I do not own Hawaii Five-0 or any characters. No copyright infringement intended.

NOTE: just something my busy mind needed to get out.

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A Solitary Life - one shot drabble

If you had asked him maybe as early as two years ago, he would have easily argued against the solitary nature of his life. Of course he had friends and even a significant other, so there was nothing even remotely solitary about it. He travelled, he worked and even enjoyed brief vacations. And he was actually, quite fine with every single aspect of what his life encompassed. He had considered it full and very rewarding.

Friends were few and far between. But those he called on were tight, close and would quite literally; lay their lives down for him. And with no doubt, he for them.

But for all that, he dwelled on a new realization that it had been a type of solitary and almost emotionless way of living. But that was wrong too. It didn't lack emotion, it might have only been on a different level. Deep surely, but not all-encompassing .. perhaps not well-rounded.

These thoughts had all started with the mermaid Barbie that he accidentally sat on when he slid into the driver's seat of the Camaro. It bruised his dignity until he reminded himself of one critical point and the tart reprimand that had been on his lips, died. Unsaid. The Camaro wasn't his car.

But the lone naked plastic figure with the disheveled head of fake red hair had actually been in his kitchen sink. The tiny Barbie-sized clothing sloppily balled up next to it. He had rinsed off the doll and the clothing from sand; neatly laying them out on a paper towel so their owner could come and retrieve them when she remembered her lapse. He vaguely remembered that Grace now had a Barbie Katniss doll and he wasn't so obtuse to know that was from the Hunger Games. He noted all of those particular facts with a private, self-satisfied and very pleased grin.

And today, there was a pink knapsack in the corner of his living room sofa. He was sure that Mary never had anything that girlie but he could be entirely mistaken.

When he'd returned home to care for his father's funeral and estate; and then had assumed responsibility for the Governor's task force, he had one very solitary goal in mind. One very personal goal of retribution touched with no small degree of vengeance. And his need for a partner had only been that .. a particular means to an end to get what he needed. A simple need for a body that would occupy space and just maybe .. be able to give a bit of moral support and a modicum of proper backup.

But what he acquired and fell into was so much more. Steve was consumed by the irony of his thoughts as he watched Grace play on his beach. A beach that hadn't seen a child since well before he and Mary were separated. His partner in crime – the man who he'd grudgingly and practically abducted into his private schemes - wasn't far behind her as he gave her a perceived freedom.

This beach hadn't seen a happy father and daughter in a much longer time; and he wasn't sure if it had ever experienced a completely cohesive family unit. A slight smile curved his lips as he glanced to the house next. That too had been a solitary soul; a half shadow of what it used to be without a complete family rambling through its interior or spilling out its doors.

Sitting on the lanai, Steve heard the distant sound of a door slam shut from the front of the house and on the heels of that, a motorcycle. Chin and Kono had finally shown up. He winced with a happy chuckle as a louder door slammed and he heard Kamekona's bellowing voice demanding that the two cousins help with the huge trays of food he undoubtedly brought to the spontaneous barbecue.

He sighed happily as he stretched his legs and closed his eyes; awash in sounds of people talking, children's laughter and then Danny going "all Jersey" on the beach as Grace just went a bit too far into the surf.

With his eyes closed he didn't have to see the waving arms or the demonstrative love as Grace screamed in delight since Danny likely had swung her up high in his arms.

If you asked Steve now, he had definitely changed his mind. He would argue that his past life had been solitary.. much too alone and not very satisfying. Not as whole as originally assumed. It was too true that you could never miss what you didn't have because life proved every day to him that he had been woefully clueless.

Now .. his life was simply so much more. Proven by the shrieking giggles of "Uncle Steve! Help me!" that reached him from the shore line. Laughing, he was on his feet in seconds and sizing up his next move to 'rescue' Gracie.

And the indignant shout of "Neanderthal!" was cut off as Steve neatly tackled Danny into a white-capped wave.

~ end ~