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.

Thank you readers for the awesome words of encouragement, alert and adds. You all may be tired of me saying how fantastic and great you all are, but I've seen other fanfic writers say the same, your comments matter, they're very, very much appreciated.

This Would Be A Terrible Idea

# # #

Five-0 Headquarters

Steve and Danny are standing in the parking lot at HQ. They're waving to Kono and Lori as they drive off in their respective cars when Danny, who characteristically shoves his hands into his pockets, turns to Steve, a curious but self-satisfied look upon his face. "So you want to tell me what's really going on?" Danny asks as he's leaning on his Camaro.

"Nothing," Steve answers, as he's opening the door to his truck. He realizes he really must be tired, because normally he'd be fed up with this line of questioning. After running around the island all day, of course it would be too much to ask that Danny would leave some things alone.

"You've said that a lot today," Danny says as he smirks and runs a hand through his hair. "In regard to Kono," he adds. Nothing is bullshit and he knows it. Not with the way things seem to be beyond normal between his partner and Kono or the way Lori keeps ogling Steve.

Steve turns to face Danny and leans back to rest on his truck seat. "I've meant it," he says truthfully.

Danny turns to scan the empty lot, Chin left shortly before Kono and Lori and they're the only two remaining as night continues to darken Honolulu further. He looks back at Steve and notes the way the streetlamp illuminates his features and does nothing to hide his partner's aneurysm face. "But you like Kono, it seems," he points out. He kind of wants to grin, as he says it.

Steve cocks his head and eyes Danny. "Everyone likes Kono, Danny. Don't be ridiculous," he says, pinning his partner with a look.

Danny throws his hands up amiably and starts to pace a little. "What are we, twelve? You know what I mean. You didn't necessarily deny it in the car earlier today, because you did want something to happen with her last night, didn't you?"

Steve exhales heavily and shrugs. "I was a little drunk. And maybe – I wanted some company afterward," he says arching a brow slightly. He is a man after all.

Danny is snorting and shaking his head as he stops his pacing and leans on the hood of his Camaro. "You know, that's a terrible idea."

His partner smirks and rolls his eyes. "Because of Chin or because of the fact that I'm her boss?" Steve asks, his smirk turning into a smile. He doesn't give a fuck either way. Something – recently – caused him to zero in on Kono, and it's ending up like someone turned on a light and now he sees and feels what he's never noticed before.

Danny scoffs. "Neither," he says. "I mean, sure Chin would kick your ass and never mind the impropriety of the situation, but don't do that to her – don't corrupt or influence her anymore than you already have, asshole. Nip this in the bud now, pal," the blonde detective advises. Danny can tell by Steve's body language that he's really taking what he's saying with a grain of salt.

That is to say, Steve doesn't buy it. Any of it. Danny knows full well that Steve's going to do whatever the fuck he wants. Ah well, at the very least, he tried.

Steve hops up into the cab of his truck and turns to look at Danny. "Relax, Danno," he says, as he closes his truck door. "I haven't even thought that far ahead. Really." Yeah right.

Danny is moving to the driver's side of his car and pauses to study Steve before getting into his own vehicle. "Okay, babe. But seriously, it's not a good idea. With Kono at least. But we know she's not your only option," he says as he ducks a little to look through his passenger window to point at Steve. His smile is bordering on goofy and he adds, "just something to think about it."

# # #

Kono Kalakaua's House
Kaneohe, Oahu

Kono wakes with a jolt.

She's lying on her stomach and her head rises ever so slightly from her pillow because it's her third nightmare of the night. Her fucking third, and because of it she doesn't pop up and out of bed like the tortured heroine of some monster flick, all cliche.

Instead, she just blinks away the stifling, yet comforting heat and humidity of Hawaii and stretches languidly, like a cat. She's sweaty, her sheets are tangled around her legs and she remembers vividly the bad dream that just occurred – the one where Steve is a bloodied pulp. His arms and legs are bent unnaturally around him, his eyes wide open, all life and light gone from them on his bruised and beaten face. Despite the heat, she shudders at the memory of the dream. The last vestiges of intense emotion, created by the horrific imagery of her subconscious, stubbornly cling to her. She groans a little in frustration.

But then, she notices something about the air in her bedroom. It's suddenly crackling with tension and electricity and she groans softly, again. No. Her mind suddenly flips into action and her arm slips off the edge of the bed casually, to reach the hidden shelf she has under her mattress, the one holding her gun. Kono wraps her hand around the smooth butt of her weapon when she suddenly hears, "Kono, it's me."

"Steve?" she asks, confused and disoriented. "What the hell?"

He switches on the floor lamp next to the armchair he's parked in and smirks at her, totally casual, as if he's done something like this before. Although he hasn't, and the urge to do so hasn't ever occurred either. In fact, oddly enough, this is actually only the second time he's been inside her place. The first was after he dropped her off from Chin and Malia's wedding.

"I almost blew your fucking head off," she says as she's rolled over and is now staring at him, propping herself slightly on her elbows. She knows she should totally be freaked out but she isn't. It's just Steve, right? Right?

"My bad. Sorry," he says, fidgeting a little. "Couldn't sleep," he adds, although that much is obvious.

"So you come here?" she asks as she flops her head back down into her pillow. "I'm not even going to ask how you got in – because obviously – I'm gonna have to hit up Home Depot tomorrow for some extra locks or something," she says sighing and yawning simultaneously. She blinks and swallows a few times, stares up to the ceiling, and notes that she really hates the popcorn texture and thinks one weekend she's going to scrape that shit off.

"It's as good a place as any," Steve says, interrupting Kono from her thoughts, and she can see him shrug through her peripheral vision. "Relax. Okay?" he says. "I was careful. You forget, Mary Ann calls me a ninja for a reason," he adds and by the tone of his voice, Kono can tell he's smiling. "Plus, it looks likes you're having some trouble too," he says somewhat hopefully, his voice low.

It's the deep timbre of his voice that has her turning toward him and she holds her head up with her hand. She watches as his eyes travel slowly across her body, and she honestly doesn't care that her thin, see through tank top has ridden so high up her naked breasts, she's practically flashing him. She makes no move to tug it down. Her throat goes suddenly dry with what she sees in his eyes, the way that they darken with something she knows she's not ready to acknowledge. Her only comfort is that she can tell that he's going through the same thing, because when his eyes meet hers again, he says, "I'm kinda thirsty – you?"

Grateful for the distraction, Kono huffs, props herself up on her elbows again and kicks away the sticky sheets. Standing from the bed, she finally pulls down her top and finds Steve actually grinning at her. "This is creepy, you know that, right?" Kono points out as she gets up to leave her bed. One side of her bikini panties has worked it's way up high on her left cheek, and – hello – this wasn't exactly the way she hoped to disclose her tattoo. If ever. But fuck it, there's no point of being embarrassed now. She pulls the offending side down and doesn't bother to look back, but actually kind of cringes when she hears Steve mumble something about how much he likes dolphins.

When she steps back into her room, Steve has his eyes closed and is leaning his head back against the wall. She nudges his hand with a glass of ice water and his eyes fly open as if he's surprised that she's made it back to her room already. She hands him the glass and moves to sit down on the edge of her bed to face him. "So, talk," she says.

Steve arches a brow as he takes in her disheveled appearance, her skin glistening with sweat and what she's wearing and gulps at the way she looks right now. Sexy as hell. Especially because Kono doesn't seem to find it necessary to cover up.

But it does stand to reason, that your boss showing up at your home, in the middle of night, is in fact 'creepy' and not to mention – unacceptable. So, he apologizes. "I'm sorry. I shouldn't have come here," he says.

Kono smirks and rolls her eyes. "No, you shouldn't have" she says agreeing, and shrugs. "But Danny's got Grace, Chin's got Malia, and you guessed that sitting in the dark and watching me try to sleep is significantly less obnoxious and inappropriate than showing up at Lori's house," she says with a soft laugh. She shakes her head. "I'm not planning on visiting Human Resources first thing Monday morning, but you really need to go, Steve. You know that, right?"

Steve takes another sip of his water and nods before setting the glass down. He knows Kono is kidding about HR. And, actually, going to Lori's never even crossed his mind. Neither did going to Danny's or Chin's. He knows perfectly well, why he came here. That conversation he had earlier with Danny in the parking lot, started all this.

Well, maybe.

It could have been Waipahu and the way Kono didn't react to his possible death, and then when they went to Tsunami Sam's and what happened afterward. Either way, Steve is finding it hard to leave, now that he's here. He takes one last look at her before leaning his head back against the wall and letting his eyes slip shut, again.

Kono is chewing on her thumbnail as she continues to watch him. She's balancing on a thin line between exasperation and excitement. Kono knows, she's not immune to Steve's charms – especially with the way he is right now.

She sticks a foot out to nudge him in the knee and jumps when Steve's hand comes up to grab hold of her. His fingers are warm and electric as they wrap around her slim ankle and it actually feels like they're burning her. She's trying to pull away, halfheartedly, but instead Steve pulls back and she drops her hands to her mattress to brace herself. "Don't Steve," she says as she works her foot free to stand. "Duke lives down the street, you know that?" she says as she stares down at him, both hands resting on her hips.

Steve has yet to open his eyes because he doesn't really want to. "You're gonna sick Sgt. Lukela on me?" he asks, unmoving, eyes still closed.

"No, that would make it worse, you're right. But, come on Steve, please. Leave," Kono says, not quite pleading. Yet. "You need to go home and try to at least get some sleep. No work today, remember? No one expects you anywhere for two whole days," she reasons.

Steve finally opens his eyes to look at her and he knows it was a mistake to do so. All he wants to do is throw her onto her bed and do things to her that he's been missing since Catherine left him, all those months ago. Only this time, since it's Kono, he somehow feels more vulnerable because it wouldn't just be a casual release, would it? It's Kono for crying out loud. "I could just sleep here," he offers mischievously, not daring to move from the chair, because then he wouldn't be responsible for his actions.

But then, Kono does the unthinkable.

She grabs his hand and hauls him out of the chair, out of her bedroom, through the living room and towards her front door when Steve finally pulls away. She flips on a table lamp near the door and he wonders how he got there. How the slip of a woman before him managed to muscle him that far from her bedroom. And frankly, he's deeply disappointed and he knows he's doing nothing to hide what he's feeling at the moment, from her.

"You know that would be terrible idea, right?" Kono asks, unknowingly echoing Danny's words from earlier in the evening. She's standing there, facing Steve and has her arms crossed in front of her as she's eyeballing him. And there he goes again, showing her how despondent he is at having to leave. Steve seems so sad, lost and unsure, not usually the most attractive qualities in a man, admittedly. But, to someone who knows Steve – how strong willed and minded he is, how fearless, confident, reckless and intense he can be – this isn't normal for Steve.

It's kind of endearing. But at the same time, so very wrong, she feels.

Steve is focusing on her and trying not to let his mind wander, when he says, "I've heard that before." He knows, he's got to stop baring his soul, his emotions like this, because all Kono seems to do is push him away.

Kono arches a brow and smirks. "It's pretty good advice, I think. Good for not making things complicated or messy, good for the office, good for friendships and working relationships." She's perfectly aware of her predicament.

Steve rolls his eyes and snorts. Kono's got a damn good point. She always does. "Hmm," he says with a nod, acquiescing. "Can I ask you something though?"

"Of course," Kono replies, what the hell. It certainly can't get more uncomfortable tonight. Funny, she's no longer disturbed by finding Steve in her home in the middle of the night. But, as exciting or thrilling as it should be – like she just said herself earlier, realistically, this would be a terrible idea.

"Back at the bar the other night," Steve starts. "When we were leaving?" He doesn't know why he's asking this, he feels like he's beating a dead horse.

Kono is watching him, noting his ruffled and haggard appearance. "Yeah, I said we couldn't do this, that this," she says, waving a hand between them, "can't ever happen."

Steve rests his hands against his hips. "Yeah, about that," Steve says, but her sudden laughter stops him dead in his tracks.

She's shaking her head. "You don't give up boss, do you?" she asks, still chuckling.

Steve can't fight his smile. "Nah. But, you already knew that. But that's what bothers you right? That I'm your boss. You brought it up the other night too," he says, as he tries to see the humor in the situation like she does.

Kono is smirking and shakes her head again. "Fine. You want the truth? I could give a shit about the 'boss' thing," she says, because she really could. "I thought I could tell you that so that you would, oh I don't know, lose interest, or actually follow rules about inter-office dating. Or better yet, care that you actually are my boss and that you would man up and get a clue about the repercussions," she doesn't intend to sound mean. She's just telling it like it is. "But. I guess I was wrong."

"Hey. I care about that shit. If it matters to you," Steve says. Normal men would be taken aback by what she just said. In fact he's pretty sure, some men would turn tail and back off. But clearly he's not just any man, especially because he genuinely feels something here. For her.

"Really?" Kono asks sarcastically. She still has her arms folded across her front and shifts her weight to one foot so that she appears more tita than she normally does.

Steve snorts back and mimics her pose. "Yeah," he says resolutely. But then something she said earlier seems to nag at him. "Hang on. You don't give a shit about the 'boss' thing. But you kind of do," he says as he watches her roll her eyes. "Because you're trying to get me to back off? Is that really what the 'can't happen' is all about?" Steve asks, he's so fucking confused right now.

Kono is frustrated, because what Steve said sounds profoundly stupid. But the truth of the matter is fairly simple. "Because, Lori's in love with you," she says.

# # #

A/N: Grrrr...arrrgh. Merl not happy. Imagine an early evening bonfire on the beach, fairly big, blazing, beautiful, inspiring. Now imagine that same bonfire, oh say, four am in the morning. Hopefully you've still got some glowing embers if you're lucky. That is what's happening to this story...gah! I got the blahs. Somebody help me. And yeah, I know the scene in her bedroom is semi Twilight-ish.

tita (pronounced: tih-tah) – really tough chick, ready for a fight. For anything.

Kaneohe: kah-nee-oh-hey – town north-east side of Oahu.

(side note: In trying to figure out where to put Kono's house - Kono mentioned sometime in S1 when she was trying to figure out how she knew Charlie Fong, about town and townies, and it made me think that she didn't live in town herself. Most beach-lovers don't, admittedly. It doesn't seem like she's really from the West-side of the island either – though she sure as hell fights like she could be. Northshore, though ideal for surfing, is just too far from town. So far, from what we've seen in S2, there was one thing that stood out and that was the area around her house. It looks like it's in a neighborhood that's a bit more lush and green than what you would find on the West-side, so I picked Kaneohe, it's not too far from the beach – it is an island after all – and not too far from town, where Five-0 HQ is.)