Title: it started with a whisper (and that was when i kissed her)

Author's Note: Here is the final chapter. I was feeling some pressure about the ending and was thinking of re-writing what I originally had, but I like how it is and I hope you do too! This chapter includes a few throwaway lines to Steve/Danny and Danny/Chin, all in good ohana fun. Also, I totally had Danny saying "boob" written before the Halloween episode! :D

I'm thinking of posting a collection of oneshots about Steve/Kono living together, so comment if you'd be interested in reading those. And please comment if you read this. Thank you in advance if you do! Have a wonderful week and end to your year! :)

He comes over with dinner when she's all dressed up and about to leave the house for a night with the girls.

"Sorry. I should have called," he says, his eyes lingering on the long, lean legs showing from under her short skirt.

"No, it's okay. You can stay and eat here," Kono offers. "I'm sorry, I gotta go," she says with a grimace, feeling bad as she imagines him eating alone in her house when he'd clearly brought take-out for two.

"It's okay," Steve tells her with a smile. "Go. Have fun."

She gives him a quick peck on the lips before she leaves... and thinks about him all through dinner. She doesn't linger long for drinks and instead drives home to find him fast asleep on the couch, her laptop still open to a case report he was typing. She nudges his shoulder and his eyes open immediately, those SEAL reflexes sharp as ever as he assesses any possible threats in the darkness of her living room.

"Hey," she murmurs, leaning down to kiss him softly, watching his face relax instantly.

"Hey. Sorry, I guess I fell asleep," he says, standing up slowly.

"No kidding," she replies. He turns as if to head for the front door, but she takes his hands and leads him to her bedroom, watches with fondness as the initial surprise on his face turns into a pleased smile he tries to hide. She gently pushes him toward the bed, fixing the pillow for him as he slips out of his jeans, his eyes closing again as he lays down.

"There's food in the fridge," he reminds her, prying his eyes open long enough to look at her.

"I'm not hungry. Go back to sleep, Steve." She pulls on a pair of shorts and a tank top, and crawls under the covers next to him. His body turns automatically toward her; her head finds its place near his shoulder and his hand comes to rest at her waist. She runs a hand through his hair, waiting quietly as his breathing falls into the synchronized rhythm of sleep she's become accustomed to.

Her last thought before she dozes off is that it's nice to have someone to come home to.

"Is my son here?"

Kono looks up from her desk to see Doris McGarrett at the doorway of her office.

"No, sorry. He and Danny are at the lawyer's prepping for court on Monday," Kono informs her. "Can I help you with anything?"

Doris takes a second to study her before approaching the desk and handing Kono a folder. "I wanted to drop off the paperwork for my police detail. I could have taken it to HPD myself, but knowing Steve, he'll want to double check I signed everything."

"You're finally accepting the safety detail?" Kono asks in surprise since the woman has been refusing extra police protection since she got into town, despite Steve's adamant protests.

"Nothing huge, of course, I can take care of myself. One officer stopping by during the day like Steve suggested. It's the least I can do for him."

Kono stays silent at the comment as she flips through the paperwork. "I'll make sure he gets it. But your home address is wrong on here."

"No, it's not," Doris says. "I'm moving into a new apartment downtown."

"You are? Why?" Kono asks.

"My son's a grown man now. He's used to his own space and to be honest, I'm used to mine," she comments with a smile.

"How come you didn't stay at the house?" Kono questions curiously. "I mean, it is yours."

"It hasn't been mine for a long time now. But I'm glad Steve has somewhere to come home to. I've gotten used to moving apartment to apartment for decades now. One more move isn't gonna kill me." She winces at her choice of words. "At least, I hope not."

"That's nice of you," Kono says honestly. "Steve really loves that house and fixing it up."

"Yeah, he does," Doris says with a small smile. "And now you can feel free to stay the night."

Kono pauses for a moment, deciding whether to play pretend or give in. But her guard's already down so she decides to take the honesty route and see where it leads. After all, Doris McGarrett is a lot smarter than anybody gave her credit for. "How did you know?"

"I'm still his mother, you know, even if I've been a lousy one," Doris admits with a sigh. "He smiles more when he's around you," she explains softly. "And he smiles at you differently than he does anyone else. It's nice to see that. It makes him look younger, less... haunted. I'm glad you can give him that."

Kono takes in the sight of the older woman as she speaks about her only son, her smile wistful and her eyes full of tears. The wrinkles on her face don't tell tales of grand adventure; they're creased with the sadness and regret of years missed with the children she left behind.

"I just don't want to see him hurt by you being here like you did when you left, that's all," Kono says quietly.

Doris nods. "I get that. I know you're hesitant to trust my motives, Kono, you all are, and I don't blame you. In fact, I'm glad my son has people in his life who care about him that way. But I'm here now and I'm not leaving. That's gotta count for something, right?"

Kono nods, taking the peace offering for what it is, for Steve's sake. Because Steve, despite all the pain and suffering and loss and secrets he's suffered through, despite the men he's killed and the training he's conquered and the missions he's led, his heart is still innocent enough to give his mother another chance.

"That is something, you're right," Kono says with a smile.

"Maybe you can come over to dinner with Steve once I get the new place set up?" Doris asks hesitantly.

"Sure. I'd like that."

They haven't mentioned their relationship to anyone at work, but she's sure Chin and Danny have their suspicions. She's caught Danny staring at her a few times, and Chin has that same look on his face when she skipped school at thirteen and thought she'd gotten away with it, but he'd seen her at the beach and made her write an essay on juvenile truancy. It's as if he's waiting patiently for her to share the news on her own terms. With Danny, it's more like he's waiting for the perfect moment to out them.

Which is exactly what happens.

"Law enforcement barbeque at the beach next weekend, team," Chin announces.

"Do we have to?" Danny groans in his usual grand dramatic fashion. "I shouldn't be forced to go to the beach on a Friday night for some stupid work thing."

"Yes, you have to," Steve orders from his spot at the table. "We need to be everywhere the governor wants us to be, when he wants us there. Can't afford to get into any more trouble this year."

"But you live to get into trouble, Super SEAL," Danny exclaims. "Sucking up to the governor since you're breaking the rules?"

"I'm not breaking any rules, Danno, thank you very much," Steve proclaims. Then he pauses for a second. "At least I haven't today."

"What about fraternizing with a co-worker, is that breaking a rule?" Danny questions, the complete picture of innocence.

Kono stills in the middle of her paperwork and avoids glancing at Steve at any cost. She avoids looking at anyone in the room but she can see Danny and his mile-wide grin, and the small smile on Chin's face assures her that he knows too.

"We don't have such a rule," Steve says, not breaking a sweat at Danny's question. After all, he's been trained to withstand extreme pain; he should be able to handle this torture from his partner.

"Oh, we don't, do we?" Danny echoes, his glee barely maintained.

"I'm in charge of Five-0, remember? No such rule. Why? You feel like asking me out, Danno?" Steve asks playfully, trying to keep composed but fighting back a grin nonetheless at the direction of the conversation.

"Oh, not you. Don't flatter yourself, big guy, you're not my type. Maybe Chin," Danny says.

Chin laughs from his chair, watching his younger colleagues with amusement. "Sorry, brah. I'm still grieving."

"Right, sorry. But no hard feelings. Your loss. What about you, Kono?" Danny asks as he wheels his chair closer to her. "We can get started on all those kids the psychic saw in our future."

"What?" Steve asks, his eyes darting between them.

"I mean, we've already made out-"

"When?" Steve asks a little too quickly.

"I mean, no one would mind, right?" Danny says with a wave of his hand to everyone in the room. "The boss says it's not against the rules. What do you say, rookie?"

Kono can think of nothing to do but laugh. She looks at Steve, who simply grins at her and says nothing; he's waiting for her to make the choice about how to declare their news, or even if to declare it. He's leaving it up to her because he respects her that much, and her heart swells as she smiles back.

The cover is up, the truth is out, and it's time to tell Chin and Danny.

Well, more like admit it because her superb investigative skills tell her they already know.

"Actually, Danny, I'm seeing someone," Kono declares.

"Are you now? Anyone we know?" Danny asks politely.

"He works in law enforcement, so maybe. But he keeps a low profile," Kono comments with a grin.

Chin snorts at that and that's all it takes for Danny to break character. He's too easy.

"Low profile? You're kidding, right?" Danny asks her, waving his hands wildly as he begins to count on his fingers. "Do you not remember the grenade incident of 2010? When he broke out of prison in 2011? What about when he got hit by a car during the embassy case and we had to attend a safety seminar at HPD for two hours on a Saturday?"

Kono rises from her seat to stand next to Steve. "Do you know anything about that, honey?" she asks casually as she leans down to kiss him. He blinks in surprise at the move, his lips warm and soft against hers for the mere span of a second that it lasts.

Well, maybe two seconds.

He grins up at her, dimples showing, his eyes filled with affection and warmth. "Not a thing, sweetheart."

"You bastard, that was my weekend with Grace!" Danny shouts, ignoring their kiss to continue with the more important topic at hand. "And I had to spend two hours of it in the stinky HPD auditorium listening to traffic cops give us a lecture on crossing the street."

"Come on! Rachel let you have her an extra night, I explained everything," Steve says defensively to his partner. "You're just mad cause all the officers there kept congratulating me."

"Of course they were, they're crazy for some action down there and they think you're some kind of real-life Rambo. They worship you! They're idiots! Are you sure you know what you're in for, Kono?" Danny asks her. "I am warning you, as your friend, that this man is a lunatic."

"He does seem to be attract trouble," Chin says, failing to disguise a laugh.

Steve groans at their comments and she squeezes his shoulder as she makes her way back to her seat. "Yeah, but he makes great pancakes."

"Well... that he does," Danny admits with a shrug. "I'll give him that. Grace eats like, eight of them whenever we go over."

"How did you know anyway, Danny?" Steve asks curiously.

"I just knew."

"How?" Steve repeats.

"It's been years now since you ambushed me into this little partnership of ours, Steven, you don't think I know by now when you're getting laid regularly? No offense, Kono," Danny directs to her with a respectful nod.

"None taken," Kono remarks proudly.

Chin groans. "Gross. I'm sitting right here, guys."

Steve exchanges grins with Kono, winking at her as he hears Danny's comment. But he refuses to accept that explanation alone. "No, it had to be something. Come on, how'd you know?"

"Does it matter how? I am a detective, it is what I do, I detect," Danny brags.

"Danny, just shut the hell up and tell me," Steve growls as Chin and Kono try and suppress their laughter at the duo.

"Your hand grazed her boob two weeks ago at a crime scene," Danny announces. "Again, sorry, Kono."

"Yeah, I saw that too," Chin declares to Steve, a hint of warning in his tone as he glares at his boss and waits for the younger man to speak.

"Oh," Steve stutters. "I... oh."

"Yup. That's right, caught in the act, Smooth Dog. And instead of jumping back and stumbling over an apology which is what I would do as a regular, normal, platonic colleague," Danny points at himself, "you did nothing. And she didn't punch you in the face for it. Ergo, there's been boob touching."

"Stop saying 'boob,''' Chin orders.

"Right. Sorry. I'm done."

"You were married and you have a teenage daughter and you still use the word 'boob?' Seriously, brah?" Kono remarks.

"She is not a teenager yet, thank you very much. Not yet. I still have time. And do not even mention Grace and her rapidly changing figure, I beg of you, I am not ready to accept that yet," Danny pleads, his hands in a prayer-like gesture to Kono, who takes pity on him and nods. "Anyway, Chin and I noticed it and we've been waiting for you to tell us ever since. Thanks for taking your sweet time, by the way, glad to know how important we are in your lives," he adds sarcastically.

Steve remains silent at that and Kono quickly speaks up. Because she was the one that was feeling insecure and wasn't ready to share the news of their relationship publicly, not even to the two people in their life who they spend a good portion of their day with. And their nights. And weekends. And most holidays too.

"Sorry, that was me. It's just... I wanted to figure things out for myself before we made it official. You know, that it was actually something worth telling." She looks at Chin, hoping her cousin will understand that she hasn't jumped into this lightly, and he nods at the meaning behind her explanation. "I told you now!"

"You mean, I exposed you in the break room after your SEAL here didn't realize he'd been caught red-handed?" Danny says, raising an eyebrow at her choice of words.

"Right. Same thing," Kono says.

"Except it's not, at all," Danny counters back.

"Chin, do you really care how the news came out?" Kono asks her cousin.

"Nope. If you're brave enough to admit it to us, you better not be messing around," Chin advises protectively and Steve nods quickly. "As long as I don't walk in on you in the bathroom," he warns as he points a finger between them.

"Won't happen. We prefer the supply closet," she says with a smirk.


"Just kidding," she says with a grin, but deliberately avoids Steve's gaze because she was not kidding, not kidding at all.

"Oh, gross," Danny bellows. "You know what, I think I'm gonna make a list of ground rules for you two to follow."

"Yeah, you do that. Take it up with the boss over there," Kono says waving a hand toward Steve who sputters at her.

"Why me? You're in this too!"

"Yeah, but you're the one who got us caught. Shoulda kept your hands to yourself in the workplace, Boss," she teases, watching his eyes darken with a surge of arousal at the word.

"I'm gonna get you back for this," Steve promises.

"I look forward to it," she replies back, her tone coming out low and seductive as he smiles that special smile he saves for her; the one with dimples and laugh lines, the clear joy in his eyes that makes her heart feel fluttery.

"I'm still sitting right here!" Chin says loudly. "Don't look at each other like that when I'm around. Put that down as one of the rules, Danny."

"So, have you slept with anyone to get over Adam yet?" Mary Ann asks over the phone. "Cause it's high time, Kono, seriously."

Kono tries not to grin at her friend's question as she answers slyly. "Yeah, actually, I have. A lot. We're kinda together now."

"Get out! Who? When?" Mary Ann asks eagerly, the questions tumbling out of her without pause.


"Steve who?" Mary asks without missing a beat.

Kono chuckles. "Steve, your brother, Steve."

Mary Ann's silent over the phone for a moment before she nearly shrieks. "You're sleeping with my brother?! Since when?"

"A few months now," Kono admits as she settles into the couch for girl talk, chores forgotten.

"But, wait. I was there for Thanksgiving and you didn't say anything," Mary accuses. "Even then?"

"Um, yes..."

"You bitch. Oh, shit."

"What?" Kono asks nervously, because Mary's opinion really means a lot to her. The woman's an important part of Steve's life, and she's become a good friend to her too. The last thing she wants is to create any awkwardness between them with her and Steve's new status coming to light.

"Now I can't talk to you about your sex life anymore cause, ew, gross."

Kono laughs at the woman's response, relieved it's nothing serious against their relationship. "I mean, I can share details if you want... trust me, your brother is very good at-"

"I'm hanging up now, Kono."

Kono comes out of the bathroom and slides back into bed as Steve's arm tightens around her waist, pulling her to his side of the bed again and right back into his arms.

"Still here?" he mumbles into the back of her neck, his voice husky from sleep.

"Well, your mom moved out so I guess I can stay and snuggle," she comments as she turns in his arms so they're face to face. She runs a hand over his morning stubble and watches as his eyes open to look at her.

"You could have stayed before too."

"With the possibility of me walking into the kitchen half-naked one morning as she's making eggs? No, thank you."

"Yeah, it's not fun," Steve mutters with a grimace. He stares at her so intently that she shifts under his gaze.

"What?" she asks nervously.

"Nothing," he answers with a shrug. "Didn't realize you were scared of my mother, Kono."

"Oh, please," she says as she rolls her eyes. "I'm not scared of her. I could just do without the awkwardness of seeing her after I've been thoroughly ravaged by her son."

"Ravaged, huh?" Steve echoes with a smirk as his fingers trail over the ridge of her collarbone, making her shiver in his arms.

"Shut up. Plus, you have not even met my mother yet. She may not have faked her own death or been in hiding for decades, but she can be scary in her own way."

"So when can I?" Steve asks.

"Can you what?"

"Meet her."

She stares at him in surprise. "You wanna meet her?"

"Do you want me to meet her?" he says back, not answering her question at all. But his hands tighten around her waist as he waits for her response, as if he doesn't want to get shot down the first time he even tries to get off the ground.

"I'll take you the next time I go for dinner," she says softly and watches as he nods. "But get ready for an interrogation."

"Kono, I've been trained to resist thirteen types of enemy torture. I think I'll be fine against your mom."

"Don't say I didn't warn you, Steve."

Kono meets a few friends from the police academy at the beach event and they're laughing over hot dogs and drinks when she sees Steve and Danny arrive together, Grace trailing between them. Danny's still wearing a work shirt, but no tie, so he's made some progress.

"Hey, Kono," Danny says as they walk up to her and he smiles at her friends politely. "You look nice."

"Kono!" Grace hugs her and Kono smiles broadly, her arms wrapping around the little girl with equal enthusiasm. "I like your dress."

"Thanks, Grace. Did you bring your board?"

"No, Danno said no surfing lessons from you today because it's a work event. But I'm wearing my bathing suit! Will you swim with me before we leave?"

"I can do that," Kono promises with a nod. Her eyes meet Steve's and they smile at each other, but she looks away before she does something silly like kiss him hello in front of half the 15th division of HPD.

"We're gonna get some food," Steve says as he points toward the long line at the buffet table.

"I'll find you later, Grace," Kono promises the girl as they walk away.

"Oh my god, he is so hot," her friend Alani declares with a dramatic sigh. "How do you work with him all day?"

"Danny? Yeah, it's hard but I manage," Kono says with a grin and Alani laughs even as she shakes her head.

"He's cute too, but I meant Commander McGarrett. Seriously. You need to get on that, Kono," she commands.

"Alani! He's my boss," she stutters, the words coming out more flustered than usual when the conversation with her friends turns this way. Maybe because she has inadvertently taken Alani's advice and gotten on Steve many, many times in recent months. And she's certainly let him get on her too.

"So? You're Five-0, you guys break all the rules anyway," Alani states with a shrug, as if it's that simple. "Seriously. Jump him."

"You're crazy," Kono says with a laugh, taking another sip of her drink as the conversation turns to other topics like the music festival at the beach on Friday night, and how this season of Nikita is as good as ever.

"You wanna go for a swim, Kono? I'm sweating already," Alani asks a little while later, beers forgotten and food eaten, conversation topics exhausted.

But Kono's too busy watching Steve and Danny in the buffet line, the two of them bickering over something on the menu while Grace happily munches on a hot dog next to them.

In that moment, she wants nothing more than to be with the trio, teasing Steve and Danny, or more like teasing Steve with Danny (or sometimes the other way around), and helping Grace moderate. She wants to eat with him and laugh with him, to sit with him and go home with him, to fall asleep and wake up the next morning in his arms. She wants to be on the receiving end of that special Steve McGarrett smile Doris said her son saves just for her.

She wants it more than she wants to girl talk with her police friends, more than she wants to go for a swim in the ocean, more than she wants to be alone for one second longer when the truth is, she's not alone anymore.

Bravery and determination rise within her as they did when she needed to conquer her fear of the ocean. But this time, it's not the blue waves she needs to face, or the unpredictability of the tides, but the long walk from where she is on the beach to where he stands on the other side.

Actually, the walk doesn't seem so far after all when he'll be there to greet her with a smile.

"Not right now, Alani," she says with a smile. "I'll catch up with you later."

She takes a deep breath and makes her way to Steve's side, slipping her hand into his as he's mid-conversation with Danny. He nearly jumps at the contact, turning to her quickly in surprise, glancing at their joined hands and then at the police community gathered around them. The cops may be in casual wear, but they're observant as ever.

"Hey," Kono says as she smiles up at him. "What are you guys arguing about now?"

"I... Kono..." Steve begins, his voice low as his eyes subtly dart around the beach.

But he doesn't move his hand and neither does she.

Instead, he smiles that bright smile he reserves solely for her and Kono knows the walk over was worth every step.

"Your crazy health-nut boyfriend here wants me to try a tofu burger. What the hell? If I have to suffer on a Friday night, I'm going to make sure my burger's made of real meat," Danny declares with a flourish of his hands, almost knocking over a stack of paper plates beside him.

"I'm just watching out for you, Danno," Steve says, not missing a beat in the conversation as his thumb gently strokes Kono's palm, his hand as warm as the Hawaiian sun they're standing under. "Your cholesterol could still use some work, right, Grace?"

But Grace has other things on her mind than Danny's cholesterol level as she stares at Steve and Kono's entwined hands in surprise.

"Uncle Steve! Are you and Kono together?!" she squeals, her meal forgotten as her eyes widen at the sight in front of her. The girl is sharp; she could become a detective.

"Yeah, Uncle Steve, are you?" Danny echoes, grinning at his daughter's delight.

"I... I guess we are," Steve answers with a smirk and a half shrug as he pulls Kono closer to his side, kissing the side of her head as she leans into him.

Kono doesn't deny it. She simply smiles.