A/N: Well, here we are at the end of this one. Many, many thanks to all of you who have read and reviewed. I hope this last chapter satisfies.
"WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING? ARE YOU INSANE?"
The bellow caught Steve off guard, and he jerked in surprise causing the ladder under his feet to wobble. His hand flew down to steady himself and he tossed a glare over his shoulder at Danny. "What?" he muttered, his tone half-defiant, half-innocent.
Adjusting his volume only slightly, Danny said, "You're on a ladder nailing up a piece of trim!"
Steve put the hammer he was holding down on the small ladder shelf before slowly making his way down the steps. "And?"
"AND? And you just got out of the hospital YESTERDAY!"
The lieutenant commander shrugged. "Yeah, and they said to gradually resume normal activities."
"Gradually. G-R-A-D-U-A-L-L-Y. I don't think that means ladder-climbing and home repairs." Danny's hands landed on his hips, but didn't rest there for long. They never did. "Need I remind you that you still have a hole—a HOLE—in your side?"
Steve shuffled over to the couch and eased down, his hand pressed against the bandaged "hole". "No, trust me, you don't have to remind me. But it's healing so I'm good. Besides I needed something to do."
"What happened to all those DVDs I brought you?"
"Watched 'em." Steve leaned back against the couch with a sigh.
"Watched them? You watched six movies since you've been home? What did you do—stay up all night?"
When McGarrett just looked at him without replying, Danny ran his hands down his face. "You stayed up all night." He shook his head. "We really need to get you a hobby, you know that?"
"I have a hobby."
"Shooting guns is not a hobby."
Steve rolled his eyes. "I have other hobbies. I jog. Surf. Do martial arts."
Danny waved a hand dismissively. "Okay, a less physical hobby then. Like…woodworking…or reading."
"If you say so."
Narrowing his gaze, McGarrett just barely resisted the urge to stick out his tongue or lob a pillow at his sarcastic partner. He opted instead to say, "So what are you doing here in the middle of the day anyway? Aren't you in the middle of a case?"
"Nope. We arrested the scumbag this morning."
"You did? So who killed the lounge lizard?"
Danny smiled in satisfaction. "It was Tanely's bodyguard. Good ol' Taaveti was bangin' the bodyguard's hot young girlfriend."
McGarrett made a face at the concept.
Seeing that look, Danny made a face of his own. "Yeah, well, apparently Taaveti Tanely's money was much more attractive than the man. And while the bodyguard had the looks…"
"He had little money," finished Steve. "A story as old as time."
"Yep. So, Chin and Kono are wrapping things up while I came over here to give you the money you scammed from me in poker."
"Won. Won from you in poker."
"Uh huh," the detective dug out his wallet and counted out the money in question. He dropped it on the end table next to the couch. "And lucky for you, I also brought you some more DVDs." He handed over the DVDs he'd been carrying.
Steve took them and eagerly sorted through them, stopping at the last one with a frown. He held up the clamshell case and raised an eyebrow. "Beginners Yoga?"
"Oh, yeah—Rachel gave me that one to give to you. She swears by it for getting a person back on their feet after being in hospital as she puts it."
"So your ex-wife thinks I should do yoga."
Danny's hands flew upward. "Hey, I'm just the messenger."
"Well, I'm NOT going to be doing any yoga."
"Whatever, Mr. Macho."
"You mean to tell me that the next time you get out of the hospital, you'll be doing yoga?"
Ignoring McGarrett's question, Danny crowed, "So you admit there will be a next time that I end up IN the hospital. Probably due to some crazy-assed actions on your part, right?"
Steve huffed out an annoyed breath. "Just put one of the movies in."
*H50* *H50* *H50*
The next morning Steve was just taking his second swallow of coffee when his doorbell rang. Frowning, he padded to the front door and opened it. His frown deepened when he saw Danny and his daughter, Grace, on the stoop. Glancing between the two, he offered up, mostly for Grace's benefit, "Uhh, hi."
"Hi, Uncle Steve! Danno told me to tell you that I'm your project for the day!" A full-on, bright grin lit Grace's face.
Before McGarrett could say anything else, the little girl slipped across his threshold at a nudge from her dad.
"Danny?" Steve growled. "What the..."
Williams grinned and started to back away. He shrugged, a sly look on his face. "No school. Rachel was desperate for a babysitter. I gotta work." In truth, Danny had asked his ex-wife to cooperate in his little scheme to keep Steve occupied. He'd been a little shocked when she readily agreed. "Have fun, monkey!" Danny called still backing up.
"I will, Danno!"
"Danny," Steve hissed. "Get back here."
The detective ignored him and made a break for the car.
"Uncle Steve, I brought lots of stuff for us to play with. My Flower Fairy dolls. My favorite stuffed animals. And lots of books. Oh, and my princess stuff…"
McGarrett bit back a groan and closed his front door with a thud.
*H50* *H50* *H50*
Later that day, Danny let himself into Steve's house and made his way to the living room where he found his partner fast asleep on the couch and his daughter sitting in the chair next to it, book in hand. Some random cartoon hijinks sounded from the television.
"Hey, monkey," he said, drawing Gracie's attention.
"Danno!" the little girl called, keeping her voice at a whisper. She scrambled out of the chair and threw herself into her dad's arms.
"How'd it go today?"
"Good! I read lots to Uncle Steve. He even played Flower Fairys with me!"
Danny snickered when he looked at Steve who was still fast asleep. He was adorned with a rhinestone tiara and feather boa. A "magic wand" was held loosely in his hand. "I take it you were playing princess too?" As he spoke, he dug out his cell phone.
Gracie giggled. "No, I put that on him after he fell asleep."
Danny laughed and snapped a picture with his phone.
The clicking noise apparently roused Steve, who suddenly shifted on the couch. He opened his eyes, blinking a few times to bring everything into focus. When awareness completely dawned, Steve sat up, knocking the sparkly tiara into his lap. He gaped at the sight before noticing the feather boa and magic wand. Steve dropped the wand like it was red hot and quickly pulled the boa from around his neck. "Guess I should be glad it wasn't make up, huh?" He felt his cheeks turn a little pink.
Danny couldn't help it, he laughed. "Don't worry about it—she does it to me all the time." He ruffled his daughter's hair. "Grand entertainment for an eight-year-old. So, monkey, I'm starving. If it's okay with Steve, how about we order in some dinner?"
"Pizza?" the little girl asked, hope shining on her face.
"Hmm, always with the pizza. You're gonna turn into a pizza one of these days. I dunno, what say you, Steven?"
Steve watched Danny's antics with his daughter and smiled. He nodded. "You know, pizza sounds great right about now. As a matter of fact, why don't we call Chin and Kono? An impromptu pizza party—my treat!"