Title: Primary Functions

Author: thewhiterose3

Pairing: Danny/Steve, slash

Disclaimer: Not mine, never will be, just playing. Blah blah woof woof.

Rating: T, for language.

A/N: Another addition to the "God Forbid, Feelings" universe. This one is a little softer than some of my previous fics. I guess this would chronologically go directly after Ties, but it could also be Steve looking back on this moment and I don't think it really messes anything up in my little oneshot world. Briefly beta'd by my lovely sister, but any mistakes are you enjoy! If you do, or not, or you feel strongly about it one way or another, drop me a line, a review, a howdy. Love to hear from y'all.

Steve not so secretly loves the way that Danny never stops surprising him. He's been trained to read people, to take in everything in a single glance and make educated assessments, find their weaknesses, exploit them. But the Navy never trained him for someone like Danny. Someone who defies all of the rules Steve knows about human nature because Danny refuses to even attempt to hide his weaknesses. He puts everything out there, his freaking huge heart a giant neon target on his chest. Everyone who has been in a fifty foot radius of Danny knows all of his likes and dislikes and annoyances and loves. Danny loves and he protects, those are his two primary functions. But the infuriating man makes you forget those things, distracts you with his flailing and his bluster and his vocabulary that could shame an English professor. Because if you pay attention to Danny's point, you realize that you can't listen to what he is actually physically saying, you have to feel the undercurrent which is always the same. Love and protect. Love and protect.

And that's why Steve feels a little idiotic for being so surprised on their first morning waking up together. As much as Danny rants and raves and gushes about sleep and proper beds and their necessity in life (despite going for so long with a lack of one), you could easily extrapolate that Danny is not an early riser, that he covets his mornings wrapped up in blankets and deep in REM. So when Steve floated to consciousness for the second time that morning, pleasantly sore and still so fucking joyful, he heartily expected to find himself exactly like the first. To be wrapped around, over, engulfing a drowsy, beautiful length of naked Danny. But when Steve reached out muzzily with his senses, he smelled coffee, felt cool crisp cloth between his hand and Danny's leg and warm deft fingers drawing patterns on his scalp, heard Danny singing under his breath, so low it was basically humming. Unless Steve was sorely mistaken, the tune bore an eerie resemblance to Bon Jovi's "Born To Be My Baby." Steve would resent that, be alarmed that his years of training had somehow missed Danny getting out of bed, making coffee, putting on freaking pants, if he wasn't so damn comfortable and really, really happy.

When Steve finally gave up on solving this mystery using his other four senses and acquiesced to opening his eyes, he found Danny sitting up in bed wearing nothing but yesterday's wrinkled dress pants and a warm, amused expression. Before Steve could even say a word, Danny leaned down and pressed his mouth to Steve's in a gentle yet utterly focused kiss that Steve decided was his favorite way to start the day, ever (though he secretly imagined, dreamed, hoped to be proven wrong in the very near future). When the kiss finally ended, Steve reached for his beautiful, way too clothed man intent on remedying this crime against nature that was the wearing of pants in bed. He immediately noticed two things. The first was that Danny was completely tense in anticipation, but in an eerily relaxed way, like he had long practice with this complicated emotion and over time had come to an uneasy but still comfortable understanding with it. If anyone could have a complex yet open relationship with a feeling, defying all sense of logic and description, it would be Danny. The second was that Danny had his cell phone in his non-petting hand and was gripping it like his life depended on it, like it held all the answers to the universe if only he could hold on.

After carefully and deliberately returning Steve to his previous position, Danny held one finger up to his lips and wordlessly asked him to quietly wait for answers, please. This time, please. When Steve acquiesced and relaxed, head on Danny's thigh, Danny let out a sigh of relief and resumed his petting. Within a few minutes, Danny's phone rang and all of Steve's silent queries were answered.

"Good morning, monkey," Danny sighed, voice still rough from disuse as all of the tension oozed out of his frame.

Of course. It made perfect sense. Just because Danny didn't live with Grace and hadn't for over a year, didn't mean that his daily initial instinct to ensure her safety and happiness had passed or even weaned. He can picture it so clearly, Danny sitting just like this, upright in his horrible empty apartment on his shitty fold out bed. Even alone, he would at least put on pants, if not be fully dressed, in some inane assumption that speaking to his kid without them was just wrong. This Danny would be staring at his phone, holding it with both hands, unable to start the day, move on, become whole enough to leave this early morning moment until he heard his little girl's lilting voice narrate her morning routine. Steve tightens his grip on Danny's frame at the thought. Vows that Danny won't have to face solitary Grace-free mornings, an achingly empty apartment, not anymore.

Steve nuzzles into Danny's thigh, dozes to the half echo of Gracie's homework complaints and the replies of a softer-edged, endlessly besotted Danny. He idly wishes that his father had been more like Danny, willing to travel to the ends of the earth to be near his kid, never dreaming of sending her away, so obviously aching at the separation, treasuring every moment that he is allotted. Steve's traitorous brain then reanalyzes the sentiment of wanting a father more like his lover and decides to immediately can that thought entirely. Bad brain. Instead he distracts himself with memories of last night, again this morning, right now, the feeling of Danny's fingertips dancing across his scalp, mapping him as if to identify him in the future from touch alone.

As what is obviously a morning ritual winds down, so does Danny, sinking down in bed until he is looking into Steve's eyes as he says "Danno loves you, have a good day at school, monkey" and reluctantly hangs up. Danny's pain at needing a phone to converse with his daughter is palpable, but so is the lack of tension that so recently held his body rigid. With languid grace, Danny reaches toward Steve, cups his face in his hands and kisses him again, this time with more confidence, more purpose, the last of the tension easing from his body.

"Thanks, love. And good morning to you too, sleepyhead," Danny noses into Steve's embrace, speaking to him directly for the first time. "I thought super SEAL ninjas were supposed to wake up at the crack of dawn and warm up for the day with a couple dozen triathlons or something," he continues, seamlessly easing from his previous vulnerability into their usual banter, now punctuated with open mouthed kisses to his shoulders.

"Well, it is a special occasion," Steve quips, leaning down to capture Danny's mouth, again. So freaking addicting.

When Danny lets him up for air, he's already talking. "No time for that now," he begins, but belittles his words by leaning down and kissing Steve again. Looks like they both have this addiction problem. "You shower. I'll make breakfast."

"Mmmm. Don't wanna," Steve protests curling closer, mumbling "comfortable" into Danny's shoulder.

"Too bad, grabby SEAL. How are we going to convince Chin and Kono that we can make this work without it fucking with the team dynamic if we can't even manage to get to work on time?" Danny pulls out the big guns, but without any of the bite Steve feared that conversation would entail.

"Mean," Steve pouts, feeling more playful than he has in years, but he does allow Danny to extricate himself from his embrace only to roll out of bed and onto his feet in one fluid motion.

"Hate you," Danny gripes, hand over his trick knee. And Steve can't resist the urge to kiss even the mock scowl from his Danny's face. When he resurfaces, he eases himself away, turning toward the bathroom.

"Good luck with that breakfast thing. The last time I went shopping was last month." Steve smirks as he backpedals out of the room.

The last thing Steve sees before he turns the corner is Danny shaking his head and mumbling something that looks like "idiot" and "gonna need to fucking train you" and "how'd you ever survive without me," fondness seeping from every pore. Steve's starting to wonder about that last one himself, because one morning (six months) in and he's not sure how he ever got through the day without him.