Disclaimer: Hawaii 5-0 and characters belong to CBS, only the story is mine.
Here is the second part of my short story. Thanks to my wonderful beta Traw.
Danny arrived at Rachel's to pick up Grace early. She came to the door ready to ask him why he was early when she saw his face. "What's wrong Daniel? You look terrible."
He sighed. "I got scared over something that I thought might hurt Grace and accused Steve of being careless with her safety." She gasped as he rushed on to quickly reassure her. "He's not now nor has he ever been careless with her safety. I let the fear rule and didn't think. Now I may have lost my partner and best friend because I was stupid." Rachel placed her hand on his shoulder. He smiled slightly. "I think I have an idea that might prove to him that I do trust him with Grace if you're willing to go along with it."
"What is your idea Daniel and I'll tell you."
He took a deep breath. "I would like to ask Steve to watch Grace tonight." A delicate eyebrow rose in surprise. "I'll think of a reason why neither you nor I can watch her. I think that if I choose to leave her with him, it will prove that I really do trust him with Grace."
She looked carefully at Danny noting the pain and sorrow in his eyes. Grace had told her about her 'Uncle Steve' and that she really liked him. She had also told Rachel that Danny really liked being Steve's partner and that he was the best one he had ever had. Rachel realized that losing Steve as a partner might devastate Danny. There might have been a time when she would have welcomed the opportunity to hurt Danny but not anymore. She had finally realized that hurting Danny hurt Grace which was the last thing she ever wanted to do. Besides, once she had released the anger and bitterness over the divorce, she found she still cared for Danny. She smiled at him. "Of course she can stay with Cmdr. McGarrett. Thank you for asking me Daniel."
He slumped. "Thank you Rachel. This means a lot to me."
She nodded in acknowledgment. "I can see that. Let me get Grace and you can take her early today." He smiled gratefully.
A few moments later Grace was hugging him tightly. "What's the matter Danno? You look sad."
Leave it to his daughter to notice. He took her hand leading her to the car. He sat her on the hood of the car so that he could talk to her easier. "Well Monkey, your Danno did something stupid today. I hurt Uncle Steve's feelings very badly."
"How did you do that, Danno?"
He looked down for a moment trying to find the right words. He sighed. "I've told you that Uncle Steve is a Navy Seal and that he doesn't like to follow proper police procedures." She nodded. "I believe I have mentioned that I think that he is reckless and does some things that I think are dangerous and not very well planned." He ran a hand down his face. "We were questioning a man who was standing behind a secure gate, one with iron bars, and wouldn't come out. So Steve went out to the car and got a grenade." Grace's eyes widened. "He used it to blow the door open. No one was hurt; Steve knows what he is doing even though I thought he was crazy for doing it, still do." She smiled. "The thing is I realized later that he hand the grenade in the Camaro's glove compartment. I panicked thinking that he had left it in there and you could have found it." He paused looking down, not wanting to tell her the rest, it was too painful.
She placed her hand on his that was resting beside her on the car. "Did you yell at Uncle Steve?"
He looked up at Grace. "I did. My mind was clouded with fear and I-I accused him of being careless leaving dangerous weapons where you could find them. I forgot that being reckless does not make someone careless. I forgot that Uncle Steve is anything but careless with weapons or the people he cares about. As a result, I told him that I didn't want him around you anymore." A tear slipped down his face. "He told me that he had only put the grenade in the car the morning and would have removed it at the end of the day. He had also had the lock changed to a more secure one on the glove compartment so that we could carry weapons in it and secure them. He had forgotten to tell me." Another tear slipped down his cheek. "Now he thinks that I don't trust him and doesn't want to be my partner anymore."
Grace hugged her dad as her own tears ran down her face. She knew how much her dad loved working with Uncle Steve and for 5-0. "What are you going to do Danno? You love working with Uncle Steve."
Danny pulled back a little wiping her eyes. "I need to prove that I do trust him. I need your help to do that though."
"What can I do?" She was eager to help.
"I want to drop you off at Uncle Steve's so that you can spend the night with just him. I know that we don't get to spend a lot of time together, but having him watch you is the only way that I can think of to prove that I do trust him."
She thought about what he said for a minute. "Okay Danno. I'd be happy to stay with Uncle Steve. But what are you going to do tonight?"
"I think that I will call Uncle Chin and see if he wants to have a couple of beers with me. Maybe he'll let me spend the night. That way none of us is alone."
She smiled. "Okay, let's go."
"One last thing Monkey. We have to tell Uncle Steve that your Mom and Step-Stan had to leave unexpectedly and that Amy, Meka's widow asked me to help her with something so I needed a place for you to stay. Uncle Steve was the first place that came to my mind. I know that I am asking you to lie, but it's for a good cause. Okay?" She nodded eagerly.
The two Williams settled into the car and were on their way. When they reached Steve's Danny breathed a sigh of relief when he saw Steve's truck. He just hoped that Steve hadn't drunk too much beer. Well, only one way to find out. They got out of the car just as the front door opened showing Steve standing there with his arms crossed. The only reason he wasn't scowling was that he had spotted Grace.
Danny grabbed Grace's bag and handed it to her. He also gave her the letter he had written to Steve. He crouched down. "You have my number if you need it Monkey." He looked at Steve; he didn't seem drunk, good. "Please give this letter to Uncle Steve after I leave and ask him to please read it."
"I will Danno."
"Alright let's go." He took her hand as they walked towards Steve.
Steve had been standing on his lanai, looking at the ocean, thinking about what happened at the office. He couldn't get Danny's words out of his head. Normally Steve could brush off Danny's rants because he did it so often. He had learned that Danny ranted to let off steam. Today was different. Danny had accused him of being careless and possibly endangering Grace. He didn't want Steve to be around Grace anymore. His heart had broken at Danny's words. Danny was his best friend and he loved Grace, they were his ohana. He would never endanger Gracie.
Steve didn't know what to do. He knew Danny loved working with 5-0, but didn't know if he could continue to work with him even if they weren't partners anymore. That made the pain even greater, he really liked working with Danny, he was a great partner. A tear slid down his cheek thinking about going into work tomorrow and not having Danny by his side. More than likely Danny would go back to HPD rather than work with a man he didn't trust.
A very distinct engine intruded into his thoughts. What was Danny doing here? Danny had made himself quite clear, he didn't truly trust him. That was a very painful thing to contemplate. He trusted Danny completely and to not have that trust returned was eating him up. He really wasn't in the mood to hear a half-assed apology.
Steve headed for the door to tell Danny that he could save his apology; he wasn't in the mood to listen. He opened the door and stopped, confused. Why was Danny here with Grace? After what Danny had said in his office, he thought he would never see her again.
Steve waited for the pair to reach the door. Grace let go of Danny's hand and hugged him, squatting down he returned it. "Hello Grace. It's nice to see you." He stood up leaving a hand on her shoulder and looked at Danny. He could see pain, sadness and regret in his eyes. "What can I do for you Danny?"
Danny swallowed. "Can you watch Grace tonight?" Steve was shocked. "Rachel and Step-Stan were asked to an event at his hotel on Maui at the last minute. Since it was my weekend with Grace they accepted. Unfortunately, Amy asked me for my help tonight." He paused. "I had already agreed to do it thinking that I could just pick up Grace tomorrow morning at Rachel's. Now I can't and I don't want to break my promise to Amy. So would you please watch Grace for me tonight?"
Steve was dumbfounded. He thought that Danny didn't trust him, especially with Grace. He looked down at Grace who was looking at him expectantly he couldn't let her down. "Of course I'll watch Grace." He looked at Danny who was still ohana in spite of what happened earlier. "What time will you be picking her up tomorrow?"
Danny looked relieved. "Will 9 AM be too early?"
"No that's fine." He took Grace's bag. "I'll let you say goodbye. Grace, I'll be on the Lanai. Please be sure to shut and lock the door when you come in."
"I will Uncle Steve." His heart clenched thinking he might not hear that from her after tomorrow as he walked to the Lanai.
Danny squatted down to hug his daughter goodbye. "Danno loves you Monkey."
"I love you too Danno. Don't worry; I'll take good care of Uncle Steve."
God he loved his daughter. "I know you will Monkey. Do as Uncle Steve tells you and if you really need me call." She nodded. "Now get inside and shut the door so I can leave." He watched as she did as she was told. He sighed. I hope you forgive me Steve. He left to drive around some, he was too restless at the moment and wasn't ready to have a beer with Chin.
Grace found Steve staring out at the ocean. She walked up to him and took his hand. He looked at her surprised. "You look sad, Uncle Steve."
He sighed while leading Grace to the deck chairs so they could sit down. "I am Grace. Your father and I had some words today and he said some things that hurt me. I don't know if we can be partners anymore."
She moved from her chair to sit in his lap to hug him. A surprised Steve returned it. "He told me that he hurt you." She looked into his eyes as she pulled out the letter her dad had given her. "He asked me to give you this and ask you to please read it." She handed him the letter and placed her hand on his cheek. "I know he's sorry. He really loves being your partner no matter what he says when he yells." She laid her head on his shoulder, wrapping her arms around him, offering him what comfort she could.
Steve didn't know what to think. Earlier Danny had accused him of being careless with his daughter's safety, yet here she was sitting in his lap and spending the night. He turned the letter over a couple of times thinking. He didn't want to lose Danny; he valued the man's friendship even more than he valued him as a work partner. Maybe he was ready for an apology. He opened the letter hoping he would read what he needed to forgive Danny, though he was part way there already thanks to the little girl in his lap.
I don't know if saying that I'm sorry will make up for what I said today, but I'm saying it anyway. I am truly sorry for saying that you could ever be careless with my Gracie's safety. I know how important ohana is to you and that she is part of yours. Let me try and explain what happened. I had picked up Grace that morning and took her to school. When I thought of something so dangerous being near my little girl it caused me to panic. All I could see was Grace finding that grenade and pulling the pin. (Steve shuddered, Grace hugged him tighter.) In my fear induced state I forgot about the kind of man that you are. You are the kind of man who sends his partner to get his little girl in the midst of a sticky situation, or calls the governor to make sure that I can keep seeing her. You talked me down from beating up Stan for putting her in danger, while you were in the middle of the jungle chasing assassins. You put others ahead of yourself, especially your ohana.
You do things that I consider reckless, crazy and outright dangerous which scare me. I sometimes forget that you are well trained and know what you can and can't do. I worry because you are my friend, part of my ohana. Once I calmed down, I realized that I let panic and fear rule me instead of what I know in my heart, what I have always known. I trust you. I trust you with my life without question, even if I do rant about it and call you crazy. I also trust you with my daughter who you know is everything to me. That is why she is staying with you tonight. I hoped that this would show you my trust better than any words could convey. Please forgive a loud mouthed New Jersey Haole who is still afraid of losing his precious daughter that he spoke without thinking. I truly value your friendship and want to stay your partner. You are the best partner I have ever worked with. If you can't forgive me, than I will transfer back to HPD. It would be too hard for me to see you every day and not be your partner. Whatever you decide, know that it has been an honor to serve with you.
A lone tear made its way down Steve's cheek when he finished the letter. He noticed that there was a tear stain on the letter already. He looked down at Grace who was snuggled against his chest thinking about what Danny had written. He could understand where Danny was coming from, well as much as someone who was not a father could anyway. His own father had sent him and Mary to the mainland to protect them. He realized at that moment he had forgiven Danny.
"Well, Gracie should we call Danno and tell him that he's forgiven or should we let him sweat until tomorrow morning?" He was smiling.
She smiled and hugged Steve tighter. "You're not mad at him anymore?"
"I was more hurt than angry Grace. Your dad has probably told you that I sometimes act before I think." She nodded, as he smiled slightly. "Sometimes Danno will talk before he thinks." Vigorous nodding, he chuckled. "Today was one of those days. Normally I let his rants roll off my shoulders because I know he really doesn't mean it. Unfortunately what he said was very hurtful and I believed he meant it."
"He didn't mean it, did he?"
"No Grace he didn't. I was just too hurt to realize that." He held up the letter. "This helped me realize he didn't mean it. What really did it though is you being here." He stroked her cheek as she smiled brightly. "Danno would let you stay with me until tomorrow to prove that he trusts me. I don't need that now. So I'll call Danno now and tell him he can join us. What do you think?"
Grace tilted her head thoughtfully. "Definitely call him. Danno was very sad when he picked me up today. I don't want either of you to be sad."
Smiling Steve reached for his phone. He sent Danny a text message. "I know Danno doesn't like texting. I think he should work a little for his forgiveness." Grace giggled. Steve stood up holding her easily. "Let's get something ready for dinner. I believe that I have enough steaks for three."
Fifteen minutes later the intrepid duo heard the distinctive sound of the Camaro's engine while they were preparing dinner. Steve looked at Grace. "Would you please wait for your dad and me here? I would like to talk to him alone. Oh, no more cutting until I get back."
"Alright Uncle Steve." She gave him a quick hug before he walked to the front door.
Steve waited for Danny to knock before opening the door. Danny was standing there shifting from one foot to the other nervously. "Come in Danny. We can talk in the living room."
Danny walked through the door into the living room. He turned to look at Steve shoving his hands in his pockets. He was afraid to hope. "Am-am I here to pick up Grace?"
Steve picked up on the pain and fear in Danny's voice and couldn't stand it. He walked up to his friend and hugged him. Danny stiffened in surprise before returning it. "Apology accepted Danno."
Danny sagged in his arms. "Thank you. I didn't know what I was going to do if you didn't."
Steve gave him another squeeze before pulling back enough to see Danny's face. "Not sure what I would have done if you hadn't dropped Grace off here and written that letter. I really like having you as a partner too Danno." The partners smiled at each other. Steve released Danny. "Now I have some steaks ready to grill and Grace has helped me prepare some veggies to go with them."
"Sounds great partner sounds great." The two friends headed towards the kitchen with their partnership and friendship repaired. Danny would never make the mistake of letting Steve think that he didn't trust him ever again. He would be risking too much.
A/N: This story came to me after reading a couple of other tags for 1x17 where Danny accused Steve of being careless. In those fics Steve had been unthinking about keeping a grenade in the Camaro and was sorry. I wondered what would happen if he wasn't careless or forgetful. Having a father who was in the Army made me appreciate how they are taught safety and care of their weapons. Dad had a few guns in the house as I grew up. He kept them well out of reach of a small child. Why would Steve be any different? Not to mention his dad being a cop. He may be reckless, but he is very responsible. This fic is the result. I hope you enjoyed.