Title: It's Complicated (but only from a certain viewpoint)
Fandom: Hawaii Five-0
Pairing: Steve/Danno (sort of)
Summary: Steve and Danno are married. Kind of. In which there are (incorrect?) speculations as to the marital status of Steve and Danny that they deny but are (unhelpfully) contributing to.
Warnings: There's no spoilers but I wrote a majority of this before I saw 1X05 so the details about the house and Cat are a little (a lot) off. Uh... I call right to creative license use?
Author's note: This fandom needs more ficage. Seriously. I DEMAND IT.
Disclaimer: If it were mine, I wouldn't bother writing fanfiction for it.
"How long have you been married?"
The question is posed by one of Steve's new neighbours. James something-or-other. He's a married man, Steve remembers, that moved in with his wife a month or two ago.
"Uh…" Steve says in reply.
He'd returned from his morning run only to be stopped at his front door by Danny who'd shoved the kitchen trash at him and told him, after much flailing and many unnecessary words, to "take this out McGarrett or make your own damn breakfast." A scene which his neighbour apparently had the good fortune to witness and the curiosity to question.
Oh, and the skewed perception to misinterpret as well. Steve, in turn, gives the man a long suffering look because really, why does everyone assume he and Danny are married?
"That long huh?" the man commiserates when he sees the look. "Me too." Steve sighs and James claps him on the shoulder solemnly. "It's okay, buddy. I understand."
"I don't think-" Steve begins but James cuts him off.
"But it's not so bad, right?" he says with a soft look in his eyes. "I think, if it's a question of who I'll be spending the rest of my life with, I wouldn't want it to be anybody else. Even if there are times when she's more annoying than lovable."
There's a misunderstanding here but Steve's torn between clearing it up and agreeing with James because seriously, if he could pick anyone to be watching his back for the rest of his life, it'd be Danny. In the end he just says, "I know what you mean," and goes inside to have the breakfast Danny promised him.
Since the start of their partnership, (probably, because of their partnership,) Danny spends inordinate amounts of time in Steve's presence and at Steve's house.
Steve doesn't have a problem with this of course- if he did, they wouldn't spend nearly as much time together as they do- and Danny's never voiced any complaint about it (beyond the usual, anyway) but he's starting to feel sorry for Danny. He stays at Steve's place until late at night and then leaves only to return early morning.
So it makes sense, from the kind of military efficient viewpoint Steve thinks in, that he tells Danny to "just stay the night" as he watches the man get ready to leave at two in the morning when he knows he'll be back by seven.
Danny doesn't even protest. "Okay," he says and camps out on Steve's couch with the spare pillow from Steve's bedroom and the extra blanket.
It's a beautiful arrangement that works for about a week before Danny is once again getting his things together as he prepares to leave at two in the morning.
"Where are you going?" Steve asks confused.
"Home," Danny replies with a yawn.
Steve blinks. "…why?"
"Because," Danny says wryly, "while your couch is very lovely and all, I'm not as young as I used to be and my back hates me a little more in the mornings every time I sleep here."
"Oh," Steve says. Then, "If that's all you should have said something. I have a bed you know."
"Yes, and I hate you for it, a little bit. What does that have to do with anything?"
Steve rolls his eyes. Sometimes, Danny could be so dense. "I'm saying you can use it."
"Where will you sleep?"
"On the bed. Do they not teach you how to share in Jersey? Other than your opinion I mean."
"You ass. It's called freedom of speech. As a US citizen I have the right to it, you know." Steve rolls his eyes and heads toward the bedroom, Danny just behind him.
"There's the right to use it and then there's… how you use it." When they get there, Steve goes to the right, Danny to the left.
"Are you saying I misuse the freedom of speech?" Danny challenges as they pull back the covers and climb in together.
"I'm not saying anything," Steve retorts, lying back.
"Implying then," Danny says, pulling up the covers.
"There may have been implications," Steve admits.
"I do not misuse the freedom of speech," Danny sulks.
"Of course not," Steve agrees readily. "Now shut up, Danno."
It should probably be more awkward than it actually is for Danny and Steve to share a bed. To be fair, there are a few minor incidents here, ("Dude… are we spooning?" "It's because you're a fucking blanket hog, Williams. Seriously, have you never shared a bed before?") or there, ("Christ! You're feet are freezing, Steve!" "It's because I'm a heartless bastard. Now be quiet Danno, I'm trying to sleep.") but it goes pretty much like every aspect of their relationship- they discover each other's imperfections and find ways to work with it.
(Danny isn't quite able to stop his cover stealing tendencies and Steve's feet are always cold and they get used to waking up pressed against each other.)
It's an arrangement that works so it's not really surprising when Danny's things start to magically appear at Steve's.
It starts off small. There's another toothbrush beside Steve's in the master washroom (and an accompanying argument on the proper way to squeeze toothpaste out of the tube- Danny says there isn't one and Steve insists on squeezing from the bottom up). Then there's another razor beside his, ("So you do use a razor to shave." "Of course I use a razor to shave, what else would I use?" "I don't know, I thought you'd be all GI Joe about it and use a machete or something.") and an additional can of shaving cream.
Danny's body wash is in the shower and his clothes migrate to the right side of Steve's closet ("It's been, like, a week. I'm keeping a change of clothes here or people are going to get the wrong idea what with me going over to your place and then coming back wearing the exact same thing the next day." "Right, wouldn't want people to think we're sleeping together or anything." "Exactly.")
Then things get a little bit bigger and Danny's things start materializing in places outside of the master bedroom and washroom.
("Is that a coffee maker?"
"Brilliant deductive skills, Commander. A pluses all around."
"Why is there a coffee maker here? I have coffee."
"No, you don't. I looked- no, I scoured your kitchen and found a distinct lack of coffee."
"This is coffee you know, Detective."
"NO. That is not coffee, that's… that. It's disgusting, is what it is."
"No. Just- no. There are so many things wrong with that statement- you know what? I'll make you a cup of the real stuff and then we'll see if you're still willing to defend that wannabe shit you're holding in your hand.")
"What did I just say?"
"You have something against Pixar?"
"Did I say that? I never said that. It's cute, this obsession of yours."
"I have a kid."
"Uh-huh. And I'm sure Gracie was just dying to have a copy of Finding Nemo."
"Maybe she was."
"What is this?"
"That is a copy of 'The Hounds of Baskerville.' You don't like Sherlock Holmes?"
"There's nothing wrong with Sherlock Holmes just, why is this here?"
"You don't want my books on your bookshelf?"
"I don't care if your books are on the bookshelf; I care where it is on the bookshelf."
"Of course it matters—there's an order to it."
"…You bitch about my wearing a tie but you alphabetize your books by author? So this is the kind of stuff they teach in the army, huh?"
"Navy. I was in the NAVY damn it!")
Basically, what it comes down to is that Steve offered to share his bed with Danny and somehow that just sort of led to them living together. Because that's how they roll.
They're grocery shopping together and Danny's sent him to go get salt because he can't make the pretzels he's been craving without it. As a result, Steve's left standing in aisle three of Sobeys feeling like a moron because really, why is there more than one kind of salt?
So there's Steve, staring at salt and cursing Danny in his mind because they have salt at home and he has no idea why it isn't good enough, when one of the stock people appears to take pity on him.
"Can I help you, sir?" Her nametag reads Sara.
"Yeah. I'm supposed to be getting… salt," he says gesturing towards the honest-to-God three shelves full of salts helplessly.
"Ah," she smiles warmly. "Did the Missus say what she was going to be using it for? That would help to narrow down which one you should be getting."
"Missus…?" he asks confused and Sara goes bright red.
"I'm sorry, I just assumed-"
"Steve!" Danny calls, saving Sara from apparent embarrassment.
"Over here," he answers.
"Oh, there you are. So good to see you again. It's been, like, what? A year? Since I sent you to get that salt, I mean," he greets, grocery basket hanging off his arm.
"You're hilarious," Steve says dryly. "Why do you even need salt anyway? We have some at home."
"That's table salt, Steve. I already told you- you do not top pretzels with table salt. Now kosher salt," he says and Steve watches slightly awed as Danny plucks a can out of the sea of salt brands and types with ease, "this baby will make those pretzels. I swear you'll never go back to those… things you were calling pretzels before…" Danny trails off into a tirade about pretzels of all things and God, Steve thinks affectionately, what is it with Danny and food?
By this time, Danny's well into full rant mode, finger waving in the air imperiously and strolling off towards checkout without Steve or the grocery basket. Steve rolls his eyes, picks up the neglected basket, and follows, thanking Sara as he passes her.
She watches as Steve catches up to Danny and they fall into step, Danny speaking animatedly and Steve nodding at appropriate times. 'What a cute couple,' she thinks and goes back to her job.
"…You think they're together?" Kono asks Chin as she and her cousin watch Danny and Steve interact. Danny's at his desk, showing something to Steve on his monitor that Steve is reading over Danny's shoulder. They can't hear the conversation between them from where they're sitting but body language speaks volumes; strictly speaking Danny and Steve don't need to be that close together.
"They're always together," Chin shrugs.
"I meant together together," Kono says.
"Maybe. Or maybe they're just two close bros who bonded together after too many near death experiences." They watch as Danny rubs at his forehead in the universal indication of a headache and Steve steps into his office. He returns a moment later and plunks down a ceramic mug and presses what looks to be Advil into Danny's hands. Steve motions for him to take it and Danny gives him a grateful smile in return. "Or maybe they're married."
"They better not be."
"Definitely. If it turns out they got married and I wasn't there to be the maid of honour, there's going to be ass kicking going down in the near future."
There's a knock on the Five-0 department door and a young blond woman pokes her head in. "Uh… hi. I'm looking for Detective Williams?" At his name, Danny perks up and smiles readily at the figure at the door. He goes towards her and they speak for a moment, Danny gesturing in a manner that suggests he's asked her to come further inside. The woman shakes her head and Danny shrugs, returning to his desk to rifle through a stack of papers.
"Who's that?" Steve asks from where he's perched atop Danny's desk.
"Hm? Oh, the rookie. Taylor, I think. Don't know her first name. She's been here a lot recently, asking for advice."
"Is that okay?"
"Of course. I remember being the newbie and asking all the seniors how to file this or access that. It's part of the learning process- would you move?" he demands, tugging on a sheet of paper Steve's sitting on. Steve, helpfully, shifts his weight so that Danny can yank it free. "No, don't go out of your way to stop being a hindrance or anything. It's not like I'm trying to get work done."
"You're not. You're helping a rookie."
"I'm at fault for being helpful? No, never mind, I don't want to know how that works out in your head. I'm just going to go run this over to Taylor now and hopefully, when I get back, you'll be a little less… you." Danny leaves and Steve frowns as he watches Danny go.
"Looks like someone has a crush," Kono teases as she and Chin come up to the desk.
"Who does?" Steve asks.
"Obviously not you," Kono mutters under her breath and then, louder, "I was talking about the rookie girl chatting up Danny."
Steve clears his throat. "Right. Why do you say Taylor's got a crush?"
"When she comes by, and she comes by a lot mind you, she always asks for Danny. If he's not here, she leaves and if he is, she stays and talks for at least a half hour," Chin says with a shrug.
"Also, she wears her skirts on the high side and bats her eyes like she's got something in them," Kono adds.
"Hm," is all Steve comments before he heads towards Danny and Taylor.
"Woah, boss," Kono calls out. "No need to freak- I don't think Danny's interested." Steve just gives her a dismissive wave and continues on his way.
"Danny," he says when he nears. The conversation between Danny and Taylor stops abruptly.
"Steve? Something wrong?" Before he can answer, Taylor cuts in.
"Detective Williams? Who's this?"
"Ah, right. Forgive my manners- this is Commander McGarrett. Steve this is Officer Taylor."
"While it's a pleasure to meet you," Steve says with a tilt of his head, "I'm afraid you'll have to continue this conversation another time, Officer Taylor. It seems the Detective's headache is well on its way to a migraine."
Danny winces. "Saw right through me, did you?"
"It was pretty obvious. You're such a child, Danno," he complains, bringing his hand up to rest at the base of Danny's neck and massage the muscles there. "Seriously, why do I always need to take care of you?"
"It's your fault, really. All that fun we have together and everything," Danny replies. Steve snorts. " In any case, loathe as I am to admit it, Steve's right- I should lie down before the lights decide they hate me more than they already do. Was there anything else I could do for you Taylor?"
"I should have everything in order now but if I have any questions…?"
"Just give me a call."
"Okay. Um… If I could just get your house phone number…?"
"Sure." There's a long pause where Danny doesn't say anything and then he's tilting his head towards Steve.
"…What's the landline number? I'm sort of having issues remembering it right now." Steve rolls his eyes but the corners of his mouth quirk upwards. He promises to tell Taylor what it is while he pushes Danny in the direction of Steve's office so that he can go lie down.
Danny leaves and Steve turns back to Taylor so that he can tell her the number but finds that she's looking rather crestfallen. "Alright there, Officer?"
"Everything's fine Commander. Just… you and Detective Williams should wear your rings or something because otherwise you give people the wrong impression. I'm glad though- you two look pretty happy." She departs then, without getting the house number and leaving Steve feeling somewhat confused.
"Everything okay boss? Danny wasn't looking so hot when he passed by earlier," Kono comments as she and Chin wander closer.
"Yeah, he has a migraine. He'll be fine in a bit once the Advil kicks in."
"Where'd Officer Taylor go?"
"She left a little after Danny left," Steve says with a shrug. "She said something about wearing rings? I can see why Danny wants to help her—jewellery is a pretty rookie mistake. Wearing something that will glint in light is like asking to get shot. I should remind Danno to tell her that next time he sees her."
"I don't think she'll be coming around much more often," Chin observes wisely.
"Oh?" Steve raises an eyebrow. "Another assignment maybe? It's not really any of my concern but in that case I'll tell Danno to send her an email. He'd think it would be a shame if she was hurt because of a beginner mistake."
"You don't think so?"
"It's called a beginner mistake because they're the ones that make it. Personally, I think it would be best to let her get shot at and let her learn the hard way but Danno likes to molly coddle people. Must be a Jersey thing. Anyways, I'm going to go check on Danno—make sure he hasn't decided to commit suicide due to migraine induced throbbing. It would be a pain in the ass to have to clean up after that."
"Is it weird that I heard that as, 'I'm concerned about my husband's wellbeing so I'm going to go check up on him and make sure he's doing alright'?" Kono asks as they watch Steve head to his office.
"No," Chin replies with a shake of his head. "Because, that's what I heard too."
"So you're saying that there is nothing between you two," Mary states. She's only been here for a half hour and Steve already wants to strangle her. In a totally brotherly loving way.
"No," he says slowly. "I'm saying there is nothing like what you're thinking of between us."
"Just to clarify, because I want to be completely clear on this, you and Danny Williams, the man you are living with, the one you share a freaking bed with, are not in a sexual relationship."
"Yes, that is what I am telling you. That's what I've been telling you for the last twenty-seven minutes."
"Yeah? Well I call bullshit." Steve groans and wills the urge to slam his head into the nearest horizontal surface away.
"Why is this so difficult for you to believe?"
"You honestly don't know?"
Before he can answer, a resounding "STEVE McGARRETT" echoes its way to them from a few rooms down.
Steve does not sink into the couch at the use of his full name. He clears his throat. "Yeah Danno?"
"Don't you 'yeah Danno' me, Steve. What the fuck is this?" he demands when he comes into the room.
"My shirt?" Steve answers hesitantly.
"YES, it's your shirt! Obviously it's your shirt!" Danny snarls, waving said article of clothing around in emphasis.
Steve stares at him blankly. "Um…"
"You know how you can tell it's your shirt?" Danny continues and Steve's 'Danny-is-about-to-hit-full-blown-rant' sensor goes off wildly. "Because there's a fucking hole in it. Who do you think you are? Captain Kirk? Dammit Steve—who do you think sews this shit up? And while we're at it—would it kill you to keep your shirt clean for one god damn day? I know it's tough to keep the bloodstains out when you're jumping off rooftops chasing after drug runners and driving cars into the middle of a firefight, but Jesus, would it kill you to try?"
"'Probably' he says. Do you hear that God? 'Probably.' And you know what's sad about this? You're probably telling the fucking truth because you insist on taking on armed persons when I'm the only backup. You know what the result of that is? I end up doing the laundry of a fucking five year old boy who can't keep the fuck out of the mud."
At this point, Mary's a little bit worried because it looks like Danny is about to deck her brother when Steve reaches forward and puts a hand onto one of Danny's flailing arms. "Hey. Hey! Danno. Is this about earlier? The bullet just grazed me, you know that. I'm okay, its okay. Everything's alright," he soothes. For the first time, Mary notices the bandages peeking out of from underneath Steve's shirt. (Clean, so evidently not the one he wore to work today.)
She watches as the fight drains out of Danny. "One of these days," he says, bunching Steve's shirt when he tightens his hands into fists, "there will be a time when things don't end with everything being 'alright.'"
"Have a little faith Danno. It's you watching my back after all. And besides," he says with a grin, "I'm not like you; I don't bitch about a boo-boo here or there." Danny scowls and whacks him on his injured arm. Steve yelps appropriately. Danny stalks off to the laundry room muttering about insufferable ex-Navy SEALS and how there's not enough Tide in the world to deal with their antics. Mary watches this all go down with wide eyes.
"Abuse," Steve mutters, rubbing his arm. "I'm being abused. Did you see that? And you think I'm sleeping with him?"
"No," Mary says and Steve gets a bad feeling because she's finally agreeing with him. "No, you are definitely not sleeping with him. When did you get married? How the fuck could you not invite your own sister to your wedding? God, and I thought you were just being in-the-closet about this and it turns out that not only are you not, you got married to your boyfriend already. There are consequences to this, I hope you know. You are so having another commitment ceremony and this time? I'm planning it." As she prattles on about themes and colors and who will be wearing what, ("Danny's got a kid so obviously, no white for him and I mean, you're my brother- white will just go to waste when you discover there's some mafia gang member you have to go after on foot, so yeah. No white for you,") Steve sighs and wonders what it will take to get back to into the navy SEALS and the more relaxing lifestyle that came with it.
"Daddy, please may I have a penguin?" Grace asks in her most polite voice.
Danny internally sighs but can't quite regret bringing his baby to the zoo. "No, sweetie. I already told you that you can't have one."
Grace is undeterred. "Steve, please may I have a penguin?"
"Did you get all A's on your report card?"
"Did you get all your homework done before we left?"
"Have you been eating all your vegetables?"
"Then, okay. You can have a penguin."
"Steve!" Danny scolds while Grace shouts, "Yay!"
"What? She's been a good girl."
"I thought we talked about this; sometimes Gracie gets caught up in the moment and decides she wants something she shouldn't have—like a penguin."
"Why can't she have a penguin?"
"Where on Earth are we going to find a penguin?"
"You're silly daddy. I thought everyone knew penguins lived in Antarctica."
"Yeah Danno, Antarctica."
"When the hell did I get two kids?" Danny grumbles under his breath. "The answer's still no, sweetheart. Where would we put it?"
"I'm sure we could rent a place for it at the zoo. Elite task force pay and all that," Steve (the bastard) supplies helpfully.
"Yeah, Steve? Can you do me just one favour? Please stop talking. And no, Gracie, you may not have a penguin."
"Because I said so young lady and that's the end of that."
There's a moment of silence where Gracie is pouting, Steve is determinedly not-talking, and Danny focuses on driving. Then Gracie asks, "Okay. Then can I be the flower girl for your second wedding to Steve, Daddy? Aunt Mary said I could."
Danny does not swerve into the oncoming traffic lane, but it's a very near thing. "Aunt Mary? When did you meet Steve's sister? No, never mind. Let's deal with one thing at a time. Why do you think Steve and I are getting married, sweetie?"
"Again, Danno. You're getting married again because everybody missed your first one. Aunt Mary says it's because you guys did it ninja style so nobody would know."
"So ninja even we missed it, huh? Gracie, Steve and I aren't married."
"But you have to be!"
"And what makes you say that, baby girl?"
"You're together all the time, you live together, you sleep in the same bed, and your partners. Jack Reyes' moms are partners and they do all those things and they're married."
"Sweetie, just because we're partners doesn't mean- do you not have anything to say about this?" he prods Steve who, so far, hasn't said anything about the subject.
"You told me not to talk!"
"Well, now I'm telling you to talk."
"Talk, don't talk—there's just no pleasing you, is there Danno?"
"Well, what do you want me to tell her?"
"Yes, yes, I'm very high maintenance. Now talk."
"I don't know. Just tell her something."
"Okay," Steve says solemnly. "You can be the flower girl when Danny and I get married again."
"What? You said tell her something."
"I hate you."
"But in a totally loving way, right Daddy?"
Danny sighs. "That's right baby. I hate him in a totally loving way."
"This is the part where you tell him, 'me too'," Grace tells Steve.
"Me too, Danno. Me too," he tells Danny obediently. Danny wonders how is this his life.
"See?" she beams. "You guys are obviously married."
Steve has a date.
Her name is Catherine and they'd met back when he was still a navy SEAL and spending his life tracking down two arms dealing brothers with the perseverance of a bulldog. She's the kind of woman he thinks he'd have settled down with, if he'd been given a choice, but they're both too married to their jobs for that to happen which makes her kind of perfect.
In short, they're friends with benefits.
He feels a little bad about kicking Danny out for the night but the man had waved him off and said he'd crash at Chin's for the evening (because he stopped renting out that shithole of an apartment he was staying at before months ago). Steve isn't sure about how he feels about Danny staying with Chin but then it's seven in the evening and Cat is ringing his doorbell so he doesn't have the time to reflect upon his feelings.
"Hey there sailor boy," she greets with a smile.
"Hey yourself," he says and invites her in.
Curious, she looks around. "So, this is your father's house, huh?"
"Yeah," he replies softly. "It's mine now."
"I'm sorry," she says sincerely, touching his arm gently.
He gives her a tight smile in return because he doesn't know how else to reply to that. "Dinner?" he offers eventually.
Normally, when it's the two of them, dinner is takeout. It's not that Steve can't cook- he can if he wants to. Usually, he just doesn't have the time for it. Today though, Danny took pity on them and made lasagne before he left, leaving it in the oven to keep it warm.
"Still a neat freak, huh Steve?" Cat comments upon seeing the lack of dust on shelves and the crumb free tables.
"There's nothing wrong with being neat," he defends as he gets the lasagne from the oven.
"No, but I think there's something wrong about your floor sparkling."
"Take a tour in Iran and then we'll see who's complaining about sparkling floors. Here," he says handing her a plate.
"You made lasagne?" she questions with surprise.
"Well… no. Danno did," he replies, taking a bite from his own plate and resisting the urge to moan because God, Danny could cook.
"My partner. Danny Williams."
"Your partner comes over and cooks for you?"
"Ah… no. Actually, he lives here so really, he's cooking for himself and I mooch off of him."
"He lives here? I never took you to be a roommate kind of guy."
Steve shrugs. "It just kind of happened."
"Oh? Tell me about him," she prods.
And Steve does.
He tells her how he's a slob but insists on wearing a tie in Hawaii of all places because it makes him feel more professional. He tells her how he nags about everything, from the way Steve interrogates suspects to the way he's always ripping his shirts. He tells her how he bitches about Steve's safety and how he isn't really worried about himself in a fight because he knows Danno has his back. He tells her about how they first met (at gunpoint), how they're first job as partners ended (with a dead lead, Danny with a grazed shoulder and a sore wrist, and him with a sore jaw), where the name "Danno" comes from (his daughter). He tells her about Grace and Rachel and how Danny would rather be anywhere but here except that here is where his daughter is so here is where he stays.
He tells and tells and tells and doesn't even realize how much time has passed until Cat excuses herself to prepare some after dinner coffee and he checks his phone and realizes that not only does he have a new text message but holy crap, it's midnight. How in the world did he spend five hours talking about one man?
He opens the text and—surprise, surprise—it's from Danny.
u kno wat I realizd? kono and chin r more badass than every1. theyre so badass that even chin's couch is more of a BAMF than urs
He snorts and wonders how many beers Danny's had to be telling him this.
Hey! I'm totally badass. So is my couch.
no ur totally crazy. its not the same. and fyi ur couch is crazy 2
fyi? When did you turn into a 13 year old girl?
probly around the time chin's shirt came off
What? Why is there stripping going on? As your boss, I forbid you from stripping.
we r off hours boss dude. and its strip poker. stripping is a must
Why are you playing strip poker?
were playing. games over now. was kono's idea
Chin let you play strip poker with Kono?
he didnt let us strip past underwear but yeah. u missed out. SHIRTLESS CHIN AN KONO
You trying to make me jealous Danno?
no. i'll always luvingly hate u the most
Steve may or may not have smiled at that.
Yeah? Me too.
y r u talkin 2 me anyway? dun u hav a date?
Steve blinks because he may or may not have forgotten that. Naturally, he covers by typing a mature and intelligent comeback.
You started it.
yeah, yeah. night steve
He slides his phone back into his pocket and when he looks up, Cat is smiling at him enigmatically.
"Your partner?" she asks handing him a cup of coffee.
"Yeah," he confirms.
She takes a seat beside him and sips at her own cup. "So I guess I won't be staying the night."
"Why not?" he demands startled.
She blinks at him with astonishment. "You don't know? I just don't want you to regret anything in the morning."
"I," won't regret anything in the morning is what he wants to say but the words won't come. "Have a spare bedroom," he says instead.
"It's nice of you to offer but I don't think I want to stay in Danny's room."
"Danny doesn't sleep in the spare bedroom," he says confused.
"There where does he sleep?" she asks perplexed.
"Uh…" he says.
"You guys sleep together and you won't regret sleeping with me in the morning?"
"We do not—we share the bed, that's all!"
"Why are you sharing a bed when you have a spare bedroom?"
"Because the spare bedroom was being used as a supply closet at the time. We cleaned it out when Gracie started staying over on the weekends."
"You sleep together, live together, and have a kid and you still wouldn't mind sleeping with me? Is this like an open relationship kind of thing?"
"We're not in a relationship."
Cat laughs. "You're such a guy, Commander! You sleep together, the man cooks for you, you clean the house obsessively, and you have a kid. I'm telling you, there's a relationship there. If I had to guess, I'd say you're married."
"Everybody says we're married."
"Is that so?" Cat smiles at him, patient and warm, looking as though she knew something he didn't. "Then have you ever considered that maybe everybody is right?"
"You have got to be the only man on Earth who can get laid and still be grouchy in the morning," Danny says as they watch TV together on the couch. Well, Danny's watching. Steve is kind of slouching tiredly against him.
"Who got laid? I didn't."
"You mean you and Cat didn't-"
"She said she didn't want to regret anything in the morning."
"Ouch. So you're that bad, huh?"
Steve punches him in the arm. "She didn't want me to regret anything in the morning. Apparently, she doesn't want to get in the way of our relationship."
"That's what I said!"
"Mm. Dames—I don't think we'll ever figure 'em out." Danny looks at him. "You okay? You look pretty tired for a guy who didn't get laid."
"Enough with the lack of sex that went down last night. And yeah—couldn't sleep," he says slumping further down.
Danny laughs. "You don't care about bullet wounds but you bitch about missing out on your beauty sleep? You've got an odd set of priorities there." Steve grunts and hey, when did his head end up on Danny's lap?
"Shut up, Danno," he says and wow he might just have to fire Danny so that he can work full time as Steve's official pillow.
"You shut up—Good Eats is on," Danny retorts. Steve gives a sleepy mumble about how their kitchen is a million times better and Danny snorts and tells him that no, it really isn't and Steve's eyes are getting heavier by the second. There's a hand running through his hair and then Danny firmly telling him to "go to sleep, Steve."
And because Steve knows there are terrible consequences for not listening to Danny, he does exactly that.
Steve looks to his closet where Danny's dress shirts and ties hang neatly on one side. He looks to his nightstand and glances over the three pictures there- there's one of him and Mary taken a lifetime ago, back when they were both young and innocent; one of his parents, young and happy and alive; and finally, one of him and Danny caught in mid-argument, eyes dancing as they banter back and forth. Lastly, Steve looks to his right where his partner is sitting under the covers with his back to the headboard, reading glasses slipping slowly off the bridge of his nose as he studies the files of their current case in the light given off by the reading lamp beside him.
"Hey Danno…" he prods as he stares at his ceiling pensively.
"Hm?" he asks distractedly.
"Are we married?" There's really only so many times he can hear it before even he begins to doubt and between the two of them, Danny's the only one that's actually been married.
To his credit, Danny takes the question seriously. "Well," he says scratching at his chin thoughtfully and closing the file. "Do we spend a majority of our time together screaming at each other?"
"Do I complain about everything you do?"
"Do I actually need to answer that?"
"Do you hate me?" The question seems so sudden and out of sorts that for a moment, Steve is thrown.
"What? No, of course-"
"Would you remarry in a heartbeat? Leave me for someone with a higher pay check? Take away our only child and move to an island 5,000 miles away?"
It's abundantly clear that Danny's train of thought has veered away from the original topic and into some dark, bleak area in his mind that Steve hates almost as much as Danny's ex. In Steve's mind, it doesn't matter if Rachel is actually a nice person or what her redeeming qualities are- there's only one person in the world (that he knows of) that can cause Danny's mind to go to that dark corner, that can cause Danny to fall into this moody sort of silence.
She's the only one he can think of that makes Danny look like he's about to break down and cry.
He hates this expression on Danny. It's an awkward mix of defeated and broken and sorrow that makes something inside of Steve churn uncomfortably. He hates this feeling too, because he doesn't know what it is or what it means. Probably, if he thought about it he could figure it out, but when Danny looks like this Steve doesn't spend a lot of time contemplating his own feelings.
Mostly, he spends his time getting that expression to go the fuck away.
"Hey," he says, nudging Danny with his foot. "At least you traded up. You lost your wife, sure, but you got me instead. Pretty good deal I'd say."
Danny snorts. "That's debateable. You're both pretty terrible."
Steve frowns. "I think I'm insulted."
"Well, you're less terrible than her," Danny admits. "But only a little."
"That's better." Danny leans over and turns off the reading lamp and then slips under the covers fully so that he's lying beside Steve. "Rachel, of course, traded down. I bet," Steve continues, turning onto his side so that he's facing Danny, "that Stan is terrible in a firefight. Probably can't even handle a gun."
"Oh, he's the absolute worst," Danny agrees. "They'll regret that when the zombie apocalypse comes around."
There's a pause and then: "…Zombies?" Steve chuckles.
"Laugh it up McGarrett but when the zombies attack, I reserve the right to say I told you so."
"We'll be fighting off cannibalistic flesh-eaters and you're concerned about telling me you were right and I was wrong?"
"It's the little things, I think, that I'll savour the most in that point of my life."
Steve shakes his head disbelievingly and neither men notice how they talk about the end of the world as something they'll fight and survive and live through together. "Whatever you say Williams, whatever you say."
"Mm," he replies sleepily. There's silence and Steve thinks Danny must have nodded off and is well on his way on joining him when Danny whispers, "oh, and Steve?"
"Yeah?" he whispers back.
"Your feet are fucking cold." Steve grins and moves closer, tangling their legs together just to annoy him. Danny makes a face but doesn't move away. "The things I put up with for you…" he says with an exasperated sigh. "Good night Steve."
In the morning Steve is greeted with the sight of Danny snoring softly, drool pooling on his pillow. 'Disgusting,' he thinks and really, what does it say about his mind set that there's an affectionate tinge to it? Carefully, he untangles his legs from Danny's, tucking the blanket around the sleeping form of his partner when the man murmurs sleepy protests from the disturbance, and leaves for his morning run.
(When he gets back, he knows, Danny will shove the kitchen garbage at him before he can enter the house but there will be a cup of hot coffee and blueberry pancakes waiting for him when he gets out of the shower. He'll bypass the cup set out on the counter and steal the one in Danny's hands and Danny will complain but let him have it. They'll argue about who gets to drive and Danny will win because it's his day today and then they'll banter back and forth about nothing on their way to work.)
Legally, they're not married but practically, they might as well be and none of that actually matters because life, Steve thinks as he steps out the door to begin his (their) morning routine, is god damn great.