A/N: A while ago, I wrote a short story about Steve being on deployment, and surprising Grace and Danny when he came home. After watching lots more episodes of Coming Home and Surprise Homecoming, I decided to write a longer, different story, and actually set it as an episode of Coming Home. Coming Home is a show hosted by Matt Rogers, where they help soldiers who are coming home surprise their loved ones.
I know this is very wishful thinking, that not only could a Seal be so completely out, but that a show would focus on a gay couple like this. But this is what I hope for someday, and what, in my imagination, I would hope for Danny, Steve, and Grace.
A special thanks to my friend Stacey, who, when asked what a Seal who did crazy things might do to surprise his husband and daughter when he came home from a mission, she immediately said "aquarium".
Also the line about limbs and other body parts was inspired by a Text From Last Night.
"So tell me about your Step Steve," Matt said, as the camera man zoomed in on Grace's face.
"He's really big and strong, and he takes me swimming," Grace said earnestly. "He's a really good swimmer cause he's a Super Seal. That's why he's not here." Her eyes suddenly filled with tears and she sniffed loudly, the sight bringing Danny running from the doorway, wrapping his arms tight around her.
"I want to talk about him, Daddy," Grace insisted, wiping her eyes. "He's on a base somewhere, cause the country needs him. Whenever he can, he calls us, sometimes on the computer, and he sends e-mails. I'll show you!" She jumped off the couch and ran towards her room.
"It's been really hard on her," Danny said with a sigh, rubbing his eyes as he perched on the edge of the couch. "She loves him so much."
"And you do too?" Matt asked sympathetically, sitting next to him.
"More than I could ever find the words for," Danny said, and laughed shortly. "Which Steve would find hilarious, because he thinks I never stop talking. I-" Taking a deep breath, he unbuttoned the top two buttons of his shirt, pulling the fabric back to reveal the names Steve and Grace tattooed in script above his heart. "I got this the day he shipped out. I already had the Grace one. He got a matching Grace one and paired it with Danno, my nickname. And Grace owns every seal temporary tattoo in the entire state of Hawaii. As soon as one wears off, another one goes right on." He unconsciously rubbed his fingers over his gold wedding band, then glanced back to where Grace had run off. "It's her birthday in three days, and when I asked her for her wishlist, there was just one thing on it. Just one. That her Step Steve would come home."
Grace came running back, carrying a large stack of printed pages. "These are all from Step Steve!" she said excitedly, holding them up to Matt.
"Can I see one?" Matt asked gently.
"Uh huh." Grace nodded, and Matt carefully took a paper from the pile.
"Dear Gracie," Matt read, "I really miss you and Danno. I have your photo in my little room on the ship, and I added the new beautiful piece of art you sent me to my "Gracie Gallery". I'm being safe just like I promised you. I know you and Danno are taking good care of each other, and I can't wait to come home. I love you and Danno very much."
"He e-mails Daddy all the time too," Grace chimed in. "But I don't get to read those. Daddy says they're too mushy."
"Among other things," Danny said with a grin, eyes twinkling.
"Lieutenant Commander Steve McGarrett, it's an honor," Matt said, shaking Steve's hand. "I met your husband and daughter, and they really love and miss you."
"The feeling is completely mutual," Steve said, eyes softening as he perched on his bunk. Above him on the wall were dozens of crayon and marker drawings signed by Grace, interspersed by photographs of Danny and Grace, some with Kono, Chin, and Kamekona.
"Danny told us Grace's birthday is coming up, and all she wants is for you to come home," Matt said, and Steve blinked rapidly, running his hand over his immediately-watery eyes.
"Danny used to tell me I must be a robot when he first met me," Steve laughed. "He's never going to stop making fun of me for crying on camera."
"Well, he can make fun of you in person really soon," Matt said with a broad smile, "because your six month deployment is up in two days, and your husband and daughter have no idea."
"I really want to surprise them," Steve grinned. "As a birthday present for Grace, and an anniversary present for Danny. We got married the day after Grace's birthday." He laughed. "Us getting married was the only item on her wishlist that year."
"Well, we've got the perfect plan in place. Danny and Grace think they're being filmed for a documentary on military families, and Danny's signed on as a chaperone for the field trip Grace's class is taking on her birthday."
Steve's watch beeped, and he hurried to his computer, turning it on. "It's right before Grace's bedtime, and time for my call." He pushed a button on his webcam as Matt and the camera crew slipped out of the way, the camera out of sight but keeping Steve and the computer in sight.
Grace's beaming face appeared on the screen. "HiKahu!" she exclaimed, bouncing up and down excitedly.
"Hi Makamae!" Steve exclaimed back, face splitting into a wide grin. "How'd that test go?"
"I got an A!" Grace held up the paper with a big red A on it.
"I'm so proud of you sweetheart!" Steve said, grinning broadly.
"Is Super Seal still keeping you safe?" Grace asked, suddenly solemn. Steve reached behind him, holding up a stuffed animal seal adorned with a Superman cape. Grace clapped her hands excitedly.
"Alright little one, get into bed," Steve said with mock sternness, and Grace giggled, moving the laptop to her bedside table and climbing under the covers. Steve reached over and picked up Harry Potter and The Sorcerer's Stone. "Chapter Fifteen."
By the end of the chapter, Grace was blinking sleepily, her own stuffed animal seal held tight in her arms. "Good night, Gracie Cakes," Steve said softly. "Sweet dreams. I love you."
"Love you too, Step Steve," Grace mumbled as her eyes closed. A minute later, a pair of legs could be seen, and the laptop was carried to a different room and placed on a large bed. Danny's grinning face appeared on the screen.
"Hey babe," he said, reaching a hand out and touching the screen, Steve matching his gesture. "How are you doing?"
"I'm ok," Steve assured him. "I just miss you and Grace."
"Emotional admissions, my goodness Steven, what have they done to you over there?" Danny said teasingly, laying a hand across his forehead and pretending to swoon.
"Shut up," Steve said, unable to stop grinning.
"I know most of your time is already up, so I'll just get right to the point," Danny said, then paused. "Is your roommate there?" Steve glanced back at Matt, then, suppressing a grin, nodded. "Well then, no virtual sex for either of us tonight I guess," Danny sighed. "So I'll just say please come back with all your limbs, and your dick, because I'm very partial to all of the above. And…" Danny pointed to himself, then drew a heart in the air, then pointed to Steve. "I love you."
Steve mirrored the gesture, whispering "I love you too", and Danny pressed his fingers to his lips, then pressed them to the screen. "I'll talk to you soon."
As Steve exited the plane, he was met by Matt and the cameramen, who led him towards the gate. "We may have roped in some accomplices," Matt smiled, and suddenly Steve heard "Boss Man!" and had a grinning, crying Kono fly into his arms. Chin's arms were soon around them both, and Kamekona lifted them all an inch of the ground.
There were cheers and applause as the other people waiting at the gate took in Steve's uniform. They made their way through the crowd, and Matt clapped Steve on the back. "Are you ready to go surprise Danny and Grace?" Matt asked, and Steve nodded, sprinting towards the waiting car, the rest of his laughing ohana right behind him.
"And here we have our friendly seals," the tour guide announced, Grace and her class, Danny and the other chaperones, and the camera crew with Matt, trailing right behind her. The guide paused, and turned to face the group, a smile on her face. "I understand we have a birthday girl here, and that her favorite animals are seals."
Grace grinned, and raised her hand, her birthday crown Danny had bought her secure on her head. Her smile reached her eyes for the first time that day. "My Step Steve is a Seal," she said proudly.
"Well we have an expert swimmer in there with the seals right now," the tour guide said, gesturing to where someone in a wetsuit swam among the seals, petting one, leaving food for another. "And we have a special gift for the birthday girl."
The man in the wetsuit hauled himself out of the habitat, and walked over to where the group was waiting. Kneeling down, he removed his scuba mask to reveal a soaking wet, beaming, Steve McGarrett.
"Step Steve!" Grace threw herself into his arms, and he held onto her tightly, kissing the top of her head, rocking her back and forth. She clung to him, arms wrapped around his back, face buried in his shoulder.
"Happy birthday Gracie Cakes," Steve murmured, choking back tears. He was suddenly hauled to his feet and Danny's arms were encircling them both, Danny's lips kissing Steve's mouth, cheek, forehead, and back to his lips. "Happy anniversary Danno."
"Now we're all wet," Grace giggled, and then pressed her face into Steve's shoulder again.
"You got your tie all wet, Danno," Steve grinned, lifting his thumb to gently wipe the tears from Grace and Danny's eyes.
"Are you really home?" Danny asked, searching Steve's eyes, and when Steve nodded, Danny pressed their lips together again, holding on tight. "God, I missed you so much. I love you so much."
"Love you Kahu," Grace said as she snuggled against Steve's chest. "This is the best birthday ever."
"I love you both too, so much," Steve said. Danny pointed a finger at him, mouthing "Sap", and Steve laughed. "I told you!" he called to Matt, who grinned back.
"You," Danny said, shaking his finger teasingly at Matt, then reaching out to pat his shoulder, immediately returning his hand to Steve. "Thank you."
"Welcome home, Lieutenant Commander Steve McGarrett," Matt said, and Grace's class cheered.
"They had to put me in a bigger wetsuit, because I told them you would recognize me by the shape of my body," Steve whispered in Danny's ear with a grin, and Danny grinned back.
"I'll be peeling that off you as soon as Grace is in bed," Danny whispered back. "Best anniversary present ever."