A/N: This is a very belated holiday gift for my awesome friend Maddie, who wrote me a fantastic Steve, Danny, and Grace are an adorable family story, and who loves them just as much as I do.
The stuffed seal idea comes from a great prompt floating around LJ, and as I was writing this I read a wonderful story where Grace buys Steve a stuffed seal and surprises it with him when he tags along to pick her up. It really inspired me to finish my story
Danny had gotten the call just a few minutes after picking Grace up. Safely ensconced in the passenger seat, she had her Barbies out, putting the nearest one in a decadent hot pink outfit while telling Danny about the new fish her teacher had gotten for the classroom.
Grace immediately picked up on the panic in Danny's voice. "What's wrong with Uncle Steve?" she asked, her bottom lip trembling. "You get that scared when Uncle Steve's in trouble. Is he in trouble?"
"He…" Danny quickly looked at his little girl, one eye on the road, one eye on the tears already streaming down her cheeks. "That was the hospital, honey. Uncle Steve was in a car accident. He stopped at a red light like you're supposed to, but another car didn't, and hit him." Danny's voice was shaking, his hands barely able to grip onto the wheel, and he pulled over, taking a deep breath, trying to steady himself for Grace and Steve.
"Is he ok?" Grace asked tearfully, wrapping herself around Danny's arm, looking up into his eyes.
"Let's go find out, Monkey," Danny said softly, kissing the top of her head reassuringly as he started the car again.
"I'm sorry sir, only family are allowed in as visitors," the nurse said for the third time, fidgeting with papers behind the desk as Danny paced in front of her.
"I'm his partner!" Danny yelled, slamming his hands down on the desk, forcing her to look at him.
"I know, sir, but-"
"Not just his H50 partner, his...his domestic partner," Danny's hands couldn't stay still as he searched for the right words, pens and tissue boxes sacrificed to his frightened fingers.
"Do you have the paperwork?"
"We haven't filled it out yet," Danny explained, voice full of frustration as he followed her around the desk and towards the hall. "We're going to, but we haven't…" He trailed off as the nurse continued walking away, disappearing from sight. "Damnit!" His fist slammed into the wall, before he slumped against it, pressing his forehead against the cold paint.
"He's my Uncle Steve!" Grace suddenly yelled, stomping her pink glittery shoe-clad foot, hands on her hips. Danny froze, as everyone in the waiting room turned to stare at Grace. "Me and Danno live with him, and he makes me pancakes with bananas and chocolate chips, and he came on our field trip to the aquarium, and he tries to put the pink high heels on Barbie even though it's really hard!"
Taking a deep breath, Grace crossed her arms over her chest, fighting back tears. "And I love him, and my Danno loves him, and when he's hurt he needs to see me and he needs to see Danno! We make him better, and he can't get better without us!" The tears finally couldn't be held back anymore, and as Grace burst into sobs, Danny immediately dropped to his knees, bringing her in against his chest.
"It's okay Monkey, it's okay," he murmured in her ear, rubbing circles up and down her back. "Uncle Steve's going to be fine."
Another nurse knelt next to the two, gently laying a hand on Grace's shoulder. "Sweetheart, the doctor is taking a look at your Uncle Steve, but when he's done, you and your dad can go see him, ok?" Grace sniffed loudly, then turned, a smile lighting up her tear-stained face.
"Thank you very much," Grace said politely, unable to restrain herself from bouncing from foot to foot in excitement. "Danno, can we go get Uncle Steve some balloons and stuff in the gift shop?"
"Of course baby," Danny said, smiling gratefully at the nurse, mouthing "Thank you" over his shoulder as Grace grabbed his hand and tugged him towards the nearby gift shop.
Steve lay on the hospital bed, left arm encased in a sling, a bandage on his forehead, scratches on his cheek. Exhaustion and pain clouded his eyes, but his face lit up when the nurse escorted Danny and Grace in. "Uncle Steve!" Grace squealed, a furry bundle in her arms as she ran towards Steve. She stopped short, gazing at him with serious eyes. "Can I hug you? Will it hurt?"
"It'll make me feel better, sweetheart," Steve said with a smile, reaching his good arm out to her. She crawled up on the bed, snuggling into his side, Steve wrapping the arm around her. "See, better already." Grace giggled, burrowing even closer. "What's that you have there?"
"It's a seal, for you!" Grace exclaimed excitedly, laying the giant stuffed animal seal on Steve's chest. "Cause you're a super seal!" Steve stared at the seal, a grin spreading over his face, Danny's delighted laughter pealing out from the bedside. "It's perfect Grace, thank you."
"I'm glad you're okay," Grace said solemnly, uncurling herself slightly to kiss Steve's cheek. "I was worried. I love you, Uncle Steve."
Steve's breath caught in his throat, and, looking up, he met Danny's joyful gaze. "I love you too, Gracie," Steve said earnestly, kissing the top of her head, holding her close. "And of course I'm okay, I'm a super seal, right?" Grace giggled again, nodding, making the seal dance around Steve's bed.
Steve felt his good hand grabbed, and then Danny's lips were on his, gentle, still shaking slightly. "Count me in the group who's really glad you're okay," Danny said softly, keeping his forehead carefully resting against Steve's. "You had us pretty scared there babe."
"Sorry," Steve said, just as softly, reaching up to rest a hand on Danny's cheek, pulling him in for another kiss. "I was even following the rules this time."
"Figures, doesn't it?" Danny laughed ruefully, gently rubbing Steve's fingers with his own.
"Come here," Steve said, pulling the sheet back, Grace scooting over slightly, resting her head on Steve's knee. Danny laughed again, then climbed into the bed, stretching out against Steve's body, one hand on Grace's pigtails.
"We're signing that paperwork when we get home," Danny ordered, as Steve put his good arm around him. "So next time my daughter doesn't have to save the day and get us in your room by making everyone cry with how much she loves her Uncle Steve and how good your pancakes are."
"I told them you try really hard at Barbies too," Grace said with an earnest nod, the seal dancing up Steve's arm to kiss him on the nose before Grace burrowed back in against Steve and Danny.
"As soon as we get home," Steve promised, good arm wrapping around both members of his family.