[Totally gave up trying to suss out my new mobile (I mean, Smart Phone? Smart? Oy!) and decided to escape with my fave boys instead... and finished the fic tonight yay!]
So, last chapter...
Danny fiddled with Steve's coffee machine one handed, scooping in an unhealthy amount of ground beans, before the SEAL came back from his ridiculously long morning swim. He shook his head thinking of the miles the man swam in a week. He certainly lived up to his acronym.
Impatiently drumming his fingers on the counter top, Danny threw furtive glances out of the window as he waited for the coffee to drip into the carafe. He felt a lot better after a good night's sleep, and was craving a decent cup of his favourite beverage. But, unlike Steve, he liked his morning caffeine hit strong, and made a certain way. Kono's coffee was pretty close, but Steve's was like witch-piss.
"Come on," he hissed, looking out of the window again at Steve's private beach. No sign of the SEAL yet.
The coffee maker started hissing and Danny smiled, breathing in that enticing aroma with one deep inhale. "Mmmm..."
"That sounds almost obscene."
"Jesus Christ!" Danny yelped, his hand gripping his chest. "You freakin' Ninja! What are you doing, sneaking up on people? It's wrong, just wrong! You scared the shit outta me!"
Steve grinned and shook his head, cold water from his hair peppering Danny's warm skin. "You're looking better this morning. S'that coffee?"
"AGH! You Neanderthal! What are you? A dog? Get a towel!" Danny sputtered. "Yes, it's coffee, and I should make you make your own after that."
Finally towelling his hair dry, Steve narrowed his eyes at the black tar dripping sluggishly into the carafe. "You planning on asphalting the driveway, Danny?" he asked warily, "Because that there is not coffee..."
"Asphalt-?" Danny glared at him. "This is coffee, and what's more it's good coffee. Not that insipid stuff you brew." He poured himself a cup and lifted it to his nose. "Mmmm... Now that's a morning kick better than swimming to Maui and back."
Peering into Danny's mug, Steve wrinkled his nose at the dense black liquid and grimaced when Danny took a long drink – no creamer, no sugar, just pure, very strong, bitter Arabica coffee.
"That's just... God, how can you drink that?"
"And you a Super SEAL," Danny smirked, savouring his caffeine hit, "Can't hack a good cup of good coffee." He refilled his mug and sat down.
Listening to Steve rummage through the kitchen cupboards for a bowl and his box of Mornflake Hawaiian Oat Granola, (what Danny referred to as rabbit food for Super SEALs), he couldn't help letting his mind drift back to their fishing trip, and how much he enjoyed it – before they were boat-jacked of course. A small smile played on his lips as he sipped his coffee and remembered the excitement of reeling in that huge tuna fish. Danny wished he still had his cell with the photographs, but at least he had the memories, and, luckily, the tuna, which was now with Kamekona. He couldn't wait to see what the big Hawaiian guy cooked up with his prize catch.
Steve leaned up against the counter and scooped a spoonful of cereal into his mouth, watching Danny as he chewed. He could see the smile and wondered what he was thinking about. Knowing that they were meeting with their friends by Duke Kahanamoku Lagoon, after Danny's doctor's appointment, for lunch at Kamekona's shrimp truck to sample what the budding shrimp entrepreneur had created with Danny's tuna, Steve had a fairly good idea what it was that his friend was fondly remembering.
One side of his mouth quirked up in a grin as he said, "You're thinking about how much fun it was catching that tuna, aren't you?"
Danny raised his brow and put his mug down. "And how do you know what I'm thinking?"
What? Danny scowled... Super SEAL Super Ninja Mind Reading powers now? "No, you don't," he stated loftily.
"Yes, I do," Steve simply smiled. Now he was sure.
"Okay," Danny challenged, pointing his finger at Steve, "I'm thinking of a movie. What am I thinking now, huh?" And the movie Jaws subconsciously (and inconveniently) popped into his head.
Steve didn't even hesitate. "Jaws," he grinned confidently. Danny blinked and quickly shook his head smugly. But then Steve added around a mouthful of granola, "Part two."
"Ugh, I hate you," Danny grumbled and rolled his eyes. Was he that transparent? Christ. He finished his coffee and stood up, refilling his mug with more.
"No, you don't, you love me," Steve snorted, put his cereal bowl down and took the carafe off Danny, pointedly looking at him before turning to the sink, and pouring the rest of the industrial strength toxic gloop down the drain. He shook his head at the thick residue left coating the bottom of his sink and rinsed it away. It took three attempts.
"Seriously, Danny, you have a problem," he stated staring at the amount of sludge in the coffee filter when he opened the machine. Steve knew then Danny had to be feeling better to be able to stomach that shit. He emptied it in the trash and refilled the coffee machine the way he usually did, with a quarter of the ground beans Danny seemed to have used.
"Well, me and my problem are gonna go for a shower now you're back," Danny smiled standing up again. "Do the honours?"
Steve helped him out of the sling. "Don't get that dressing wet," he shouted as Danny headed to the bathroom.
"Yes, mom," Danny yelled back.
Shaking his head, Steve grabbed a cup and poured himself some coffee, smiling at the translucent brown liquid before doctoring it heavily with creamer. He took a sip and closed his eyes. Heaven.
Walking back to the Camaro after seeing the doctor for Danny's follow up appointment, Steve checked his watch and smiled. They still had plenty of time to get to Duke Kahanamoku Lagoon. Although still sore and tender, Danny's doctor had been pleased with his progress, telling him that he should have full mobility in the shoulder within weeks, and although he wouldn't clear the detective for work just yet, (a decision Steve fully supported, much to Danny's frustration), the doctor compromised by saying he could return for light duties once his course of antibiotics was finished. The resulting smile at that news made Steve chuckle.
As for the sling, Danny was determined to get rid of it. Steve knew his friend was worried that it might scare Grace if she saw it when she came over that afternoon, (even though the little girl knew her daddy had been 'slightly hurt at work'), but he was concerned that Danny might be trying to do too much too soon. The doctor had said he could take it off for short periods of time, and only if it didn't cause the still healing shoulder too much discomfort. But Steve knew Danny would simply interpret that as gone for good.
"Just help me off with it, Steve," Danny insisted as they stood by the Camaro. "Come on, babe, it's uncomfortable and chafes like a bitch," he griped when Steve hesitated.
"Chafes?" the SEAL repeated with a look.
Danny narrowed his eyes at him. "Yes, Steven, chafes, as in its rubbing the fuck out of the back of my neck. My skin's red raw."
Pursing his lips, Steve saw his sore neck where the sling had irritated the sunburned skin and winced in sympathy. Nodding he reached over to help him off with it. "Short periods of time, Danny," he reminded him as he climbed into the driver's side of the car. Danny buckled himself in the passenger seat and shrugged.
"Yours and my definition of 'short periods of time' differ."
Steve did a double take and gaped at him. Here we go...
"You have Aneurism Face. Why do you have Aneurism Face?"
"What? I don't have Aneurism Face!" Steve denied firmly. "What does that even mean?"
"It means, Steven, that I know what you're thinking," Danny accused, eyes narrowing. Steve scowled and started the car.
"We're playing the mind game thing again? How do you know what I'm thinking?" he asked.
Danny's hand flew up to the Oh-Shit bar as Steve swerved into the traffic. "Jesus, Mario Andretti, this is not NASCAR!" He glared at his partner, snapping his eyes to the front when Steve turned and beamed an annoyingly huge megawatt grin at him.
"So, my turn? I'm thinking of a-"
"We are not playing a game, you goof," Danny growled. "Concentrate on getting us to Kamekona's in one piece, alright?"
Smiling, Steve nodded and expertly drove them all the way to Duke Kahanamoku Lagoon, casting surreptitious glances Danny's way to make sure he was really okay.
"What time is Rachel bringing Grace over?" he asked to keep up a light conversation. He'd learned that he could gauge his partner's state of mind (and if he was in pain) from the cadence of his voice. It was a great indicator.
"Three o'clock," Danny answered smiling at the thought of seeing his baby girl. It was going to be the first time he'd seen her since she got back from the Big Island, and he was looking forward to it. Steve and Cat were leaving them the run of the house, giving Danny and his daughter some quality time together.
"So, don't forget, I'm just a phone call away," Steve reminded him, "Cat and I will-"
"I can manage, you know," Danny interrupted him with an exaggerated sigh. Geez, he wondered if he looked up 'Mother Hen' in the dictionary, would there be a picture of Steve there staring back at him?
"Yeah, I know. I'm sorry, Danno," Steve smiled apologetically. Maybe he was being a little too keen, but he'd started having nightmares of that day stranded on the boat with Danny, bleeding and hurt... And from the distressed noises he'd heard from the guest room in the night, Steve assumed Danny had, too. It was something they both had to work through, and they would. Eventually.
"But, thanks again for, y'know, letting me and Grace have the place to ourselves," Danny said softly.
Max and Cat were already sat at the table next to Kamekona's shrimp truck when Steve parked the Camaro next to the blue corvette. As they got out, Kono and Chin pulled up beside them.
"Hey, guys! Danny, how're you doing?" Kono asked closing her door. She looped her arm through his and walked with him to the table. Steve went ahead when Cat smiled at him.
"I'm good," Danny nodded. "Doc says I can come back to work."
"He did?" Chin asked dubiously looking at Danny's shoulder. "Where's the sling?"
"Said I could stop using it," Danny smiled convincingly. He half shrugged when he saw Steve glaring at him. "What?"
Turning to Chin and Kono, the SEAL shook his head and told them what Danny had deliberately omitted. "The doctor said Danny can come back to the office to do light duties after he finishes his course of meds, and-" he looked at Danny, "He did not say you could stop using the sling!"
"Yes, he did, Steven," Danny argued back, before they both then said together, "For short periods of time!"
A second later, the two men started laughing. Chin and Kono just rolled their eyes along with Cat and Max, obviously not privy to what looked like a lame private joke.
They sat down at the table, with Steve and Cat perched up on the one next to it, opened the bottles of beer, (soda for max and, much to his disgust, Danny), and as they waited for Kamekona, Steve and Danny launched into the lively and exciting story of how they caught the tuna. And just as they were arguing about how big the fish was, Kamekona walked towards them with a huge platter in his hands.
"Okay," he announced with a proud grin, "The moment you've been waiting for. Feast's up! Everybody dig in!"
Grabbing their forks, everybody sat back and admired the culinary delight in front of them. Fresh tuna, herbs, and a whole lot more on a bed of crisp lettuce. It looked delicious.
"Danny's first tuna," Chin smiled indulgently.
"Right. Alas, my fishing career is over," Danny nodded.
Steve looked at him, "Forever?"
"With you, yes."
"Ouch," Cat laughed.
Lifting his beer, Steve took a drink hiding his smirk.
"Perhaps you'd enjoy bone-fishing," Max suggested to Danny helpfully.
"Bone-fishing? That, uh, that doesn't sound creepy, Max," Danny said. "What is that? You and your cut-up-dead-people buddies do what?"
"O'io, as they are called here," Max explained happily, "They're the number one saltwater game fish. You fly fish with them in saltwater flats—it's quite relaxing."
With a glance up at Steve, Danny asked, "Does it involve sinking dinghies, boat-jacking, or tiger sharks?"
"It's a bit more elegant than deep-sea fishing. I took Kamekona last week."
"And I barfed the whole time," the big Hawaiian said.
"Okay, there you go," Danny leaned back and waved his hand, "Someone who dislikes the water as much as I do.
"No, no, no, no. I love the ocean," Kamekona corrected, "I just got sick of pulling those hooks out of those poor little fishes."
A chorus of laughter filled the air until Kono nodded, "Yeah, I hear ya!"
"Hey, that was my job when you were a kid," Chin reminded her.
"Hey, it wasn't 'cause I was scared, cuz," she said smiling, "I let you do it, 'cause you wanted to take care of me."
"I still do," Chin stated, a slow blush pinking up his ears when everyone awed and teased him.
Steve took the opportunity to lean forward to Danny. Lifting his beer bottle, he quietly said, "Hey, to Billy Selway."
Danny smiled, touched that Steve remembered his childhood friend and had respectfully kept what Danny had told him private, knocked their bottles together, and toasted, "Billy Selway."
"Alright, enough talking; it's poke time," Kamekona soon called loudly, wanting everyone to try out his dish.
"I was waiting. I was waiting. Let's go," Danny said digging in. The taste exploded in his mouth. "That's excellent."
"Mm wow," Steve sighed around a mouthful, closing his eyes.
Danny took some more, nodding at the others that were enjoying it just as much. "This is excellent. This is awesome," he praised. "It is really good."
"You sure?" Kamekona asked.
"I'm absolutely positive. It's really good," Danny repeated sincerely, taking another mouth watering bite.
"I'll leave this with you then."
Everyone laughed at Danny's face when Kamekona presented him with the bill.
"What is this?"
"It's a bill."
"I see that it's a bill," Danny frowned confused. "But why are you giving it to me? I brought you a fish—what are you charging me for?"
"My cooking services," Kamekona answered proudly.
"What?" Danny blinked up at the Hawaiian.
"Superior life skills."
"What is that, like a corkage fee?" Chin asked.
"Oh, cooking what?" Danny wanted to know looking down at the tuna dish. "What'd you cook? It's raw fish. You didn't cook anything."
"Alright, you brought me a fish," Kamekona agreed, but then added with flair, "I gave you a meal."
Danny looked at the bill again and up at Steve when he heard him laughing.
"What are you looking at me for?" the SEAL asked trying to wipe the grin from his face and failing. "I told you to get it stuffed."
"Oh, so you put him up to this?" Danny accused, his eyes narrowing suspiciously.
"No, I didn't put him up to it," Steve shook his head honestly. He grabbed another forkful. "It's pretty good though."
"Good," Danny decided and handed him the bill. "Then you can pay for half of it."
Laughing, Steve took the slip of paper and read it. He was more than happy to share the cost. Hell, he'd pay the whole thing if Danny would let him.
Kamekona leaned in and told him quietly, with a wink and a grin, "Cash is good. I don't take credit." Steve smiled back and nodded. He stood up and raised his beer in a toast.
"To Danno's first fish," he said loudly.
"And last," Kono added, laughing when Danny emphatically nodded.
And everyone joined in with a chorus of I'll drink to that! before finishing off the meal, and enjoying each other's company, relaxing together and celebrating life, Hawaiian style.
This has been a lot of fun to write and thank you so much for all your reviews! I really appreciate them all.
As much as I would love to keep them, I'll reluctantly give the guys back now, until the next time...
Many thanks again, Bryce x