Love Only Knows: The Remix
By Darth Stitch
DISCLAIMER: As seen in the first post. Yes, there's a Stealth Crossover that includes Rurouni Kenshin as well. All hail Watsuki-sensei!
Baby Michael says his first words. Poor, put-upon, long-suffering Danny Williams. How is this his life?
Leave it to Grace to come up with the nickname "Baby SEAL" for Michael.
One of the first gifts that the kid actually got was a tiny Navy SEALs t-shirt apparently sent by one of Steve's non-psychotic SEAL buddies. Danny now has a picture of Steve and Michael wearing those matching Navy shirts on his office desk. Of course, they've both got the same, identical, goofy grins. It really isn't fair, honestly. First there was Steve and Grace ganging up on him with big-eyed pathetic puppy looks whenever they wanted to talk him into something. Now, his husband and daughter have a new recruit into their ranks.
How the hell is Danny supposed to resist the Epic Combo of Super-SEAL, Commander Gracie and Baby SEAL?
Michael, thank God, is one of the happiest, most good-natured babies Danny has ever met – very much like his Gracie at that age. Danny's no stranger to babies to begin with – he's the oldest of the Williams' brood and one of the oldest among their extended family of cousins. He's put in a lot of babysitting time and he knows all the horrors that come with watching over rugrats of all ages. Given Steve's propensity for trouble, Danny's already braced himself for the mischief that a "Baby SEAL" could cause.
But so far, Michael's got that happy, friendly disposition and a sweet temper to boot. Even at his age, he's already showing signs of an easy charm – Danny's lost track of the number of times they were at the supermarket or park and complete strangers take one look at Michael and immediately dote on him.
Naturally, the majority of these admirers are female.
"What, you're not even able to talk yet and you're already flirting at your age?" Danny tells the little guy sitting comfortably in his stroller.
"So if his Dad's nicknamed 'Smooth Dog' with the SEALs, does that make Michael a 'Smooth Puppy?'" Spooky observes in as innocent a voice as possible when Danny recounts this back at HQ.
Danny groans. "Oh God, no. Just no. Like Steve's ego needed anymore boosting…"
Chin snorts. "That was bad, Spooky. Really, really bad."
"She can get away with saying it!" Kono defends her. "Steve's not here!"
"Exactly!" Spooky agrees.
And of course, Steve chooses that moment to walk right into the bullpen, only to stop short when everyone gets quiet and looks at him.
Naturally, he's clueless.
Actually, Michael does like to talk ("Of course, it's the one thing he gets from you, Danno," Steve says fondly). It's just that what he's saying has no resemblance to an understandable language yet. He will happily baby-babble back when he's talked to by anyone and it's hilarious to watch him and any member of their ohana plus extended family engage in a conversation. Thank God that nobody in the ohana is inclined to do baby-talk – they were all in agreement that they had to teach the kid the right communication skills.
Steve, of course, only rolled his eyes when Danny made a pointed crack about his ability to communicate.
Of course, Chin, Kono and Kamekona speak Hawaiian to the little guy, Spooky's known to slip into Tagalog ("What? I have Filipino relatives in this lifetime!"), there's their regular babysitter Kenshin speaking to Michael in Japanese and Steve, Danny and Grace use good plain English. With all the multi-lingual action going on, Danny's not surprised the kid's decided to evolve his own language.
Michael's rapidly approaching the time when he's supposed to speak his first, audible words. Most kids his age would be now saying things like "Dada" or "Mama." In this case, Steve and Danny are waiting for "Dada" and "Danno" and it's an ongoing joke between them what Michael is going to say first.
Danny's just praying that it's not going to be a cuss word. Honestly, he and Steve are trying to put a lid on the swearing – doing everything from keeping a swear jar (at this rate, Grace and Michael's college funds are assured) to finding slightly less offensive words to take the place of the standard four-letter ones.
Kono, of course, can't resist making air quotes. " 'What the frog?' Seriously, brah?"
"I don't know," This from Spooky. "Taking Kermit's name in vain is kinda cute."
"You're all fu—er-frogging comedians," Danny says sourly.
"Ribbit, ribbit?" Steve adds playfully.
"I give up." Danny sighs.
All things considered, Danny should have really seen this coming.
So it's another Paperwork Day and naturally, that meant Danny is going to have his precious baby girl with him. Well, Gracie isn't that little anymore but she is always going to be his baby girl, no matter what and Danny is just very thankful that puberty was still far enough away in the future that he didn't have to break out the shotguns yet.
He certainly wasn't going to stop Steve from threatening future boyfriends with the shark tank.
Steve's also supposed to pick Michael up from the babysitter, whose dojo was just an easy walk away from the Iolani Palace. Well, technically, Kenshin's wife Kaoru ran the dojo – Kenshin loved kids and babysitting was his day job when he wasn't overseeing security for Club Denial. Danny's still trying to wrap his head around how a Meiji-era swordsman could still be alive and well in this century. Steve mentioned something about dragons and at that point, Danny just gave up on the supernatural crazy that was now part of his daily life and contented himself with the knowledge that Kenshin was pretty much the samurai version of Steve and Michael was in the very safest hands possible.
The fact that Yakuza were known to piss their pants at the mention of the "Hitokiri Battousai" pretty much sealed the deal for Danny.
So Danny comes in with Gracie and he immediately realizes that something's up because the rest of the ohana are all gathered in the bullpen and they are all in varying states of hysterical laughter. And they're looking at him so this is definitely not a good sign.
"Okay, people, 'fess up. What's going on and what do I have to do with it?" he asks. "And where's Steve and Michael?"
"You're such a suspicious guy, Danny," Kono tells him in mock-reproof. "Can't we, your co-workers, enjoy a good joke in peace?"
"You can – it's a free country after all," Danny agrees. "I would love to be in on the joke, except that I see I'm apparently the butt of the joke at the moment."
Grace frowns. "It's not nice to laugh at someone else."
"Oh sweetie," Spooky says. "We're not exactly laughing at your Dad. We just think he's adorable, that's all. Badass Adorable, even."
"You're not Steve and the flattery's an epic fail, Spooky," Danny says severely. "What is going on?"
Chin, thank God, finally takes pity on Danny. "Michael finally said his first words today, brah. And Steve just took Michael off to the men's room to change his diapers."
Grace, like Danny, gets all excited. "Did he say Danno, Uncle Chin? Please tell me he did!"
At that point, the team dissolves into laughter yet again and then, Steve and Michael walk into the bullpen.
Upon seeing Danny, Michael squeals happily and reaches out for him. "Book 'em, Danno!"
The words are clear, precise and God help them all, Michael's even got Steve's faint drawl down pat.
Danny automatically takes the little guy into his arms and as always, Michael grabs at Danny's tie. "This is gonna be a thing for you too, kiddo? Really?"
Michael brings up Danny's tie to his mouth and beams.
Grace is giggling. "Say it again, Mikey!"
"Oh for the love of Kermit the Frog –"
"Book 'em, Danno!"
Steve has the decency to look sheepish even as he carefully pries Danny's tie away from Michael. "Like I've told you a thousand times, it's a term of endearment. Okay?"
"Dada!" Michael says happily, patting Steve on the nose.
"It's just like when Wesley tells Buttercup 'As you wish' in The Princess Bride, Daddy," Grace explains and she brings in the final nail in his coffin when she throws her arms around his waist and looks up at him. "Steve's saying he loves you. And now Mikey does too."
And oh God, Steve's giving him That Particular Look again, the one that turns Danny right into a hopeless puddle of goo and what the hell is he supposed to do against insurmountable odds like these?
Danny's got only one thing to say to that. "Okay. Do it every day. I like it."