Title: Operation Shatter Steve's Psychosis, Or At Least This One
Pairing: Danny/Steve, slash
Disclaimer: Not mine. I only wish they were.
Rating: T, for language.
A/N: So, in case you haven't noticed, all of my fics, except maybe Danno Says, stem from the same universe. I call it God Forbid, Feelings. You don't need to have read Ties, Aneurysm Faces, And, God Forbid, Feelings or Weak Moment or A Pony, A Dolphin, Or A Freaking Tank in order to understand this piece of fluff, but it would add to the experience. Possibly. Also, reviews are kind of kick ass. They make my day. A hearty thank you to everyone who has taken the time to review and alert my fics thus far. You make me smile. Enjoy!
There were times when Danny wanted to resurrect Steve's father, just so he could punch him in the face.
Yes, he understood the mindset that lead you to the conclusion that the only way to protect someone was to get them as far away from you as possible. He understood where it came from, but fuck was it ever wrong. He knew in the deepest part of him that there wasn't a single place that he could send Grace where she would be completely free of danger. The only thing he could do, the only thing that made sense was to keep her close. Keep her as close as possible and be a physical barrier between her and danger. If he was there, chasing down leads, putting criminals behind bars, then his baby was safer. And if, heaven forbid, cross his heart against it, pray to every God he's not sure if he believes in that it will never happen, that some bastard tries to get to him through his little girl, then it won't matter where she is. Criminals were smart these days, they were fucking international. If they were determined enough, it wouldn't matter if she was two continents or two blocks away. At least this way, this way, he had a physical reminder that she was safe, could work every day to keep her safe. And if the worst ever happened, he had a smaller geographical range as to where she would plausibly be held. Sometimes living on an island in the middle of the ocean had its benefits, not that he'd ever tell Steve that.
But this isn't about Gracie, it's about Steve. About how Steve gets this look whenever he tells Grace that Danno loves her, which is pretty damn often. How he gets this face, this nostalgia for a childhood he never had, for a love he never felt. But that's not the worst of it. The absolute worst is when Danny turns that love on him.
Danny has never been afraid of emotion. He wears his heart on his sleeve and he knows it. The number one thing he learned from his failed marriage to Rachel, from being a cop, from watching other cops fall, was to be grateful for what you had. Show you appreciation, express yourself now, because tomorrow might just be the day when the perp took the time to learn how to aim.
So, when this thing with Steve started with declarations of love, he never stopped. He'd end phone conversations with "love ya, babe." He'd tack on "love you, see you in twenty" as he strolled out of Steve's house with time to stop by his own abode and retrieve a new set of clothes. He'd wake up in the morning to Steve trailing blunt nails down Danny's furred belly, and he'd murmur "mmmm, feels good, love" before even opening his eyes, arching in to the touch. So, it took him longer than he'd like to admit for him to notice Steve's involuntary stillness every time Danny said the word so casually.
And to realize that Steve never did. Not that Steve never told Danny that he loved him, he did, but never in such a cavalier way. To Danny, loving Steve, showing and expressing that love was as easy as breathing. But to Steve, every declaration was a serious one, cradling Danny's cheeks with his hands, hazel eyes staring intently in to blue, whispering those three words like a promise, like a gift that they were both savoring.
It was as if Steve was storing up every utterance, as if he was counting and cataloguing Danny's every outward expression of love so he could look back on it when it was gone. Not if, when. Because the bastards that killed Steve's Mom, Steve's Dad in sending him away, the fucking Navy training, they all taught Steve the very important lesson of impermanence. That nothing, especially good things ever last, that you can't expect them to, that it'll hurt less if you prepare for it. Which was fucking ridiculous, but really, what can you expect from criminals, a terrified heartbroken cop, and emotional stunted jarheads. (That's the Marines, I'm a SEAL, a SEAL, Danno.)
But really, the cusp of it was that it fucking broke his heart every time he woke up to that surprised look on Steve's face. That look that said that he had mentally prepared himself for Danny not to be there in the morning and what a wonderful, beatific surprise that he was. That he fully expected for Danny to find some perfectly unpreventable, unequivocal reason to leave and maybe that day would be today. Memorizing every morning, because it might be their last.
So yeah, he can see the similarities in appreciating the good things in life because your job is dangerous and taking time to smell the roses because you never know what might happen. He can see that, but fuck, did Steve ever take it to the extreme, make a fucking art form out it. And Danny really really hated that morning surprised face, couldn't imagine living in Steve's fucked up head where you expected the worse would happen tomorrow, today, five minutes from now. That's not how you lived, really lived. Life was not a constant worst case scenario. Day to day life in civilization should not require war rules where you never got too close to the men beside you because most of you probably wouldn't live through the next engagement, the next mission.
Danny didn't sign up for that shit, and Steve needed to realize that he wasn't living in a world where tomorrow was something you dreaded. Tomorrow was when you saw Grace, tomorrow was when you woke up next to the love of your life again, and again, and again. And the thing you knew in the very back corner of your mind could happen, but never really expected it to happen to you, was the shitty bit.
So, in an effort to chase away what he had dubbed McGarrett's "Holy Shit, Another Day" face, Danny decided to try a sensory flood. Give Steve so many little moments that he came to expect them. Give him so many little reasons to believe that he was loved and always would be that he was simply unable to doubt it any longer. Subtle was not how you convinced Steve, talking about your feelings was not how you made a lasting impression on him, but maybe those little things that he had delighted in doing for Rachel, well Danny doubted anyone had ever made an effort to do them for Steve.
He started Phase 1 of Shatter Steve's Shitty Psychosis (Danny likes to play with language, no one is surprised) with post it notes. He'd leave them around the house, under piles of papers on Steve's desk at work, in drawers, under lamps, inbetween books. It was actually kind of fun to guess how long it would take Steve to find them. Most of the obscurely hidden ones were general, things like "I love you, idiot" or echoing their first night "You're a moron, but you're my moron" and even "Danno loves you. Yes you, you giant goof. Don't forget it." But there were others, too. Little things he appreciated about Steve, little things that made him love him more every day. "Today you and Grace fell asleep in the hammock together. My two favorite people sun-warmed and happy and content. Sometimes I wonder how I got so lucky." And sometimes, sometimes he'd leave little explanations, things he hoped Steve already knew, but it couldn't hurt to explain. "You drive me absolutely fucking insane with your never ending tendency to attempt to get yourself shot. You are not bullet proof, dammit. I yell because a part of me thinks maybe, maybe if you hear it enough, you'll actually start to believe me that everyone else's life isn't worth more than yours." All written in Danny's distinctive, meticulous script, signed "Yours, D."
Steve never mentions them, but sometimes Danny catches him finding them. A slow smile encompassing his face and a blush. Sometimes he can even tell which one it was by the depth of the blush and the kind of smile on Steve's face. Today, today Steve found the one hidden at the bottom of his basket of extra pencils. "I look forward to waking up to your fucking giant frame pressing me into the mattress every morning for the rest of your lives."
And the genuine private smile that encompasses Steve's face is fucking breathtaking. And as he watches Steve carefully press the wrinkles out of the note, open his bottom locked drawer, and take out a photo album, Danny realizes. He realizes that Steve is giving him the "Holy Shit, Another Day" face less and less and less, because now Steve has proof. He doesn't need to take mental snapshots of every moment, because Danny has given him physical proof that of his devotion, proof that he is loved. And Danny will never truly know if he's changed Steve's frame of mind, but that face is almost gone. Steve will know, Steve will always know, even if heaven forbid the worst case scenario happens and they are separated, that Danny loves him now and always will. And when Steve flips back through the album to look at past notes, to smile and stroke their covered edges, Danny knows he's won. Knows he'll never stop leaving the notes that replace that face with this one.
Mission fucking accomplished.