Five Things Danny Williams Does Not Know About Steve McGarrett (But Will Find Out Eventually….)
by Darth Stitch
DISCLAIMER: If I owned these guys, the subtext would be text already! Will put the toys back when I'm done.
DISCLAIMER TO SAVE MY SOUL FROM GOING TO HELL IN A HANDBASKET: I blame my Steve Muse and his distressing ability to look delicious in full U.S. Navy dress blues. This is ALL his fault!
Steve McGarrett cooks and he's not half bad at it (all side grilling jokes aside). He remembers the smells and the sounds of his mother's kitchen, the familiar spices, the sweetness of fruits like mango and pineapple, the sound of her voice and the hiss of the oil in the frying pan, sending up the rich smells of garlic and onion. His mother had been the one to teach him and he'd done his best to remember everything she said.
Now, in his father's house, he'll do that now, in his mother's kitchen. Cook something from a recipe she taught him. He'll take a deep breath of spices and sweet native fruit and he'll be taken back to when he was just a little boy and he still believed that nothing bad could ever happen to his mother, that she'd always be there, in her kitchen, with her smile and her voice, teaching him something new.
Steve McGarrett first met the A-Team on a joint op - something classified, completely FUBAR and he learned quickly that this was usually about the time these specific set of Rangers got called in.
Steve remembered laughing when Colonel Hannibal Smith simply looked him over and said, "We can have this whole pissing contest between SEALs and Rangers right now and get it over with. Or we can just skip that and get this mess sorted out. What will it be, sailor?"
"Skipping, Colonel," Steve rejoined.
Something told him that he was going to like working with the silver-haired Ranger, whose reputation had pretty much spread out to all branches of the military and who, now that Steve was up, close and personal with the man, richly deserved said rep.
"I like him!" sang out the Rangers' pilot - Murdock was his name, Steve recalled and something about being howling mad. "Can we keep the SEAL, Hannibal, pretty please?"
"We can get everything covered that way - land, sea and air," Face seconded with an equally charming grin. Face deserved the nickname – he was the kind of man who had probably made more than one guy question his orientation but there was a sharp intelligence in those smiling blue eyes and Steve knew exactly how charm and good looks could be wielded as effective weapons on the right people.
The "Smooth Dog" nickname wasn't ironic these days.
Hannibal regarded Steve and the Ranger lieutenant - who happened to be Steve's age too. On cue, both of them gave Hannibal identical, innocent smiles. The silver-haired Colonel raised his eyes heavenwards, betraying a hint of an Irish brogue when he finally spoke. "Oh God. Two of them?"
Steve wasn't sure what Hannibal was complaining about, given that the op that had gone FUBAR was resolved in the most satisfying of ways which involved a lot of bad guys getting killed, some serious explosions and a plan so beautiful in its ineffability that he completely understood Hannibal's reputation and that of his team's.
It was always good to have friends in other branches of the military. Steve had never believed the team guilty of that mess that happened while the U.S. pulled its troops out of Baghdad and he'd pulled some strings to find out the truth of that matter. He smiled to himself. Given the news he was hearing about "the A-Team" and their numerous appearances across the mainland, he figured they'd be turning up on the islands sooner or later...
Steve knows perfectly well that he's doing the equivalent of pigtail-pulling on a certain Jersey detective.
The trouble is he just can't help himself.
He'll inevitably find the right combination of words and/or actions that would set Danny Williams off on an epic rant. And he likes the ranting - the combination of words, metaphors, similes, snarky one-liners and hand gestures that are all so perfectly Danny.
It scares him a little bit, because he's beginning to need Danny-rants like he needs his morning coffee. And Steve knows that he's just a hair away from needing Danny-rants like he needs air to breathe.
So he'll "pull pigtails" just a little bit longer and tease and drive a certain Jersey detective crazy. That's all he'll allow himself because he can't do anything else - can't want anything else. He'll wind Danny up and let him talk and Steve will tell himself that this is enough, this is all he needs, this friendship where they snark, banter and look out for each other.
Today's another day and he'll goad Danny into another rant and then, he can breathe.
Steve plays the guitar.
He's a bit rusty and he hasn't played all that often in the years between his adolescence and adulthood. He's surprised and more than a little touched to find that his old acoustic guitar was kept in good condition by his Dad.
So every now and then, he'll take it out, strum a few chords, pick out a song he heard from the radio and play it by ear. He's not a singer, exactly - his voice tends towards the husky side (and oddly enough, there's now a trace of an Australian accent there, something he'd picked up on an undercover op in that part of the world) but he is, thankfully, perfectly capable of carrying a tune.
Steve would rather that this talent stayed secret but he should've known better - videos of school dances and the evil machinations of Chin and Kono were coming back to bite him in the ass.
To crown it all, there was a certain little girl named Grace Williams, who wanted to give her Danno a special birthday present.
"Please, Uncle Steve?" she'd said, bringing out the big guns - all big brown eyes and sunny, winning smile - said smile inherited entirely from her father.
Shit, Hannibal himself couldn't have planned it any better. What the hell Steve was going to do but cave in the face of superior tactics and firepower?
So, with Rachel's approval, there were several stolen hours of practice time with Grace, who insisted on picking out the songs (oh dear God, two songs) that they were going to sing for Danny's birthday. Note that this was NOT going to be a Grace Williams solo production - Steve was dragooned into it too.
"Just the Way You Are" by Bruno Mars was perfectly appropriate for a little girl to sing to her father, once one adjusted the lyrics and the key a little bit. And Grace had talent aplenty - the little girl was a good singer and that wasn't an uncle's doting and biased opinion either.
He had some suspicions on how Grace arrived at her choice of song for Steven to sing. It had a certain rookie cop's tracks all over it.
"Grenade?" Steve had said incredulously. "Seriously, Gracie?" He's studiously ignoring the Danny-voice in his head beginning its epic rant on Steve's horrible taste in music. He's trying not to think of how bad this has gotten when he begins to hear Danny-rants in his own mind at the appropriate times and when the real person was not there to supply said rant.
"Uncle Steve," said the child reprovingly, looking oddly wiser than her eight years allowed. "It's perfect. It's not as if you wouldn't catch a grenade for Danno, right?"
Steve felt his world tilt a bit sideways at that bald statement of truth that he was most definitely not ready to acknowledge or even remotely approach. Not without several shots of something alcoholic. "Ok, first - I don't want your father to blame me for telling you things about our job that you're not supposed to know and second - Aunt Kono put you up to this, didn't she?"
The child smiled at him angelically. "I got the song on my iPod and I always think of you and my Danno when I hear it. Aunt Kono just agrees with me."
Oh, he was so thoroughly screwed.
Steve is actually a good actor.
Danny makes comments about Steve's "faces" and it's fucking hilarious for everyone not named Steve McGarrett but honestly, it scares Steve how Danny's able to rip through the masks he's built around himself. He's played various roles in his life and is more than a decent undercover operative when need required back in his SEAL days.
The role that he's in now – the super-ninja SEAL with no sense of proper police procedure – that Danny has assigned to him was something he'd been content to take on. He knows that one of the tricks of good acting was to bring an element of truth to the role and honestly, yes, he's not a cop – he's a military man and he knows military tactics inside and out. He knows what Danny's function in the 5-0 team really is. Were Steve a green, fresh out of the academy officer in charge of his first platoon then Danny's the wise sergeant who's already gone through everything, knows the men and can guide his commanding officer through the rough patches that only experience can smooth away.
But there were other things too – real bits and pieces of himself that Steve's letting slip and he can't understand why he is suddenly unable to hide as effectively as he used to from this particular man. He's prepared to be silly and occasionally, as Danny himself put it, "goofy" and it's different and wonderful and scaring him shitless all at the same time.
Take, for example, Danny's birthday party.
Steve takes the inevitable mocking that followed after his rendition of "Grenade" in stride. He's thankful for Grace, who frowned and proceeded to scold her Danno in a wonderfully epic rant of her own that included things like "Uncle Steve did something nice for you" and "We practiced really hard!" This also included big watery brown eyes and a pout and if Steve wasn't proof against that, Danny, who'd been wrapped around Grace's tiny fingers since her first hour, didn't stand a chance.
He knows Danny is thankful and amused and touched by the present – Danny doesn't really have to tell him directly. He also knows that he's probably just announced exactly how he feels about a certain Jersey detective to all and sundry with his singing of that ridiculous Bruno Mars song. God damn it – he spent ages perfecting his poker face, with some helpful hints from a certain Ranger lieutenant and con artist.
Face is going to kick his ass if he ever finds out about this.
But Danny doesn't seem to show that he's figured out anything else other than the fact that Grace had just handed him the best present ever and fuel to mock his Navy SEAL partner for weeks. Steve is weak with relief that his secret thankfully remains that way.
He's studiously ignoring the commiserating glances that Kono and Chin are sending his way. He'll have to plot some vengeance against the cousins eventually – it was the principle of the thing.
Steve loves Danny Williams.
He admits it to himself now, because, really, he can't keep running from the truth. Steve wishes he could say it was an entirely platonic kind of love, because it would make his life so much easier but he knows Fate's a bitch and he's never been that lucky.
"You've got a new face on," Danny observes, frowning at him. They're on the beach in front of his house, sitting on the old but still sturdy woven rattan chairs. Kono and Chin have already gone home and Grace is sacked out in Mary's old room. Danny's not going anywhere – he's too tired and more than just a little buzzed from the beer to drive safely home. He's crashed at Steve's home before – it had taken Steve ages to assure Danny that it wasn't an imposition – he and Grace were always welcome there.
"A new face?" Steve asks him, preparing himself to play the game. "What is it with you and my so-called faces?" Really, he had to watch himself or Danny was going to cotton on to him in seconds.
"Is it my fault your poker face is worth absolute shit?" Danny answers. "Remind me to teach you the finer points of a 'poker face.' My eight year old daughter could take you on and win."
"Nope, not going there – I heard how good Gracie is from Kamekona."
Danny beams and starts telling Steve how he taught Grace to play, something about old Williams family tricks handed down throughout the generations, beginning with Danny's how-many-times-great-grandfather who'd been something of a legendary gambler playing on the floating casinos on the Mississippi. It's part tall tale and partially true and Steve smiles as he listens to Danny spin his story.
And just as Danny ends this newest tale from his seemingly endless store of Williams Family lore, he casually slides in the last few remarks. "You should sing more often. Thanks. You big goof."
That surprises a laugh out Steve, pure and totally unforced. "What, no mocking?"
"I am withholding mocking and remarks about you not auditioning for American Idol until we go back to work. Until then, enjoy the reprieve."
Danny stands up and goes back into the house and Steve is just this close to doing something horrifically embarrassing and stupid like telling his partner something along the lines of "I love you" and "even if you never love me in the same way, I'll still love you."
So damn fucking close.
Steve doesn't move from his chair, at least not until the barest hint of morning begins to light up the sky.
Note: Rating is for language. :)
AUTHOR'S END NOTES:
Y'know, "screwed" is exactly how one is supposed to feel when one finds out that one's Face Muse and Steve Muse are in cahoots with each other. Oh sweet Ceiling Cat help us all….
Face Muse: Can't fault your taste, Steve – your detective's on the adorable side. Short but definitely adorable….
Steve Muse: (blushes) Try saying that again, Face – I'm sure they didn't hear you on the other island….
Murdock Muse: Payback is easy, Commander – I got tons of stories about how our Colonel and Facey were so sweet on each other and they never cottoned on….
Face Muse: HEY!