Summary: Steve just wants to know why in the hell Danny refuses to take that postcard of New Jersey out of the Camaro, dammit!

Timing: Set somewhere in the first few episodes of Season Two.


WHY NEW JERSEY?


Steve scowled.

After all this time, he would've thought Danny would've taken the damn thing down, but noooo. Stubborn beyond reason, his vertically challenged partner.

He figured that at the very least, after the fiasco with promising to return to New Jersey with Rachel, Grace and the baby that was supposedly his, Danny would've done more than just rip the thing out of the visor. He'd fully been expecting to slide into the Camaro's driver's seat and find a scrap or two of shredded postcard on the floor.

Nothing.

So he'd pulled down the visor and yep, sure enough, there it still was next to an updated school photo of Grace. Which, Steve knew, meant Danny had definitely not forgotten about the damn postcard of damn New Jersey since he'd have to have seen it when swapping out the pictures of his daughter.

So why was the thing still there?

Danny didn't wear ties on a daily basis anymore. Other than the fact that he was still having a tough time finding a decent, inexpensive place to live, he'd seemed be more at home in Hawaii these days, even going so far as to take to the water on a board.

He even dressed down on weekends when Five-0 didn't have a case.

So what the ever-loving fuck was it about Daniel Williams that made him refuse to get rid of it, anyway?

Steve's scowl deepened as he pulled up alongside the latest place Danny was calling home – the OHANA Waikiki West. Scowled because in spite of the fact that he and Danny hadn't exactly worked real well as roommates, he missed having the pain-in-the-ass around already.

Scowled because he was going to put his foot down and refuse to allow Danny to keep that flippin' postcard in the damn car any longer. He was the boss, after all. The leader. The primary driver of the vehicle. He did not want to keep seeing New Friggin' Jersey every time his eyes wandered up to the visor.

Which meant he saw it all the time because he knew it was there. It mocked him, the state nicknamed the Armpit of America for a reason, thanks much.

So what that the entirety of Danny's family still lived in that state? It didn't mean Steve had to be subjected to it day in and day out, dammit.

There was a time and place for everything. If Danny wanted a floor-to-ceiling mural painted on his living room wall, his bedroom wall, hell, if he wanted the damn state tattooed on his ass, that was his business. But to have this postcard here, oh, my God, Steve was at the end of his rope.

This was Hawaii. Danny lived in Hawaii. He upheld the laws and protected the citizens of…Hawaii.

His daughter lived in Hawaii, for crying out loud!

And yet there was the postcard staring back at him, quietly laughing in his general direction.

So Steve did the only thing he could: he reached up, pulled the rectangular torture session off the visor, and made to stuff it in the glove box, only…

…only there was handwriting on the opposite side. He frowned and turned it over.

Danny Williams it was addressed to, at that small, crappy apartment he'd called home until it'd been demolished.

Thought you might like a reminder of home. Lucky you living in Paradise now, bro.

Steve felt his heart stop altogether when he read the scrawled signature.

Love,
Matty

Suddenly Steve knew why Danny still left the postcard in the Camaro. It wasn't because he was just being stubborn and goading Steve. In fact, it had nothing whatsoever to do with Steve.

He rubbed his thumb over the postmarked stamp in the corner of the card. He felt his throat tighten just a little bit when he saw the date. Matt had sent this to Danny not three weeks after he'd followed his daughter to Hawaii.

Yes, of course he'd still have been really homesick then.

And he probably missed Matt terribly given that it'd been Matt who'd seen him through the divorce with Rachel to begin with, all just shortly before Danny's unexpected relocation.

Then when all hell had broken loose and Matt had flown off for parts unknown, a fugitive of the law, this postcard had probably taken on a whole new meaning to Danny Williams. Steve's finger rubbed across the stamp again. He wondered if Danny was using it for daily self-flagellation, a constant reminder of the fact that he let his brother go. That his brother was a criminal. That he, Mr. Upstanding Cop Daniel Williams, had a brother on the FBI's Most Wanted list.

Or maybe it was simply a way for Danny not to forget the brother he didn't know if he'd ever see again. The brother who could be dead for all he knew, out there somewhere in the world.

Steve knew whatever Danny's reason for keeping the postcard there, and for not ever telling Steve the real reason he'd hung the thing next to Grace's picture in the first place, was personal. And as such, he wouldn't touch it with a ten-foot pole unless Danny brought it up.

He also would never bug Danny about removing it again.

All this time he'd thought Danny was just leaving it there to spite him, to be a pain-in-the-ass. To assert his dominance where the Camaro's true ownership was concerned, to just be…Danny.

And all this time, it was nothing more than Danny hurting. Bigtime, if Steve knew his passionate best friend…and he did.

He carefully reached up and tucked the postcard back where Danny had put it, even going so far as to ensure it lined up within the sun-faded rectangle it had occupied for well over a year already. Steve knew the postcard would be staying unless and until Matt Williams turned himself in to the authorities, or the situation was somehow otherwise resolved.

The passenger door opened and Steve's hands jerked down from the visor. He managed to keep his face expressionless when he groused, "You're five minutes late."

"Yeah, well, blame that Hawaiian Time bullshit," Danny griped with a flap of his hand as he shut the door and buckled his seatbelt.

"You mean Island Time?" Steve asked with a smirk, putting the Camaro in gear and pulling away.

"Whatever," Danny replied with a sigh.

Steve kept his eyes on the road, but could feel Danny staring at him. So finally he looked straight at his partner. "What?"

Danny's eyes darted up to the visor, then back down to Steve's. "You know, all you had to do was ask."

Steve snorted. "Last time I did that, you jumped down my throat and started quoting a Bon Jovi playlist."

"Yeah, well, you've got such a bad attitude about Jersey."

"And you have a bad attitude about Hawaii!"

"Touché," Danny acquiesced.

A little too easily, Steve thought.

Maybe Danny was ready to talk about Matt now. He hadn't wanted to since Matt had fled the country, but…maybe this was Danny's signal to Steve that it was time.

And when his partner unbuckled himself, reached across in front of Steve's face, snatched the postcard away and stuffed it into the glove box, Steve felt he had his answer.

"So," he said as nonchalantly as possible, "beers at my place after work?"

"Assuming you've already bought them and they're already stashed in your refrigerator, and assuming you have some steaks for the grill, then sure," Danny replied.

Steve looked over at him and got a small smile on his face. "You betcha, Danno."

Danny sighed. "What'd I tell you about calling me that?"

"To do it every day," was Steve's reply.

Danny huffed out a laugh. "Yeah, I guess I did." He looked at Steve, then back out the passenger window. "I guess I did."

And that was how the night of March 13, 2012 became the night that Daniel Williams finally let go of his brother, Matthew. Courtesy of a beach, twelve Longboards, and a partner who well understood the meaning of the word 'regret.'

This was one time Steve was okay with having been wrong.