Disclaimer: I do not own the characters in this work of fiction.
A/N: written for livejournal LAS TV1network Community.
Prompt: "A kiss is a lovely trick designed by nature to stop speech when words become superfluous." - Ingrid Bergman
Title: Ka Honi Mai Me Ke Aloha (And with Love is a Kiss)
Spoilers: Tag for, "Ua Hiki Mai Kapalena Pau"
Feedback would be greatly appreciated. Mahalos.
Danny Williams had always been a brash, outspoken man. She had found that attractive once upon a time. Had adored his East Coast accent, and how he spoke with his hands, gesticulating to emphasize certain points, or articulate what words alone couldn't.
He had a vast vocabulary, belying his chosen profession. That had always been a point of contention between them. She knew that he was capable of being something more than a mere detective; he had no other desire than to serve the public. Wanted to make the streets safe for her and others to walk, he'd said.
Protect and serve, protect and serve…she hadn't fully appreciated the meaning of that phrase until years into their marriage. Until after she'd attended the funeral of one of Danny's friends, watched his newly widowed bride clutch a folded flag to her chest. Face, barren of tears, yet pinched in sorrow as she tossed a handful of dirt onto her dead husband's coffin. He'd been shot in a routine follow-up on a case. Routine – another word that had held little meaning for her until that day.
For weeks afterward, she hadn't been able to get a full night's sleep. Picturing Danny, not the other young officer, a bullet in his chest, dressed in typical dress blues, being lowered into the earth, leaving her and Grace behind.
The nightmares slowly wound their way around her heart, gripping her during the day, giving her near panic attacks whenever Danny had to stay late because he was working on a case. They made it impossible for her to think of anything other than the irrational fear that she would lose him because he was out there making the world safe for everyone else.
He stuck with his convictions, loving, she thought, his work, more than her. That was her mistake. And yet, she knew that she couldn't have continued to stay home, care for Grace and wait for the inevitable call which would tear their world apart. The uncertainty was killing her, and her anxiety was slowly eating away at their relationship – eroding it. The repartee that they'd enjoyed throughout their marriage turned into something vicious and biting rather than the impassioned banter that it had been.
She'd chosen to cut him out of her life before a 'perp' with a gun, or a bomb or a knife could take that choice from her. She wanted things to end on her terms, didn't want to lose him. And, in a way, she hadn't. Grace tied them together, even after she moved halfway across the world, putting an entire ocean between them, to avoid that inexorable call. Danny, faithful as always, had followed.
His speech, as ever, was bright, ardent, and, now, volatile when they had to communicate with each other. She knew what Danny had willingly endured for Grace: moving to a place he hated, trading insults with the woman he once loved with a fervency envied by many, facing threats of losing the ability to see his little girl, and the humility of having to beg for visitation rights.
There was little he wouldn't do for Grace. Once, all of that zeal had been directed at her. The memory of it was nearly as intoxicating as being a firsthand recipient of that love had been. If she didn't love Grace as much as he did, she would have been jealous.
He was a passionate man, suiting action to words. Shakespeare's Hamlet had nothing on him. And so, she knew that she shouldn't be surprised to receive a call from Steve telling her that Grace was at the hospital, visiting an injured Danny. That she could pick her up there.
It was a call which she had dreaded receiving so much so that she had ended their marriage for the fear of it, and still, she'd been unable to avoid it. Her heart actually stopped beating for a second; skipping as Steve reassured her that Danny would be fine. He was out of the woods, and would be able to return home after a brief, routine, overnight stay.
She was confronted with a rush of conflicting emotions – anger, happiness, relief, the thought of holding this man she had once loved and never letting him go – as she watched him for a moment from the privacy of the doorjamb. He was talking with Grace, animated as usual, though she could see that he was tired. His hands were doing nearly as much of the 'talking' as his mouth.
Her eyes wandered to his mouth, momentarily mesmerized by the familiar facial expressions that crossed his features. She'd long ago memorized the way his lips quirked slightly upward in amusement and then dipped briefly when he was telling a story. In spite of his obvious exhaustion, he entertained their daughter who was completely entranced.
Sensing her presence, he looked over and she smiled, happy to see that Steve had been telling her the truth. Her eyes flicked upward, reading the question in his suddenly serious blue eyes.
He opened his mouth to voice his question, but she quickly closed the distance between them, placing a slender finger over his parted lips. Her eyes were drawn once more to that mouth which had first caused her to fall in love with him, and, for the space of a bated breath, a myriad of chastisements crossed her mind, made their way to the tip of her tongue, and died on her lips.
Instead, overwhelmed at what she'd almost lost, confronted with what she'd foolishly pushed away, she closed her eyes. A word, chastisements, speech of any kind was superfluous. Leaning forward, she pressed her lips to his forehead, as she would Grace. The intent was to still her tongue, keep her from saying anything rash.
The next kiss, placed tenderly in close proximity to the last was nothing of the sort she would use to soothe their daughter. No, this second speech stultifying kiss was one borne of pure love.