Summary: What does it take for a man to become a U.S. Navy SEAL? What does it then take for that man to become the head of a civilian task force? Looks like Danno's got a thing or two to learn about both. Bromance, no slash.

Author's Note: The five sections of this story are from an article entitled "Being a Navy SEAL Takes Heart," which can be found on the website NavySEAL DOT com if this link doesn't come through: .com/navy-seals-take-heart/.

Spoilers: I'll give a blanket for all of Season One and Episode One of Season Two. This story is set after that episode, entitled "Ha'i'ole."



Part One: Expectations


For what he'd done during active service in the Navy, expectations were always clear. You were trained for every possible outcome, every eventuality. You were taught to withstand torture, to hold your breath for endless minutes. You were taught to outthink the enemy, to do whatever it takes to accomplish the mission. You were taught to compartmentalize, objectify, be almost superhuman. To think fast and act faster.

He'd been doing it since he was eighteen. At thirty-five, that meant seventeen years of doing things one way. Doing things the Navy way. The SEAL way.

From Governor Jameson, expectations had also been clear. That she'd had an ulterior motive was moot now. The fact was he'd known what she'd asked him to do, and she rarely batted an eye at how he did it.

The expectations from this new governor were pretty clear, too, and Steve had ideas about how to circumvent them while still coming out smelling like a rose. Because at the end of the day, solving the case, saving the life, stopping the illegal activity, that was what Denning cared about. And as long as he didn't blow up half of Oahu in the process, he figured he could get away with a lot.

But expectations from his partner, the one he'd chosen the second he'd set eyes on him in his father's garage, well, those were ones that took some getting used to. And then Steve would just sort of steam-roll over them anyway, leaving Danny sputtering in his wake, but always…always…following where he led. When push came to shove, he had one helluva team. He had one helluva partner.


His whole life, Danny had lived according to certain sets of expectations that were crystal clear.

Growing up, he was the oldest son, the oldest brother. He had to look after his younger siblings, be there for them, help his folks out where they were concerned. He had responsibilities around the house, chores, and he also had a responsibility to set a good example for the younger ones. Danny's childhood hadn't been so much a childhood as it had been training for parenthood, if he were to be honest about it.

Parenthood, well, those expectations were a no-brainer for anyone who wanted to be a good parent, at least, that's how he felt about it. Protect her. Love her. Teach her right from wrong. Get her to the point where she could leave the nest to start her own life.

When he became a cop, the expectations were spelled out in black and white in the procedure manual. There were sections, sub-sections, point-point-zero-point-points for every conceivable circumstance. There was also the physical training, the staying in shape to run down perps, the use of a firearm. And whatever partner you had, you knew before you ever shook the man's hand what the expectation was: he has your back, you have his. Period.

So for Danny, moving to the Honolulu PD in and of itself wasn't any big shock. They did things by the same book as the cops in Jersey. It was when he was lifted out of that normal, comfortable existence and placed into Five-0 that things went all topsy-turvy on him.

They were still cops. So to Danny, this meant still following the same rules he'd been following for seventeen years. Except for one little hitch: his new partner. Holy Mother of God, the guy wouldn't know police procedure if he injected it directly into his brain.

Steve was a kick-ass partner, to be sure. What guy wouldn't like a man trained to kill with a hangnail having their back, right? But…he just wouldn't…no matter how much Danny tried pointing out every screwed-up thing McGarrett did, it went in one ear and out the other. On the up side, he got the gleeful task of naming and cataloguing the faces his rants forced Steve to make, and that was just fun.

On the down side, other than "having his back," Danny wasn't entirely sure what Steve was expecting from him. All he knew was that he wasn't at all getting what he was expecting of a police partner. He just didn't know quite what to do with that.