Disclaimer: I do not own h50.
"You've gotta be more careful, babe," Danny says, looking over as his own wayward superhero slides into the passenger seat of the camaro. His mask is gone; lost again, most likely.
He sighs heavily. "Someone's gonna recognize that face, right, or Chin's finally going to have had enough of your psychosis, and he's gonna snap, and you, my friend, will be so, so dead. I won't even be able to save you." He's ranting; he always seems to be ranting around Steve, but the crazy SEAL deserves it.
"Ah, c'mon, Danny," Steve says, cajoling, like this is a Ijoke/I, "you know I am." That right there? That is the weakest defense Danny has ever heard.
"I'm different," he snaps, because he is, and Danny would never, ever, even dream of giving Steve's identity up. He takes a chance looking away from the road to catch Steve's eye and make sure he's paying attention. "There are," he starts, waving a hand for emphasis, "more two-bit, wannabe writers out there than I can actually count, and they would give you up in less time than it takes them to come up with the news-breaking story, Steven." It's an old argument, but that doesn't mean Danny doesn't mean it.
Steve just shrugs, "Kono didn't." Like she's any kind of 'normal' or a substitute for all reporter-kind. Only Steve would think the rookie is 'normal' instead of 'bat shit crazy'.
Danny sighs, again. Steven does this on purpose just to get a rise out of him, or to get his blood pressure up, Danny isn't really sure. Either way, one day Danny is going to snap, and kill him, and then cover the story of his death with malicious glee.
"Kono," he says finally, glancing over at Steve, "is Chin's cousin, a rookie, and I'm pretty sure she knows everything that happens on this damned island, anyway." That woman is scary and Danny still isn't convinced she isn't secretly a superhero.
Everything would make so more sense, if that were the case. Not that his life has ever made sense, and somehow that would be too easy, even though it so, so wouldn't.
"I'm just doing my job, Danny," Steve says after a while, looking at him with that sort of helpless puppy look, and Danny just doesn't know what he's gonna do with this goof.
"I just want you to be careful, babe," Danny says at last, looking away because he knows everything he feels is all over his face. "You've pissed off a lot of people over the years, and I'm not going to explain to Grace that Uncle Steve went and got himself killed." He doesn't know how to handle the idea of a life on this hellhole without the crazy, costumed freak who invaded it so completely.
Steve must read something in his face because he softens, reaching over, and tugging at Danny's hand until he relents, and lets Steven twine their fingers together between them.
"I'll be careful, Danny," he says, looking down at their hands. "You know I can't promise more than that."
He knows that; he does, but he hates it. "Yeah," he murmurs, grimacing, "guess that'll have to do, huh?"
They're both silent for a long moment, and then Danny just can't handle that anymore.
"Alright, go ahead," he waves a hand, "tell me." Steve raises an eyebrow.
"If anyone's gonna cover your stupidity, and make it look all heroic, it's gonna be me, but I wasn't actually there this time, so-"
Steve is grinning now. Danny's a little worried.
"Kono was there," he says, casually spelling out Danny's doom because she is never going to let him live it down, never mind that he was standing at Rachel's gate, negotiating time with Grace for this weekend.
He groans. "Please, I beg of you, just shoot me. Do it. Right now," he pleads, putting on his most pitiful expression.
Steve, the bastard, just laughs.
"There were pictures," he adds helpfully, and Danny glares at him. He just keeps grinning.
"You could see them," Steve begins, far too casual, and Danny narrows his eyes suspiciously, "tonight. If you, y'know, want to." He sounds nervous.
"Yeah," Danny asks, curious and amused all at once, "how's that?"
"We're ah, having a few beers at my place tonight. You should come, Danno," he finishes, only slightly pleading -still trying to be casual- and yeah, Danny figured that's what he was getting at.
Steve's been trying to get him to come out to his place for beers for as long as Danny has known him, but Danny always begs off. He's not stupid; he knows what it will mean, saying yes, and he hasn't been ready for that. Before now.
But. But there's this, right here, where Danny is the one Steve calls when he needs someone, and there's the way their fingers are still tangled together like it's easy, and all of Steve's stupid, big heart in his eyes for everyone to see.
And…And he saved Gracie, and he's saving Danny everyday just by being here, and smiling at Danny's daughter like he loves her, too.
"Yeah, alright sure," Danny answers, like it's nothing, and he glances over to see the tension flow out of Steve like it was never there. He beams at Danny; that smile that's small, and real, and private. Just for Danny, and he loves it.
Even if he doesn't know exactly what he's getting himself into, here.
Chin spots him first, if only because Steve is too busy being outclassed by Kono in the surf, and Danny can't help laughing when she kicks his feet out from under him, sending the supposed superhero into the waves.
"Danny, brah, how's it?" Chin asks, reaching out to grab Danny in a half-hug, slapping his back in the manner of family everywhere.
"Oh, you know, the usual," he answers, jerking a thumb towards the two psychos in the surf. "Dealing with the crazies; I'm sure you feel my pain." He's grinning though, and he brought beer, and Chin just chuckles. That's what Danny likes about him; the man is pretty much unshakeable, and if anyone is going to do this whole superhero gig with Steve, well, Chin's about the only one Danny would trust to do it.
"It's no so bad," Chin tries, but he gets about half-way through that before Danny's laughing at him, and Chin joins him, shaking his head. "Yeah, alright," he concedes, shrugging. Danny nods.
"They're insane," he says, turning to watch Steve throw his partner in the water, "but we love 'em anyway."
Chin nudges him in the shoulder, clinking the neck of his beer with Danny's. "That's ohana, brah. What else is family for, huh?" And yeah, so they are, even if this is the weirdest family ever, and sometimes Danny can't believe this is his life.
"Oh, I dunno. Good times, good food, and beer?" he asks, and Chin snorts.
"You got two out of the three, at least. Steve burned the steaks; they weren't salvageable," he reports, apparently with genuine regret, but well, that doesn't surprise Danny at all. Steve's terrible with food.
"Danno!" he hears, and rolls his eyes at Steve waving like a madman as he jogs up the beach towards the lanai, Kono following at a more sedate pace. Something warm stirs low in his belly at the sight of Steve; wet, and happy, and completely relaxed in a way he rarely is, and Danny's suddenly fiercely glad he showed up.
"You're here," Steve says, getting right up in his personal space, and wrapping a dripping arm around Danny's shoulders like touching is something they've always done. Which, it is, kind of, but they never crossed a certain line, and Danny's pretty sure that line doesn't even exist anymore. He's okay with that.
"What? You didn't expect me to be?" He can't help but ask, looking up into Steve's face only to find him looking back, searching Danny's face for something. He must find it because he just grins, and shrugs as he tugs Danny towards the cooler with the beer like he's reluctant to let go now that he has hold of him.
"Well, Kono was worried," he throws out offhand, and Kono snorts loudly in reaction.
"She was, huh?" Danny asks, glancing over at the rookie, who rolls her eyes affectionately, but apparently doesn't mind being used as a proxy for Steve's feelings. God knows the man himself doesn't know how to express them in any normal way.
"Yeah, Danny," Kono says loudly, pressing one hand to her chest in a gesture that is way passed over-dramatic, "I was just so afraid you weren't gonna show, and I'd be left alone with the crazy supe's for the rest of the night."
Steve's sighing, and making faces, and Danny laughs. "Well, never fear, my dear. I am here to bolster the civilian side of things, and to keep Chin company in the land of sanity, of which you two," he says, pointing, "are not a part."
"Sanity's boring," Kono says, shrugging like it's not a big deal to be crazy. Steve grins, leaning into Danny until he can feel the heat through his clothes, and it's warm, and comfortable, and he's enjoying this.
"Over-rated, too," Steve puts in, and honestly, no.
"You don't get a vote," Danny says, to both of them, and looks to Chin for reassurance.
Chin just raises both hands in a clear gesture that he is not part of this. "Sorry, brah. I go around wearing a costume, and saving people, too." Which, okay, point, but Chin at least, has a nice, normal costume, and he doesn't do crazy things like throw people in shark cages.
Danny knows. He covered that story himself.
"Just accept it, Danno," Steve says amiably. "You're part of the crazy, and you like it." He sounds too smug, and if Danny weren't as comfortable as he is, he'd do something about that.
"No," he says instead, barely managing to poke Steve with a finger, "that is your delusion, and it is so far from the truth, babe. Way, way off." He thinks Chin and Kono are laughing at him, but he can't be bothered to actually look; he's too comfortable leaning against Steve, with Steve's arm around him in an astoundingly unsubtle way, to move.
It's not like Chin and Kono don't know, though. He's pretty sure they were ready to kill the both of them over all of it.
"Well, this has been fun, but I gotta go. Dinner with Malia, and I promised I'd go with her to the Big Island tomorrow, so you're on your own, Steve," Chin says, standing, and giving Steve a severe look, like he doesn't quite trust him on his own.
Not that Danny blames him for that, exactly.
"Oh, don't worry about him," he says, can't keep the grin off his face even when Chin grimaces in a total 'didn't need to know that' kind of way. Danny didn't even really mean it that way. Okay, maybe a little. But only a little, because he does get Grace tomorrow, and Steve already promised her the aquarium.
It's almost adorable, the way she has him so tightly wrapped right around her little finger.
"Yep," Kono puts in, using her cousin's arm to pull herself upright, "tomorrow's totally 'super-hero day off' and also mine, because the forecast says we're getting the good waves." Danny really shouldn't let her dictate her own hours, or it'll go to her head, but he's trying to get on her good side so she'll look on him favorably when she inevitably takes over the world.
"Aloha brah," Steve murmurs to Chin as he passes. "Thanks for the save today," he adds, apparently to both of them, and they shrug because it isn't a big deal; that's what they do.
"Don't do anything I wouldn't," Kono says to Danny, and he snorts because yeah. No; he isn't even touching that one.
It's quiet for a while after they go, but not the bad, awkward kind of quiet. It's comfortable, and Danny didn't really expect this to be as easy, didn't expect them to get each other in this, too, so well, but he doesn't dwell on it. He turns to Steve instead, studying him under the moonlight, and fuck, he's…Everything, and Danny doesn't think he's ever wanted anything more in his life.
"Steve," he whispers, reaching out to run his fingers lightly over the planes of Steven's face, familiarizing himself with the feel of his skin, and giddy with the ability to touch whenever he wants. Still, he's been waiting all night, and he just. He needs-
Steve smiles, small and warm, and turns so that he's facing Danny, and he lets himself be pulled down into a soft kiss. Danny didn't expect tender, but he likes it; it isn't a side of Steve he gets to see too often, like the look on Steve's face when he pulls back. It's all warm, and affection, like Danny's the most important thing ever, and just. What is he supposed to do with that?
"Stay?" Steve asks, like Danny is actually going somewhere other than inside.
"Where am I gonna go, you goof? Other than, y'know, inside because I don't wanna be arrested for public indecency, or something?" Steve rolls his eyes because Danny is physically incapable of not being sarcastic. He should know what he's getting himself into, here, is all.
"No, I mean. Stay. Here. I mean. There's an extra room for Grace, and your apartment is a shithole, Danny." God, what even is this man? Danny can't even.
"You want me to move in with you? Now? Isn't it a little early for that, babe?" He wants to, though. It's not like he doesn't spend most of his time with Steve, anyway, whether he's in the costume, or just Steven, and wow, what even is his life?
Steve just rolls his eyes, and tugs until he can rest his forehead against Danny's. "We've been moving towards this for years, Danny. How different will it be, exactly?" He has a point. A very good point.
"And the whole…Double-life thing?" He won't be the reason Steve gets outed, and killed, or worse.
"Do not even, Steve. I swear to God, if the next words out of your mouth were going to be 'I'll give it up' I will punch you," he breathes, and the look on Steve's face is enough to give it away. "Don't," Danny shakes his head. "This is your life."
"You're my life," Steve corrects. "You, and Grace. I just. Please, Danny? We'll make it work. We've been practically dating for years now, and no one's noticed anything," he adds, pulling back enough to be able to search Danny's face.
It's not strictly true; there have been headlines, and questions, but the combined force of Danny and, more recently, Kono, has been enough to shut it down. It'll probably be enough if they go through with this. And, well, what else is he supposed to do, after an admission like that?
"Yeah, alright," he relents, and Steve gives a little laugh, happy and gleeful.
"Yeah?" he confirms, and Danny lets his head fall to rest on Steve's shoulder.
"I'm already in love with you," he mutters, but makes sure it's loud enough to be heard; unmistakable, and he wants Steve to know what this means, for him. "Might as well go all the way, huh?" Throw in all his chips, so to speak. He's not as terrified as he thought he'd be.
This feels right, though.
Steve's too quiet for a long moment before his hand finds Danny's chin to tilt it up, and Steve kisses him. It's all passion, and hunger, and everything they are, and have been, and they're breathless when they pull apart to breathe.
"Love you too," Steve says, unafraid, and Danny laughs, and kisses him again, and Steve tugs him upstairs where they lose themselves in touch, and taste, and each other.
It'll work because they're them, and it's right in all the ways nothing else has ever been.