Disclaimer: I do not own Hawaii Five-0
Author's Note: Originally for day_by_drabble at Lj. Prompt was rebirth; change.
This island, it has taken hold of him, gripped him tight, and dug in, got under his skin in ways he wasn't prepared for. It courts his daughter, gives Grace sun, and waves, and dolphins to play with; makes her fall in love the way only children can, unconditionally, and forever. It gives Danny something altogether different; people, and food, and lessons on life he thought he was done learning; it takes him fresh from the mainland, with his button-downs and his ties, and the deep, dark ache in his heart for home, and molds him until he wonders if he'll ever be free of it again.
There are still the things that were there at the beginning; these things that tilt his world, and throw him off, leave him feeling like an outsider trespassing on someone else's space. Things like pineapple on pizza -wrong, so wrong, and nothing will ever make it right, okay, it is an abomination against nature- and the random, sudden showers that come out of nowhere. Those are so fucking annoying, and inconvenient, and he will never admit to being a little -okay, fine, a lot- in awe of the rainbows they leave behind.
Ninety-degree weather in December leaves him feeling off-kilter, and trying to find his feet again. He misses the snow, and the city, and home so bad those first six months, and it kills him, it does, every time he wakes up to find out it really wasn't some kind of horrible nightmare. He goes on, though, because he chose this, for Grace, and maybe for himself a little, and there is nothing in the world he wouldn't do for her.
And then; and then Steven J. McGarrett barges into his life, makes a place for himself without ever asking, and Chin and Kono, as ever, follow his lead. Danny never even realizes he has a family again until the day the three of them are invading his apartment on a Saturday morning, too-loud and larger-than-life, and he spends a long moment blinking the sleep out of his eyes while they pass Grace around between them like she's their's, too.
"What the hell, McGarrett, I know this is all you, your fault, somehow," he says, cranky, and Steve and Kono dump him cheerfully out of bed, laughing -unholy terrors unleashed on poor, unsuspecting victims.
"Up and at 'em, Danno," Steve says, grinning at him all goofy while Chin leans down to whisper something in Grace's ear, and Danny does not trust that smile on Chin's face, okay, he knows Chin, and he is not stupid. He opens his mouth, ready to say something, maybe demand to know why they broke into his house when Kono's suddenly standing in front of him.
"Here, brah, thought you might need this," she tells him, hands him the cup of coffee, and Danny groans into it. He maybe loves Kono a lot.
"I love you," he tells her, "you're totally my favorite."
She grins, triumphant, and nudges him in the shoulder. Steve gives him the puppy face until he caves, sighs the sigh of the heavily put-upon, and pats him gently on the shoulder. He lets his hand stay there for a moment, rubbing along the skin beneath Steve's shirt.
"Don't worry Steven," he says, "you still have a very special place in my heart." He moves his hand from Steve's shoulder, puts it over his own chest in fake sincerity.
Steve snorts, can't help but grin back at him, the big goof. "Ahw, I love you, too, Danno."
"Asshole," Danny mutters, into his cup because Grace is racing over to wrap herself around his legs, and look up at him, all wide eyes, and pleading expression. "Please, Danno! Can we go? Can we? Uncle Chin says it's the best day to go to the beach, and Uncle Steve and Aunt Kono can come, and we can all go swimming, Danno, please?"
Danny's a little impressed. She hadn't even taken a breath through all of that. Danny still hates the beach, doesn't really know what he's getting himself into here, but he agrees anyway. "Sure, Monkey. We can go to the beach," he tells her, watches four faces light up in delight, and how is he supposed to resist that, huh?
They get to the beach -all piled in Steve's truck, and Danny has mostly resigned himself to never driving anywhere ever again because McGarrett is a giant control-freak- and Danny walks with Steve, who throws an arm over his shoulders, casual, but possessive, and tugs him in, and maybe Danny leans into it, a little while he watches Kono and Chin swing his daughter between them. She's giggling happily, completely at ease with these people who have carved their own places in her life, and Danny has to just breathe for a minute because fuck, he was never expecting to find home here, too, but here it is, given freely to him, and his daughter, and Danny doesn't think he could love them any more than he does right now.
"C'mon Danno," Steve cajoles later, posed at the edge of the shore, waves lapping at his feet, "I won't let you drown; promise." He grins, kicks at the water, and Danny scowls at him even though the splash falls short.
"How many times do I gotta say it, Steven? I can swim, okay, I can, when I have a good reason to," he tells him, stands on the shore with his hands on his hips as Steve laughs. Grace is already in the water -Danny had put up the expected, token protests, but she's with his team, and he knows they've all claimed her as their's in some weird I'ohana/I island thing, and he trusts them- and Steve is still waiting for Danny, half in the water, but Danny knows he'd leave it to sit on the sand with him if that's what Danny wanted. It isn't.
He goes, meets Steve half-way, and wades out with him into the ocean, lets them draw him into their world because he thinks he might finally be ready to see it the way they do.
"Daddy!" Grace calls, sitting atop Chin's shoulders proudly, and waves. Danny waves back, laughs when Steve gets impatient, and drags him further out. "C'mon Danny," he says again, loose and open, and relaxed in the water.
"'Bout time, brah," Chin says, splashes water at him, much to Grace's delight, but gives him the smile he knows means 'welcome home.'
Kono just laughs, pops out of the water next to him, and dunks him under. Danny chases her when she swims away, Steve calling encouragement -to Kono, and Danny is so going to get him for that heinous betrayal later- while Grace yells, "go, Danno!"
Chin watches them all, amused, and yeah, okay, he's maybe the most mature out of them all, but it's fun, and Danny doesn't care, let's go, and enjoys himself.
He's maybe changed a lot in the two years since he's come to the island -he's tan, and learning to surf with Kono, and lets Chin drag him out to teach him spear-fishing, and spends most of his time with Steve, figuring out this thing between them -with the looks, and the touching, and fuck, but Steve kisses like he was born for it, and maybe Danny is stupid in love with the idiot- but he doesn't think it's really a bad thing.
Jersey is still his roots, home in a way nothing else will ever be, but he thinks maybe he's found where he belongs. He's okay with that, more than okay with that, because it isn't always about where you're from, and he isn't who he used to be.
He's pretty okay with the person he's become.