Fear, Not Love

Disclaimer: I do not own H50.

Spoilers: Nothing specific really.
Summary: Steve's "apparent death" elicits certain feelings: some strong, some not so much, some slow burning. Steve/Kono at the heart of it, but some Danny moments thrown in for good measure, as well as Lori and Chin.

A/N: So, first of all – Sorry for the delayed update (Happy Chinese New Year? Had to help with Pop's New Year's Dinner, and boy did that suck up a lot of time). Secondly, this chapter's looooong and all over the place – yeesh – but I wanted to write these passages because what I originally loved (and still do) about Five-0, is the team aspect, and I can't seem to write this Steve/Kono Fic without Chin, Danny, and now Lori chiming in with their two-cents somewhere. And finally, it may not seem like it, but this is a Steve/Kono Fic. Really.

Thank you, as always, dear readers for the fantastic reviews/comments, PMs (Ghostrider for the constant support), alerts and fave adds.

You Can Chew Me Out Later

# # #

(all over the frakkin' place, in buildings and in cars)

Kono pulls into her parking spot with three minutes to seven on her watch and thinks she'll make it into the building, up the stairs and into HQ by the skin of her teeth. She didn't count on traffic on King Street, and remembers belatedly that H1 has been undergoing construction for some time now. Though the real issue is, if she doesn't arrive at work in her own car, then Chin would start interrogating her, and fuck-it-all if she didn't particularly feel like answering questions today.

She's pushing past the main doors and bounding up the steps two-by-two when she hears, "Kono!'

It's Danny and she actually finds herself breathing a sigh of relief. He's calmly walking up the steps towards her and looks at her curiously. "Relax, didn't see everybody's car in the parking lot yet, did you?" he asks, a little too smug for her taste, and for some reason this sets her off.

Kono is rolling her eyes and turning to continue up the stairs, when she says before thinking, "keep it up Danny and I'll wipe that shit-eating grin off your face with my fist."

"Whoa, whoa, whoa. What is with the attitude?" Danny asks as he puts a hand out to stop her. He's clearly a little surprised by her surliness.

"Eleven? Danny, eleven times you called my phone last nite? And Chin? Eight?" she questions.

Realization is dawning on Danny's features and he doesn't look pleased. "You think that's too much? Huh? Is it? Because I called Steven double the amount of times I called you," he says as he's jabbing a finger towards her. "I'll give you one guess if he answered my calls or not. Or, maybe you already know the answer to that one, huh?" he asks bitingly.

Kono's lip curls into a snarl, but she doesn't answer him because people are watching and she turns to keep climbing the stairs to the offices. Danny continues to follow behind her, and he apparently doesn't care about the show they're giving because he asks, "what the fuck? You guys just go ahead and disappear? Make up some bullshit excuse about taking him to the hospital and then not go there and not answer your fucking phones?"

Kono's pushing through the doors of HQ with Danny right behind her, and then she whirls on him. "Jesus Danny, just relax. Fuck." Fuck.

Danny's hands start to flail about and he assumes his classic tough guy stance. "Excuse me? My partner almost dies and you want me to fucking 'relax'?" he asks. He's shoving his index finger at her face and she has to fight every urge in her body and mind, to not reach forward, grab his finger and bite, twist or break the offending digit.

Kono scoffs, leans her weight on to one foot and brings a hand up to rest on her hip. "He didn't 'almost' die Danny, you lost track of him," she points out, thrusting a finger back at him.

Danny throws his hands up in response and starts to pace. "He's not a fucking dog, Kono," he says, as his voice continues to rise.

"I know that, Danny," Kono snaps. "But don't fucking bite my head off because you assumed the worst and don't know where Steve is, or was, or whatever. We've got the tech here to find people, remember? And if you really wanted to find him, you could have put a BOLO out on him too."

He stops his pacing and gets into her face. "Wait, what? You weren't with him?" Somehow, Danny's tone is more accusing now than when they first met on the steps leading up to the offices.

"I was, partly," Kono answers coolly with a shrug. "He wanted a drink, I got him a drink," she explains.

Danny seems a little taken aback. "Wait – you went to a bar!" he exclaims, as he's still standing in her space, glaring back.

Kono, who at this point is most likely neck and neck in the battle for the 'most-stubborn-Five-0-team-member', doesn't back down. "Yeah," she says, as if Danny's the most obtuse person she's ever met. Ever.

"Yeah?" he asks as he throws his hands up and steps back. "Yeah. Okay, that's just fucking great. And then what?"

She knows, somewhere in the back of her mind, that Danny is just trying to figure out what the deal is with Steve. She shrugs again. "And then nothing," Kono responds, noncommittally.

"Nothing?" Danny's giving Kono a look of disbelief that she feels he could possibly patent and maybe make royalties off of.

He's opened his mouth and about to continue his rant when they both hear, "nothing?" This time it's Chin that's asking, and he clearly catches both of Kono and Danny off guard. The older detective is standing just inside of the HQ foyer doors and both his teammates are wondering exactly how long he's been there.

# # #

"Alright. Listen up. I want to apologize," Steve says, seizing the opportunity at having everyone there all at once. "For yesterday."

Danny has crossed his arms across his chest and is smirking at Steve. "Huh," he says, as if he has no idea what to make of the situation.

Steve ignores him and knows that he has to get in what he needs to say before a potential rant begins. "I was wrong to scare you all like that," he says continuing. The team leader is making eye contact with every single member of Five-0 before coming to rest on Danny's, disbelieving blues. "I should have, maybe – could have waited."

"'Could have'?" It's Danny that says this, as his eyebrows shoot up. "Really, Steven? You're fucking kidding -"

"Danny -" "Brah." "Oh shit, here we go." "Whoa, not again."

Steve, Chin, Kono and Lori all start at once, but it's Chin's piercing whistle that breaks through the tense morning conversation. "That's enough!" he yells. He's standing next to Danny and lays a firm hand on the shorter man's shoulder. He squeezes lightly and gives Danny a look that says, 'accept it and let's move on', because they've still got a case to solve, and Danny somehow – submits.

"Chin is right," Steve cuts in, thankful again for Chins' Jedi ways. He shakes his head. "We've got a ton of work to do. You can chew me out later, Danno. Private session, you and me." He knows he's bargaining, but really? No one wants to hear Danny go off right now, not first thing in the morning. Especially himself.

Danny squints at Steve as if he's sprouted a second head and shrugs. "Fine," Danny says, relenting and walking away, towards his office. And for once, everyone – including himself, is surprised that he actually backs off.

# # #

Chin is in his car waiting for Kono to shut her car door before pulling out of his parking spot.

"Thanks, by the way. I appreciate you checking up on me last night," she says, finally closing the door and buckling in.

Chin's eyes are crinkling a little at the corners as he drives off. Kono is after all, younger than him, he admits fondly. With that said, staying out all night isn't such a big deal because he knows that he's long past those nights himself. "Yeah well, I tried not to call," he says. He really did, because Malia was starting to give him those looks that basically said: leave your cousin alone, what ever she's up to, she can handle it.

"Brah, after the eight time? You decided you'd quit?" Kono asks, laughing. "Uh, I'm pretty sure you didn't decide that one on your own, Cuz."

Chin finds himself chuckling softly in response.

"Thanks for that by the way," she says, sighing softly. Then, "you know, I saw you drive by at two in the morning," she adds.

"What you don't sleep?" Chin asks, though he's not too surprised, with what happened in Waipahu and all. But he just wants to be sure. "Who can sleep in all the heat we're experiencing lately?" He's totally fishing.

Kono shrugs as she glances at him quickly. "It's not the heat. Yesterday was kind of a lot to take in, and it took a while," she says by way of explanation. But then something occurs to her, "what the hell were you doing driving around at that time of the morning anyway?"

Chin glances at her and is smiling now – a satisfied, happy smile. "Picking up my wife from work."

"Ah," Kono says with a nod of her head. Chin's lucky, she knows, to finally have the chance with Malia. The chance at something better than good.

"You want to tell me what happened last night?" Chin asks, interrupting her thoughts and studying her briefly. He's remembering walking in on her and Danny arguing this morning and it bugs him a little.

"Not particularly, Cuz. No," Kono says as she starts fidgeting with the buttons for the window. The way he's asking and looking at her – it feels like she's twelve and getting scoldings from him. It kind of sucks because most times when she's fucked up somehow, he's treated her like an adult. This time however, she doesn't know why, but the sudden, slight admonishing look he's giving her is making her feel so immature. She sighs heavily before saying, "nothing happened."

Chin snorts and shakes his head. He's kind of smug in that older, more knowing kind of way, and it pisses her off. Mostly because Danny's already pulled the same attitude with her earlier in the day. But this time, since it's Chin, she can't say or do anything, really – half the island would give her dirty lickins if she did.

He gives her a sideways look and says, "oh, so you guys just had drinks and then you took him home?" Chin can't help help his behavior. Being concerned for her well being is somehow just built into him. Ever since they were younger, he's watched out for her, and not much has changed.

Kono nods her head because it sounds like a good enough description of how the night went. "Yeah. Something like that," she says.

But Chin knows her all too well. "Something like how, exactly?" he prods, quirking a brow.

Kono sees him turn to look at her briefly again, and shrugs. "I took a cab, he took a cab." It seems simple enough and hopefully it is.

Chin's got that look in his eye and Kono kind of senses that she's still in for it. "Because you were too drunk," he states.

Who the hell was she to argue? He is her cousin and like it or not, he has seen her at her worst. "Not really, but I wasn't sober enough to drive, if that's what you mean, then yeah," she says. But then, Kono's suddenly surprised by the curious look Chin is giving her and she actually gulps.

"Why didn't you share?" he asks with that same all knowing grin of his.

And Kono really just wants to hit Chin. If it weren't for the fact that he's going over seventy miles per hour in the fast lane on H2, she actually would. "Really, Cuz?"

"I'm just saying," he reasons. "If you went to Tsunami Sam's, like you said you did, you guys are going in the same direction afterward."

Kono scoffs. "Why are you doing this? It's none of your business, Cuz," she says, hoping he would just drop it. And he does for a little bit, but it's a long ride out to Wahiawa. Why do the suspects always live so far away from town? Thankfully, her phone rings. "Oh look, it's Max!"

Chin just snorts and focuses back on the road.

# # #

"Twenty-five times? You called my phone twenty-five fucking times," Steve says as he gets into the driver's side of Danny's Camaro.

Danny slams the door shut. "Like I told Kono earlier – you don't answer, I'll keep calling, you moron." He's got his hands out in front, waving them around and his voice has risen again.

"Why are you yelling?" Steve asks, he's kind of starting to get a headache. "You yelled in the offices this morning, you're yelling now. Did it ever occur to you that I was maybe busy or that I didn't see that I had any calls?" Steve knows this sounds ridiculous but it's worth a shot. He pulls out of Danny's spot and zooms out of the parking lot and onto Queen Street.

Danny snorts loudly. "Oh please. You weren't busy! That's the point," Danny says sharply, grabbing hold of the dashboard to steady himself. "You didn't want to answer my calls."

Steve knows this has nothing to do with Danny's skills as a detective. Any good friend would see through the lie he just tried to pass off. "Look, Danny. I'm sorry. Alright? I'm sorry. I just needed some time to think." Steve's pretty sure he fucked up badly and this will and could, take a while.

Surprisingly, Danny doesn't say anymore and just keeps his eyes on the road.

Steve is not asking for any kind of forgiveness, not just yet. He's a realist and that's not how Danny works anyway, but he figures his best bet is to coax his partner along. "Danny," he says, trying again, making the effort.

Danny sighs heavily and runs a hand down his face, and something seems to visibly thaw in the blonde detective. "Alright, Steven."

Steve clearly appears a little relieved. "Good," he says, meaning it.

But, Danny's shaking his head and waving his hand in front of him once more. "Oh no. I haven't accepted your apology. Just so's you know, asshole. It's pending," he says.

"Pending?" Of course. Steve wasn't really expecting forgiveness so soon, that would be insane.

Danny glances at Steve and seems satisfied because he's making Steve squirm a little and maybe behave a little better, for the time being. "Yeah. Yes. Pen-ding," he says, stressing the syllables.

And naturally, Steve will take it. Because it's Danny. "Okay."

# # #

"Hey. What's this I hear about you not being able to sleep?" Steve asks as he and Kono get into her Cruze. They've just picked up another lead and are now headed out towards Mapunapuna and in the few minutes that they were back at HQ, Steve managed to ask Chin if Kono was okay, because he didn't like the way he found Danny, Kono and Chin glaring at each other when he first arrived.

Kono studies him and his tired, yet openly concerned expression before turning her gaze to the road ahead. "I could ask the same about you, boss," she says, smirking a little.

Steve snorts and shakes his head. "Right. But we're not talking about me, are we?" he asks, deflecting. He extends his arm out and rests his hand against the headrest of her seat. "This have anything to do with last night?"

Kono ignores his blatant attempt of trying to touch her because they can't do this. Really, brah? She can almost feel his fingers, just inches away from the back of her head. But she remains focused on the road, her hands gripping the steering wheel a little bit tighter. "Why? Nothing happened last night, remember?" She gives Steve a look and hopes that he gets it because she really needs him to. "We're good, boss," she says purposefully, smirking once again.

Steve pulls his hand back, his brows furrowing slightly. "We are?" He turns and studies her expression and nods slightly. He knows what Kono is doing and he accepts it. It kind of sucks because some part of him wishes otherwise.

"Yeah, boss," she says, firmly. And Kono actually smiles. She can totally act like nothing happened last night and knows that Steve can to. It's what they need to do, what she needs to do.

"Okay," he says with a shrug, agreeing.

# # #

"Hey, uh, Lori?" Steve begins, a bit sheepish, as he starts the engine to his truck. Lori has just hopped in and now they're headed to Kalihi to run down a suspect for what went down in Waipahu.

"Yeah?" Lori is reading through the info Kono sent to her phone and glances up to look at Steve. She's trying to appear preoccupied and she feels she's doing a damn good job of it.

"Thanks for bringing my truck to my house last night," Steve says and he means it too. And, truthfully, he's pretty impressed at her professionalism right now because she seemed like such a wreck yesterday. Steve watches as Lori smiles and acknowledges that it's kind of nice to see her that way. She's always so serious and straight-faced, to see any other expression on her features is a rare thing.

Lori puts her phone down. "Not a problem," she says as she turns her head away to glance at the road before them. "I uh, I was a little surprised to find that you weren't home," she says. "Yet."

Steve's brows knit together as he processes what she's saying, or obviously implying, and Lori just continues to look at him quizzically.

He catches her, realizing that the look she's giving him is not necessarily a good thing. "Yeah. I uh, needed a drink," he responds, his tone a little defensive. Which in retrospect, Steve knows wasn't really a good way to answer, because now Lori has possibly another thing to file away in her profile of him. Because seriously? That's what she does right? Figure out people. She's probably got them all pegged by now and he can't help but feel a tiny bit unnerved by it.

"So I heard," Lori says with a wry smile this time, and Steve actually gulps. Her phone's ringing and she checks the caller ID and smirks. "Look, it's your drinking buddy," she says as she hits 'answer'. "What's up, Kono?"

# # #

Kono's driving and tapping her thumbs against the steering wheel when she turns to quickly glance at her blonde passenger. "You know nothing happened, right?" It's not really a question, but she just wants to be clear here. She knows Lori is curious about where she and Steve disappeared to, especially after walking in and hearing Danny and Chin practically interrogating her in the foyer of HQ earlier this morning.

"I wasn't going to ask and you don't have to tell me," Lori says as she stops typing away at her phone to chance a look at Kono.

The taller brunette smirks and tightens her grip slightly on the wheel. "Right, and run the risk of you trying to figure me out all day?" she asks. She's not trying to pick a fight, not with Lori, so she turns her smirk into a warm smile and hopes that Lori doesn't find it disingenuous.

Lori has worked enough with Five-0 to know that Kono is real. All the time. She shakes her head and shrugs. "We're too busy for that. Plus we made a deal, remember? I won't try to dissect you and you'll -"

"Owe you free access to my cousin Momi's day spa at the Kahala Hilton," Kono finishes for her, chuckling softly. "Yeah, yeah. But really, I want you to know, nothing happened," she says sincerely because she means it. If it wasn't going to happen for her, then why not Lori?

But the petite blonde is shaking her head. "Why are you so adamant about telling me this?"

Kono snorts softly. "Because, I may not be as good at profiling as you, but I've got eyes, girl," she says as she glances at Lori. "Yesterday in Waipahu, what was that?" Kono asks. She figures if she can get Lori to talk, it may be a good thing.

Lori laughs softly and shakes her head sadly. "Yeah, I've been behaving like an idiot right?" she asks back, not really answering Kono's question.

Kono decides not to push, because they've reached their destination and she can recall being in Lori's position on more than one occasion in her life. It's normal and a little embarrassing. They're pulling into the parking lot of Kaka'ako Industrial Park and Kono says, "nah – you're just human." She offers Lori a sisterly, supportive smirk.

The blonde shakes her head again and lets go of a small smile. "What and you're not? You're some Cylon or something?" she asks as they get out of the car and she starts to laugh at the funny expression on Kono's face.

"I think you've been hanging around Max too much," Kono says. She's slamming her door shut and moving around her car to join Lori as they walk up to the set of buildings surrounded by an open, gated entryway.

"Hmm, tell me about," Lori says as she steps through the gate first. And then she looks up at the building. "Oh my God, why is it always some old, abandoned warehouse?" she asks.

Kono smirks again."Huh. I know, and uh -" but her commiserating comment is interrupted by their suspect emerging from a door, spotting them and making a run for it. "Seriously?" Kono asks rhetorically, flashing Lori an aggravated look as she springs immediately into action, running after the suspect.

Lori takes off too, she's right on Kono's heels and asks back, "And why do they always run?!"

# # #

"Can I ask you something?" Danny's gesturing with his hands out front as he's walking towards his Camaro. He tosses his keys to Steve without a second thought.

Steve catches them with ease and opens the door. "What's that?" he asks back as he gets in.

Danny smirks slightly and slips into the car. "Why do you look like shit?" He's sincerely interested.

Steve grins back and starts the car. "I don't know Danno, why are you such an asshole?" He knows that Danny won't get offended because he certainly wasn't – and truthfully he has been feeling pretty exhausted lately, so he may in fact, really look like 'shit'.

Danny chuckles a little. "That's cute. That's really funny," the blonde detective says as he turns to glance at the passing island scenery on the way towards Aina Haina. "It's just, the way you guys disappeared and the way Kono almost ripped my head off this morning – she obviously didn't seem to have a good night. I was just wondering if that was the reason why you look so bad."

Steve takes his eyes from the road to momentarily pin Danny with a look. "Whoa, whoa, wait - 'ripped your head off'? What do you mean?" He's curious because he wasn't in such a hot mood himself when he walked in on Danny's little standoff with Kono and Chin.

Danny points forward, at nothing in particular. "That. Exactly that. She was downright mean this morning. Irritated for some reason. What'd you do to her? Huh?"

"Nothing," Steve answers with a shrug, his mouth set in a thin line.

"Nothing? That's what she said," Danny says and he's smiling slightly. If anyone is going to put Steve through his paces, it makes sense that it would be someone like Kono.

Steve exhales heavily. "She's right." He doesn't necessarily hide the disappointment he suddenly finds himself feeling.

Danny sees his reaction and seems to catch on to something. "Hold up. Hang on. You wanted something to happen, didn't you? Huh," he says. He's slightly surprised, but not too much. Steve and Kono he acknowledges, are pretty similar – they're both bold, reckless and ballsy.

"I didn't say anything, Danny," Steve is trying to not sound so defensive, because there's nothing to defend, really.

"No," Danny says, snorting and worrying his bottom lip with his right hand. He's feeling a little smug and smiles. "But I can tell," he adds.

Steve is rolling his eyes. "You can tell? Since when were you a fucking psychic, Danny?" he asks, there's no point in getting irritated with Danny. There never is, he would just outdo you.

"Since you look as bad as you do, that's when. You look beat, babe. If it's not Kono, than what the hell is it? It sure as fuck doesn't have anything to do with us thinking you were dead, does it? Or – does it?" Danny asks, drawing out the last few words of his question.

Steve shrugs and grips the steering wheel firmer as if willing himself to remain calm. He has at times, been at odds with himself about many things – namely, his acceptance of the task force, the steps he made in regard to Governor Jameson, his relentless pursuit of WoFat, and the way he let Kono slip away momentarily. But he is, quite certain of several things – the difference between right and wrong, his quest for vengeance, and his ohana – however infuriating some members may be. "Danno, I guess what I'm trying to say is that I'd be upset too. If anything happened to any of you guys. Or, thought anything happened. You know that," he finally says.

Danny's grinning now. "So you feel guilty. About yesterday in Waipahu," he says, not really asking, but stating the obvious.

Steve heaves a heavy sigh. "Yeah."

Danny's grin gets a touch bigger and he asks, "enough to lose sleep over?"

"Yeah," Steve answers simply. Because it is simple. How much more simple could it get? He put his team in a position where they thought he was dead and they all acted semi accordingly.

"That's nice," Danny says as he nods his head, satisfied that Steve realizes how his actions affect his team.

# # #

They're so busy at Five-0 that Kono doesn't even have time to process that she's switched partners and cars over five times in one day. It does nothing for her mood. But, it doesn't turn out to be such a bad thing either, she realizes. It at least acts as a buffer and she's managed pretty well at reigning in her grouchiness.

Plus she's bone tired, and by the looks of the team, so is everyone else. Steve's gaunt looking, Danny's got bags under his eyes, Lori's got dark circles around her eyes, much like herself and Chin actually looks – weary.

But they did it – they solved their case. It's late now and they're finally shutting down, wrapping things up and organizing paperwork that will have to get filled in first thing Monday morning, when Danny steps out of his office to join the rest of the team at the conference table. He sidles up next to Kono and nudges her. "Finally took off your crabby panties, huh?" Danny asks, an annoying smirk peeking through the stubble on his face.

Kono snorts and elbows him back gently, while Chin, Lori and Steve watch them curiously. "I had to," she replies, unruffled. "Seems only fair, since you took yours off too," she says, cracking a smile. And as the team shares a well deserved laugh, Kono catches Steve's quirked brow and suggestive smirk and can't help but roll her eyes.

# # #

A/N: Phew! Probably one of the longest chapters I've ever written. Once again, I'm sorry it took so long, but I'm so obsessive about my stories. Anyway, I still hope that you enjoyed it nonetheless. Thank you for reading (still?), as always let me know what you all think.

dirty lickins – a colloquial term for scoldings, beatings for bad behavior

Wahiawa: wah-hee-ahh-wah – town on the way towards North Shore, near Wheeler AFB and Schofield Barracks
Mapunapuna: mah-pooh-nah-poo-nah – neighborhood near Salt Lake
Kalihi: kah-lee-hee – town north-west of Honolulu
Kaka'ako: kah-kah-ahh-ko – commercial district, east of downtown Honolulu
Aina Haina: aye-nah hi-nah – affluent neighborhood east of Diamond Head