseous, and he could feel the man's sweaty hand as it slid down his back, touching him intimately before he was able to step out of reach.
He felt the wave catch his board but before he was able to compensate he found himself being thrown violently through the air before hitting the unforgiving water, the impact slamming the air from his lungs. He fought to stop himself from tumbling mercilessly along the fine coral sand bottom, his vision turning grey as his body screamed for life giving air.
"Danno!" Steve yelled in horror as Danny's surfboard was catapulted high into the air before it crashed back down into the churning water his friend had tumbled beneath just moments before.
"He's wiped out!" Wilhem gasped as he turned and grabbed his own surfboard and ran towards the water with McGarrett close on his heels.
"No, let Wilhem get him," Boris said calmly as he grabbed the panicked man by his shoulders, preventing Steve from following Wilhem into the water. "He can reach your young man faster on the surfboard, and he hasn't got time to rescue you as well. Those waves out there are high. No place for a swimmer. Wilhem knows the water."
Shrugging out of the shorter man's firm hold, Steve stood silently on the sand staring out at the ocean, anxiously searching for some sign of his young friend as he whispered desperately into the wind, "Come on, Danno, where are you?"