Title: High Dive 1/2
Summary: Another Saturday brings further progress on both of the learning curves Danny and Steve are following…
Disclaimer: Don't own the copyrighted characters and I make no money from this endeavor. The storyline IS mine, though. Aren't you glad my brain has set up housekeeping in your friendly neighborhood gutter? (WG)
Growling and muttering under his breath, Danny stomped into the 5-0 headquarters, praying his face wasn't as red as it felt. Since he'd begun working with Steve McGarrett, not to mention the seemingly fearless Kono, Danny's doctor was warning him about stress and its negative effect on his blood pressure. The only thought in his head at his bi-yearly appointment a week or two earlier was what the man might say if he knew that Steve's hands and mouth did Danny much more mischief in that department than his on-the-job behavior ever could.
"Steve? Steve! Arrgh! Where is he? Supposed to be at my place an hour ago… The first time I actually look *forward* to hittin' the beach an' he can't be bothered to show up!"
An easy laugh behind him pulled Danny out of his tantrum and caused him to turn, watching Chin emerge from his office.
"Did I hear right? Can't possibly be, can it?"
"Yeah, yeah… fine. So he's changing' my mind about that. Just keep it to yourself, okay?"
"No problem. I just heard from him, by the way. He stopped to help at an accident scene, somehow his cell got stepped on, run over… he wasn't really clear on the details. Took him a while to get to a landline. He said to let you know he'll be here in about ten minutes."
"How the hell did he know I'd… never mind. I gotta learn to stop askin' how the magic man does his tricks."
Chin laughed again.
"Right on, brah. Like the Wizard of Oz said, it's no fun if you peek behind the curtain."
"I read the book *and* saw the movie a hundred times. He never said that." Danny countered, determined not to be cajoled out of his snit until he could take at least some of it out on Steve.
"Whatever. A smile and a kiss'll turn you from Grumpy into a three-way combo of Bashful, Dopey and Happy, I guarantee it." Chin snarked, grinning broadly as he went to work at the enormous computer center.
"Not that *you're* gonna get to see it. What're you even doin' here on a weekend, anyhow?"
"Oh, crossing T's and dotting I's on a couple weeks of reports… reviewing one or two cold cases that intrigued me…"
"Hopin' to watch me and Steve make out."
"Hey, I'm single and lonely, man. Can't blame a guy for taking a chance to see some action, even if it doesn't directly involve him."
"Yeah, well, forget it, my friend. Steve an' me… we're both real private people. PDA's ain't our style. If you happen to catch something by accident, that's different. "
"Then I'll hold out hope for at least one of you forgetting to completely close the office door."
Danny scowled faintly and turned to reply, but he didn't have time as Steve came running up just then. Wrapping his arms around the smaller man, he lifted him off the floor for a few seconds.
"Hey. I'm so sorry, babe. It'd just happened when I drove up, nobody'd called it in yet… people needed first aid and water and looking after 'till HPD and rescue could get on scene."
Danny tried to protest, to admonish Steve about the same topic he'd just been arguing with Chin, but the warmth and strength surrounding him instantly had the same effect it always did and his tirade was stillborn. With a heavy sigh, he allowed his head to slowly drop onto Steve's shoulder.
"I know you had to help. It's who you are. I'm just glad you're in better shape than your cell."
"Yeah. I lent it to somebody to call home an' let their family know they were okay. Not sure what went down with it after that, but when I saw it next it was in a thousand pieces."
"The department's used to it by now." Danny reminded him. "They don't even ask for reasons anymore, so you should be fine."
Steve's answering laugh rumbled through Danny's body as well, making the blond shiver.
"Let's get outta here, hmmm? I need the peace and quiet even more now."
"I'm beyond ready. See you Monday, Chin."
Steve startled faintly and looked around, sure Danny was joking with him. When he spotted their other team member, he offered a sheepish smile. "Apologies, brah,"
"Not necessary. I get being in love. World Wars three, four and five could be going on all at once and all you see is him. The way you two are together sort of makes up for it, but for being ignored, you owe me one more, Williams. A hotter one." He called as they strode away, still leaning close to each other.
"What was that all about?" Steve asked as they got into the car. Danny grunted.
"You don't wanna know, trust me…"
FORTY MINUTES LATER:
Standing in the same depth of water where they'd been working the past week or two, Steve grinned and touched his lover's face, encouraging him.
"C'mon, Danno. I know… I've let you put it off, but it's time to try and get your face in the water."
"I can't. I just can't."
"I'll help you. I'm right here for you, just like I've always been. You can handle it, babe. "
Danny sighed, hooked his arms around Steve's neck and dropped a soft kiss in the notch between the ends of his collarbone.
"That is not fair, damn it. You know my natural stubbornness passes right into the next world when you call me that."
"I don't do it to get you to give in. It's a term of endearment… a way I can say I love you no matter where we are or who's around. And you started using it on me first, so no complaints."
Danny pulled back, grinning uncertainly.
"You did. Musta been something you picked up in Jersey, 'cause I could tell you weren't really thinking about it. Not at first." Steve confirmed, a trace of hesitancy in his own voice, now. Danny soothed it with another kiss, on the lips this time, and with words of reassurance.
"Guess that's pretty much on the nose… but now my heart an' mind are in it. You gotta believe that…"
Danny chuckled quietly.
"There you go with those words again. Just can't wrap my head around how good they make me feel comin' from you." He murmured, sliding back into Steve's secure, loving embrace.
"I know. I never thought they'd mean what they do to me right now."
"It has to be different this time, Steve. It has to. If I thought…"
"Hush. It will be, I swear. You and me… we'll fight *for* each other."
"Damn right we will." Danny agreed emphatically, easing back a step so he could see Steve's face better. "Wow. Sorry about… all that. That Potter kid ain't got the only scar that still burns."
"It's okay. No matter what you're thinking and feeling, I wanna hear all of it, you know that."
"Maybe… someday. For now let's get back to the lesson, huh?"
"Yeah, we need to save some of our mushy stuff for the office or Kono will kick both our asses."
"I'm not riskin' that, my friend. So how do we work this?"
"First we go out deeper. Nahh, c'mon. I won't let go of your hands. That's it. A little more… little more."
"Hey, no worries. We're there."
" *There* is almost up past my chest!"
"If I trip or-or a shark decides to play lumberjack an' take my legs out…"
"Danny, stop. Listen to me. Eyes on my face. No, don't look at the water yet, look up here, at my face. You know I won't let anything happen to you. I'll always protect you and I won't ever leave you. Okay?"
Danny deliberately slowed his breathing and fought to calm his racing heart.
"Okay. But if I don't make it through this…"
"I promise to tell Gracie you died saving a whole bunch of dolphins." Steve laughed, running his fingers lightly through the already damp strands of his lover's hair and giving him a quick scalp massage. "Now are you ready to get on with it or are we calling a lawyer and making out your will first?"
"Ha ha. Steve McGarrett, funniest guy on the island. Not."
"Oh hell. Okay, okay. Instruct me, son of Aquaman."
"No, no, no. That was Aqua-lad, he looks nothing like me…"
"I swear, you keep on with the jokes and I will walk straight back to that beach, plant my ass in the nice warm sand and you will *never* get me out here again…"
Steve kissed him deeply and offered a rueful grin.
"Sorry, babe. I'm just trying to relax you so this isn't so scary. The ocean is like the heartbeat of Hawaii, Danno. I want you to know it and love it the way I do, that's all." Steve apologized gently.
Danny shook his head, fighting vainly not to look into Steve's eyes. If he saw himself reflected in their depths, he knew any remaining pieces of Danny Williams, the shards he'd been holding back out of sheer terrified self-preservation, would be lost. His battle lasted only moments.
"I'm trying, I really am…"
"I know, and I respect you for it. You ready to try this now?"
"Okay. The easiest way for me to start is take a deep breath, hold it a second or two then let it out slow… good… now just don't take any air back in. That's it… bend at the waist and just let it happen. Like you were floating before. Relax… Three seconds to begin with…"
Danny managed the first test and came up gasping, but also smiling. "That was great, babe, fantastic. Five seconds this time. Yeah, that's right. Calm… stay calm… You're amazing, Danny! Think you can do seven?"
Danny hesitated, but eventually nodded. When he came up the third time, it was Steve who was grinning from ear to ear.
"What?" Danny panted, using his palm to squeegee his face.
"What? What, he says. I love you so much I feel like the guy in 'Alien', that's what. Everything inside me's tryin' to bust out and splatter everywhere."
"Mmmm. Number one: Yuck, and also bleahhh. Number two: It was only seven seconds. Wait 'till I can manage sixty, then you get to be proud." He insisted, pulling Steve's left hand up to his lips for a moment.
Steve shivered at the light brush of soft, sensitive skin against his knuckles and instantly felt his blood volume head south. At least what hadn't already been there for several minutes. "Steve?
"Yeah. I… I'm with you. That just felt… really good. Listen, I love the beach, I swear I do…"
"… but we're getting to the point where sand could wind up in painful places. Your place or your place?"
"Nah, if you want…"
"You hate my place."
"I never said that, I just think you deserve better, is all…"
"Right. My place. Let's go."