Disclaimer: Hawaii 5-0 and characters belong to CBS, otherwise I would be a lot richer and might live in Hawaii.
Summary: What could have happened if Steve had listened to Danny's doubt about his old friend Nick Taylor?
Chapter 4: Epilogue
The Saturday after 5-0 had protected the Paks, Danny had Grace for the weekend. Steve had offered to pick up the father and daughter since they would need his truck to carry the surf boards and other beach paraphernalia. A deal was a deal and Steve was going to keep up his end of it. Besides, he was looking forward to teaching Grace to surf. They had also made plans to meet up with Chin and Kono later that day at his house for a barbeque. Chin and Kono would have joined them surfing but already had plans for that morning.
Steve parked in front of Danny's apartment and climbed out of his truck. He saw a small missile, by the name of Grace, headed his way and squatted down so he could hug her. She barreled into him giving him a big hug. He hugged her back as he picked her up.
Before he could say hi, Grace started speaking excitedly. "Hi Uncle Steve! You took forever to get here. I can't wait to start surfing. How long will it take us to get to the beach? How long will it take me to learn to surf?"
Steve laughed and gently placed his hand over her mouth. "Hi to you too Grace. I won't bother asking how you are today; I can see that you are excited." Grace just nodded at him as vigorously as she could, since he still had his hand over her mouth. "Now, I can only answer one question at a time." He saw Danny approaching with two bags. He was actually wearing shorts and a t-shirt. "First, we are about 15-20 minutes from the beach we will be using. I don't know how long it will take you to learn. Everyone is different. If you are like my sister Mary, you should pick up the basics today. It will most likely take several lessons before you can surf on your own." Grace pouted at this. "Don't give me that face young lady. Before you can get out on the waves, you have a lot to learn in order to be safe and have fun." He tapped her on the nose with his finger.
She giggled and replied. "Okay Uncle Steve. I'm going to have fun just being with you." She received a large smile and a quick hug in return.
Danny had arrived at the truck and heard the last part of Steve's talk with Grace and grimaced. He really wasn't sure that he wanted Grace to learn how to surf but he could not say no to his daughter. He also trusted that Steve would keep her safe. After hearing Steve's answer to Grace's question, he knew he had been right to let Steve teach his daughter to surf. He would rather Grace learn from someone he trusted than some stranger. This was another way for Danny to show Steve that the trust the taller man had in him was returned. "Are we ready to go?" He looked at Steve, "Did you remember the umbrella?"
Steve smirked. "Yes, I remembered the umbrella. I wouldn't want the Haole to get sunburn." Grace giggled and Danny rolled his eyes. "I also brought plenty of sunscreen for both of you." He tickled Grace who squirmed in his arms. He stopped and grew serious. "I didn't know if you had the sport kind. I always use it when I'm surfing." He looked at Grace. "The water will magnify the sun, so even if you don't normally burn, you might." Grace nodded in understanding. Steve opened the driver side door, moved the seat forward, and set Grace in the half seat of the truck so that she could strap herself in while he helped Danny put his and Grace's bags in the bed of the truck before they climbed in themselves.
Grace talked excitedly all the way to the beach. Steve smiled to himself, knowing exactly from whom she inherited that trait. He knew that Grace would have lots of questions; Danny had warned him that his daughter was very inquisitive and liked to know as much as she could. Steve didn't mind, Mary had been like that too. They arrived within fifteen minutes, were unpacked, and setting up at a good spot a few minutes later.
Danny sat in a comfortable lounge chair provided by Steve to watch the lesson or read the book he brought. As he watched he remembered the "discussion" he and Rachel had about Grace's surfing lessons. Oh, Rachel wasn't against her learning to surf, it was just that she and Step-Stan preferred paying a "professional" to teach her.
Danny stood looking at Rachel incredulously after she had told him that she was reluctant to have Steve teach Grace. After all he wasn't a professional coach. He finally found his voice. "You mean that you would rather a stranger you know nothing about except that he is a 'professional surfer' to teach Grace a potentially dangerous sport?" Danny's arms were moving around rapidly in his agitation.
Rachel answered in calm, slightly condescending tone, "Mark has been highly recommended as a surfing instructor. What does your partner have that Mark does not?"
Danny looked at her seriously, "My trust and belief that he will not only teach Grace how to surf well but will keep her safe while doing it. Steve has been surfing since he was a boy on this island. He will also go above and beyond for people he considers ohana. As far as Steve is concerned, I am ohana, therefore, Grace is ohana. He will be sure she is taught the proper safety measures, as well as how to enjoy herself. Can you say the same for your 'professional' surfing coach?" He pointed at Rachel at the end.
"What on earth is ohana?" She asked, avoiding Danny's dig at Mark.
"Family." Was Danny's smiling answer.
Rachel had finally relented, especially when Grace had adamantly refused to take lessons from Mark. She had asked Uncle Steve to teach her, who had promised to do so, and that is who she wanted. Furthermore, she was not going to make Uncle Steve break his word.
Danny watched the two together. Steve had helped Grace put lotion on her back and made sure that she had properly covered the rest of her body. He had asked her to do his back and Danny's. Steve had said that in ohana; everyone helped make sure that suntan lotion was applied to each other's backs.
Now the two were in the shallow water with a relatively small surfboard. Steve had told them it had been Mary's and she was happy to let Grace use it. He could see Steve pointing to the board as he explained something to Grace. She was nodding her head than asked a question, which was answered. This was repeated a few more times before Danny decided to read the book he brought. He knew his daughter was safe with Steve.
A couple of hours later, a very wet Steve and Grace joined Danny under the umbrella, grabbing towels as they sat down. He looked up and smiled at the happy look on this daughters face. Steve also looked relaxed and happy. "Did you enjoy yourself, Monkey?" He asked his daughter tugging on her wet ponytail gently.
Grace answered with a bright smile. "I did Danno. Uncle Steve told me about the different parts of the surf board and all about the waves. He also gave me a swimming lesson. He said it is very important to know how to swim well. I will have to wear a life-jacket at first until I can surf well on my own and am a strong swimmer." She pouted slightly as she continued but not enough to indicate she was really upset. "No more surfing today."
Danny smiled at his daughter. "I'm glad you had fun, Monkey. I knew Uncle Steve would be a good teacher." Steve looked at Danny with some surprise and then smiled at him gratefully. Danny continued, "Now, why don't we have some lunch and you can build a sandcastle until we have to leave to meet Uncle Chin and Kono later." Grace launched herself at him giving him a hug getting him wet; which he pretended to be upset about.
The three ate their lunch and talked about Grace's school. She asked Uncle Steve to tell them about what his school had been like. The usually reserved man talked about growing up on the island and some of his school adventures. When lunch had been consumed, Steve insisted that Grace reapply the suntan lotion before heading out to build her sandcastle. Once that was done, Grace ran off happily.
Danny looked at Steve as he spoke. "Thanks for doing this for Grace and me." Steve nodded, but before he could say anything Danny continued. "Did I tell you that Rachel and Step-Stan wanted to hire a 'professional'?" Danny threw his hands up in the air. "She didn't even know this guy. Only knew that he had an excellent reputation. I mean, what does she know about this guy? Never mind that Gracie had already asked you to do it. She was going to bypass our daughter's wishes in this matter just because 'Mark' is the instructor at Step-Stan's club house." Danny growled sarcastically.
Steve finally interrupted. "Danny! I'm happy to teach Grace to surf and swim if she needs it." Steve smiled as he placed his right hand on Danny's shoulder and squeezed. "I appreciate that you trust me with your daughter. Besides, I like Grace and enjoyed teaching her today."
Danny relaxed and smiled back. "Trusting you with Grace is easy. I know that you will protect Grace like you protect me, Chin or Kono. After all, she is ohana." Steve's smile grew even bigger. "Now, let's go help my daughter make a sandcastle."
"Sounds like a great idea to me. Let's reapply our lotion before joining Grace." Steve picked up the lotion and handed it to Danny turning his back to him expectantly.
They applied lotion to each other and themselves and joined Grace to make a castle that had a battleship to protect it. Both men were happy in the knowledge that their partnership had gained strength during the Pak incident as well as that morning. Neither man had worked with someone that had gained their individual respect and trust in such a short time period. It could have been scary, but they found it comforting and hoped to work together for many years to come.
A/N: Since I don't surf, I am not going to even attempt to describe a surfing lesson. Hope you enjoyed this flick.
I would like to thank Traw for her fantastic beta work on this story. Thanks Mate!
Note: I got the idea about ohana applying suntan lotion on each other's backs from Maudlin Mush. Of course my friends and family did the same thing, but I would not have added that bit to my story if I had not read it in Maudlin's story first. So, I feel that I should give credit where credit is due.