Masquerade

Chapter One

Zebraboymom

Disclaimer: They do not belong to me. I have to tell myself over and over again.

Author Notes: This story is set before the original governor was killed. I really liked her in that role and am not at all pleased with the new guy. So, go back to a time when it seemed the governor really cared about Steve and wanted what was best for him. She decides to play matchmaker for our two heroes.

Steve tugged at his tights for the hundredth time since he arrived at this stupid Masquerade Ball. He couldn't believe the governor had made him come to this event in the first place. Let alone made him dress up. Robin Hood? Seriously? He was so glad the mask he wore hid his identity. He'd die if anyone he knew found out about this.

His eyes drifted around the room and he realized he was among the rich and powerful people of Hawaii. The outfits were outrageous and he knew there was a lot of money tied up in costuming. The governor provided his costume. He suspected it was an inside joke on her part.

Now, how was he going to find his date? That had been arranged as well. He was to find the woman he thought looked like Maid Marion and introduce himself. Steve prayed it wasn't some rich and boring socialite. The governor had to know him better than that.

Suddenly he caught some movement out of the corner of his eye. It was a woman dressed in the same period of costume as him. It had to be his Maid Marion, but something about her was very familiar. Even in the flowing dress there was something in the way she moved. He decided to stalk her first before he introduced himself.

It was obvious to him that she wasn't any more thrilled to be there than he was. She put off the advances of several very insistent suitors. Steve decided that word was perfect given their circumstances. He watched as she chatted briefly with the governor and then he could see her visibly sigh as she moved away and tried to hide out in a corner. Several men were approaching her now and one young man in particular was not taking no for an answer.

He watched as she started to actually physically resist him and then thinking better of the social situation she reluctantly gave in and went with the jerk. As soon as he had her on the dance floor he started taking liberties and Steve could tell it was taking every ounce of strength the woman had left not to deck him. He liked his date, whoever she was, and with a smirk he tapped the guy on the shoulder, pulled the woman into his arms and spun her swiftly away from the now startled and confused young man.

The woman looked up into his eyes and he knew he had seen those beautiful brown eyes before. He could see her recognition of his eyes as well. The tension she had when he pulled her into his arms was gone and she relaxed into his embrace.

"Maid Marion I presume?"

Now he knew she knew him. Her eyes were smiling behind the mask. She nodded.

"Well "Marion" I seem to know you and you seem to know me. I have a funny feeling the governor knew that when she paired us up. I'm guessing she told you this was mandatory?"

Another nod.

"She picked the costume too. Am I right?"

Another nod and those smiling eyes were dancing now.

"Have we met before?"

The same cute nod.

"At the beach?"

A nod again.

"Recently?"

A shake of the head. No. Hmm.

"Would I know you if you spoke?"

An affirmative nod.

Steve pulled her very close and leaned in to take in her scent.

Kono had enjoyed the game up until this point, but she could feel her legs going weak. Steve had never held her like this and she was surprised at her body's reaction to him. She could feel her heart pounding out of her chest.

The surprised look on Steve's face as he caught a whiff of the unmistakable coconut and vanilla scent that was Kono was priceless.

Was he happy it was her? She waited to see if he pushed her back or walked away. Instead he pulled her impossibly closer and leaned down, placing a kiss on her bare neck.

"Kono…"

She shivered in his arms.

Steve smirked as he gathered her up and spun her around the room again. He couldn't believe the governor knew him so well. He had liked Kono for over a year now, but had kept their relationship platonic. He wasn't sure if the young woman even thought of him that way at all.

Judging from her response there was at least an attraction.

He danced her all the way to the doors that opened out onto the balcony and kept going right out into the clear dark night.

Once they were away from the crowd her stopped and pulled back to lift the mask from her face. Kono reached up and pulled his up as well.

"So…the governor seems to think we'd make a great Robin and Marion. What do you think?"

"I think we make a better Steve and Kono."

Was she blushing? He had never seen his tough as nails rookie blush. The light coming from the ballroom combined with the moonlight on her flushed cheeks was enchanting. Steve could feel his heart starting to speed up.

"May I say you make a very beautiful Marion?"

"And you make a dashing Robin Hood. Is the governor trying to make a point here?"

"I'd say yes to that."

"I wish she could have found another way. My shoes are killing me."

"May I assist Fair Lady?"

Steve knelt and pulled her boot up onto his knee. It was impossibly pointy and was laced half way up her calf.

"Good Lord woman. How long did it take you to get these on?"

"Too long. Please, Boss?"

"Call me Steve and your wish is my command."

"Please…Steve."

He chuckled as he pulled a knife out of his belt. With one quick move he split the laces, grabbed her calf and removed the boot. He did the same thing to the second one, grinning as he looked down at polished toenails. He held her foot a little too long examining it in the low lighting.

"Who knew Kalakaua had a girlie side?"

"Hey!"

"I just need to do one more thing."

Steve stood up and reached for the tie under her chin, pulling the headdress off and allowing her hair to cascade back down around her now dimply face.

"How'd you know I've been wanting to do that all night?"

"I think I know you pretty well Kono. I know that right now you'd rather be down there walking on the beach than hanging out here. So would I."

"We can't leave though. The governor went to a lot of trouble."

"What the governor doesn't know won't hurt her. For all she knows, we are still in there. Come on. Please?"

Steve took her hand in his.

"Walk with me on the beach sweet Maid Marion?"

"Well Robin of Locksley. Since you put it that way, how can I refuse?"

They both laughed as they rushed down the winding stairs and across the garden, still holding hands.

What they didn't see was Marie Antoinette, aka the governor, smiling from her spot in the darkened corner on the other side of the balcony. She had been right. She shoots. She scores! She had to give it to herself. When it came to matters of love, she knew what she was doing. She would be sure not to give either of them a hard time for disappearing so early as they snuck away. She knew the ocean was their favorite place. Oh to be a fly on the palm tree so to speak. She decided it was time to return to her guests, but she would definitely be back to check on their...progress.

Her work here was done.

Steve stopped when they got to the beach and stripped off his tights. Underneath them he was wearing bike shorts. He left the long white blousy shirt that was under his tunic on with the shorts. Kono burst out laughing and dropped her heavy gown, opting for the soft white cotton under dress. It was shorter and sleeveless. Steve thought she had never looked more beautiful. Once they were both free from the confines of their clothing they sighed at exactly the same time sending them both into gales of laughter. Kono had rarely seen Steve just through his head back and laugh like that. It made her really happy.

When they finally pulled themselves together he reached shyly for her hand again and she gladly accepted it.

They headed down the beach letting the soft breeze cool them off after wearing the hot layers of clothing.

After a while of walking in silence, Steve spoke.

"You know the governor was up to something tonight. Right?"

"Definitely. She told me I had to come and represent Five-0 since none of the rest of you could come."

"She told me the same thing."

Steve paused before he made the next statement. He was nervous what her reaction was going to be, but the dance, her beauty, the beach and the magic of the night had made him want to risk it.

"She also told me she hand picked my date and I was going to love her."

Kono's voice came out soft and shy.

"And do you?"

Steve went with the truth.

"Love her? Yeah, I do, more every day I get to know her."

"Kono couldn't believe her ears. Steve liked…no…loved her?"

She had a huge crush on him, but she never thought he saw her that way.

"And how does said date feel about her Robin Hood?"

Kono squeezed his hand.

"She feels exactly the same way."

"I have to say, Kono, you're a really good actress. I didn't think you would ever even give me the time of day before tonight."

"What's not to like? You're me in a guy's body."

"No, you're me in a woman's body."

Again they burst into laughter and Steve slipped his arm around her waist pulling her close.

Kono dropped her head on his shoulder and they slowed their pace, each wanting to make the evening last.

After a few minutes Steve broke the comfortable silence.

"Kono, would you like to go on a real date with me? I promise it won't look anything like tonight."

"If that's the case, then you've got a deal. No dresses and no tights, although you can definitely rock the whole tights thing."

Steve chuckled.

"How do women tolerate pantyhose? Those things chafed."

The laughing started all over again.

Kono became thoughtful after a few more minutes of walking.

"So all this time we've been masking our feelings she knew?"

"She's a perceptive lady."

"A very mad perceptive lady if we don't go back and get our costumes and return them."

"I don't care. I'll pay for them if they're gone. I just want a few more minutes with you."

"Really?"

"Yes. Really. I've had a crush on you for a while now Kono. I thought you knew."

"How would I know?"

"Let's see. I wanted to be the cop you liked best in Chips. Remember that? I locked eyes with you after we rescued those college kids. I ran that truck through the warehouse to get to you that time and I nearly took the door off its hinges that time you went undercover in the sex trade house. I cleared every room searching for you. I was so scared."

"You've liked me for that long?"

Now Steve was nervous.

"Well…yeah…you're amazing Kono. Don't you know that?"

Steve could barely hear her response.

"I…I've liked you since my graduation day."

"Really?"

"You gave me a gun for crying out loud Steve. Who wouldn't fall for you?"

Steve burst into laughter yet again only this time it was a combination of so many emotions. He stopped and picked Kono up off the ground and kissed her with everything he had. He could feel her melt into the kiss and wrap her arms around his neck.

They stayed that way for the longest time just kissing tenderly. Steve didn't deepen it. He wanted her to know he treasured her and this wasn't just some hook up. He wanted something real with her.

He finally set her back down softly on the sand and ran his fingers up into her hair before cupping her cheeks and smiling down at her in the moonlight.

"I guess we're going to have to masquerade for a little longer."

"Why is that?"

"I want us to get to know each other first, before Danny or Chin get involved. What about you?"

"Definitely. Otherwise Chin will probably end you."

"Let's hope the governor knows how to keep her mouth shut too."

"Somehow I think she does. I mean, how long has she known about us already?"

"Good question."

"We need to thank her Steve. I don't think I would have ever let you know how I felt if she hadn't given us a little push."

"I'm really glad she did."

Steve bent and kissed her softly again.

"I definitely want to do more of this."

Kono sighed into the kiss.

"Me too."

"Marion?"

"Yes Robin?"

"Want a ride back to Sherwood Forest?"

"Yes, that would be really nice."

Steve offered his arm.

"My Lady."

Kono grinned at her next thought.

"You aren't like into role playing are you?"

Steve's laughter could be heard all the way back to the balcony where one French Noblewoman had once again been watching the kiss on the beach.

"I love masquerade balls."

"A/N: Got that out of my brain and on to paper. Hope you liked it.