A/N: Is Yesterday part 3 is a direct sequel to Is Yesterday parts 1 and 2 which is a sequel to The Only Easy Day.
Finally finally! This chapter is finished. I can't believe I started this section of BPBBs in the summer! I'm so sorry it has taken this long to finish. Time got away from me, as it tends to do.
The girls were practically quivering with excitement as they left the hotel to walk back to Macy's.
"So his favorite color is green," Emma said to Dancy. "We'll get green dresses to wear."
"And we need pictures so we can get his autograph," Dancy said.
"He can sign the…uhm… you know. The program," Emma said, waving her hand in a definite Dannokind of way.
"The playbill?" Danny asked with a quiet laugh.
"Sure," Emma said. "We'll take pens so we don't look totally lame."
"Sharpies," Dancy said knowingly, making Steve and Danny quietly discuss how many other celebrity encounters she'd had. They didn't think she ever had outside of the Governor's office but there was no point in calling her out on it.
They took the escalator up to the fifth floor of Macy's which the directory said held the Juniors' section. It didn't take long for the men to lose sight of the girls although they could track them from their giggling.
"Is there something I can do to assist you?" a saleswoman asked as she approached Steve and Danny. Her expression was stern, as though she suspected they were up to no good. She seemed to be 30 seconds away from calling store security to escort these two lurkers out.
"Our daughter and her friend are looking for a new outfit," Danny said, waving in the general direction of the sound of their voices.
"I see," the woman said, assessing them again to determine if they were telling the truth. "Is there a special occasion?"
"We're going to see Stone Soup," Steve said. "They are hoping to meet Chris Drake."
The woman eyed Steve and Danny critically. "There is a 'no autograph' policy at the theater," she informed them.
"All right," Danny said, looking over the racks to find Emma and Dancy. They were giggling by the dresses, taking out a couple before putting them back.
"We'll let them know," Steve said in what he hoped was a tone of dismissal. Was she spying on them? Watching to make sure they didn't steal the merchandise and/or any of the shoppers? Did she not believe Emma was theirs?
"This one, Daddy? Daddy - do you like this one?" Emma asked as she rushed up to them, a jade green dress dangling from its hanger. It was fairly plain, sleeveless with lace cut-outs around the hem and a wide green grosgrain ribbon tie at the waist.
"It's beautiful," Danny said.
"Perfect," Steve agreed. "Did Dancy find one?"
"Is this one all right?" Dancy asked as she walked up. Her dress was pale green, a faux-wrap dress with a darker green leaf imprint on it.
"It's wonderful," Steve agreed with a smile down at her. "Go try them on. Danno and I will be right here."
Steve glanced over at the saleswoman who was now looking at them with a different light in her eyes.
"They are both yours?" she asked, a warm tone defrosting her stare.
"Emma is," Danny said. "The blonde one. Dancy may as well be."
"I can see that," the woman said. Finally deciding that they posed no threat to any of the shoppers or the merchandise, she moved away to talk to another set of shoppers.
"You could have told her," Danny said as they found the arm chairs situated in front of the dressing room entrance.
"Told her what?" Steve asked innocently, looking over at Danno with his you aren't making senseexpression firmly in place.
"That not only do you notrepresent a threat, you could neutralize any threat that appeared, kill them, and dispose of the bodies without anyone else knowing what happened."
"Not any longer," Steve said, picking up a copy of New Yorker. He flipped through, watching Danny from the corner of his eye.
"Then how about 'by the way, I'm governor of Hawaii and if my daughter wants to meet Chris Drake, my daughter will meet Chris Drake," Danny said with a great deal of hand gestures included.
"You honestly think she would believe me? She was 10 seconds away from calling security to have us removed if not arrested," Steve said.
"She's welcome to try," Danny said. "And how are you going to get us backstage? Figured that out yet, Super SEAL?"
"One of my Navy buddies works for the mayor," Steve said. "I figure it's worth a phone call."
"And you are just now mentioning this?" Danny demanded.
"Well, I didn't know until just now," Steve said, turning the magazine to show Danny the picture of the attractive man standing next to the mayor. He had a serious expression Danny instantly recognized as often appearing on Steve's face. More so back when they were Five-0 but it still showed up when Steve was confronted with stubborn legislators or recalcitrant department heads.
"How much of a friend is he if you didn't know he's employed by the mayor?" Danny asked.
"I don't keep track of every move every one of them makes. Last I heard he was working for the New York State Police. Motorcycle division."
"From the looks of that picture, he still is," Danny said, leaning closer to get a better look.
"Article says he's working to curb gang violence," Steve said. "And you met him last year. He came to talk to Chin about how Five-0 works. We had dinner with him."
"Oh. That's Jackson?" Danny asked, taking the magazine to look more closely at the photo. "Yeah. I see that now."
"Did I tell you his wife had their fourth baby? A girl," Steve said, accepting the magazine back.
"Did we send a gift?" Danny asked, watching the door that led to the mysteries of the dressing room.
"We sent fresh pineapples," Steve said, turning the page.
"We most certainly did not. Kona coffee and macadamias maybe."
"And an infant size hula skirt," Steve claimed.
"You, my friend, are full of crap."
"Maybe," Steve shrugged.
"You have his phone number?" Danny asked.
"Yeah. I'll call after Emma and Dancy squeal about their dresses. Are they going to want new shoes?"
"Naturally," Danny agreed. "You even have to ask?"
"True. Why do girls need so many pairs of shoes?"
"That is one of life's great mysteries. One you will never figure out."
"Probably not," Steve admitted, looking up at the returning giggles. The girls had on the dresses but had switched them. Dancy was wearing the dark green, Emma the lighter one.
"You didn't go in with those," Danny said.
"Of course we did, Danno," Emma said with a giggle.
"You were carrying the dark green dress," Steve said, pointing at the one Dancy wore.
"Oh well," Emma said with a shrug. "Do you like them?" she asked as she and Dancy twirled in front on them.
"They are perfect," Danny said. "Just perfect."
"We'll go for shoes next?" Emma asked, leaning against Danny's knees to smile down at him. That look never came to good.
"You don't need more shoes," Danny tried. But it was at best a token protest.
"I don't have any to match this dress," she said, smiling innocently at him.
"Fine," Danny sighed. "Go take them off and we'll go get shoes."
"Okay," Emma cheered, going back into the dressing room, giggling with Dancy the entire time.
"What was the point of pretending?" Steve asked, smiling over at Danny.
"She doesn't need to think she can have whatever she wants," Danny told him.
"You are too late, Babe. Way too late to institute that particular policy."
"You could have told her no."
"For all the good it would have done," Steve said, shaking his head. "We are far too gone to stand up to her now."
"Yeah," Danny had to agree.
"Come on," Steve said, standing to wander away from the dressing rooms.
"Where are we going?" Danny asked as he automatically followed Steve through the maze of racks.
"Here," Steve said, stopping by a display of pretty cotton cardigans. "With the dresses being sleeveless, they'll need sweaters."
"Right you are," Danny agreed, choosing two white ones. "These?"
"They are a tad on the plain side," Steve decided, picking up two that were also white but had tiny crystals sewn around the neck line and the cuffs of the sleeves. "These."
"Pretty," Danny said. "Wonder if they have them in your size."
"This one looks to be about your size," Steve said, holding up one of the extra-small sweaters to Danny until Danny swatted his hands away.
"You are never having sex again," Danny whispered while trying to frown up at him.
"You talk tough. But that's all it is."
Danny snorted at him, turning toward the girls when they came up to them, still giggling. "You'll need a sweater," he said, showing them the ones they had picked out.
"Ooooh… that's pretty," Dancy said, accepting it from Steve to try it on. It was a perfect fit as was the one Emma pulled on.
"Good?" Danny asked when Emma had hers on.
"Good," she agreed, taking it off to hand it to Steve. Dancy handed her sweater to Danny before giggling to Emma.
"Go on down to shoes," Steve said. "We'll be there as soon as we pay for these."
"You pay. I'll go to shoes," Danny said.
It didn't take long for Steve to arrive in the shoe department to find Danny already paying for two pair of shoes. "That was quick," Steve remarked as Danny signed for the charge.
"They found the ones they wanted right away. Tried them on and that was that," Danny said with a shrug.
"Here you are, sir," the clerk said, handing Danny the bag containing the two shoe boxes.
"Thank you," Danny said, turning to follow Steve away from the counter.
"Where are they now?" Steve asked.
"I have no idea. Necklaces and bracelets maybe?" Danny said, listening for them. "This way."
Steve nodded and followed him to the counter that had bright displays of necklaces and bracelets appropriate for the teen and pre-teen set. Emma was looking at a dark green and clear crystal set, Dancy giggling with her.
"Do you like this one, Daddy?" Emma asked, holding up the necklace.
"Very pretty," Danny said. It was a foregone conclusion that they would be buying costume jewelry to match the dresses. Arguing only delayed the inevitable.
"Which one do you want?" Steve asked Dancy.
"I don't need one. Thank you," she said.
"Of course you do," Danny said with a smile. He reached past Emma to select a clear crystal necklace with a matching bracelet. "This one will be perfect with your dress."
"But you already paid for my dress and shoes," Dancy protested quietly.
"You know you don't need to worry about that, love. If you like the necklace and bracelet, we'll happily buy them for you," Steve assured her.
"They don't mind, Danc. It's fine," Emma said, all bright smiles.
"If you're sure," Dancy said.
"Of course we are," Steve said. "Is this the set you want?"
"I really like these," she said, lightly touching a set of white and green beads.
"Then we'll get those instead," Steve agreed, taking the ones she had indicated. "Anything else? A horse-drawn carriage maybe?"
"Do they sell those here?" Danny asked as looked around, his serious expression making the girls laugh.
"Probably. They have everything else. Should we ask?" Steve said, making the girls laugh harder.
"What about the footmen? You can't ride in a carriage without the proper…uhm… people," Danny said.
"A parasol?" Emma giggled.
"We're going at night," Steve said, shaking his head.
"We should have gotten glass slippers," Dancy whispered to Emma loud enough for the guys to hear.
"How do you walk in those?" Emma laughed. "Or run away at midnight."
"Come on, you two," Steve said, shaking his head and leading them over to the counter.
They made their way back to the hotel, John, Zach, and Henry adequately impressed with their new outfits. The girls giggled. The boys listened. Steve called his friend Jackson.
"Pollock," Steve said when he got an answer.
"Who's he talking to?" Henry asked as they ate the food from room service.
"One of his SEAL friends. Jackson. I seriously doubt he's the artist. But you know how they are about their nicknames," Danny said.
"Jackson Pollock is dead," Zachary told them to their nods.
"All right," Steve said as he hung up. "Jackson is owed a favor by the manager of the theater where we're going to see Stone Soup.We'll get there an hour early and he'll get us back stage to meet Chris Drake. For a couple of minutes," Steve said, holding up one hand to forestall excessive squealing. "He can't guarantee Drake will agree to it but he's going to make some calls."
"Thank you thank you thank you," Emma said, dancing in excitement and giggling with Darcy. "He's sooooo cute."
"You can't be too disappointed if it doesn't work out," Steve warned.
"We won't. Thank you, Daddy," Emma said. "I knew you'd do it. You can do anything. Anything!"
"Thank you, baby girl," Steve said, hugging her back when she threw her arms around his waist. He bent down to kiss her head until she released him to giggle with Darcy.
"They are never going to sleep tonight," Danny said, shaking his head.
"One night of no sleep won't harm them," Steve said with a huge smile.
"I guess that's true," Danny said with an indulgent smile.
The interviews the next day were very much like the ones from the day before. Steve didn't mind answering the same questions, providing the same responses. Kirby Greenly was not a SEAL. No, he could not have been in Pakistan. Yes, Steve was quite sure even though he wasn't at liberty to reveal how he knew.
He enjoyed talking to the editor of the NY Times Book Review. It was a more relaxed atmosphere as the discussion occurred in the NY Times offices rather than under the hot lights and in front of an audience.
"It's not even a particularly good work of fiction," Steve told Sam Tanenhaus, the man in charge of the supplement.
"I agree," Mr. Tanenhaus agreed with a grimace. "There are times when we wonder how anyone could have decided the words on the page are worth killing trees over."
"His book doesn't bear a passing resemblance to the truth," Steve said.
Mr. Tanenhaus asked other relevant questions concerning the book, some of which Steve could answer and some he had to refuse.
After a very pleasant hour, Lt. Brown knocked on the door to Mr. Tanenhaus' office to remind Steve that they needed to get to the Chatter With Cathy Show.
"Thank you for your time, Governor," Mr. Tanenhaus said, shaking Steve's hand. "And your service to our country."
Steve acknowledged his appreciation before leaving with the Lieutenant. He had a text from Danny saying the kids were loving the Musuem of Natural History and were discussing the possibility of moving in permanently. Steve laughed before texting back that it would save on food if they moved in. He also had a text from Zach asking if Steve was still going to be able to meet him at the Met. Steve assured Zach he'd be there right around noon.
The interview with Cathy Brady was a little bit dizzying. She had read the book but was more interested in talking to Steve about his life than his reaction to Kirby Greenly. Cathy was bubbly and flirtatious and slightly over the top. Steve was careful to mention several times that he was in New York with his husband and children but he wasn't sure she heard him.
"That was strange," he said to Lt Brown as they were driving away from the studio.
"I should have warned you, sir," Lt Brown said in apology. "She reacts like that when she finds her guest especially attractive."
"I'm old enough to be her father," Steve said, shaking his head.
Lt Brown laughed at that, pulling up the Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Do you want me to drive you and your family to the show tonight?"
"That won't be necessary but thank you. We rented a car. Or I guess the Navy did," Steve said.
"Very good. I'll see you Sunday morning at 0530."
"I'll be ready," Steve agreed, closing the door and going up the impressive steps to enter to Musuem.
I'm here. Where are you?
Third floor. Southwest cornerZach texted back immediately.
Steve made his way up, not hurrying by the magnificent artwork on display on every wall. It was mesmerizing and awe-inspiring.
"Steve," Zachary said when Steve arrived in the Picasso exhibit. "Here it is," he said, pointing at Les demoiselles d'Avignon.
Steve joined Zachary in front of the painting, understanding the attraction and the inspiration it had sparked in Zachary. Henry was on a nearby bench, reading from his iPad.
They studied the painting in silence for several minutes before Steve glanced over at Zach who was staring breathlessly at the painting. "What is it about this one in particular?" Steve asked Zach.
Zach started, looking over at Steve. "The women are not hiding who they are. They are presenting themselves for evaluation and do not concern themselves with the opinions of those viewing them."
Steve nodded, hearing more than Zach was saying. Zachary had been subject to stares and whispers his entire life. He handled it as well as anyone could expect but it still impacted his self-perception and his view of the world at large. Seeing the representation of the women painted in the cubist style, women practically daring the world to disapprove, must have been reassuring and even empowering to Zach.
"I see that now," Steve agreed. "We need to find a high quality reproduction of the painting for you."
"Henry is researching that inquiry now," Zach said, looking over at him.
"Any luck?" Steve asked, going over to the bench to sit next to Henry.
"I've found several that are faithful reproductions," Henry said, showing them to Steve. He silently pointed at the prices, Steve nodding.
"It's fine. Have you seen these, Zach?" Steve asked.
"They are a lot of money, Steve," Zach said evenly, as concerned as he ever was.
"I see that, Zach. You have to know I don't mind."
"I will be able to work it off for you," Zach said, sounding a little more hopeful.
"Of course," Steve agreed. "We'll work it out. Tell Henry which one you want and he'll order it."
Zach nodded very nearly excited, sitting next to Henry. After giving Henry his credit card, Steve wondered around looking at the other paintings. Picasso wasn't his particular taste but he could almost understand the appeal. And as Zach's thought processes were very different from his own, he accepted that Picasso sparked Zach in a way his work failed to do for him.
They spent another 45 minutes with Picasso before Zach said he was ready to join the other children at the Museum of Natural History. Steve texted Danny to make sure they were still there, receiving an immediate confirmation.
Fourth floor. Gawking at the dinosaurs.
Steve laughed, going to the Museum with Zach and Henry and finding the rest of the family in the dinosaur exhibit. The kids told Steve everything they had seen, rattling off facts he had no idea they could retain.
"We should herd them back to the hotel," Danny said after another hour at the museum. "It's going to be a late night."
"True," Steve agreed, rounding up the children with Henry's help. "You've been here all morning. And we're going to be up really late. We need to eat then sleep for a little while."
The kids tried to protest but reluctantly conceded that sleeping before going to Broadway was probably in their best interest.
It didn't take long to arrive back at the hotel where they stopped in for a late lunch, the restaurant nearly empty. That made it easier for them to find a table that would accommodate all seven of them.
The waitress was prompt and attentive, alternating between seeing to their needs and flittering shamelessly with Danny.
"Your eyes are soblue," Emma said in a loud stage whisper.
"So you are from Hawaii?" John whispered loudly in the same voice.
"Stop. Just stop," Danny scolded. The kids laughed at him, razzing him more. "Steve. Please control your children."
"I got nothing," Steve said, shaking his head. "Should we excuse ourselves so you and Miss Shannon can have some quality time?"
"You are worse than them," Danny informed Steve. Steve just shrugged, grinning at Danny unrepentantly.
"Are you children done eating everything not nailed down?" Steve asked, getting their general agreement. They went upstairs after Steve had signed the check. It took a while but the kids finally winded down enough to go nap. "If you don't sleep, that's fine. You still need to rest."
"What are you doing?" Danny asked when they were finally in the living area by themselves.
"I need to check my email. Respond to some phone calls. The House Speaker has called eight time. Eight times, Danno. Why can he take it up with Kono?"
"That's an excellent question," Danny agreed. "Make your calls. I think I'm going to catch 40 winks too."
"I'll be there in half an hour," Steve said as Danny went into their bedroom.
It was closer to a hour later when Steve was finally able to shut down his email and silence his phone. He shed his clothes to slip into bed behind Danny, curling his body to match Danny's sleep warmed one.
"Do you know I'm married?" Danny's sleepy voice asked as he stirred.
"Why do I care?" Steve responded, kissing his shoulder. "You didn't care in the restaurant."
"You just aren't used to me being the one they flirt with," Danny told him, turning over to smile at his goofy husband.
"That's blatantly untrue. People flirt with you constantly. You just ignore them."
"I believe you have me confused with you," Danny told him with a sleepy smile. "Are you going to talk or nap with me?"
"I was hoping to nap but now all this talk of you being marriedmakes me reconsider."
"What's with the air quotes around married? I heard you were marriedtoo."
"Ahhh," Steve said, waving it away. "He'll never know."
"Uh huh," Danny said, kissing the hollow at the base of Steve's neck. "If we tried to do the nasty, the kids would walk in, wouldn't they?"
"Without a doubt," Steve agreed reluctantly.
"Your children should be better behaved than that," Danny scolded sleepily.
"Next time," Steve promised, kissing his forehead.
"We are not having any more children. What are you even saying?"
"Go to sleep," Steve laughed, kissing him again.
"Calm down, Emma," Steve said gently as she bounced on her toes. "We're leaving in two minutes. We'll be to the theater well before Jackson arrives."
"What if there is traffic? What if we can't find a place to park? What if he's not there and we can't get backstage?" Emma said, her words accompanied by a great deal of hand-waving which Danny would never admit looked familiar.
"We have plenty of time, Em," Danny told her. "You have your sweaters? Boys, you're ready?" They all agreed they were ready, heading for the door. "You have the tickets?" he asked Steve.
"They are at will-call," Steve assured them. "I have my driver's license. That's all we need to collect them."
They finally made their way down to the parking garage for the car, Danny arguing that he was driving and that was all there was to it. Steve put up a token protest but easily gave in, making sure the kids and Henry were safely buckled in. Emma and Dancy were so busy giggling they barely heard anything the guys said to them.
They had to circle the block twice before they could find a place to park, the attendant assuring them that they were as close to the theater as they could be. Steve held Emma's hand as Danny took Darcy's despite their insistence that they weren't babies. But Steve and Danny knew that the closer they got to the theater, the more likely it would be that they would make a break for it. The protests were pro-forma at best, neither of the girls minding having their hands held.
When they got to the backstage door, a tall, attractive man was waiting. It was clear from his posture and alert demeanor that, like Steve, he was ex-military.
"Pollock," Steve said with a smile.
"Governor Smooth Dog," Jackson responded. "You are looking good for an old man."
"As are you," Steve agreed. "You remember Danny and our sons John and Zachary. Our daughter Emma and her friend Dancy."
"Of course. It's tremendous to see you all again. Henry," Jackson said, shaking his hand.
"Nice to see you again as well," Henry said.
"Are we going to be able to meet him?" Emma asked in excitement when there was a pause in the greeting. She was beaming up at Jackson who could have not disappointed that face if his life depended on it.
"Absolutely. He's waiting for you right now," Jackson confirmed. He distributed the backstage passes, admitting it was probably overkill but the theater owner was sometimes too controlling about who was behind the stage.
Emma and Dancy immediately followed him through the heavy door, a rugged looking older man stopping the family with a quirk of his eyebrow. "What's this then?" he asked not unkindly.
"These are the special guests to meet Chris Drake," Jackson said, the older man nodding.
"They look like a motley bunch," the man said with a laugh. "See that they don't steal the props."
"You got it," Jackson promised, leading them between prop furniture and under a couple of ladders. They emerged into a dimly lit, narrow hallway with faded blue paint. Jackson knocked on a nondescript door that was immediately opened by a young man dressed in jeans and a cotton plaid shirt. He had short brown hair and the bluest eyes they had ever seen. Steve couldn't help but think that they were bluer than Danny's and that didn't seem possible.
"Hello," Chris Drake said with a warm, open smile. "You must be the Williams-McGarrett family."
"We are," Steve said, reaching over Emma and Dancy's head to shake his hand. "I'm Steve. This is my husband Danny. Henry, Zach, John, Emma and Dancy," Steve said, indicating each member of the family as he named them.
"Come in," Chris said, backing out of the doorway. "I don't have a ton of room but if you don't mind being crowded."
"We're used to it," Danny told him, making sure they were all in. "We really appreciate you taking the time to see us."
"It's my pleasure," Chris said. "Jackson said you had come all the way from Hawaii in order to see the show."
"That's not 100% accurate," Steve said with a laugh.
"No. I didn't think that it was. Especially since I saw you on the Jon Stewart show," Chris laughed.
"You never were closely acquainted with the truth," Steve told Jackson, shaking his head.
"That's not entirely true," Jackson claimed.
"Even though I'm not the main reason you came to New York, I'm glad you were able to stop by," Chris said warmly. "I heard that two of the kids were possibly fans? I'm guessing it's John and Zach?"
"It's not them," Emma giggled. "It's me and Dancy."
"I see," Chris said, turning his smile to them, making them giggle even more.
"Are you going to be in the next movie?" Emma asked with a huge smile up at him.
"I plan to. How could the Superheroes defend the Universe without Sealman?" Chris asked.
"They couldn't," Emma confirmed with a nod.
"Steve was a SEAL," Dancy said shyly.
"I've heard that," Chris said. "I try to do them justice."
"You do," John said. "Dad isn't a huge fan of superhero movies."
"I'm sorry," Steve said.
"I would imagine being in charge of Hawaii doesn't leave a lot of time for movies," Chris said in understanding.
"Not a lot," Steve agreed. "I'll make a point of staying the next six times Emma insists on watching it."
"No need to go overboard," Chris laughed.
"Six times will be one day's worth," Danny said, kissing her head.
"Thank you," Chris said. "Are you going to see my next movie? It will be out at Christmas."
"Is that Out of Left Field?" Emma asked.
"As though you don't have your iPhone alarm set for the exact day?" John teased.
"That's so not true," Emma claimed.
"Will it open in Hawaii the same day?" Henry asked.
"They generally do," Chris said. "Then in February we'll start filming The Superheroes Save the Universe."
"In Hawaii?" Emma asked, looking from Chris to Steve and back.
"In Hawaii," Chris confirmed. "If you are interested, I can have the company alert your office and you can come on location."
"I think there might be some interest in that," Steve said, looking down at Emma and Dancy nearly in hysterics from excitement.
"You'll fly us, won't you, Daddy? To the jungle where they'll film it. Right?" Emma gushed.
"Yes, baby, I will fly you," Steve agreed with a laugh. "Let our office know if you need any assistance with permits or resources."
"Your office of film was extremely helpful during the first shoot," Chris said. "But I will pass on your offer to the producers."
"Mr. Drake," Dancy said softly, holding out the Sharpie she had brought with her. "Would it be okay if I got your autograph?"
"Of course, cupcake," he said, accepting the pen and signing the playbill Jackson had provided them. He then signed Emma's before handing them back. "We need some photos, surely."
Emma and Dancy giggled, Chris sitting on a loveseat and patting the cushions on each side. Emma and Dancy immediately sat next to him, their posture stiff as they avoided contact. He put his arm over their shoulders and they relaxed into him. Danny took a bunch of pictures on his phone, Steve also snapping some photos as back-up.
"We'll tweet them," Emma said to Dancy as the photo-op continued. "Make everybody back home jealous."
"No gloating, girls," Danny said with a fatherly tone. "Posting is fine. Rubbing it in is not."
"You need a family picture," Jackson said, accepting Steve's phone. They all squeezed on and around the loveseat, the family refusing to let Henry avoid being included.
"Of course you have to be in the picture," Emma said to him, Henry nodding in acquiescence.
"What else have you done?" Chris asked when the pictures were all taken.
The girls told him where they had gone, John telling him they were going to the Mets game tomorrow.
"Maybe they'll manage to win," Chris laughed.
"That would be different," Danny said.
"We visited the Metropolitan Musuem of Art," Zachary said, speaking for the first time.
"That's one of my favorite places in the entire world," Chris said, his face lighting up with the truth of the statement. "Did you get to see the Picasso exhibit? It is out of this world."
"We did," Zach said. "I have never seen a more beautiful collection of artwork."
"I feel the exact same way," Chris said. "I know some people think he was mad. I think he was a genius. Which may have driven him insane."
"They are often closely aligned," Zach said. "Les demoiselles d'Avignon is evocative and expressive in ways I did not expect."
"I know," Chris said in excitement. "I mean, I've seen it in books and on-line. But seeing it in person is nothing I was prepared for. It is breathtaking."
Zach agreed with his assessment, discussing the collection, Chris enthusiastic in his appreciation of it.
When they had been in his dressing room for 20 minutes, Jackson told them they really needed to go, to give Mr. Drake time to prepare.
"I hope we didn't outstay our welcome," Danny said.
"Not in the least," Chris said with a genuine smile. "And I'll contact your office when I'm in Hawaii."
"We look forward to it," Steve confirmed, herding the family out. Jackson led them to the box office, taking his leave after many thanks from everyone, especially the girls. "I have tickets reserved," Steve told the woman in the box office. He handed over his driver's license, very soon getting an envelope through the slot. He opened it to distribute the tickets, shaking his head. "I think there's been a mistake," he said, sliding the envelope back through. "We don't have reservations for orchestra seats."
The woman typed into her computer before looking up at him, seeing him for the first time. "The owner of the theater upgraded your seats, sir. Center orchestra," she said with a nod.
"Oh. Well. Thank you," Steve said, retrieving the envelope. "Center orchestra," he said to Danny who raised an eyebrow at that.
"Nice to be you," Danny said, taking his ticket.
"Really, Daddy? We're up front? So we can see everything?" Emma said in giddy happiness.
"Apparently so," Steve said, going with the family into the opulent theater. The front was much different from the back. Clearly all the maintenance went into the public areas, not where the actors were housed.
They got settled in their seats, Emma requesting Danny's phone so she could post the pictures. She showed the posts to Danny before making them public to prove she was not planning to rub it in. With his approval, she put them on-line, Dancy posting the ones on Steve's phone.
"Everyone's phone's on silent, right?" Henry said in reminder. They all confirmed they were just as the house lights began to dim.
Emma and Dancy thought the play was perfect. Chris Drake was perfect. It was all perfect!The guys weren't quite as impressed but didn't do anything to burst their bubbles of happiness. Zach told John he found the plot vacuous but the performances were more than adequate. John thought the leading actress was hot like fire, a remark he had not intended for his fathers to hear. They graciously pretended they had not.
They finally got Emma and Dancy settled in bed an hour after they had gotten back to the hotel. John and Zach disappeared shortly afterwards, Henry going across with them.
"Well. This is has been a full day," Danny said when he and Steve were in bed. Steve was checking his email and mostly listening to Danny.
"It has. Good thing the baseball game is the only thing we have planned tomorrow," Steve said.
"Sure is," Danny agreed. "Anything important going on back home?"
"Kono is threatening to quit. Be a full-time mom. Chin wants to blow up Molokai. The house speaker sent me 4 more emails. The last one is all caps," Steve said, turning his computer to show it to Danny.
"Mature," Danny said. "Tell Chin he can blow up Molokai if the speaker is on it."
"Good plan," Steve agreed. "The Secretary of the Navy sends her appreciation for my appearances. Apparently I'm going to get a bonus from them."
"Huh," Danny said. "We can use it to buy John a car."
"Or I can buy you the Porsche you've always wanted."
"You'd never let me drive it," Danny said with a wave.
"I might," Steve said, typing a reply to an email.
"Okay. As long as it's red," Danny said, his eyes drifting closed.
"Not silver like your Camaro?"
"Whatever. If you drive a Porsche, it doesn't really matter what color it is. I just want it as a chick-magnet."
"What do you want chicks for? We can't keep birds in the Governor's residence," Steve teased.
"Shut up," Danny said, falling asleep before he finished saying it.
The baseball game was a resounding success. The team reps took exceptionally good care of the family, making sure they had everything they needed, including popcorn, soda, peanuts, and more souvenirs than they could carry. A bonus was that the Mets won in the 10th inning on a home run.
The kids were pretty much worn out when they got back to the hotel. They ate a quick dinner in the restaurant before going up to their rooms where they watched some TV. The kids fell asleep before the first commercial, Steve and Danny tucking in Emma and Dancy. Henry herded the boys across the hall, making sure they were settled.
Steve did some work before he succumbed as well, falling asleep way earlier than he had in a very long time. But as he had to be up and ready before the sun the next morning, he gave in and let sleep overtake him.
"Huh?" Danny grunted when the alarm went off.
"I'm sorry, Babe. Go back to sleep," Steve whispered as he reluctantly climbed out of bed.
"4:30. Lt Brown will be here in an hour. I need to get ready," Steve said.
"Eat," Danny said into his pillow.
"I will," Steve assured him, kissing his head. "Go back to sleep."
"Uhn," Danny responded, following his suggestion and falling completely to sleep.
Steve showered and dressed, going down to the lobby to find some coffee and a couple of muffins. At 5:30 precisely, Lt Brown entered the hotel, finding Steve easily.
"I see you are ready," she said with a bright smile.
"I suppose I am," Steve said. "Would you like some coffee?"
"I would. Thank you," she said as Steve purchased her a cup.
They made their way to the studio, the trip quick with the virtual lack of traffic so early on a Sunday. Steve was escorted to make-up, the experience much like it had been each of the previous times. He was thankful that his tan prevented the need for too much coverage. That done, he was shown the green room where Lt Brown waited with a carafe of hot, fresh coffee.
"Is he here?" Steve asked her as he sipped the coffee.
"He is," she said. "He's in a different room. They didn't think having you wait together was a particularly good idea."
"It wouldn't be," Steve confirmed. He looked over at the door as it opened to reveal a man holding an iPad.
"Commander. Or Governor," the man said, looking up Steve.
"I'm him," Steve said with a nod.
"I'm Bruce Vegas, associate producer. Thank you for agreeing to appear on Sunday Morning Round-up."
"Thank you for having me," Steve said.
"I don't think I need to give you the guidelines some of our guests need. Many others, like you, are veterans of TV appearances. You know the protocols and the rules."
"I do," Steve said.
"Very good. Do you watch our show?" Bruce asked.
"On occasion. I'm not a regular viewer."
"I understand," Bruce said. "Victor Blake will allow a free-flowing discussion but as you may know, he will intervene should the atmosphere become overly contentious."
"I have seen that," Steve agreed. "I appreciate the way he balances his responsibilities to allow the guests to disagree but not denigrate into a brawl."
"It's a skill he's learned over the years," Bruce said with a nod. "I'll be back by in five minutes to take you to the studio. Do you have any questions I can help you with?"
"No I don't," Steve said. "Thank you for the information."
"You are very welcome, Commander. Governor. Ermmm…which do you prefer?" Bruce asked, studying his iPad with a frown.
"Governor is more current. Steve is always fine," Steve said with a smile.
"I'll let Victor know," Bruce said, leaving the green room.
Steve and Lt Brown resumed their seats, Steve looking over at her. "I didn't realize that the Navy intended to pay me for my appearances."
"It would be an imposition on your time if they did not," Lt Brown said.
"I'm not sure I can accept the money. I'll have to check with my lawyer."
"We inquired. She assures us that you are permitted to accept as there are no political activities connected to the stipend."
"It's hardly a stipend," Steve said. "It's quite a bit of money."
"We are taking you away from your responsibilities and your home. That requires compensation."
"I certainly didn't expect it but I'm not going to refuse," Steve laughed.
"Did the children enjoy the play?" Lt Brown asked.
"The girls loved it. The boys thought it was okay. Danny, Henry, and I are apparently not the audience it's intended for. We weren't entirely sure what was going on," Steve admitted.
"I've heard that reaction," she said.
"The game yesterday was a lot of fun," Steve said. "The Mets were overly kind to us."
"Not at all. They were honored that you came," she said, standing with him at the knock on the door.
"It's time," Bruce said with an encouraging smile.
Steve nodded, following him down the two hallways and onto the stage. Steve tried to stop the disgust from showing on his face when he saw Kirby Greenly already sitting at the glass and chrome table. Also there was Victor Blake, looking as authoritative as he did on TV. He was often voted one of America's Most Trusted and Steve could understand why.
"Governor," Mr. Blake said, greeting him with a firm handshake. "Thank you for appearing with us."
"Thank you for having me as a guest," Steve said in response.
"I don't think you've met Mr. Greenly," Mr. Blake said, looking over at the other man when he stood.
"I haven't," Steve said, not initiating a handshake. Neither did the Mr. Greenly who looked at Steve with an expression of antagonism bordering on hatred.
"Governor Williams-McGarrett. Kirby Greenly," Mr. Blake said formally. "Sit, please." The three of them sat, Mr. Blake at the head of the table, Steve and Kirby on opposite sides. "We'll begin the interview with a brief recap of your book, Mr. Greenly. I'll open it to discussion following that. While I understand there will be some disagreement, I expect only civil discourse from each of you."
Steve felt like he was back in school but he had the feeling the warning wasn't directed primarily toward him. He agreed, Kirby also acknowledging the ground rules.
"Any questions? We'll go live in three minutes," Mr. Blake said.
"I don't have any questions to ask," Kirby said, shaking his head. He was silently daring Steve to ask anything which Steve thought was fairly hysterical.
"I'm all set," Steve said.
There was very little said as they waited for the show to officially begin. Steve could see the director silently counting down after the announcement was made that there were 20 seconds to air.
"Good morning and welcome to Sunday Morning Round-up," Mr. Blake said to the camera, the lights bright, the studio silent. "After this review of the weekend's top stories, we'll turn to our two guests." The lights faded as the pre-taped news played in the background.
As the lights returned to their on-air brightness, Mr. Blake made the introductions, giving the audience a brief background on Steve and Kirby. Steve's introduction took twice as long as Kirby's since Kirby's main claim to fame seemed to have been writing a fictional book he claimed was fact.
"Mr. Greenly, your accounts of the events in Pakistan have been called into question," Mr. Blake said bluntly. "What do you say about those statements?"
Steve was watching Kirby with what he knew Danny would call his thousand-yard-SEAL-death-stare. He thought it was still fairly effective although it never worked on the children. They seemed immune from most of his formerly effective tactics to gain the upper hand.
"Those files remain classified," Kirby said, his voice nearly quivering in anger. "I could not have written my account if I hadn't been there."
"Yet there are those, including Governor Williams-McGarrett, who have stated your version is not true," Mr. Blake said.
"There is no way he can know if my version is right or wrong," Kirby claimed.
"I do know," Steve said calmly and firmly. "I know you weren't there."
"And you were?" Kirby sneered.
"If you were a SEAL as you claimed, you would know that information isclassified. The fact is that you were not a SEAL. Not then and not now," Steve said. Kirby looked as though Steve had punched him which was a real temptation.
"You have no proof of that," Kirby countered.
Steve reached down for the folder he had brought with him, pulling out one sheet of paper which he handed to Mr. Blake. "Would a letter from the Secretary of the Navy be adequate proof?" Steve asked him, still pinning him with his gaze.
"It's a forgery," Kirby tried, his desperation coming through.
"It certainly looks authentic to me," Mr. Blake said, holding it up so that the camera could show it to the audience. The letter said that at no time was Kirby Greenly a SEAL and his account of the events in Pakistan were neither accurate nor sanctioned as official. It was signed by the Secretary of the Navy and witnessed by the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
"Of course they are disavowing knowledge of the events and my existence," Kirby said.
"That's only true on TV and in movies," Steve said. "They have never disavowed my missions. Nor do they claim I was never a SEAL."
"If they don't disavow your missions, are you admitting you were in Pakistan?" Kirby demanded.
"Disavowing and remaining classified are two distinct designations. I have never claimed I was a part of the team who took out bin Laden. I do know that you were not," Steve said.
"If you weren't there, you can't be sure I wasn't," Kirby said.
"You were not a SEAL," Steve stated again.
"Maybe you are the one who's lying about his service," Kirby said his desperation growing. He was sweating, his hands shaking, his face flushed bright red.
"I'm Governor of Hawaii," Steve said. "My opponents would have discovered my lies if I took the service of others as my own. Additionally, I was still a SEAL when I was recruited to head-up the Five-0 task force. Then Governor Jameson would not have asked me to be responsible for Five-0 if I had stolen the uniform I wore when I first met her."
"Is that the same Governor you were accused of murdering?" Kirby sneered.
"Accused yes. I was also exonerated as I was innocent of the crime. I was a reservist the entire time. The Navy did not strip me of my rank nor my clearance to view classified records."
Mr. Blake looked at Steve with an expression of reflected triumph. That he wanted Kirby to go up in flames was clear. He finally turned to Kirby to break the brittle silence. "Your response, sir?"
"Documents can be forged. Records falsified," Kirby tried.
"Then why can I find no records of your service?" Steve asked. "I have been permitted to search all of the SEAL personnel files. You appear in none of the records, classified or otherwise. Annapolis has no record of you. Nor do any of the SEAL training facilities."
"Do you wish to reconsider your claims?" Mr. Blake asked Kirby. His tone was even with an underlying anger that made them hard enough to cut glass.
Kirby stared at Mr. Blake before turning to stare at Steve. "This interview is over," Kirby announced. With that, he stood, removed the microphone clipped to his lapel and stormed off the set.
"Well," Mr. Blake said, turning his focus on Steve. "I believe that settles it."
"It looks that way," Steve had to agree. "I'm sorry for his pain. But I cannot understand his motivation."
"Those who have not achieved any level of professional success have been known to fabricate it to falsely bolster their self-perception."
"I suppose that could explain it," Steve said.
"You certainly are not lacking in success," Mr. Blake said warmly.
"I have been very fortunate," Steve said. "My personal successes are even more important to me than my professional ones. Nothing I have achieved would have been meaningful if I didn't have the love of my family."
"As it should be, Governor," Mr. Blake confirmed, smiling at him.
After chatting with Mr. Blake several more minutes, Steve was thanked for his appearance and disappeared during the commercial break. When he was backstage, he had a text waiting for him.
Hurry the hell back here. You are aobut to get lucky.
Steve laughed, hitting reply. Roger that. Get rid of the kids.
Steve knew Lt Brown was studying him with a quizzical expression but some things didn't need to be shared outside of the two parties involved.