Author's Note: Just some quick fluff for fun since my birthday's coming up in July. Felt like Danny needed a pat on the back for being awesome. And I do love me some Steve/Danny best friend moments!
For those of you reading Mai-Tai's and Machine Guns, next chap will be up soon! Until then, enjoy this one shot!
"Danny if this is some sort of trick..." Rolling his eyes for what seemed like the hundredth time that morning, the Jersey native glanced at his partner who was currently eyeballing him as if he'd grown a third head.
"It's not a trick Steve... What? You don't trust me?" Danny asked pretending to be insulted. Steve jerked his head back and looked out the passenger side window; shame evident on his face.
And yes, passenger side... For once Danny was driving his own car.
"I trust you Danny," The Navy SEAL replied. "It's just that... I mean you suggesting any sort of out door fun in the sun activity in Hawaii is... Very un-Jersey of you." Danny laughed as he continued to drive along the highway, window down, wind in his hair.
"And how many times have YOU been to Jersey?" He asked. Turtling his head Steve grimaced and shook his head.
"The way you see life? Hopefully never," he joked. Danny gave him a sarcastic grim before focusing back on the road again. After a few minutes of quiet driving Steve decided to try again.
"What's the deal Danno?" He asked. "Why all of a sudden do you have a new appreciation for, and I quote from a few weeks after we met; "taking my life into my own hands and tossing myself out of a perfectly good airplane"."
"You don't want to go skydiving McGarrett just tell me now and I can turn the car around," Danny shrugged. Steve seemed to be completely insulted by this and squirmed a lot before answering.
"Danny... I'm trained for this. I mean... I'm trained in every way a man can be trained to take the leap of faith when it comes to jumping out of various aircrafts in various different ways," Steve said apparently recalling his whole military skydiving career. "I jumped from a stealth helicopter into a sand storm and landed 30 miles off course, broke my ankle and STILL managed to get to the intended target and execute the mission within optimal time variance range. This is tourism skydiving. I could fall out of that plane half asleep, be completely asleep before I pull my chute and still land safely. You? When was the last time you ever willingly did anything for fun that put your life in…" And Steve made sure to dramatically emphasize his air quotes when he finished with, "potential danger?"
"Look at you..." Danny smiled fondly. "You've learned how to rant! I'm so proud!"
"Getting off topic Daniel," Steve huffed. "You show up at my door, at an hour you swore to me was ungodly, saying, "let's go skydiving" like it was the most normal thing in the world." When his partner suddenly stopped and all pretenses of humour dropped from his face, Danny worried for a moment that something was wrong. But then Steve spoke again and the moment passed. "Jesus…Are you... God, Danny are you dying?!"
"No! Moron!" Danny barked shaking his head. "You don't think that might have been the first thing I told you this morning?" Working he jaw, Steve was slow to reply, his eyes narrowing as his militaristic brain started pulling overtime as if it were the only way to understand what was going on.
And the truth was Danny did have an ulterior motive. About two weeks ago he'd been watching TV at two am contemplating nothing and everything all at once when a commercial had come on for "Sky Dive Hawaii". Now for some inexplicable reason, Danny had written the number down and called the next day.
He made an appointment for two because there was no way in hell he was doing it alone. And Steve, being a crazy ninja, was naturally Danny's first choice for the friend he was going to literally risk his life for.
Hell, they did it almost everyday at work, might as well do it for a completely insane, pure adrenaline inducing rush, that could be chalked up to a potentially bone crushing good time.
The Camaro pulled into the airport parking lot and once again as they dismounted Steve could apparently no longer hold his suspicions.
"You... Skydiving!?" He barked. "Danny... What kind of twilight zone have we entered that is making you, YOU jump out of a plane?! I'll do this I will because hell... It's fun for me but..."
"What day is today Steve?" Danny interrupted. Steve frowned then looked at his cell phone. A moment later he shrugged,
"Of?" Danny asked. Steve's aneurysm face intensified.
"September," he replied. Danny stretched as they approached the main building.
"Two weeks ago in 2001, I took a trip worse than jumping out of a plane, I lost a good partner and great friend," Danny said with blunt honesty. "On top of that the world looked like it was coming to an end and in the days that followed I found out 18 guys and women I went to the academy with were dead. Another 26 FDNY who I knew were also gone and 9 paramedics... You want to know what I decided two weeks after nine-eleven?"
By now Steve had stopped walking forcing Danny to stop and turn around as well. His friend's face was an unreadable blur of every emotion in the book but cleverly hidden.
Always one for words, Danny was a bit surprised when Steve simply shook his head and waited, wide-eyed, like a child waiting for his bedtime story.
Danny smiled a genuinely content smile and looked at his feet.
"I decided once a year I would throw out the rule book, tell the world to f*** it, and do something that reminded me life is exactly that... life. We've only got one, why live in fear? I've bungee jumped, I've gone whitewater rafting, and I've gone through a weeklong survival camp with nothing more than a pocket knife and a gallon of water and today... Today I do the thing that scares me completely to death. Today I jump out of a plane."
"Sounds like a suicidal bucket list," Steve said smiling warmly. Danny threw his arms into the air and shook his head.
"You are an animal! I pour my heart out and you're making jokes!" He exclaimed. "The one time, one time I bring someone along and Rambo SEAL has to throw it in my face."
"One time?" Steve asked after a pause. Danny groaned knowing this part was coming; the part where he admitted exactly why Steve was riding shot-gun to this madness.
"Yes Steven, I usually do my suicide missions, as you put it, alone," he replied. When the detective lifted his head and looked at his partner's face he wasn't surprised and secretly vindicated to find a look of complete sympathy.
"Why me? Why now?" Steve asked quietly. Danny pursed his lips then winced up at the early morning sun.
"Because if my chute doesn't open you'll pull a super SEAL move and save my life," he joked. Then after a heavy pause he added, "And maybe... Maybe I'm tired of doing this alone and would rather have someone who understands what I'm thinking when I do it... I'm not suicidal Steve. I have Grace. I have a surprisingly amazing job but once a year I need to remind myself this ain't a Hollywood movie. That one day, all my hopes and expectations and demands will be denied because I'm just like all those others who died... Guts, bone and very easily burned by Hawaiian sun, skin."
"You need to live for all those who died... For all those who can't," Steve said with complete understanding. And Danny knew the man got what he was saying. He knew by the simple fact that Steve had more than his fair share of crappy deals in life.
It was exactly the reason Danny had brought his walking health hazard of a partner along for this ride.
When Steve's weathered face creased into a wide smile, Danny knew he'd made the right choice.
"So what kind of jump are we doing?" He asked.
"HALO," Danny replied. "Me tandem with a professional and you on your own."
"You've got balls Danno. HALO's no pleasure cruise even if this is a tourist company," Steve smirked. "I could be your tandem."
"No, you can be the guy who saves my ass when the idiot instructor fails to save it for me," Danny smiled happily. A flying plan B was always a good thing.
The rest of prep and instruction went along smoothly and gave Danny the last bit of confidence he needed to perform the insane jump.
They had been in the air for about a half hour and were five minutes before the jump when Danny's instructor and tandem partner turned to Steve and snapped his fingers before engaging their helmet mics.
"Steve Holy Sh** McGarrett! I knew I recognized you! I bugged out of SEAL team nine because I messed up my knee just as you came on! You crazy bastard what are you doing on a pleasure cruise like this?!"
Danny paled as he listened to the conversation. Maybe this wasn't such a good idea. His partner, however, suddenly had his eyes lit up like a kid in a candy store.
"Brian Kill Zone Saunders... I heard you got yourself killed in Afghanistan" Steve chuckled.
"You wish pretty boy," Brian replied. "All I care about now is jumping fast and flying free."
"You always were a hippy, Kill Zone," Steve snorted.
"So not an appropriate nickname right now," Danny growled out to both men.
"Oh don't worry Mr. Williams… sorry, Detective… I got that nickname because I'm invincible," Brian said simply. Blinking incredulously for a few seconds, Danny dumbly replied with;
"He's invincible Danno," Steve said with a devilish grin. "Six tours in various countries, enough shrapnel to build a plane, guts of a suicidal maniac and this man here… never gotten anything more than three days in hospital." Danny looked at the older man and raised an eyebrow. A confident, determined yet peaceful gaze stared back at him.
It was at that moment Danny knew he was looking into the face of his partner in ten years. A person who'd seen all kinds of hell, lost good souls along the way but managed to overcome for one reason or another. For whatever reason, the detective couldn't help but ease himself to the idea of jumping from a plane attached to a man whose nickname was "Kill Zone."
"I survive this and you have to explain why you just called him "Holy Sh**" Mcgarrett instead of Smooth Dog, like the others do," Danny bartered with the man. Steve's eyes went wide and his smile fell away while Brian simply snorted back a laugh.
"Sure thing," he said as he attached himself to the back of Danny's harness.
"Don't you dare," Steve growled. Brian just kept on laughing as he shuffled himself and Danny closer to the jump door ready for action. "Kill Zone don't you f***ing dare tell him that story!" Steve raged.
A second later, the red warning light went green and Brian tapped Danny on the shoulder giving the thumbs up before pausing just long enough to shout;
"His first jump, he screamed like a girl and when he landed, "holy sh**" was pretty much all he could say for the next three hours of debrief!"
Danny didn't know what had him feeling so good for the rest of the day; the short story that had him laughing all the way to the ground or the extreme exhilaration of the jump he'd made and more importantly survived.
That afternoon as Steve and Danny sat on the Navy SEALs lanai with beers in hand and waiting for Chin and Kono to show up for a good old fashion barbeque, Danny sighed and closed his eyes.
"Hell of a day," he smiled.
"Tell anyone about that story and you're a dead man Williams," Steve snarled playfully.
"Would I do that to you?" Danny said opening his eyes again. "After all we've been through?" Little did Steve know, Danny had broadcast the story to both their Five-0 teammates minutes after touching down on the ground hours ago.
As far as he knew, Kono had already found a printed t-shirt that read "Holy Sh**" on it and Chin, that beautiful man, had somehow managed to find declassified footage of Steve's first jump. The young terrified man flailing all the way.
Needless to say, Five-0 was going to be having a good night filled with laughter, friendship and most importantly bonding. A bond that reassured each of them, reassured Danny he had support and though, god forbid, he may lose one of them down the line, it was moments like this that would forever keep them living in his memory.
Or maybe, keep him living in theirs.
"To those lost," Steve said raising his beer to Danny's. The Jersey native however shook his head and raised his beer just a bit higher than Steve's.
"To those who lived," he replied. "So that one day, god willing, someone can and will do the same for us." Steve's face curled up into a content smile and he nodded his appreciation.
"Cheers," he agreed.
After a few sips of beer and a long thought filled pause, Steve sighed and heavily asked;
"Kono and Chin already know that I screamed like a girl at a Justin Bieber concert during my first jump, don't they?" Danny barked out a laugh that only his completely frustrated Five-0 partner could inspire.
"Oh god yes," he replied without remorse.
"You three are cleaning the office for a month," Steve snarled. Though even he couldn't hide his small smirk as a vehicle was heard pulling into the driveway; With it were the cousin's lively voices wafting into their ears showing promise of a good night and a solid addition to a lifetime of good memories.
"Happy Birthday Danno," Steve said suddenly out of the blue.
A wave of shock rippled through Danny as he swung his head toward his partner with an undoubtedly amazed look on his face. He wasn't a fan of birthdays, not since he'd suffered through years of no one there, other than the bartender down the road, to celebrate with him.
"How did you…?"
"I learned from one of the best detective's on the job brah," Steve replied clearly proud of himself. "And a pig tailed sweet little girl may have been my accomplice." Bringing a hand to his heart, Danny mocked being hurt by the news.
"You've turned my sweet Grace into a pineapple eating ninja too?" he asked. Steve laughed as Chin and Kono came around the house with more beer, bags of food in hand and smiles on their faces.
"Can't let you have all the fun Daniel," Steve chuckled.
"Steve!" Kono exclaimed before Danny could reply. She reached into her beach bag, pulling out the printed t-shirt she had texted Danny about earlier. "I've got a present for you!" she grinned presenting the new item.
Steve took one look at the shirt, blinked, then burst out laughing dragging the team down with him seconds later.
Late that night, or early the next morning depending on who was checking, Danny tucked himself into bed smiling at a day well spent.
Yet before his eyes closed for good, he looked at the hand-made, sparkle ridden pink picture frame on his bedside table and smiled even wider.
Inside was the first picture he'd ever allowed to be taken between his coworkers and little girl. Steve, Chin, Kono and even Kamekona all silently grinned back at him, Grace front and center with the biggest grin of them all.
"Happy birthday," Danny chuckled sleepily to himself then added, "For those who lived." He shook his head with a content sigh before rolling over and wondering what surprises, challenges but most importantly, good times the next year would bring.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO EVERYONE EVEN IF IT'S NOT YOUR BIRTHDAY! Lol... And to all those we'd still like to celebrate with but are no longer with us.
Cheers and hope you all liked this one shot enough to read and review please!