Disclaimer: I do not own h50.
It's getting late; everyone has gone home but them, and it's just the four of them left sitting around HQ with empty beer bottles, and memories, and it's them not wanting to give each other up now that they're together again. Now that they're ohana again. Still, someone has to step up, and being the voice of sanity is practically Danny's job description because these three are all crazy. He can't imagine life without them, not really; this partial taste he's had the past two weeks just served to ground that fact in, and it terrifies him.
He has more to lose than just Gracie, now.
Danny sighs, and sets the empty beer bottle down on the table, eyeing Steve carefully. He looks about ready to crash, and yeah, okay, enough. "C'mon, Super SEAL. Let's get you home, where you have an actual, real bed, and can get up at some ungodly morning hour to play in the ocean," he says, standing, and nudging Steve's shoulder gently until he looks up. Danny can see the cracks there, the ones he's finally allowing to show now that everyone else is gone, and he doesn't have to pretend anymore.
He sighs, doesn't argue, and Danny knows how exhausted, how close to the edge he is, just from that. "Yeah, okay. Chin, Kono," Steve looks over at them, something that could almost be a real smile on his face, "first thing tomorrow morning, yeah?"
"Of course, brah," Chin answers, nodding, and Danny can read the relief in his shoulders; the way he doesn't have to carry the weight of it all around anymore. The way he can be theirs, again. He slaps Chin on the back when he passes, squeezes his shoulder to make sure he knows that they're good. Chin smiles at him, small, but real, and there, and Danny nods.
"See ya tomorrow, Boss man," Kono adds, and wraps her arms around Steve, holding on tight, and whispering things in his ear that make him at least a little less tense, and there's that small, fond smile he usually gives her; full of pride.
Danny makes a show of holding his arms out when she turns towards him, grinning. "C'mon, Rookie, don't tell me you're gonna hug him, and not me, huh, is that what you're gonna say?"
She laughs, and it's music to his ears; squeezes him just as tight as she did Steve. "Take care of each other, brah. You two need it more than any of us, I think," she says into his ear, and that's not true, not really; they all need it, but he nods anyway.
"You know we will," he murmurs back, glancing at Steve over her shoulder because he can't seem to not look. "Gracie is home on Saturday; she's gonna want to see everyone," he tells her, and she grins, and nods, and yeah, he didn't expect any less. They all love Grace almost as much as he does; it helps him sleep at night, knowing the family he's made for himself will do anything for his daughter.
"Alright," he says once they're both out the door, and Steve is pretty much using the table to keep upright, and it has been a Hell of a week. "Let's go, babe," and he doesn't know if still has the right to that, the meaning more than the word, but Steve doesn't object to it, just let's Danny take him by the elbow, and tug him towards the door, and well, Danny isn't gonna say anything if Steven maybe leans into his touch a little bit.
Prison must have been a bitch, and Steve's always been tactile with him, always been comfortable in their shared personal space, and Danny's glad that hasn't changed when so many other things have.
"I'm driving," and Steve sighs, put-upon, but Danny can see the hint of that small smile amongst the cracks, and he grins a little.
"Sure, Danno," Steve says, sliding gingerly into the passenger seat, "I'll let you drive this once." And that- That just. He can't even-
He can't let that go, obviously, no matter how transparent an attempt at normalcy. It's kind of nice to just go with it, to be them again before having to worry about picking up the pieces when they do finally shatter.
"Excuse me?" He starts, holding a hand up, palm out towards Steve. "You'll let me drive? You'll let me drive my car, Steven?" And no, that isn't too much emphasis; it is Steve he's talking to.
Steve opens his mouth, and Danny does not even want to know what he's about to say.
"No. No, do not even, I swear I will shoot you, and you will deserve it, if only for all the shit you put me through today," and he maybe didn't mean to go there, but now it's out there, between them, and he knows-
"I'm sorry, Danny," Steve is quiet, sober, and he's Ilooking/I at Danny again, with his heart right there in his eyes for everyone to see. Or maybe just for Danny to see; either way, it does things to him, and he just. What does he do with this?
"For…For everything. I should have listened-" he can't do this right now. Preferably never, but definitely not right now, in the car, on the way to Steve's house. Steve's house that he and Kono, and Chin put back together after HPD tore it apart.
"Don't. You weren't the only one that made mistakes that night, Steven," he cuts him off, cutting a hand through the air at the same time. Things with Rachel fell through again, and he's all over the place emotionally; Steve is about half a step from breaking, he can deny it all he wants, but Danny knows him, can see it, and he just. Can't.
"You're here, okay? You're free, and I'm here, and Grace is coming back, and that part of it is over okay? Mistakes were made, we were all fucking stupid in one way or another, and we paid the price for it," he says, and Steve winces, and yeah, Kono is still paying the price, but they both know Chin's life is worth more than her badge to her, and she'd do it again. They all would because family is family, and you do what you gotta do. It's why he watched his little girl get on a plane without him; why he stayed. It's why he's still here.
"Grace is home Saturday," he changes the subject, and glances over at Steve just in time to see him perk up at the mention of Grace.
"You getting her?" he asks, hopeful, like a puppy almost, and Danny's glad to see the light spark in his eyes, all warm low in the belly because it's obvious that the chance to see Grace put it there. Steve loves her like she's his, and that never fails to astound Danny on so many levels.
"Yeah, for the weekend. Figured we could do the family thing Saturday, and she can see everyone, and Sunday…" he shrugs.
"You and her, huh? Gonna take her to the beach?" Danny can't help rolling his eyes because Steve is just. Danny doesn't even know.
"Sometimes I wonder if you're willfully obtuse, but then I remember that you don't actually know how to be a normal human being," he rants, and Steve blinks at him, confused, and damn Danny's head, and heart both.
"You're doing that thing again," Steve says, "where you string words together, and think they make sense."
Danny sighs, and manfully resists banging his head on the steering wheel as he pulls into Steve's drive. "I was thinking maybe Sunday could be just us," he says, watches Steve for a long moment, and then, "as in Grace, me, and you, babe. She's missed you, too." Which is nothing but the truth because she has, and Danny's been fielding questions from her about 'Uncle Steve' since the whole mess started.
"I-" Danny turns off the ignition, and looks over at Steve, and he doesn't even have a name for this face. "I'd like that," Steve finally manages, smiling a little; it's the goofy one that had Danny falling head over heels faster than he could keep up with, and he loves that smile because it means Steve isn't completely broken; just a little cracked in places, and if he does shatter then well, Danny'll be there to pick up the pieces and put him back together.
Steve will do the same for him, he knows it like he knows how to breathe, and he's well aware that Steve can see the cracks in him, too; that he knows Danny's gonna break soon, and it'll be up to him to put whatever pieces are left back together, and it's nothing new, really, just what they've been doing for each other since they met.
"You gonna go in, or are you planning on sleeping in the car?" he asks when the silence becomes too much to handle, and Steve is staring down at his hands, tense all over, and Danny glances to the house, and back before nudging Steve's shoulder with his arm. "You don't really believe we left it wrecked, do you? Because surely you know us better than that, Steven; I can't believe you would think-"
"No," Steve stops his rant mid-sentence, rolls his eyes because he does know they would never leave his home in such a state; knows they would have it as close to normal as they could when he got out. "I just," he stops again, makes a frustrated noise, and then looks up at Danny resolutely. "I don't want to be alone tonight. I'm kind of tired of solitary, Danno. Stay?" He's asking for more than friendly company, for more than one night of another person to hold on to, and Danny wants it. He wants it so bad he aches with it; the thought of being able to touch Steve, and claim him, and keep him, and then wake up next to him in the morning is almost more than Danny can handle.
He just doesn't know if he's in the right place for it, after all this, and Steve must see the doubt in his eyes because he swallows hard, and lifts a hand to Danny's cheek, his thumb running gently over Danny's lips like this is a gesture he makes everyday.
"Don't over-think it, Danny," he murmurs, quiet, the words just for this in-between time, just for them. "I'm not Rachel; I know what I'm getting into, what I'm asking for, and the risks involved. I'm willing to take those risks because you're worth it." He's so sure of himself, so sure that Danny is worth it, even when Danny himself isn't, and how is he supposed to resist that?
He knows the question Steve isn't asking, will never ask. Am I worth it?
He is; he's worth all the risks, and so much more, and Danny huffs, giving in. "Who am I to argue, huh?" he snorts, and grins a little when Steve gets that goofy smile again. "I love you, you know," he adds, serious, because he needs Steven to know what it means for him, needs to say it, out loud between them. Too much has happened for him to want to keep it to himself, and if they're going to do this, they're gonna do it right.
"Yeah?" Steve asks, mostly because he's a smug bastard, and what even is Danny getting himself into here, he's obviously caught the crazy, but what the hell. If you can't beat 'em; join 'em, right?
"'Yeah?'" he repeats, stares at Steve, who's got something that's almost a smirk on his face. "I say 'I love you' and all I get is 'yeah'? What even is that, Steven? Do you want to sleep on the couch tonight? Because I am so okay with sleeping in your big, comfortable bed all by myself, okay-"
The bastard is laughing at him, all warmth and affection, and he leans across the space between the seats to tug Danny into a kiss, and that is just not even fair. Not that it stops Danny from kissing back, giving everything he is over to it because he trusts Steve with himself, and his heart, and he needs this like breathing; wonders how he lived without it for so long.
"Love you, too, Danno," Steve murmurs against his lips, and Danny closes his eyes, and just breathes the space between them, and feels the promise of so much more to come.