by Darth Stitch
DISCLAIMER: Not mine. Belongs to CBS, Peter Lenkov, the Powers that Be that run this wonderful show. Will be careful and put the toys back in the box when I'm done.
DISCLAIMER TO SAVE MY SOUL FROM GOING TO HELL IN A HANDBASKET: Slash of the Steve/Danny variety. Run if it's not your cup of tea. Also, I may have to put warnings for shameless fluff and comic stuff. I can't help it if the Muses want to be funny! :P
It started, as it usually did, with Steve McGarrett.
To be absolutely fair, it wasn't even Steve's fault. Truth be told, Steve was making an effort to tone down his trouble-magnet tendencies. He had some absolutely excellent reasons to make sure he himself stayed relatively hale, healthy and whole and said reasons had everything to do with a certain loud, stubborn, lovable Jersey detective and his adorable little daughter.
In fact, the event that pretty much kicked off this whole mess didn't even rate anything on Danny Williams' Personal McGarrett Catastrophe Meter.
It had been a relatively quiet week for Five-0. This was a good thing, since Rachel and Stan, who had since mended their marriage and were back together, were off on another business trip. As a result, Grace had been left in the care of her absolutely delighted father and equally doting honorary uncle. Grace was already starting a scrapbook filled with pictures and mementos of whatever the three of them got up to during the weekends – memories of trips to the beach, the zoo… all the little adventures they could get into, especially considering that they lived in Hawaii.
It wasn't just the fun stuff – it was the little domestic things too. Steve and Danny had finally admitted to what everyone else had seen coming since they first started working together. The two of them somehow managed to put up with the heckling, the cheering, the "I-told-you-so's" and all the good-natured teasing they endured from the other half of their team. And if Steve was seen to be sporting his goofy grin more often and if Danny's ranting at his partner was less laced with temper and sounded more affectionate than annoyed, nobody was going to say anything. Much.
"I think they'll be getting out of the 'honeymoon phase' sometime soon," Chin had remarked. "It's been…what? Four months?"
Kono snickered. "That ain't happenin', 'cuz. We just have to resign ourselves to sugar shock everyday."
"Bite me!" Danny hollered from his office.
"No way, Other-Boss!" Kono hollered back. "I don't wanna commit suicide by Jealous!SEAL."
Steve prudently chose not to remark on that exchange. Danny had shown up looking somewhat….nibbled on that day, which was all Steve's fault, of course, even though Steve had very reasonably pointed out that Danny was quite enthusiastic during the whole "nibbling" process.
"Daddy, you've got red marks all over your neck!" Grace would say later, looking at her father in concern.
"Mosquito bites," Danny said with the straightest face one could imagine.
"Yeah," Kono chimed in. "They're really huge and they're terrible this time of year."
Neither of them was looking at Steve, who had turned an interesting shade of red at the child's innocent question.
"You should put on some mosquito repellant lotion, Daddy," Grace said, in a tone so maternal that it had Chin stifling a laugh. "Bad mosquitoes."
"Yeah," said Danny, doing his damndest not to blush himself but knowing he was scoring an epic fail on this one, if the heat creeping up on the back of his neck was any indication. "Real naughty mosquitoes!"
On that particular day, Danny had just picked Gracie up from school and they'd been catching up on the paperwork in the office so they were staying a bit late. Grace didn't mind because she liked doing her homework in her father's company and had figured out that Steve was a good resource for science questions. Kono and Chin were also buried under their own respective paperwork files – Steve had a stack of his own sitting on his desk. Contrary to popular opinion (read: Danny), Steve was good at paperwork. He'd filled out enough forms in his time as a Navy officer – he just wasn't very familiar with how things worked at the police department at first. He was a quick study though, mainly learning from Danny and Chin.
Steve had taken one look at his team and volunteered to get everyone something to eat. Chinese take-out was the order of the day. He was proud of them – they deserved the treat. They had just successfully closed yet another high profile case and had put another criminal behind bars. It had been a kidnap-for-ransom with the victim a little boy just a couple of years younger than Grace. Danny was especially determined to make sure that the kidnappers would rot in jail. Steve was more tempted to throw them in a tank surrounded by man-eating sharks this time around and Danny had to admit that the notion was a good one. He was actually bemoaning why he had to curb his partner's bloodthirsty tendencies for this perp.
This particular case had again landed Five-0 in the news and it had taken some doing on Steve and Danny's part to make sure Kono wasn't given too much visibility by the cameras, given that she did so much undercover work. Steve knew that they'd soon need to bring in another person to help with that and made a mental note to himself to talk to Danny and Chin about it. Unfortunately, the newshounds needed to have someone represent Five-0 and Steve and Danny were stuck with that "pleasant" duty.
Their favorite Chinese take-out place was just a brisk walk away from their office. Sure, Steve could've picked up the phone and ordered in but he felt like getting some fresh air, if only, as he'd joked to his team, to give him the will to start tackling the pile of paperwork on his desk.
Steve was just outside the Chinese take-out place when he suddenly got a text. Taking out his phone, he found it was a message from Danny asking him to get the fried dumplings Grace and he liked so much. Half-smiling at the thought of his partner and Danny's thing about food, Steve didn't notice the tugging on his pants leg at first.
The tugging grew more insistent.
Steve finally looked down and saw the cutest little girl smiling up at him. He figured she had to be three years old at the most, with slightly curly dark hair, big brown eyes and round, rosy cheeks.
Thanks to Grace, Steve wasn't as awkward around kids as he used to be. He hunkered down so that he could meet her eye to eye. "Hi."
"You Five-0!" said the little girl cheerfully.
Oh, this was cute. Steve found himself smiling. "Yes, that's me. I'm Steve. What's your name?"
"Chai!" The little girl proudly declared.
"Well, it's very nice to meet you, Miss Chai," Steve answered, which made the little girl giggle. He raised a hand and one tiny fist met his in a fist-bump. He was about to ask the little girl where her mother was when the lady finally appeared, breathless from her frantic search.
"Mama! He's Five-0!" the child called out.
Mama, like her child, recognized Steve from the news and needless to say, she was quite relieved to find her wayward toddler in Steve's company. "I just turned my head away for a second," she had said.
Steve commiserated with her, being all too familiar with this particular parental lament, courtesy of Danny. He left his new little friend in her Mama's charge and went on to get his take-out.
Steve had completely forgotten the whole thing, until the next day.
With all the recent events that had happened on the island in the past year and a half, the Five-0 Task Force was an especially hot news item. The public was hungry for information, especially given the dramatic circumstances surrounding Governor Jameson's death and the exoneration of the Five-0 Task Force commander Steve McGarrett.
The newspaper editor found herself looking at the picture snapped by one of her photographers and submitted on her desk. Commander McGarrett was usually seen in both photos and video as a rather grim, serious man. Some wag picked up the phrase "a real-life G.I. Joe" and it's never been more appropriate. Even before he became leader of the Five-0 Task Force, this particular man's career has been nothing but one stellar achievement after another – at least, what information was available to the public anyway. Anyone with half a working brain could fill in the classified blanks.
This particular picture was definitely one for the books. Commander McGarrett is kneeling in front of a tiny, adorable child, having just exchanged a fist-bump with her. The Navy SEAL is smiling at her and the newspaper editor puts a hand to her heart, grinning in turn. Good Lord, that smile. They've all noticed that the Commander's an incredibly good-looking man and the camera absolutely loves him. But that smile pushes that description firmly into the territory of heart-stopping.
"It's a panty-dropper, yeah?" said the photographer, grinning.
The editor rolls her eyes at him. The photographer's got a cute story to go with the picture, courtesy of the wee one's proud mama. Apparently, her baby girl has a bit of a crush on McGarrett, having seen him on TV and hearing the words Five-0. The kid had spotted him standing outside the Chinese restaurant and toddled right over to greet her idol, much to her mother's surprise.
"You Five-0!" It makes for a cute little filler and would fit quite nicely on page 2 of tomorrow's paper and would definitely look great on the website.
The newspaper editor sends it off for layout with a quickly scribbled caption.
Danny Loses His Wits
Danny's pretty much used to the fact that his giant goof of a boyfriend and partner is ridiculously good-looking.
After all, he's had plenty of opportunity to appreciate that and he knows that he's a goddamn lucky bastard. So he's pretty much used to the adoring glances sent Steve's way from the majority of the female population. Steve has asserted that Danny gets more than his fair share of attention but Danny has steadfastly refused to believe him otherwise.
Danny did, however, very much approve of Steve's "efforts" to convince him.
Today, Steve seems to be getting more than his usual lion's share of feminine attention and Danny's only noting it because the general reaction is delighted giggles and whispers. This reminds him very strongly of Grace crushing on those actors from that spooky TV show – Supernatural or something like that, which Danny can't believe Rachel allowed Grace to watch. Danny's eight year old with a baby crush – at least she had the good taste not to go with those Jonas boys, the Bieber kid or God forbid, the sparkly vampire guy.
Steve, bless him, has been oblivious to the whole thing. Danny's never going to get used to the fact that Steve will always steal one last kiss and/or nibble before they leave home and that thought alone will make Danny grin foolishly to himself for the rest of the day, because his definition of home now includes Steve McGarrett. And while they're not physically affectionate with each other in public and especially not while they were on duty, Danny's both gratified and humbled by the fact that he's very much the center of Steve's attention. The little glances, the comfort of being in each other's personal space and brief touches sent his way meant a lot more to Danny than any of the usual and obvious signs of affection.
It's another quiet day for them and Steve's already asked Danny to screen some candidates from HPD who could join the task force, mainly to help Kono with the undercover work. Danny understands that – they've become quite well known in the islands and while they've done their best to keep Kono out of the media spotlight, he lives in terror of the day Kono gets made by some crook simply because some newshound doesn't understand the concept of "undercover" and "confidential."
Some of the candidates are female and Danny notes the amused, slightly besotted glances they throw in the direction of Steve's office. Not that he can blame them – Steve is in Adorkable Nerd mode today, having put on his computer glasses. He hasn't drawn the blinds in his office, so he can be seen quite clearly from Danny's side. His last interviewee for the day, this cute little waif with the odd nickname of "Spooky" had managed to not look at Steve's office at least until after the interview is over. Danny actually finds her the most promising of the lot – this young woman, newly promoted to detective, has already been doing very well, especially with her undercover work in Vice.
He knows Steve is going to agree – the reason why they'd considered her because they'd run into her once while she was working on a case that ended up being related to the one they had. She was both agreeable and cooperative, which was a pleasant surprise, considering what they'd seen from other members of the HPD at times. What really sealed the deal was that they'd seen her put down a drug dealer twice her weight and size and she'd put him down hard.
Spooky was already on her way out the door when she stopped to peek at Steve's office. She has the decency to blush and look sheepish when she looks back at him and realizes she's been caught staring at the Five-0 Commander.
"Don't worry, Detective Williams," she tells him with a mischievous grin. "We all think you're just as cute as he is. It's a cuteness overload! Especially considering what's happened today."
Danny blinks and finds himself walking over to her. "Excuse me? What happened today? And I might just chalk it up to an all-time record for Super SEAL over there because we've both been in the office for the entire day and you'd think he can stay out of trouble simply by staying at his desk!" This last one is said especially loudly for Steve's benefit, who looks up and casts a "Confused Puppy/Who Me?" Look in Danny's direction.
Danny tries to ignore how his heart goes a-flutter for just a second since that specific Look is made all the more adorable with the fact that Steve is currently wearing glasses. Man, has he got it bad.
Kono's been at the computer table the whole time and has heard the entire exchange. She giggles in turn.
Danny rolls his eyes at her. "Oh God, Kono, not you too!"
"She's right about the cuteness overload, brah," Kono points out. "You're talking about That Picture, right, Spooky?"
Danny can clearly hear the capital letters and the italics in there. "What picture?"
Spooky giggles again. "Oh my God, quick, Kono – he's gotta see this!"
So Kono does and Danny stares when said picture is shown up on the big screen.
And he stares some more.
The math's pretty easy – Steve plus Adorable Little Toddler with fist-bump and sweet smiles on both their faces equals Massive Cuteness Overload of Epic Proportions.
Kono and Spooky explode into full-out laughter. The little detective pats Danny on the shoulder. "Like I said, Detective Williams, don't worry about it. We think you're adorable too."
He doesn't have a chance to reply because that minx has the good sense to run for her life while his wits have still temporarily exited the building.
"Hey, Danny? Brah, anyone home?" Kono's stopped laughing and is now looking at him with a mixture of concern and amusement.
Danny finally manages to at least find his voice. His wits may be a lost cause. "Kono, do me a favor?"
"Don't ever, ever show me this picture again. Not if you want me to maintain any semblance of higher mental function. Okay?"
He says it knowing perfectly well that Kono will blow up the goddamn picture and stick it on his office window and that he will eventually ask her to print one out on photo paper so that he can frame it and put it on his desk, right beside his picture of Grace.
And it's at this point that Steve finally ambles out of his office, saying, "Whatever it was, I didn't do it!" He pauses and sees his photo and the same, identical smile, the one that Danny has long catalogued as his "sunshine-and-rainbows" smile breaks out on his face. "Hey, I didn't know they took a picture of that…"
Steve doesn't get to continue his sentence because Danny walks up to him and pulls him down for a deep kiss that has Kono cheering them on. He pats his lover's cheek in a brief, gentle caress, drinking in the satisfyingly befuddled expression on Steve's face and strides back to his own office, grinning like crazy the entire time.
Because if Danny has to lose his mind after seeing Steve in That Picture, then it's only fair that Steve shares his suffering.
Grace Williams and Her Scrapbook
Grace Williams is working on her scrapbook.
She has a photo album of pictures with Mommy and Step-Stan and the things they do together. This album is just pictures and not much else. Sometimes, Mommy puts labels there, like "Grace's slumber party" or "Mommy's Birthday Party." Grace usually likes it when it's just pictures reminding her of the things she and Mommy do together like shopping or going to nice restaurants or museums or when Mommy has time to take her to the playground. She tends to gloss over the times when Step-Stan takes them places and they do things together.
It's not that she doesn't like Step-Stan. He's okay and he's nice, in a distant kind of way. But he keeps on giving her things – dolls, dresses, toys, tennis lessons, a pet bunny and a phone and Mommy always goes on and on about how nice Step-Stan is to give these things to her. And from the very start, Mommy has always told Grace that Step-Stan is her daddy too.
Grace knew who her Daddy was and she only ever had one and that was her Danno. As far as she was concerned, Daddy was Danno and Step-Stan was Step-Stan. End of discussion, as her Danno would say.
Grace is not a naughty child by nature. She's seen too much conflict between her parents. They think she was too young to remember and they did try to keep their unhappiness hidden from her. But these things spill over and it can never be kept away. Grace doesn't want to add to the sadness that her Mommy and Daddy both feel. And it helps, it really does, that they've both told her that they love her very much and she understands that it helps them when she stays quiet, behaves and follows what they ask her to do and give them hugs and kisses when they need it.
She's glad that Mommy is happy again and that she and Step-Stan have worked things out between them. What made Grace unhappy is that her Danno had to suffer for a good long while. He tries to hide it and he usually does it well but Grace understands that her Daddy is happiest when they are together and is always sad when he sees her go back to her Mommy and Step-Stan.
This is why Grace has begun to ask her Mommy for more time with her Daddy. She's now old enough to understand that her Daddy needs her very much and that Bad Things happen and her Daddy does a job where a lot of Bad Things could happen.
So this is Grace's scrapbook, the one that she really works on and puts stuff in, like stickers and souvenirs and drawings and of course, pictures. She writes little notes of what happened on that particular day. This is her scrapbook for Danno and all the times they spend together. She plans to give this to Danno once she fills it up – that way Danno will have something of his Monkey with him when she's not there.
These days, the scrapbook is filled not just of memories and reminders of her Daddy. Steve is there too, at first shy and hesitant, trying to stay in the background as Grace can see in the earlier pictures. These were back in the days when he and Danno were just work partners and friends. In the latest ones, he is a more visible presence and sometimes, there are just pictures of him together with Grace, laughing and playing.
She's liked Steve from the beginning. When she first met him, she immediately could tell that he was the sad and unsmiling Prince in the stories she and Danno made up together. On that day they went to watch the football game, he was definitely less sad and he did smile more and Grace just knew it was because he was together with his friends.
"Your Dad talks about you all the time," he told her warmly.
"He talks about you too," she returned, barely stopping herself from giggling.
She could see how he eventually made her Danno less unhappy – the clues were there in the stories her Daddy told her. Danno didn't always put things in the fairy-tale perspective. There were times when he did get serious and explain to her what he did as a police officer and detective. Grace paid attention to what she learned in school, read in books and seen on the news and she often asked her Daddy these questions. The good thing about Danno was that he did do his best to answer most of these questions, only reserving some of the other more grown-up stuff that she could not wrap her mind around, for when she was a lot older.
Steve had soon become a more constant presence in her life. He was kind, cute and very funny and as handsome as any storybook Prince. She did notice that he and Danno soon became very good friends, recognizing the underlying tones of fondness and affection in her father's exasperated rants. The other thing was that Steve became Grace's friend too, not just because she was Danny's daughter but because they both genuinely liked each other.
She found that they both liked scary stories and movies, the grosser, the better, which horrified her father. They both liked the water and she was never scared of drowning, as long as Steve was there. He was always good at pretend and make-believe, though he liked adventure stuff rather than just sitting there and dressing up Barbies. Grace didn't mind that – Steve was a boy and she had to explain the girl stuff to him rather carefully. And Steve was interested in a lot of neat stuff – animals and plants and how you could mix stuff up to make them explode or do other things. She loved bringing her science homework to him because he explained everything so well.
That was the best thing about Steve – he didn't talk down to her, like a child who didn't know any better. He talked to her, though she was aware there were some grown-up things that he would find hard to explain. He talked to her, just like Danno did and listened to what she had to say.
This particular picture had her cuddled up next to Steve on the couch while they were watching DVDs of Supernatural. Grace still remembers her father's fond, exasperated ranting at the two of them, even as he snapped a picture with his camera phone.
"You are going to scar my daughter for life, Steven, I swear to God. She is going to have nightmares, do you hear me? Nightmares!"
"I'm not scared 'cause you and Steve are here," Grace said artfully. "And it's not real, anyway."
"Uh-huh," said her father skeptically. "You can say that now but I'm wondering what's going to happen once bedtime rolls around."
"Danno, every kid knows that the monster under the bed and in the closet can be kept away by a nightlight and by making sure you don't let your feet dangle over the bed, right, Gracie?" Steve offered helpfully.
Grace nodded eagerly, delighted that Steve was well-versed in this aspect of childhood wisdom. Also, she loved the nightlight he got for her which she had in the room she slept in whenever she stayed over with her father and Steve. The nightlight would cast dolphin shadows on her walls and Gracie loved staring at them and pretending she was swimming with the dolphins in the ocean before she finally fell asleep. It had taken some doing until Danny had finally agreed to move in with Steve but it had become a running joke with all of them that Grace already had her own room in Steve's house long before Danny had picked up Steve's broad hints about getting him out of his tiny apartment and into Steve's home.
"You are not helping," Danny told Steve, shaking a finger at him.
"Besides," Grace added, sharing a conspiratorial glance with Steve. "I like Sam Winchester. He's cute!"
Steve ran a hand over his face to hide a grin even as Grace's last remark produced the desired result – that of Danny freaking out.
"Oh my God. Oh my God – my little girl with a baby crush!" Danny flailed. "Grace Anne Williams, you are eight years old and too young for baby crushes. Boys have cooties, remember? Steven, help me out here!"
"I don't know," Steve made a show of considering things carefully. "I think Dean Winchester's a lot cuter."
"Hey!" Danny said outraged.
Steve winked at Grace. "He kind of reminds me of your Dad… although, of course, your father's a lot better-looking."
And at that point, he and Grace both burst out laughing even as Danny, trying to control his own amusement, raised his eyes heavenwards and said melodramatically, "How is this my life?"
Grace carefully pastes the picture in her scrapbook and writes a little caption for it and adds a smiley picture for good measure.
Grace and Steve crush over the Winchester boys. Danno freaks out.
Where Have All The Good Men Gone…
Contrary to popular (read: Danny's) opinion, Steve McGarrett isn't completely oblivious to the press attention that the Five-0 Task Force has been getting.
Steve is no fool – the publicity for Five-0 has mostly been on the positive side. He was also surprised and oddly touched at the diligence of a few of the journalists who had actually done their homework and were among the first to break the news that Steve was innocent of the murder charges leveled against him and that Kono was also cleared of the charges against her. While he's never been a glory hound, Steve knows that this helped favorably swing the chances of Five-0's continued existence for the new governor.
The new governor likes keeping a tighter leash on Steve and his team and he's especially conscious of the PR repercussions. Steve honestly can't stand the man but he's worked for tough bosses before. Steve is proud of what their team has accomplished, even though they were brought together by Jameson's machinations. They had a high solve rate, criminals were getting convicted and they were getting the job done. Nobody could dispute that.
Today, somebody somehow managed to get a shot of him and Danny having just stopped a local drug dealer who'd just engaged HPD on a high-speed chase. Idiot was hopping high on his own product and was wrapped in a blissful sense of his own invincibility, causing some accidents along the road during the chase. Thankfully, the injuries incurred by the unlucky motorists weren't too severe, although one pregnant woman went into premature labor when her car was sideswiped by the asshole and had to be rushed to the hospital. Danny and Steve were actually on their way to work when they heard the call and actually had the idiot speed right by them.
The photo is pretty damn good – Steve had maneuvered the Camaro right in front of the asshole when they tried to make it onto a dirt road. The drug dealer was truly caught between a rock and the hard place with Five-0 blocking his way forward and HPD behind. The shot showed Steve just about to get out of the car, gun in hand. Danny had popped up with gun in hand over the car's roof, on the passenger's side. There was no doubt they both had the perp covered dead to rights. Danny was especially ticked off since he had to suffer through what he called Steve's "suicidal approach to driving" and hadn't had his first coffee of the day yet.
Steve finds himself grinning foolishly at Danny's picture in the online news article – his Danno looked good there, tough competent Jersey cop in a pose straight out of an action movie. Danny could be so hopelessly clueless about how damn gorgeous he was. It drives Steve to distraction at times, Danny getting those soft, considering looks from the women. Steve had heard Kono and that new girl, Spooky, openly call Danny adorable and Steve is perfectly sure they were seeing what he has been seeing all along – soft blonde hair begging to be teased from its normal slicked-back style, bright blue eyes and that mischievous, little-boy smile. It was part of the reason why Steve sometimes couldn't resist making sure he left very obvious possessive marks on his partner – not that Danny complained, much.
Gracie did fuss over her poor father and his sudden propensity for getting "mosquito bites" though.
Speaking of Gracie, he turns and gives a smile to his favorite little girl as she approaches him.
"Whatcha doin'?" she drawls. Steve knows she's doing an imitation of that little girl from the Phineas and Ferb cartoon. He's been getting updated on all of these, courtesy of Grace and in turn, he's been educating her on the classic 80s stuff. Danny teases that Grace seems to be bringing out Steve's inner eight year old but Danny's actually not far behind on the "age regression" thing. Steve admires that in Danny – that he's done his best to actually be there for his daughter, being parent, best friend and playmate all rolled into one.
"We're printing Danno's picture from the news … and maybe take over the world while we're at it," Steve drawls back.
She giggles, as expected. "You're supposed to be a superhero, Super SEAL Steve! Not a supervillain!"
Steve sighs mournfully. "You never let me have any fun, Commander Gracie!"
She shakes her head at him. "Silly SEAL." She sounds so much like Danny that Steve is unable to stop the grin as she looks at Danny's picture on the computer monitor. "Danno's got the bad guys dead to rights."
"Yeah he does," Steve says fondly. "And yes, Gracie, you're getting a copy for your scrapbook."
"Could you please make me another copy, Uncle Steve? It's for my homework."
Steve has a good guess on what Grace's homework is about but he'll ask anyway. "Your teacher's making you write something about your parents?"
She smiles at him. "My teacher is making us write about our heroes."
Steve can't help the soft smile he turns on the little girl and he's not surprised about her choice of subject matter. "He'll love that, Gracie."
"Please don't tell him, Uncle Steve. I want it to be a surprise!"
It's not the first time he's drawn into a Grace-instigated conspiracy, much to Danny's mingled horror and amusement. He gives a gentle tug to one of her ponytails and agrees, making her roll her eyes up at him in fond exasperation.
Grace is showing signs of being a good writer. Steve can't wait to see what the little girl will come up with on their mutual favorite subject.
The Newspaper Article
The newspaper has a special "Kids Sunday Bulletin" that they include in the Sunday papers, as well as online. It's a few pages of comics in color, puzzles, games, fun facts and contributions from children all over the islands – drawings, poems, stories and essays.
The editor enjoys looking over the special children's edition – she loves kids. She has just been recently married and she and her husband are looking forward to having children right away. In fact, she may have some good news to share with him tonight about that. This last essay, submitted by a proud elementary schoolteacher for her student, catches the newspaper editor's attention.
"My Two Heroes by Grace Williams (Age 8 and ½)"
The essay is both touching and humorous and it's amazingly well-written for a child of that age. The child definitely had a future in journalism, the editor thought with a mixture of amusement and awe.
Decision made, the editor sends the little girl's essay off for layout and to be prepared for uploading to the online edition. Tomorrow's Kids' Sunday Bulletin would definitely be interesting.
A kid's school essay published in a Sunday paper isn't something that would normally make one sit up and take notice.
Of course, if said school essay accidentally outs Five-0 Commander Steve McGarrett and second-in-command Danny Williams, that's another thing entirely.
In the HPD, there's a lot of money changing hands. Everybody's been speculating on the actual status of the McGarrett-and-Williams partnership for ages. "How-long-have-you-two-been-married" jokes have been a staple for those two since almost the beginning. McGarrett's known to just give you his typical Navy SEAL thousand yard stare or just shrug it off. Williams' reaction is more entertaining – it's Jersey sarcasm and attitude at its best.
There's always a bunch of bigots making jerks of themselves but it's Spooky O'Connor who reminds them that both McGarrett and Williams are pretty capable of unleashing truckloads of whoop-ass and: "Hey assholes, you wanna make a little girl cry 'cause you can't deal with her two Daddies being all sweet on each other?"
That shut them up pretty quickly.
Kono reads the essay and just about falls off her chair laughing. It's priceless, really. Grace has a gift for observation and attention to detail that is definitely inherited from her father. The kid has a knack for spinning a good story and Kono is just awed at how perfectly the little girl captures both the Boss and Other-Boss in her fairy tales. She and Chin are having a field day over this – both cousins can't wait for Monday to come along.
In a certain shave ice stand, Kamekona is clipping Grace's essay from the newspaper. He's got a nice little frame for that and a special place on his wall where he can hang it on. The pictures of his two favorite haole detectives are featured prominently with Grace's work. One is the picture of Steve smiling at that toddler. The other's the picture of Danny in action, covering that perp after the high-speed car chase.
Bittersweet is the word that comes to mind when Rachel reads her daughter's work in the paper. She and Danny had a life together, once. They had love, a marriage, a beautiful daughter, even if things didn't end well for them on the first or second try. It's hard to let these things go and Rachel knows she'll always ache inside for the might-have-been's and the things that can never happen now. But there's pride as well, for her daughter's talent and awe and love for the things Grace can see so clearly.
Danny is happy and so is their daughter. Rachel knows it's high time that she try for her own happiness as well.
There are a lot of people all over the islands who are reading Grace's little composition. Charmed is the first thing to come to their minds as they read. It's an eight year old writing – sophistication and nuance are still years away for her. Amusement at some of her observations and the very human face she puts to two members of the infamous Five-0 Task Force. There are some who find the notion of two men loving each other distasteful. But no one can help feeling touched at the very real love that they can see here – the love between parent and child, the love within family.
Danny Williams is reading the paper at the kitchen counter, somehow managing to concentrate on his baby girl's masterpiece, despite the fact that he had Steve in octopus mode wrapped around him, reading over his shoulder.
"I think we've been outed, babe," Danny observes ruefully.
"Mm-hmm," Steve agrees, pressing a kiss against Danny's neck and going back to resting his chin on his partner's shoulder.
"Did you know she was going to do this? No, stupid question – she's been your partner-in-crime since the beginning, God help us all…"
"I knew she was going to write about her Danno, at least," Steve admits sheepishly. "Who else is she going to write about? You're her hero."
"Babe," Danny tells him. "You've been promoted too." He leans away from Steve a little, the better to look carefully at his favorite goof. "Hey, I am not getting all teary-eyed over this."
"I'm not!" Steve offers the token protest. That he proceeds to hide his face briefly in Danny's shoulder and steal another kiss, is something Danny doesn't object to in the least.
"Yeah," Danny agrees blissfully. "We're not getting all teary-eyed because our little girl's a genius writer who'll win Pulitzers one day, if she doesn't end up as a cop or in the Navy, in which case, I'll know who to blame –"
"Our little girl, Danno?"
And of course, Steve picks up on that and the Look on his face this time, the wonder and the awe and the utter joy, is something Danny will want to keep seeing for the rest of his life.
"Ours," Danny confirms and since Steve's already two ahead of him, Danny goes ahead and steals his own kiss.
My Two Heroes by Grace Williams (Age 8 and ½)
I used to think that a hero is like the guys I see in the cartoons, where they've got superpowers and they fight bad guys, like Superman and Batman. But I learned that a real hero doesn't need to have superpowers and they're a lot more awesome than any old cartoon or comic guy.
My Danno – that's my daddy – is my hero. He's a police officer and a detective and he works for Five-0. He catches bad guys and he puts them in jail and he doesn't have any superpowers at all. Being a police officer is hard – you have to be tough and strong and know the law very well. The other thing that my Danno does is that he's a detective and that means he solves crimes. You have to be smart to be a detective. You have to observe the little things and the details. They all add up to clues and that helps Danno figure out what happened and who was the bad guy. You also have to watch people very carefully so you can find out if they're lying or not.
Danno's solved a lot of crimes when he was a detective back in New Jersey and he's doing the same thing now that he's with Five-0. And my Danno can do all that without needing super strength or super speed or magic powers.
I know it can be hard to have a Daddy who's a detective and a police officer because he's busy and sometimes my Daddy can't come see me for our weekends or pick me up from school and take me places. But when he can come, we always have a great time together. Even if Danno and I stay home and just play, read books or watch movies on DVD, we still have fun. And we're not always playing games and stuff. Danno helps me with my homework and he always makes sure I have all the things I need for school. Every day I can spend with Danno is always special.
My Daddy and Mommy are divorced and that happens with parents sometimes. It doesn't mean they don't love me. I know they both do. But in my case, I live with my Mommy and Step-Stan and I miss Danno an awful lot because I don't get to see him every day.
But I know Danno misses me too. He moved all the way from New Jersey to Hawaii so that he could be near me. He said that if I live here, then he'll work as a police officer here because he'll protect the place where I live. And even if I don't see him all the time, we always call each other on the phone and tell each other stories and Danno always tells me that he loves me, no matter what.
I love him too. That's why I don't want to cry or be sad when we can't see each other because Danno's catching bad guys. Sometimes, bad things happen and I pray every day that St. Michael and Steve keep my Danno safe for me.
And that brings me to my other hero. That's my Uncle Steve.
Uncle Steve is a Navy SEAL and he's the leader of Five-0. He also works with my Daddy as his partner. When Danno talked about Uncle Steve being a SEAL, I didn't really know what it meant at first because I thought seals were the cute animals I see in the zoo who swim and eat fish. I had to look it up on the Internet. SEAL stands for Sea, Air and Land and they're special soldiers in the United States Navy. Not just anybody can be a SEAL. You have to be very strong, very tough and you need to be smart too because you have to defend your country from all sorts of bad guys like terrorists, for example.
I once asked Uncle Steve if he'd ever fought terrorists and he said yes, but he couldn't tell me more because that stuff is classified and that means it's a big secret and he can't ever tell anybody about it. Danno sometimes jokes that my Uncle Steve is a real G.I. Joe and that he's always "Be all you can be." Every time Danno says something like that, Uncle Steve yells at him that he's in the Navy not the Army. Danno and Steve often joke with each other like that. People think they're arguing, but honestly, they're not. Sometimes people ask them if they're married, because they act like they've been married an awful long time.
The truth is that all the pretend arguing and yelling that they do is how they tell each other "I love you." They're both funny and silly that way.
Danno says that he thinks Uncle Steve's got real superpowers, maybe because he got bit by a radioactive seal. That's another Danno joke but sometimes, I like to pretend that it's real, because I know Uncle Steve will never let himself get beat by bad guys. Giving up, as Danno says, is not part of Uncle Steve's vocabulary.
When my Danno got kidnapped by that bad guy, I was very scared. Like I said, I know Bad Things can happen. I know that grown-ups will think that I'm too young to understand that but I remember my friend Carrie back in New Jersey. Her Daddy was a cop too and he was killed by bad guys and they all said that he was a hero. Her Daddy's in heaven now and he's watching over her but Carrie still misses him. I know I would be the same if anything happened to Danno.
I asked Uncle Steve if he was scared too, that day and he said he was. But being brave, he told me, means that even if you're scared, you still need to do your best and do your duty. So he promised me that he'd do everything and he'd never give up on bringing my Daddy home to me. And I had my duty because I had to take care of my Mommy.
Taking care of each other, especially your ohana, is the most important thing you can do. Uncle Steve taught me that.
Uncle Steve did keep his promise and he brought my Daddy home, safe and sound.
So I know that real heroes don't need super powers. Real heroes are people like my Daddy and my Uncle Steve. They go out there and they protect people. And then they come home to me and we laugh and play and take care of each other because that's what a family is supposed to do and that's what they're all about. My Daddy and my Uncle Steve love each other and they love me, just as much as my Mommy does and even Step-Stan.
That's why my Daddy and Uncle Steve are my heroes.
Again, the whole Winchester and Supernatural deal is ENTIRELY the fault of Bel, whose love of the Winchester boys influenced my Muses. Danny Muse is still in denial over his little girl's baby crush on Sam Winchester.
By the way, Steve and Gracie were watching loose episodes of Season 1 of Supernatural - the ones that dealt more with the "monster/spook-of-the-week" rather than anything having to do with the existing myth arc. Steve's not likely to let Grace watch the really scary stuff of course. In fairness, I was watching soap operas at Grace's age and could probably keep up with the convoluted plots of Knots Landing, Falcon Crest, Beauty and the Beast (TV series) and STILL find time to watch and be scared stupid of shows like Friday the 13th the TV series and Tales of the Dark Side.
"Spooky" is a bit of a reaction to the news that Steve is supposedly getting a new love interest and is essentially his "female counterpart." All slash goggling aside, I figured that Steve's female counterpart was Kono and she ain't his love interest, not by a long shot. I actually like the idea of Steve simply establishing his hetero-credentials with the occasional hook-up (Hey, he's a guy – it happens). I originally intended Spooky to be the female counterpart of Danny as a joke about the whole "female counterpart" thing but things turned out differently.
Why didn't I use Jenna for this? I actually have no clue if she's going to be hanging around and I did need to use somebody completely outside the H50 circle for that specific scene. I've also wondered how they would, show-wise, try to use somebody from the HPD working in conjunction with 5-0. Plus, hey, with all the undercover work they do, I figure someone's going to make Kono sooner or later and she would need the extra help.
Writing about the shenanigans Commander Gracie and Super-SEAL Steve can get up to is terribly entertaining. Can you imagine how much more fun it'll be if we get Vampire!Steve into the mix (*coughMoonlightcough*)? This sounds like a Halloween story. Hopefully, I can get one up soon.