Title: Necessary Protection

Author: DalWriter

Rating: PG-13 (some spicy language and risqué concepts)

Summary: Steve's POV. Steve takes certain necessary precautions to protect both him and Danny. Pre/slash (Get your mind out of the gutter . . . this is a PG fic)

Disclaimer: Although I certainly don't own them nor am I making any money from this, I want to thank CBS, the writers & producers for letting me play with them.

A/N: This is my 1st H50 fic so be kind if I don't get the voices exactly right.

Glancing at the clock on the wall Steve realized it was almost 9:30. He better get a move on if he wanted to meet Danny by 10.

He'd gone for his usual five mile swim at seven. On weekdays he swam at six but only did three miles. In exchange for lounging in bed until all hours, a luxury he never had as a SEAL, Steve pushed himself harder on the weekends. Plus, being in the water always helped clear his head. The rigorous allover exercise helped to keep all of his lithe limbs toned and ready for action. His body was a tool and he knew all too well that sometimes it was the only weapon available and the only difference between life and death. He certainly wasn't going to keep that eight pack chugging beers and munching on Malasadas. Despite their daily work-outs at the Palace gym and weekly team sparring matches, Steve never understood how Danny kept in shape given his atrocious diet.

After a hearty breakfast of oatmeal and a protein shake made with fresh fruit and yogurt, Steve spent the morning straightening his meticulously clean house. Good order and discipline had been drilled into him even before he went off to Annapolis. When everything has its place, it was that much easier to spot something that was out of place.

Yanking a sleeveless t-shirt over his toned chest, Steve grabbed a bag off the floor and the keys to his truck before heading outside. Two surf boards were already in the pickup's bed.

Today promised to be a good day. Thanks to a missed tackle in the fourth quarter, Danny's beloved Giants blew an early lead and lost Monday night football to Steve's Redskins 24-20, making Steve the winner of their bet. As a result, Danny had to go surfing with him this morning. Had Steve lost he would not have been allowed to drive the Camaro for a week. Thank heavens the 'Skins pulled it out. Although he'd never admit that he had "control issues" as Danny called his need to be behind the wheel, the thought of being a passenger for seven whole days made Steve very uncomfortable.

Steve had been thrilled to learn, almost by accident, that Danny knew how to surf, maybe not the big waves of Hawaii, but enough to paddle a board and zoom all on his own. Apparently, New Jersey actually has beaches and teenage boys everywhere are driven by the need to impress the ladies. So from age 16, when the first of his older friends got their drivers' licenses until he graduated from the police academy, every summer weekend of young Danny William's life had been spent at the Jersey Shore surfing. Once he found out that Danny wasn't quite the block of sinking concrete he claimed, Steve used any excuse to get his partner into the water.

It wasn't just that Steve wanted the company. At any given time on any surf beach throughout the State of Hawaii there were always dozens of surfers in the water. Steve wanted to surf with Danny. He never felt more free than when he was in the green room or jumping from a plane, although he could do without the enemy fire. To be able to share such a zen-like mystical experience with his best friend was something Steve relished.

Despite being surrounded by comrades in arms, until he met Danny, Steve hadn't appreciated just how lonely he'd been after died. Having to leave his friend behind in North Korea in order to complete the mission had always left Steve wary of forming true friendships; if you didn't get close, you couldn't get hurt. Between his mother's "death", Joe's betrayal, Mary's flight to the mainland and his father's estrangement, Steve McGarrett had learned early on that it just didn't pay to let people get too close. Yet, the blonde detective from New Jersey had wormed his way into Steve's previously walled off heart.

Someday, Steve hoped to worm his way into Danno's bed but he doubted that was possible. His divorced partner didn't swing that way. Danny Williams was as straight as they come and Steve McGarrett wasn't willing to risk the friendship that had become so precious to him in such a relatively short time on a roll in the hay. He could control himself. If Don't Ask Don't tell taught the SEAL anything it was to wall off all feeling and emotions. He was content to look from a afar and dream about someday that may never come.

A smile crept across Steve's face when he saw Danny leaning against his Camaro arms crossed over his chest sipping a cup of coffee and tapping his foot in an irritated manner. He was wearing blue board shorts and faded white t-shirt that stretched tautly across his impressive chest and boldly proclaimed that Bruce Springsteen was "Born in the USA." Steve had heard the story about Danny seeing every show at the Meadowlands for that tour.

Before Steve could even get out of the truck Danny was ranting. "If you were going to force me to get up at this ungodly hour on a Saturday, the weekend, my time off, my time away from work and responsibility, my time to sleep in . . . Sleep in is that a concept you Army rangers are familiar with? You know not get out of bed at the crack of dawn. . . ."

Turning away from his partner, Steve reached into the truck bed for the surfboards. "I am in the Navy."

"Army, Navy, Aloha Girls, the point is that if you had any common courtesy, consideration for your fellow human beings, your partner, . . . . You should have been on time."

":It's 10:03," Steve pointed out trying to excuse his slight tardiness.

"No excuse." Flipping a hand dismissively, Danny reminded him. "You're the one who's always about military precision, synchronizing watches and all that Marine mumbo jumbo. Ten hundred or zero dark thirty or whatever time you soldiers think it is. Why you can't just tell time like normal people. You know if there was a bomb or a raid I could have been killed while you were wiling away those three minutes. When you say ten o'clock I expect you will be here at ten o'clock especially since this little excursion was your idea."

"It was a bet. Fair and square. It's not my fault your Giants choked."

Danny glared at him before turning and reaching into the open window of the Camaro to retrieve a white Styrofoam cup. Wordlessly, he handed the cup to Steve who leaned the surf boards against the truck to take the proffered beverage.

"So how are they breakin'?" Steve asked looking across the beach to the surf as the pair drank their coffee in companionable relative silence. They were on the windward side of the island because Danny wasn't quite ready for the massive waves of Oahu's famed North Shore. Despite growing up on the island, even Steve didn't attempt the Bonsai pipeline on the rougher days. His preference for self-preservation taught him enough to leave that particular stretch of surfer's paradise to the pros like Kono and her friends.

"About six to nine feet out of the southeast," Danny replied.

Steve grew concerned at the height of the waves. While nine foot swells nothing for Hawaii, Danny remained an east coast surfer where the big waves came in around three to four feet.

"I'll be okay," Danny assured his partner who hadn't actually voiced a concern.

Steve took a long drink from his coffee cup, before setting it into the cup holder in the truck through the still open door. "You ready?"

"Just a sec," Danny replied. He undid his watch band and threw it in the center console of the Camaro. His wallet and badge followed. Stretching his neck from side to side, Danny reached back to pull his t-shirt over his head.

This was Steve's favorite part of surfing with Danny - that first moment when the coverings disappeared and Danny's gorgeous, muscular chest was revealed. Steve knew that Danny kept in shape by lifting weights and those workouts at the police gym paid off. Every muscle was bulky and well defined. The flex of Danny's biceps was a thing of beauty in Steve's eyes. How he longed to run his fingers through that mat of blond chest hair and trail his hands down the proverbial road to paradise that bisected Danny's torso and disappeared under his shorts. While enjoying the view Steve kept his eyes masked behind his aviator glasses and willed himself not to outwardly react to every flexion or contraction of Danny's spectacular body.

From where he got it, Steve wasn't sure but in addition to whipping his shirt off, Steve was treated to the sight of one Danny Williams bending over to apply sunscreen to his hairy legs. Although they were short but proportional, Danny's legs were rock solid, not as sculpted as his delicious upper body but sturdy, enough to give the fireplug of a man an almost immovable base if Danny didn't want to go down. Having been a wrestler in high school, not much was going to unseat the New Jersey native unless he was in a mood to move. Watching Danny's spectacular ass ripple as his rubbed the lotion into his legs was a sight Steve never grew tired of seeing. God he wanted to walk right over to Danny all bent over like that and twist him so that he was braced over the hood of the sports car and show him what a good morning really looked like. When Danny began to massage the lotion into his chest, Steve had to bite the inside of his lip to keep from groaning aloud. How he longed to replace Danny's hand with his own and sunscreen with some type of flavored body oil.

As Danny's head started to turn, Steve busied himself locking up his truck. It wouldn't do to get caught staring.

"Want some?" Danny reached out the hand with the tube of sunscreen toward Steve.

Shaking his head, Steve declined his friend's offer. "I put some on when I got out of the shower."

Danny just shrugged, retracted his arm and turned away from Steve. "Then do my back, will ya?" He held the sunscreen over his shoulder.

This was a good morning indeed. There weren't too many places where grown men – grown heterosexual men – could rub each other in public but the beach and skin cancer prevention were one of those few areas, like slaps on the ass in football and baseball games, where intimate touching was allowed. This was another reason Steve lived to drag Danny to the beach when it was just the two of them. If others were around Danny asked Grace or Kono to do his back. It was a shame really because Steve's bigger hands were so much more efficient.

Steve didn't have to be asked twice. He practically skipped over to where Danny was standing. Squeezing out a line of white cream across Danny's broad shoulders, Steve fantasized about another line of white cream he's love to shoot all over Danny's back. "Down boy," he willed his lower half. Depositing the tube on the roof of the Camaro used both of his hands to work the sunscreen into Danny's back. Steve loved the feel of Danny's skin under his hands, feeling the pliant muscles move under his skilled touch. He would love to get Danny stretched out on a bed for a proper massage but as well as that seduction technique worked on members of both sexes Steve was loathe to suggest it to Danny so this would have to do. Working his hands across the tops of Danny's shoulders, Steve couldn't resist sliding his hands down the shorter man's well defined arms to feel the curve of every muscle. He'd often wrapped one of his large hands around those arms during a half hug but this opportunity to fondle both of those guns and to dream about how good they'd feel wrapped around his own torso was a chance Steve couldn't resist.

With Steve's hands on his arms, Danny correctly assessed that all the lotion had been applied and there was no further need for the touching to continue. "Thanks, brah," he said grabbing the tube of sunscreen and tossing it in the car.

Stepping back, Steve massaged the remaining lotion on his hands into his face then grabbed the boards. "You ready?"

Danny reached out to take a board from Steve. "Let's do it, babe."

Hesitating for a moment to let Danny walk slightly ahead of him because the view was much better from back here, Steve smiled contentedly. It was already a pretty good morning. He'd had a good workout. His house was clean. He was going surfing. He'd gotten to rub his hands all over Danny and best of all, Danny called him "babe." "Sure thing, Danno," he slipped in Grace's nickname for her father.

Maybe someday, the navy SEAL would be brave enough to tell his partner the truth – the truth that he was falling, no had fallen in love with him - but for now, he'd protect them both from the fall out of that revelation. For now, this was enough.