Hell Hath No Fury—Chapter Five
"I'm out," Danny tossed his cards on the coffee table and sat back, looping his arm over the back of the couch.
Danny had been released from the hospital three days before and was back at his suite at the Hilton. He still tired easily and his lungs were a little congested, but the doc had assured him he was well on the road to recovery.
"Me too," Kono sighed, dropping her cards face down on the table. "Too rich for my blood."
Lori tapped her cards to her chin and studied her opponent, narrowing her eyes in thought. "Okay," she finally said. "I'll see your five M&M's, and I'm even going to raise you ten more." She tossed the candy in the middle of the table and nodded at the child sitting across from her. "I call. Let's see what you've got, Lil' Williams."
Grace carefully added her own candy to the large pile on the table then lowered her cards, spreading all five out for everyone to see. She looked up at her father and grinned.
"Oh dude!" Kono laughed in amazement. "That's a royal flush! You are a shark, girl!" She high fived the beaming child and then motioned towards Lori. "Come on, lay 'em out. What did you have?"
Lori put her cards down. "Four of a kind," she sighed, smiling over at Grace.
"Good, but not good enough!" Danny declared, his eyes shining with pride.
Suddenly he turned his head to the side and started coughing. He grabbed his inhaler from the side table and pumped the medication into his airways. He closed his eyes until the medication began working and the episode passed. Danny knew better than to try and talk in the middle of it—it just made things worse.
"You okay there?" Kono asked lightly, handing Danny a glass of water.
Danny took a sip and nodded, smiling reassuringly at Grace. The little girl was solemnly staring up at him. Her brown eyes were worried. The small brow furrowed with concern.
"Hey," Lori nudged the child gently with her elbow. "Can I, uh, have one of your M&M's? I swear I'm good for it. I just…uh…I need some chocolate, bad."
"Me too?" Kono picked up on Lori's distraction of Danny's daughter. "These M&M's have been taunting me all afternoon. I've wanted one so bad I almost ate them instead of using them to bet. Please?" Kono inched towards Grace. She continued in a sing song voice. "If I don't get one I'm gonna have to tickle you instead."
Grace shrieked with laughter as Kono pulled the child into her arms and began tickling her.
"Okay, okay!" Grace giggled. "You and Auntie Lori can have some."
As the three girls popped candy into their mouths, there was a knock at the door.
"I'll get it," Danny grinned. He walked across the hotel suite and threw open the door.
Steve, Chin, and a pizza delivery guy stood outside.
"Really Danny?" Steve jerked his thumb towards the delivery guy and stared at his partner in disbelief. "That is not heart healthy food."
"Doc said my heart is perfect," Danny smiled widely as he pulled out his wallet and handed some bills to the delivery man. Eagerly he took the pizza box.
"And I would think you'd want to keep it that way," Steve said in disgust.
"What took you guys so long?" Danny asked. "You were supposed to be here an hour ago."
"Got held up with the DA," Steve's eyes darkened.
"They're pleading her out, brah," Chin said softly, closing the door behind them.
"I know," Danny nodded, glancing down at the floor. "The DA called me. It's okay."
"It's not okay, Danny!" Steve said, his voice rising angrily. "That woman could have killed you!"
"Hey!" Danny raised his eyebrows in warning, motioning behind them with his head towards the living room where Kono, Lori and Grace were sitting. "Take it down a notch, please."
"Sorry," Steve sighed contritely. He moved past Danny into the living area. "Hey Gracie!"
"Uncle Steve!" Grace got up, bounding towards her dad's best friend.
Steve swung the little girl up into his arms. She settled against his shoulder.
"Hi, Grace," Chin smiled.
"Hi, Uncle Chin," Grace waved.
She bent towards Steve's ear and whispered, "Is the bad woman going to hurt my daddy again?"
"No," Steve glanced over the child's head and looked at his partner. Danny raised his eyebrows and shrugged. Steve sighed and then shifted the girl in his arms so he could look her in the eye. "She won't. And she didn't mean to hurt Danno. It was an accident."
"Did she say she was sorry?" Grace asked, looking over at her father.
"She did, baby," Danny nodded. He set down the pizza box on the coffee table and took his daughter from Steve, settling her against his hip. "Everything's okay. I promise."
"Okay," Grace threw her arms around Danny's neck and hugged him. "I love you Danno and I'm glad you're all right."
"I love you too, Monkey," Danny kissed the top of her head and then set the child on the floor. "Okay, who's ready to eat?"
He flipped open the pizza box and stared at the pizza in horror. "Oh no. No. No…No. This is not what I ordered."
"Yes it is," Grace piped up.
"No," Danny stabbed a finger towards the pizza. "I would never order pineapple on pizza. That is an abomination! I should have known I couldn't trust online ordering."
"I clicked on the pineapple topping," Grace gazed up at him wide eyed. "I like it."
"You like it," Danny stared at Grace as if she'd suddenly grown two heads. "You like pineapple on pizza..."
She nodded, edging past her father to grab a slice.
"This is your fault, Steven," Danny scowled at his best friend. "I blame you."
"What did I do?" Steve laughed, sitting down next to Grace.
"You could always order up some room service," Chin suggested. "I hear the house special is pretty good."
"What is it?" Danny asked.
"Chicken salad," Chin grinned, sitting down on the couch and helping himself to a slice of pizza.
"Chicken salad." Danny gave Chin a wounded look. "That's funny. You're a laugh riot. If I ever see a chicken salad sandwich again, it'll be too soon."
"That was cold, cuz," Kono laughed. She sat cross legged on the floor and reached into the box.
"So cold," Lori giggled as she sat down next to Kono. Glancing up at Danny she said, "Oh come on, Danny. It's not that bad. Try a piece. What do you have against pineapples anyway?" She pulled a slice out of the box and held it out towards Danny.
"Oh no," Steve groaned. "Don't get him started. Just pick the damn things off, Danny. You don't have to eat them."
Danny gingerly took the slice and stared at it. The yellow wedges of pineapple made the cheese look lumpy. "Pineapple on pizza," Danny wrinkled his nose. "It's unnatural. I can't do it."
Chin polished off his first slice and helped himself to another. "You've already ditched the tie, brah. Face it. You're here to stay. Time to move on to the next level."
"And the next level is pineapple on pizza?" Danny asked dubiously.
"When in Rome, brah," Kono grinned.
Danny glanced at Grace. The little girl laughed and nodded vigorously. "It's yummy Danno. Just try it."
"I can't believe I'm doing this," he muttered. Then he closed his eyes, pinched his nose, opened his mouth and took a bite. Shuddering, he swallowed. He grabbed his glass of water and chugged it down.
"Up next: surfing," Kono grinned. "Pretty soon, we won't be able to tell the difference between you and a native."
"Oh, I think you'll be able to tell the difference," Danny disagreed, doubtfully eyeing what remained of his pizza slice.
The small group of friends devolved into fits of laughter, and Danny plopped down on the couch next to Grace. As she took another large bite of her slice of pineapple infested pizza, he had a strong feeling resistance was futile.
Resigned to his fate, he sighed and took another bite. If nothing else, at least the pineapple and pizza didn't make him want to hurl. That was something that could be said for the blasphemous concoction. Probably the only thing. Definitely the only thing.
Danny looked at Grace. "Next time, we put the pineapple on only half the pizza, okay Gracie?"
"Okay, Daddy," Grace grinned.
"I hate this place," Danny grumped, taking another bite.
"Nah," Steve chuckled. "You'd be lost without us."
Danny washed down the pizza with another swig of water and looked at his team. Steve was right, though he'd never admit it. He figured the Navy SEAL's head was big enough…
A/N #1: I had way more fun than any person oughta writing this story. Thank you so much for indulging my love for whumping the heck out of Danny. Poor boy. Really. He just runs now whenever he sees me coming. Unfortunately for him, he just never seems to run fast enough… :)
Thank you for reading. Thank you for all the alerts.
Thank you so very much to everyone who has left a review. That feedback definitely makes the hours spent toiling over my computer worthwhile and without doubt it provides inspiration to write more. Hugs to you all.
And speaking of toiling, this leads me to…
A/N #2: I have no words for the awesomeness of JoaniexJony, my amazing beta, who always finds time in her busy life to read my work and make astute and insightful suggestions that help to strengthen it before its release into a public forum. Thank you, hon. I would most definitely be lost without you!
A/N #3: A word about pineapples. Just in case there's any confusion—there is some wonderfully fun fic out there about Danny having an allergy to pineapples. This story follows canon, which established early in S1 (1.6) when he ate a slice of pineapple and drank a Blue Hawaii (that has pineapple juice in it) that Danny has no such allergy. Not a knock on those stories, which are awesome. Just a clarification—the lines of fandom and Show sometimes get blurred… :)
So, you know, hit the review button—I love to hear what you think!