Notes: I don't plan on making this a habit (writing fanfic, in general), really because I got a bit burned out. But I realized that I wasn't in the mood for original fiction, so I went ahead and just wrote whatever wanted to sneak out of my brain.
Warning: This, as someone who I let read it for input, told me, might be pre-slash. Although it was more an exploration for me of what their friendship means, and I see it as just gen & schmoopy. But still, the warning just to be safe, for sensitive readers.
Disclaimer: I'm not making profit, and my views here are definitely not the views represented by the show.
Spoilers: For Season 2 episodes: 17. Kupale (Defend), 14. Pu'olo (Package), & 10. Ki'ilua (Two-Faced) (translations from wehewehe dot org) Another note about episode 17, I might have misunderstood what Danny said about the dog sleeping in the bed. So now I feel like a dumb butt, but you still get to enjoy my fanfiction. Or not, however the case may be. ^^; Please let me know, either way! :D
ETA: Someone informed me that the above notes, although cut since they sent me the PM-are?/were offensive. I apologize profusely. It was not my intention to offend anyone by saying that I, myself, have views about slash that, so far, have prevented me from posting anything more than pre-slash or what might appear to some people as pre-slash. I was raised a Christian, and sometimes that makes me very uncomfortable with certain things, like posting this story (even though the general consensus seems to be that it's not slash in any form). I babbled out my insecurities, and as a consequence, offended people. I humbly beg forgiveness. Again, thank you to the person who took the time to try to knock some sense into me.
"If the Bed Fits"
He came home to find Danny sleeping in his bed. He wanted to be angry. He wanted to start a fight with him, especially after the day he'd had, but Stephen just glared at the bleached blond hair, sticking up like a bird's crest, and the slope of shoulders under sheets and blankets that were half-on, half-off.
He plotted his revenge.
Setting down his bag, carefully, he got out his cell and took a few shots until he got a keeper.
Then he looked at it, gigantic, sharp shark grin in place. That was when he realized he was being a little weird. Sure, there were such things as revenge pictures, featuring drool and other embarrassing accessories, but when he looked at this... golden evening light from the window, and nose partially covered by a soft wool blanket, all he registered was cute. Really darn, as Danny himself liked to say, "goofy" cute.
McGarrett frowned. He knew he should delete the picture and just leave the room, forget this ever happened, or be subtly annoyed later, maybe fight in the car about it, whatever, but he didn't.
He just stood there, like a goof, watching Danny and contemplating the picture in his phone.
It was a stupid thought, so why did it suddenly creep in? 'Do I have feelings for my partner?'
No, was his knee-jerk reaction. He started forward, thinking he would shake Danny awake, make him regret playing the mouse to his cat while he was away. He stopped again, because Danny shifted in his sleep, and again, there was that twinge of-'This is a snapshot moment.' But it was more the type you were only supposed to savor in your memory.
He put his phone in his back pocket, went around to the free side of the bed and sat down. It would have woken a less sound sleeper, but glancing over his shoulder told him that Danno was still out. He bent and removed his shoes, then peeled off his shirt. He thought about taking off the jeans, too, but let it go. He resigned himself to being uncomfortable tonight. And he was too tired to care about comfort. He would just close his eyes, and he'd be out.
But laying back, arms behind his head, trying to get comfortable over all the covers Danny had already stolen...
The headphones had come off, and the cord was twisted around Danny's wrist, Steve noticed. He frowned at it, then reached out without thinking it through, detached the cord, and got caught in a sea-blue stare.
"Oh, my God!" Danny said on a sharp inhale, "Steve. What are you doing?" He was out of it, definitely, and groggy by the timbre of his voice. He stuck a thumb in one of his eyes, probably to get out some of the brine, and McGarrett tugged on the cord again.
"You were inches away from a freak accident."
"What?" He looked at the cord, squinting as if what little light was still in the room bothered him.
"Here, let me just get this-" Stephen sat up a little more and untangled the wire from Danny's wrist (a memory of ropes being tugged away, by trembling, clammy hands, and Danny saying, "Just shut up, wouldja?") then proceeded to reach out and slip the earphones all the way off Danny's head.
In this moment, they were too close. Only inches away from real folly, but he knew he would never do anything. He knew Danny was still in love with Rachel, and seeing Steve this way was the farthest thing from his beach-bum little head.
But there was definitely something there, something indefinable he could never quite put into words. Not, either, why they were like dog and cat, and yet somehow, by the end of the day, still managed not to tear each others throats out. He couldn't figure it out, but it wasn't an unpleasant feeling. It wasn't stressful. It was sort of relaxing, actually, like lying on a beach, sun on your face warming you up from the inside out. Something he could count on, day after day.
He leaned back again, hands under his head, eyes closed.
"Stephen... are you all right?"
"Hm?" Pretending he didn't understand or hadn't heard the question was definitely a good call at this point. This was like torture-anything he said would have been a confession under duress.
"Hey... do you want to talk, or something? Or, hey, what am I thinking? You can have your bed back." He felt movement, as if Danny had shifted, sitting up or swinging his feet off the bed. "You probably had a long day, and finding me playing Goldie Locks wasn't your idea of a topper, so I'll just-"
"I'll just stay," Danny repeated, obvious surprise and query in his tone. "You're seriously not peeved?"
"I'm exhausted, is what I am," Steve answered, and cracked open an eyelid. Danny was up on one elbow, watching him with half-squinted eyes. "So why don't we continue this little conversation tomorrow? 'Kay, bud?"
"No... correction, not okay."
He would have groaned if he'd had less restraint. "What do you want from me, hm?" He opened his eyes and feigned a glare. "I don't yell, we fight, I yell, you still want to start something. Someone might think you just want attention, Danny."
"What? No! Are you crazy?" The usual, pat response. He sighed, but Danno continued, "Look, it's already way past weird, so can we just get your neurosis all out in the open for a change? What the heck is going on with you?"
What the heck was going on with him? He didn't know. "I was thinking of blackmailing you, and then I realized I just wanted the picture."
"What picture?" Mouth open, wheels turning in his head. He had no clue what Steve had been thinking only minutes ago. Ridiculous. He was way off. Neurosis was right.
Steve squirmed around to get the phone from his pocket and then found the picture with a few deft taps of the screen. He held out the phone, screen first, in front of Danny's face. Danny had to push it farther back to get a view of it, and to do that, he had to grasp Stephen's wrist.
His eyes widened, his mouth came farther open, and then he suddenly snatched away his hand from Steve's wrist and scrambled out of the bed like he'd been burned.
"What the heck, Stephen?"
"Right, exactly." Steve tossed the phone to him, and he fumbled it a little before catching it. "Just delete it. I don't know what I was thinking." He closed his eyes again, deliberately yawned and settled further into the bed. "You're too boring to blackmail."
He thought it was a flimsy excuse. He knew it was. And he waited for the slamming of the door, after a quick exit, but that didn't come. Instead, the bed dented, and his eyes flickered open. Danny was lying down again, but he was tugging on the blankets. Steve shifted, and they came away, and Danny tossed them up over Steve's legs and then tucked himself in beside Steve.
"Bad day, huh?"
He couldn't say "What?" or play dumb. Because it had been, for weeks now. One long, bad day. He started to close his eyes, when Danny startled him again by putting his arm around Steve's shoulders.
"Forget it... I'll give you something to blackmail me with, and we'll call it even." He lifted the phone, camera angle facing toward them and clicked the button. It looked like a cosy friendship pic, heads so close together. But the light was too dim, Steve's eyes were too sleepy, and Danny had a mysterious smile tugging at his lips.
"You should delete that if you want to live."
"Oh, no, I don't think so. Because you, my friend, have a lot of explaining to do. For example," he paused to put the phone down on the bed, conveniently away from McGarrett, then went on, "why were you taking pictures of me when I was sleeping?"
"If you had the decency to drool," Steve retorted, "that explanation would go without saying."
"But why did you keep this incriminating evidence, and oh, show it to me, of all things?"
"I don't see what that has to do with anything."
"Uh-huh. Says the need to know expert."
"There's no such thing as-"
"Give me a break, I just woke up."
"Which begs the question, why are you sleeping in the first place? It's barely seven."
Danny ignored him, instead continuing doggedly with his own "investigation." "You obviously have some hidden feelings for me, isn't that right, McGarrett?"
"I will neither confirm nor deny that."
"Okay, let's just say, in theory, you like me. Just in theory." He could hear the cocky smirk, but he didn't dare look up.
He idly picked at the cotton fibers of the blanket, trying to detach fuzz balls.
"In more than just theory, I don't like men. I have a girlfriend, and you're ugly."
"Mmhm, so basically what you're saying is you have a secret thing for me, but you think I won't reciprocate?" Smug, amused.
Steve resisted the urge to elbow Danny in the gut.
"Okay, so now that it's all out in the open, in theory, why did you keep the picture?"
"In theory," Steve said, voice slurred because Danny's voice was slowly lulling him to sleep, "it made me smile. And I felt like I'd come home."
Silence. He almost woke up, but convinced himself it was too late to turn back the clock. If things had just gone bad between them, it was for a reason. Nothing good ever lasted forever. He of all people should know that.
"Alright. Get some sleep, Stephen. I don't want you to pull an emotional muscle. You did good, for now."
He fell asleep wanting to both smack his friend and hug him.
PTSD. It wasn't, but with any trauma, it was borderline. He'd had nightmares of his mother's car accident-what he'd thought was an accident-for a long time. Then later, of killing, of drowning, of just about anything all jumbled together into one lovely, confusing hectic mess.
But tonight he dreamed about Wo Fat, and the prison, and instead of Jenna on the floor, chained to the wall, it was Kath, and then his mother. And Wo Fat threatening to kill them all if McGarrett didn't tell him where Joe White was.
He didn't ever scream. It wasn't his style, but he must have been making some noise, because Danny was holding his shoulders and shushing him. "Hey, hey, wake up. You're having a bad dream."
"No, I'm not."
"Yeah, you were. Are you awake yet?"
Steve nodded, felt his muscles trembling as if he'd been in a fight, the adrenaline rushing, his heart hammering in his chest cavity. Danny was sitting up, on the side of the bed, leaning down. He thought about shoving him away, but he felt sick-cold and too hot at the same time. He didn't want to be alone, but he couldn't just come out and say that. Danny would probably give him his space any second now, though, so it was fine.
He could still save face. Everything back to normal. He wondered why he'd even been worried...
"Steve, I'm not telling you to cry like a baby, or anything, but it's okay... you were tortured. It's going to take awhile, however you look at it."
"No, you're not. You're shaking like a leaf."
Danny didn't scoff or comment. He did brush his hand over Steve's cheek. Usually, McGarrett would have rebuffed such an attempt at physical contact, but right then, it was all that was grounding him to the world outside his nightmares. "It's going to be okay."
"I know, stupid."
"I'm not going to let anything happen to you."
"I'm going to kill anyone who lays a finger on you."
"I can do that myself."
The thumb brushed against his cheekbone, and Danny's lips twitched as if in annoyance or a repressed smile. "I'll cure your nightmares."
He frowned. "That's impossible."
"I can do it."
"No, you can't."
Danny nodded. "There. Done." He patted Steve's hair.
"All better." Danny smirked and stood up.
Stephen squinted at Danny, as he went about picking one of two ties. "What do you mean?"
"Notice anything?" Danny asked. He picked the uglier of the two ties.
"No... what are you talking-" And then he finally realized. During their little chat, something had happened. He wouldn't go so far as to call it a "cure," and he was sure it was more psychosomatic than an actual long-term fix. But even he had to admit this to himself-he'd stopped shaking.
"See you at breakfast," Danny said, and went out, ugly tie over one shoulder, toothbrush in his mouth. Just when Steve thought it was all over and he was gone, Danny peeked back into the bedroom, clasping the doorjamb. He took the toothbrush out to talk. "Oh, and Steve?" He offered a scowl in answer. Danny just smiled that not-quite smile of mischief. "I took my own pictures this morning."
And he had disappeared again, whistling as he went.
Steve shuddered for a whole other reason. He still couldn't really name what he felt toward Danny, but he knew one thing.
He'd definitely met his match.