This is my first foray into the world of writing for Hawaii 5-0, but Alex O'Loughlin is just too irresistible to stay away. :) Anyhow, this story was written in just about half an hour, and is completely unbeta'd - therefore, all mistakes are my own.

Set fter 1x12, so minor spoilers. Rated T for minor swearing.

Oh, and Merry Christmas/Happy Holidays!


It's two days after Christmas before Danny realizes that he hasn't heard from his partner since Christmas night. That night after the hastily thrown together party for his daughter, McGarrett had simply told him to take the next few days off and that he'd check in later, but it's been far too long for Danny's comfort. So as he's sitting in his small and – as he can privately admit – rather dismal apartment he flips open his phone, types in his partner's number and waits for it to start ringing.

Nothing.

There isn't a sound coming from his phone for a whole thirty seconds before the high pitched tones followed by the woman's obnoxious voice informs him that the phone is not in service.

"I must have dialed the wrong number," he says to himself, before using his speed dial this time to call again.

Nothing.

A ball of worry starts to grow in his stomach as he then dials McGarrett's rarely used home phone. Once again, there's not a sound in his ear, and this time when he hangs up, he starts thinking about his options. He could give into his worry, just as his partner always teases him about, or he could trust that his partner is fine and that there is just something wrong with the phones.

He decides to compromise. He opens his phone once more and this time tries to reach Chin Ho. Unlike Steve, this man picks up on the second ring. "Hey, Danny, what's up?"

Ignoring all pleasantries, Danny gets straight to the point. "Have you heard from Steve at all since Christmas?"

There's a pause before Chin Ho responds. "Come to think of it, not at all. Why?"

"No reason. Just not used to having this much freedom from the old ball and chain."

There's an edge now to Chin Ho's voice. "You haven't heard from him either. At all?"

"No. Do you know if Kono has?"

He can hear him asking his cousin – who he assumes is there because they are spending their small vacation together – and waits for the response. "She hasn't heard anything from him either. Have you tried calling?"

"Yeah, but nothing gets through. When I call his cell phone, it tells me that it's no longer in service. Do you think it'd be stupid to drive over there?"

Chin Ho's response is immediate, and Danny understands after the past few days that they've had. McGarrett seems to have made more enemies in his life than the whole island population put together, and after the surprise return of Hesse, having another one crawl out of the woodwork isn't out of the realm of possibilities. "No, I think that would actually be a very good idea. You want us to meet you there?"

"Nah, I'm sure that Steve is just being Steve – you know, lone wolf and all. I'm sure he's fine, so I'll call if I run into trouble."

After he hangs up, Danny puts his cell phone in his pocket, and puts his gun on just in case. He wouldn't put it past McGarrett to have found trouble in these two days since they had last spoken, and he wants all the protection he might need.

He grabs the keys to the Camaro – for once, actually getting to drive his car – and speeds all the way over to his partner's house. His heart stops for a second when he sees the bullet hole-ridden exterior before he remembers that they are from the General Pak case. He throws the car into park and jumps out, practically running to the door. He pounds on it, and waits for a few seconds before yelling out. "Steve, it's Danny! Come on, open up!"

Nothing.

He's getting far too much silence on McGarrett's end for his liking, so he pulls out his key to Steve's house – which his partner gave him a few weeks ago for some reason now forgotten – and unlocks it. He moves slowly, his hand on his gun just in case. "Steve?" Walking through the front room and toward the kitchen, he sees McGarrett's smashed cell phone on the ground and then he sees the house phone unplugged from the wall. He calls out his partner's name once more, and then moves through the upstairs floor of the house. There's a smashed mirror in McGarrett's bathroom, a towel with some blood on it, and a bloody t-shirt on the floor, but no McGarrett. He doesn't see anyone else though, either, so he decides to go to the back of the house, where it connects with the beach.

It's there that he finds his partner, standing with the water swirling around his legs, facing the ocean. Danny can see the stiffness in his stance, his muscles bunched where his arms are crossed. He drops his hand from his gun and watches the other man for a moment, not sure if now that he has seen that Steve is okay that he should just leave him to his demons, or if he should make sure that his partner is actually okay. He decides on the latter and moves forward toward the water. "McGarrett?"

He doesn't turn around, doesn't even acknowledge his presence in any way. It's as though the SEAL didn't even hear him. Heaving a sigh – nothing with this man is ever easy – Danny walks forward to where the water meets the sand, unwilling to move any closer. "Steve, could you make some noise? Turn around, dance, sing, jump, yell; whatever it is, I don't care. Because otherwise I'm going to have to assume you've turned into a zombie, which means I'm going to have to come into the water and check on you. And you do not want that to happen. Because water and me? We just don't mix."

That earns him a slight, low chuckle that is actually completely devoid of humour, and after a few moments, Steve turns around. Danny keeps his face impassive, but feels some shock at the bruising on his partner's face. He has a black eye, a cut on his forehead, a split lip, and a bruise along his chin line – all from his fight with Hesse, Danny assumes. And then there are his hands. The knuckles on his right hand are broken open – also presumably from smashing Hesse's face – but the other is actively bleeding.

But Danny doesn't mention any of this, knowing that Steve will speak if he wants to, and just waits. After a few seconds, Steve walks past him, toward the deck, trailing wet footprints as he goes. "So what do you want, Danny?"

Instead of taking offensive to Steve's dismissive tone, Danny just ignores it and sits down next to his partner on one of the deck chairs. "Well, the rest of us figured out that we hadn't heard your lovely voice for a few days, and I volunteered to check in on you."

"I'm fine."

"Really? Because the broken mirror upstairs and your hand indicate otherwise. I mean, I would probably break a mirror too if I had to look at your ugly face every day, but…" He shrugs his shoulder, a small smile on his face.

Steve looks down at his hand as if noticing the blood for the first time, and then wipes his hand on the bottom of his white t-shirt. He doesn't even smile at Danny's ribbing or offer a joke in return. "I'm fine, Danny. Just go home, please?"

Danny narrows his eyes at his partner, annoyed at his stubbornness and unwillingness to just open up and talk. "Look, I'm worried about you. I saw the mirror, and your phones. There's obviously something that's bothering you, and seeing as I am your partner, I'm here to…well, I'm here for you, to talk if you want. Although, not on your cell because it seems to be in a few pieces. You want to tell me about that?" He can't help but feel like he is interrogating his own partner, but at the same time, he knows that Steve just really needs to open up; and frankly, he wants some answers.

"I chucked it against a wall."

He pauses for a second, but decides not to address that particular issue at this moment. "And your house phone?"

"I unplugged it."

"Your lack of details has probably reached an all-time high right about now. Would you care to tell me why you broke the mirror?"

"I was pissed. Seriously, Danny, just leave. I don't need this right now."

"Don't need what? Your partner, friendship, support, all of the above?"

Steve stands up abruptly and turns around to face him, an emotion flashing in his eyes that Danny quite can't place, and an intensity about him that Danny has seen few times before, but knows lurks below the surface at all times; when he speaks, his voice is low but forceful. "You know what, Danny? I don't. I don't need any of this because when I have a partner, and friends, and support bad things happen. Chin Ho could have died because of me, because of my shit, and those same demons killed my father. You really think that I want to see everyone else I've ever cared about be blown away before my eyes? I don't, so it's easier to just be on my own. So no. I don't need those things, any of them. I don't need you to call me, I don't need you to come and check on me, I don't need you to patch me up and fix me. So please, just go."

By the end of his tirade, Danny can identify the emotion in his partner's eyes. There's some anger, but mostly it's just guilt. And while he's a little intimidated by Steve in this moment (he seems to have transformed into someone Danny doesn't even know), he also knows that he is hurting. So instead of addressing anything that McGarrett just said, Danny just sits there for a few seconds before remarking, "This thing with Chin Ho and Hesse wasn't your fault. This started with you doing your job, before you even met any of us. And yeah, that led to your father's death, but that wasn't your fault either. It's Hesse's fault because he is a deranged, psychotic freak. And that same deranged, psychotic freak decided that he could use Chin Ho to make you feel exactly as you are right now. Like you're an ass who puts everyone he cares about in danger. Which still isn't your fault, except for the fact that you're letting him do it. Not to mention the fact that you saved Chin Ho's life by doing something that, if found out about, will probably send you to jail, and the whole thing was risky and overall emotionally traumatizing for you. You had to face your father's murderer, and you didn't even blink. You just took it all in stride, caught Hesse and saved your man. And you didn't beat Hesse to death, which I think showed a lot of growth and maturity on your part." He can't help but slip a jab in there at the end, and is rewarded when McGarrett's lips quirk into a smile, even if it doesn't quite reach his eyes.

He stands up so that he is facing his partner, around whom the air still seems to be crackling with intensity and emotion, and places a hand on his arm. "You did really well, Steve, and you saved Chin Ho's life. You can't blame yourself for that situation, because you didn't create the situation. Hesse did. You can't just push us all away like this and let Hesse win, especially not when you faced and beat the monster. We care, Steve, because we're like family now. Hell, my daughter calls your uncle, so we are family, I suppose."

The only sound for a while is that of waves on the beach, and Danny simply observes the man that has become his friend in the few months that they have been working together. He can see that Steve is still processing a lot – both what he is feeling and what Danny has said to him – and there seems to be a war raging inside of him; a war of guilt and self-loathing, competing against the desire to believe all of Danny's words. He knows that there is more that Steve is feeling, more that he is thinking, that he can't or won't reveal to Danny tonight, and so Danny can't even begin to guess at the depth of McGarrett's emotions.

Finally, something inside of him seems to deflate, and Steve sits limply down on the chair once more. He looks up at Danny and it seems to the shorter man that there is something inside of Steve that is broken; something that broke with the death of his father and has just been riven further these past few days. He knows that it's going to be up to the team to show his partner just how true Danny's words are, because otherwise, he's not sure that what is broken will ever be fixed. This man is lonely and seems to have the weight of the world resting on his shoulders.

There is silence again as both men, equally uncomfortable with sharing their feelings normally and equally uncomfortable with the amount of sharing that has taken place today, think about what has been said and what is yet to say. Danny knows that if Kono were here, she would say something mushy and sweet, place a Band-Aid over the whole situation and make everything better; Chin Ho would probably make a comment about what the elder McGarrett would say or feel in this situation. Neither of those are really his style, and neither fit in the dynamics of his relationship with Steve. He finally settles for a comment that is not anything like what Kono or Chin Ho would say, but is uniquely them and fixes the situation for now.

"You need to get a new cell phone. Otherwise, how am you going to call me to get your sorry ass out of some stupid situation?"


Reviews are lovely and are a great Christmas present! XD

Charlotte