Disclaimer: Hawaii 5-0 and characters belong to CBS, would be nice to live in Hawaii and work for 5-0 alas, that's not the case.
Summary: Steve has been away on a SEAL mission for two months. It looks like he will be away for at least another month and will miss Grace's birthday. Rachel tries to interfere again in the lives of Danny and Grace while Steve is away even though she is under psychiatric treatment. This story is part of my Kokua Ko'u Hoaloha universe. If you haven't read it, Danny now has full custody of Grace and they live with Steve. Steve, Danny and Grace are family, no slash.
Hau'oli La Hanau Grace
Happy Birthday Grace
Danny and Grace were eating their supper while talking about her upcoming birthday.
"'Anakala Steve isn't going to make it home for my birthday is he Danno?" Grace asked sadly.
Danny sighed. They both missed Steve, though he believed that he would never admit it, not even to Grace. "I'm sorry but it looks like it Grace. I know he would be here if he could. Let's not forget that he's still sending you emails when he can? And what does he tell you in his emails."
"He says that he misses us and wished he were home." Grace raised troubled eyes to Danny. "Mommy tried to tell me that 'Anakala Steve was glad to be on a mission and didn't miss me at all before Ms. Kahele said it was time for me to leave even though we were supposed to have another half-hour."
Danny's lips tightened as he tried not to curse Rachel in front of Grace. "What did Ms. Kahele say about what your mom told you?"
Grace bit her lip. "Ms. Kahele said that Mommy was trying to make me think that she was the only one who cared about me."
Danny nodded. "What do you think?"
"I think that 'Anakala misses me because he is honest and I trust him. He still finds it difficult to say what he feels so he really means it when he tells me that he loves and misses me." Grace's eyes watered as she asked Danny. "Why would Mommy lie to me again? She already tried to make me think that you didn't want me, why would she say that about 'Anakala Steve?"
Danny was glad that Grace believed Steve without his interference. "I really don't know Monkey, but I believe it has to do with your Mom's continued belief that I am a danger to you and what happened when our helicopter crashed on Kauai. Grace, was there someone from the hospital with you, your Mom and Ms. Kahele?"
Grace shook her head. "No Danno."
Danny held onto his temper by a thread. He didn't want to scare Grace who was not at fault. "Thank you for telling me Grace. I'll have a talk with Bill to make sure that you feel safe when you visit your Mom. If the hospital does not cooperate, I will stop your visits with your Mom. I don't want to do that Grace, I know that you love your mom and I won't take that away from you if I can help it. However, I won't allow you to be hurt. If you ever feel uncomfortable meeting with your mom, or she tries to tell you things you know are not true please tell Ms. Kahele, Uncle Steve, and me. Do you understand?" Danny asked worriedly.
Grace nodded solemnly. "I will Danno." She was smart enough to know that Danny wasn't trying to keep her from seeing Rachel. She just didn't understand why her Mom tried to make her hate Danno or 'Anakala Steve.
Danny decided it was time to change the subject. "Uncle Chin, Aunt Kono and I think that it would be nice to have a small party for you here on Saturday. You can invite some of your friends for a beach/birthday party. What do you think Monkey?"
Grace brightened some as Danny talked about a party. "Can I invite Lani and her family? Maybe some of the children I play with there would like to come?"
Danny smiled proudly. His daughter was so thoughtful; it also showed that he and Steve had made the right decision in placing Grace in Lani's day care. "I think that is a wonderful idea Monkey. I'm sure that Lani and the others would love to come to your party."
Danny and Grace clean up their dishes. Danny rinsed while Grace loaded the dishwasher. Steve had patiently taught Grace how to load the dishwasher properly. Danny was happy that Steve was so good with Grace and willing to teach her how to do something that they felt she could handle even if Danny did bitch about the surfing.
When it was almost time for Grace to go to bed, Grace looked at Danny. "Can I check my email before getting ready for bed?" Grace checked her email every night to see if there was a message from Steve. She had to use Danny's computer because it had security approved by the Navy for sending and receiving emails from active Navy personnel. Even though she did this every night, Danny requested that she ask for permission in case he had an open case file on the screen.
"Of course you can." Before Grace could open his laptop Danny's cell-phone rang. "Williams." Danny smiled broadly. "The phone is for you Monkey." Danny put the phone on speaker so that he could hear too.
Grace answered puzzled as to why Danny put the phone speaker. "Hello."
Grace squealed excitedly. "'Anakala Steve! Aloha! I'm soo happy you called. I miss you."
"I miss you too Leia. I carry the picture you gave me everywhere. I think that I will need a new copy when I return. I miss you too Danny. But I'll deny it if anyone else asks."
Danny laughed and Grace giggled. "I miss you too Steve. I even miss your crazy stunts. Work has become very routine without you."
Steve chuckled. "I'm sure it has. I can't talk long. I wanted to call and wish you a Hau'oli la Hanau Grace since I won't be home before your big day. I'm sorry I'm going to miss it Leia." Steve's voice was laced with regret and sorrow.
Grace sniffed. "Thank you. I know that you are doing something important and would be here if you could. All I want for my birthday is for you to come home safe." Danny put an arm around Grace's shoulder offering comfort.
Danny could hear the emotion in Steve's voice as he responded to Grace's wish. "I promise that I'm doing my best to stay alive Grace and in one piece. I would have called on your birthday but we're moving to another location and I won't be able to contact you at all until my team returns to base."
Danny spoke for both he and Grace. "We're glad you could call us at all Steve. I'm giving Grace a hug for you right now." Danny did as he said.
"Mahalo partner. I have to go, my time is up. Take care of each other and tell Chin and Kono Aloha for me."
"I will Steve. Take care of yourself kaikaina. Aloha."
"Aloha au ia 'oe 'Anakala Steve. Be careful."
"Aloha au ia 'oe Leia. I'm always careful, especially since I have you waiting for me. Aloha kaikamahine and kaikau'ana." Steve hung up.
Danny hit the end button as he hugged an upset Grace. He knew that sleep would be a long time coming for the Williams tonight. Fortunately it was a Friday night so they could sleep in tomorrow. Danny was grateful that Steve called and knew that Steve made sure to call when staying up wouldn't be such a big deal.
The day of Grace's birthday party had arrived. Danny, Kono, Chin and Kamekona had spent the morning decorating the lanai for the party while Grace spent the morning at Lani's house. She had wanted to be surprised by the decorations.
Danny picked up his phone to let Lani know that they were ready when the front door opened. Danny turned around cautiously knowing he had locked the door stopping mid-turn to stare unbelievingly at a very tired looking Steve standing in the doorway.
Steve smiled tiredly at Danny. "Did I miss Gracie's party?"
Danny snapped out of his stupor to move and hug Steve tightly. Steve dropped his duffle bag returning the hug. The two friends/brothers stood holding each other grateful that Steve was home safe and sound.
Danny pulled back to look at Steve a little more closely as he answered. "No you haven't missed it. It's good to see you Steve. Are you okay? No holes that I can't see? Are you supposed to be here? Are you AWOL?"
Steve huffed. "No holes Danny just some scratches and bruises. I'm not AWOL; my team was able to complete the mission much sooner than anticipated. I requested permission to complete my paperwork and interview at Pearl so that I could make it to Gracie's party. I'm glad that I made it, but I desperately need a shower."
Danny smiled. "Gracie is going to be so happy to see you. Now her birthday party will be complete. I was just going call Lani to have her bring Grace and a few friends here. Grace wanted the decorations to be a surprise. You may want to say high to Chin, Kono and Kamekona before I call Lani. And you're right; you do need a shower brah."
Steve smiled chuckling. "Thanks Danno." Steve clapped Danny on the shoulder as he headed for the lanai. Steve looked over the decorations impressed with his team's cleverness. The lanai was a fabulous combination of traditional Hawaiian decorations of flowers and leafs and a Disney Princess theme of pink satin and lace. "This looks fantastic guys."
Kono, Chin and Kamekona spun around at Steve's voice stunned.
"Boss!" Kono screamed happily and rushed over to hug him tightly.
Chin and Kamekona joined Kono in hugging Steve. "Aloha brah!" The two men said in unison.
Steve grunted. "Not so tight big guy, I have some bruised ribs."
Kamekona backed off. "Sorry brah, just happy to see you."
Steve smiled. "A'ole pilikia brah. You didn't know. It's good to see all of you but I need to take a shower before Grace gets here. Don't say anything to her, I want to surprise her."
"K'den boss." Kono replied as she released him scrunching her nose. "You do need a shower."
"Not funny Kono." Steve shook his head as he reentered the house.
Steve was dressing when he heard the front door open to excited squeals from Grace. He smiled listening to the excited chatter move from the front door to the lanai where there was more excited squealing from several children. He left his room and headed for the lanai. Looking out the sliding glass doors he could see Danny watching for him. Danny nodded smiling letting Steve know that Grace was sufficiently occupied that he could leave the house undetected. Steve quietly stepped out onto the lanai and waited for Danny to turn Grace around.
Danny bent down placing a hand on Grace's shoulder to get her attention. She stopped talking with one of her friends to look at him. "Monkey, I know that we usually open presents later but a very special present arrived from Uncle Steve."
"But Danno, Uncle Steve said he couldn't send me anything. What changed? Is he okay?" Grace asked concerned and puzzled.
"Uncle Steve is okay. Now he went through a lot of trouble to send you your gift. You should turn around so that you can open it."
Grace turned around and squealed yet again running into Steve's open arms. "'ANAKALA STEVE! You're home! I missed you sooo much!" She started crying into his shoulder overwhelmed.
Steve picked her up and held her comfortingly closing his eyes against his own tears. "I missed you too Leia. You, Danno and the rest of my ohana kept me going while I was gone."
The adults watched the scene with happy smiles and Grace's friends clapped and quietly cheered for their friend.
Grace pulled back to look at Steve once the tears stopped. "You gave me the best present ever 'Anakala Steve, you came home."
Smiling Steve dried her tears with tissues supplied by Kono. "I did my best to come home today. I wasn't sure that I would make it on time. Now I believe this is supposed to be a party for a certain birthday girl. Why don't you go with Kono so you can wash up and then we can get this party started?" Steve put Grace down and pushed her gently towards the house.
Grace took Kono's hand as they headed inside. Meanwhile Lani and the children that Steve knew approached to welcome him home with hugs and a few kisses from the youngest of Lani's children.
The party was a huge success. Grace and the other children had a wonderful time playing traditional Hawaiian games and some games taught to them by Danny and Grace. At first Grace didn't want to leave Steve's side but she gradually relaxed realizing that he wasn't going anywhere.
That night Grace asked that Steve be the one to tuck her in at bedtime. He agreed willingly. When Grace first moved in, this was considered Danny's job but Grace decided that she had wanted 'Anakala Steve to tuck her in too. So Danny and Steve would trade nights. Both men and Grace felt that was fair.
Steve was waiting for Grace in her room with the covers pulled down and pillows propped up so they could sit together as he read to her. He lifted her into the bed and the two settle against her head board. Grace snuggled onto his chest as he placed an arm around her shoulders.
"What's on your mind Leia?" Steve asked.
"Will you have to leave again?"
Steve sighed placing his chin on her head holding Grace closer. "I don't know Leia. I hope not, because I really missed you and Danno. But if the Navy needs me I'll go. It's another way for me to make the world safe for you and other children." He kissed the crown of her head.
"I hope you don't have to go either 'Anakala Steve. Will you stay with me tonight?" Grace asked needing reassurance from Steve.
"Well, I'm not sure your bed is big enough for the two of us. I have an idea though. We can use my bed; it's big enough for the two of us. Give me a few minutes to get ready for bed and you can join me. Okay?" Grace nodded into his chest before releasing him. "I'll be back in a few minutes."
Danny saw Steve leaving Grace's room much earlier than normal. "Is everything okay Steve?"
Steve smiled reassuringly at Danny. "Yeah, everything's fine. Grace asked if I would stay with her tonight. I said I would but we would have to use my bed because I know I wouldn't fit in hers."
Danny chuckled. "No you definitely wouldn't fit in her bed. You okay with letting her sleep in your bed?"
"Of course Danny unless you don't think she should." It dawned on Steve what some people might think about Grace sleeping in his bed with him even if it was completely innocent.
Danny realized what Steve was thinking and was grateful. "Nah, I trust you and so does Grace. Anyone else can mind their own business."
Steve smiled and entered his room to get ready for bed. Once that was done he retrieved a very tired Grace and settled her on the left side of his bed before he climbed in next to her.
"Good night 'Anakala Steve. Aloha au ia 'oe." Grace kissed Steve on his cheek before snuggling into the bed.
"Good night Leia. Aloha au ia 'oe."
The next morning after the three had finished breakfast and cleaned up Steve spoke to Grace. "Leia, could you wait for me in the living room. I have something for you. I would have given it to you yesterday but I thought it was in my other bag which hasn't arrived yet." Steve was gone before either Grace or Danny could say anything.
"Well Monkey, looks like we need to go into the living room."
"But Danno, I already got my present from 'Anakala Steve. He came home safe and sound." Grace protested.
Danny smiled proud of his daughter for not being greedy. "I know and so does Uncle Steve. But you know as well as me that he is a very generous person."
Steve returned before Grace could comment. "Grace, I know that all you wanted was for me to come home but I saw this and knew I had to get it for you." Steve placed a neatly wrapped box on the coffee table.
Grace took the box carefully sitting down on the floor to open it. She ripped off the paper, and opened the box. She pulled out the tissue paper gasping at what was underneath. She carefully pulled out a beautifully carved wood dolphin. It appeared to be jumping out of the water joyfully.
Danny stared with Grace at the beautiful carving. The dolphin almost looked alive. "Where did you get that Steve?" Danny asked quietly.
Steve looked up at Danny. "While I was eating dinner the night before beginning my trip home I learned that a young lieutenant did wood carving to relax. The money he makes goes to the Alzheimer's Association in memory of his grandmother. I asked to see some of his work and he had just finished this carving. I thought of Grace and her love of dolphins. The money supports a very good cause. I would have bought it even if it wasn't for your birthday Leia. I knew that you would like it."
Grace carefully put the statue on the coffee table getting up to hug Steve who had squatted down to receive it. "Thank you 'Anakala Steve. It's beautiful, I love it."
"You're welcome Grace. I thought it was lani just like you." He picked Grace up with ease. "Where do you want to put it?"
Grace decided that she wanted it placed on the mantle in the living room. She felt everyone should be able to enjoy it.
The three spent a nice day swimming and making sand castles. All three were glad that Steve was home.
Kaikaina: younger brother
Kaikau'ana: older brother
A'ole Pilikia: no problem