lovely_ambition: (happy seals are good ones: by nuv0le_rap)
[personal profile] lovely_ambition


in my weakness I grew strong


Ever since Steve made the choice to settle with Danny and Grace, he’d been all-but-inundated with new things to grow accustomed to. Some were easy to adapt to, but there were others that caught him fully off guard. The small things were easy to deal with – morning routines, arguments over dinner, and splitting financials – but then there were the oddities.

One of those oddities that Steve definitely hadn’t expected was for Matt to be as annoyingly nosy as he was.

More regularly than Steve liked, he was woken up in the morning by the door creaking as it was pushed open. When it was Grace, he grinned, beckoning her to join them. When it was Matt, he groaned and curled up tighter against Danny’s back.

In the six months since Steve had moved back to Oahu, Matt had crept in on them at least ten times. Steve hadn’t expected that. Maybe he should have reached back to his own childhood, just to remember what siblings could be like.

That morning, Matt made a cooing noise as he leaned against the doorframe. From the way Danny was shifting in Steve’s arms – which were draped possessively around his waist – he was awake, but ignoring his little brother. “Oh, Danny,” Matt mock-sighed. “You make such a good little wife,” he teased. “How’s the little spoon gig working for you?”

Steve admitted defeat. He knew that he wasn’t getting back to sleep anytime soon. Instead, he began his morning routine. He’d gone to sleep like always in only a pair of boxers, but if Matt was willing to poke his head in to bug Danny, he could deal with Steve’s state of undress.

Danny wasn’t as eager to get up.

Steve scratched his belly idly, giving Matt a patient smile. “Morning, Matthew.”

“Good morning, Steven. Was my brother satisfying last night?”

“Jesus God, I hate both of you,” Danny said sharply, grabbing hold of a pillow and jamming it over his head. Steve stared fondly at Danny and the way the pillow mussed up his hair. “Why didn’t I do the smart thing and move to Boston with Betsy?” he asked, words barely audible.

“Off the top of my head?” Matt responded instantly. “Boston doesn’t have half as much shirtless Steve as Hawaii does.”

Only moments after Matt had irritated him by interrupting his morning time with Danny, Steve was suddenly on his side all over again. “He has a point,” he agreed, stretching out his shoulders. “I’m gonna put on some coffee,” he said, putting on a pair of flannel pants and forgoing the shirt. “Danno, the usual?”

“Double it, I’m gonna need it for my last day in the office, especially with your Dad going crazy paranoid right in front of my eyes.” Danny sat up slowly, rubbing the sleep out of his eyes. Steve lingered just long enough for Danny to get up and rummage through the drawers, grabbing hold of a piece of clothing before following Steve downstairs.

It wasn’t until they got to the kitchen that Danny pressed the clothing against the small of Steve’s back. Steve didn’t bother to turn around until the coffee began to drip.

“What’s that?”

“T-shirt, put it on you sexy half-naked bastard,” Danny grumbled, leaning up to press a slow kiss to the space between Steve’s shoulders. “As much as I love watching you in all your naked glory, I’m not sure my brother or our kid appreciates it.”

“Our kid now, huh?”

“Well, you know, she’s not trying to jump off the roof or swim with the sharks, so maybe she’s not your kid today,” Danny said with a smirk, to which Steve offered an innocent smile in return as he poured a cup of black coffee into his favorite mug. “But it’s pretty early in the morning, and I’m sure she’s gonna do something and claim you taught her. Which, we really need to have a serious discussion about your influences.”

Steve sipped at his coffee slowly (hoping to be infuriating) before he set it aside and tugged the t-shirt on. “You know,” Steve said, his voice bordering on smug, “starting tomorrow, I am your boss...”

“Please, god, don’t remind me,” Danny begged.

“Which means you actually have to start listening to me and respecting me,” Steve finished.

Danny lifted both brows, pouring his coffee while he stared at Steve in shock. “Sorry, do you think this isn’t respect? The fact that I did not scream my head off when you took Grace tandem surfing and that tiger shark came up to you, that very fact? That, that, Steve, is as much respect as you will get from me,” Danny said, shaking his head. “I picked a goddamn lunatic.”

“She was giddy,” Steve argued.

“Yes, and I was busy having a heart attack thinking I was gonna lose my kid and you in the same day,” Danny said. “And then I’d have to get comforted by someone at your wake. Who do you think is best for the job? Amy Hanamoa, or maybe Chin?”

The expected jealousy flared up.

Steve wasn’t an idiot. He knew well enough that Danny was doing this on purpose to incite a reaction. That didn’t mean the growl lodged in the base of his throat was any quieter. “Danny...” Steve warned.

“You’re cute when you’re being a caveman,” Danny appraised, popping some grapes loose from the stem and zipping them away for later in the day. “But I am late and I still have a job to do, so kiss Grace for me and don’t forget we have the task force coming over tonight so we can discuss logistics.” Danny was practically a whirlwind from that point, grabbing his suit jacket, his papers, and his car keys in what seemed like one fell swoop. “Chin’s bringing Malia, Meka’s bringing Amy and Billy, and your Dad said he’ll try to stop by, key word is ‘try’.”

“What, I’m not invited?” Matt asked when he wandered into the kitchen to join them. “Oh hey, it’s Steve. Hi, Steve,” he said with mock-surprise. “I didn’t recognize you, what with you wearing clothes.” Steve rolled his eyes, stepping in front of the coffee maker to bar Matt from having any, just for that little remark.

“He has a point,” Danny said, mimicking Steve’s tone from earlier. “Steve, let my brother have coffee. Matt, don’t give Steve too much shit about the nudity. There’s an idiotic part of me that lives in my pants that actually likes it.”

“Hi! Still your brother,” Matt said cheerfully. “Thank you for scarring me all the way until my afterlife.”

“It’s my job,” Danny said with a dutiful salute. “And Matt, you bring me some extra ribs and steak from the store tonight and yeah, yeah, you can come. No date,” he warned.

“Everyone else gets to bring a date!”

“Everyone else is in a committed relationship and isn’t picking up some girl on their drive home,” Danny replied instantly. “No date, you bring ribs and steak, and you’re not allowed to coo at me and Steve.”

“I don’t coo,” Matt scoffed.

“You kind of do,” Steve said from behind his mug. “It’s pretty scary. You treat us like we’re baby rabbits.” Steve just hoped they weren’t the kind of rabbits that were inevitably sent to slaughter. “Danny, go,” he insisted. “I’ve got things under control. I’ll get Grace up and start doing food prep for tonight.”

Danny was staring at him like he wasn’t so sure. Steve rolled his eyes and pressed a hand to each of Danny’s shoulders to forcibly march him out of the house.

“Go,” he insisted.

When he returned to the kitchen, his coffee was no longer where he’d left it. Instead, Steve found it in Matt’s hands.

“Seriously?” Steve said, rolling his eyes.

“What? You’re practically married to my brother, which makes all his property yours and that means you’re fair game to be hassled by the siblings,” Matt said, clapping Steve on the back. “Enjoy your housewifing,” he called back as he took Steve’s coffee and made his way outside to the gazebo, cell phone in hand.

Steve’s irritation had faded by the time he poured his next cup of coffee, helped along by the fact that Grace was stumbling her way downstairs, rubbing sleep out of her eyes. “Morning,” she said, always as grumpy as her father was at this hour.

“You have exactly thirty minutes before school,” Steve said, checking his watch. “I’d get moving if you want a ride.”

That lit a fire under her. While she was hurrying to get ready, Steve made his to-do list for the day. Once he’d dropped off Grace, gone grocery shopping, and finished some light house cleaning, he was mostly through the list and it was almost day’s end. Grace was taking the bus home, Matt was out with a client, and Steve had that big house all to himself. He wondered, briefly, about things at HPD. He wondered how Danny, Chin, and Meka’s last days were going, but the lion’s share of his worrying was spent on his father.

John had grown more paranoid and more obsessed with his investigation. It was as if he feared that losing his allies within the HPD was going to harm him rather than help. With Danny and the others in a position of full immunity and means, they could look into the kinds of things that John suspected. It was good news, but try telling that to John McGarrett.

The afternoon passed quickly. Steve was in the middle of basting the ribs when the doorbell rang, catching him off guard. He checked his watch, called up to Grace to make sure she was still doing homework, and wondered what was keeping Danny so late at work.

It was Chin and Malia at the door. Steve was in the middle of greeting them when he glanced down to shake Chin’s hand and saw a bright new band on Malia’s ring finger.

“Chin,” Steve said with approval. “When did you do this?”

“He did it just the other night,” Malia said, hiding her face in embarrassment before she gave up on it as a lost cause and let her giddiness shine through. “He, Danny, and Meka all received a pay raise with this new job...”

“And I couldn’t think of anything better than to spend it on her,” Chin cut her off, leaning down to press a kiss to Malia’s palm while he led her inside. “Danny sent along a message. He’s finishing some paperwork that the Governor said you were supposed to do, but mysteriously, Danny said he’d do it for you.”

Steve couldn’t even help his smug smile. “He lost a bet.”

Chin quirked a brow upwards, but made no comment. “Are we the first to get here?”

“Yeah, yeah, but come on in, I’m getting stuff ready for the grill.”

Malia took Chin’s coat and made her way inside, her attention on various parts of the house. Chin lingered in the foyer with Steve, giving him the look that Steve had long-ago learned meant Chin had something to say to him.

“Yes?” Steve asked, waiting for the shoe to drop.

“I want you and Danny to be groomsmen,” Chin said. “The wedding isn’t for several months yet, but I’m a big believer in plans. And, unfortunately for you, we plan on having suits with ties.”

Steve pulled a face. “Can’t you just give Danny two?”

“He’s already gleeful that you’ll be in neckwear. Would you really take that away from him?” Chin asked, just as the front door was unlocked from the outside. “Speak of the devil,” Chin added as Danny came through the front, weighed down by fabric bags.

Steve instantly stepped forward to help with most of them, even though they were fairly light and Danny didn’t really need the help. He took the opportunity to lean in and brush a kiss to Danny’s lips, grinning fondly.

“Hey,” Danny said suspiciously. “What’s with the mood?”

“Chin’s getting married,” Steve said smugly.

“Yes, I know that, we had a discussion about neckwear,” Danny said, a suspicious look filtering over his face. “Why do you look so giddy about someone else’s marriage?”

“It’s good news, Danny, can’t I be happy about good news? It’s been six months with you and me, everything’s great, I love Grace, we both have good jobs with a pay raise for you, and one of our best friends is getting married,” Steve said, the exuberance in his voice matched by the grin on his lips. “Can’t you see that for its goodness?”

“You,” Danny said, poking a finger against Steve’s chest as he started to unpack the bags, digging out the beer, “are adorable. Which is not a word I use lightly on a rough, tough, Navy SEAL. Chin!” he summoned. “Put the game on, will you?”

“Do we have to?” Malia asked, popping in from the patio. “What happened to talking?”

“Have you ever tried holding down a conversation with Steve for more than twenty minutes? I hope you like hearing all about the elegance of the Mercury Marquis,” Danny warned. “Which, I don’t care what you or your Dad says. It’s a shitty car, Steven, and if you strand me on Diamond Head one more time in the middle of the day, you’re gonna hear about it.”

“I don’t hear about it already?” Steve asked incredulously. “This isn’t hearing about it?”

Danny smirked at him and continued to unload the bags, which was as clear a sign as any for Steve to go do what he was supposed to in getting the grill going. Danny grabbed hold of the remote, turning on the Yankees game against any protests – though he did mute it when Steve shot him a disapproving look on his way outside.

“I’ll keep you company,” Chin promised, clapping Steve on the back as they collected up the uncooked meat and made their way outside to the smoking grill. “Things are good here? Six months and you haven’t tried to take off. I take it that means that things are working out with you and Danny.”

“I just wish his brother wasn’t so nosy,” Steve admitted, clapping the tongs together as he lifted the hood of the grill and put on steak, chicken, and an assortment of basted ribs. “Do you know how many mornings it’s him and not Grace in our doorway? It’s like there’s two kids in the house, three when Danny’s in a mood.”

“It’s the Williams blood,” Danny said as he followed outside with Malia, both of them carrying two beers apiece. Malia’s extra went to Chin; when Steve expectantly held out his hand, Danny gave him a look. “What, you think this is for you?” He leaned closer, pressing the sweating bottle to Steve’s forehead. “Of course it’s for you. Amy just called. They’re on their way and are very hungry. That’s a direct quote, so grill like you mean it, Steve.”

“I’d like to know why we’re talking about me when we can talk about that rock,” Steve said, gesturing to Malia’s hand. “How’d he do it?”

“He took me to the beach,” Malia said with a fond smile on her lips. “There was a man playing a guitar just down from where we stopped, at sunset, and just when he started to play my favourite song, Chin tucked a flower in my hair and got down on one knee.”

“Chin, congratulations on hitting all the romantic clichés,” Danny said with a smirk.

“Oh, don’t be cruel, it worked like a charm,” Malia insisted, lightly smacking at Danny’s arm.

Steve snapped the tongs in Danny’s face as he idled by the grill. “Why, what’s your idea of a perfect proposal?” Steve asked, his brows narrowing in curiosity. While he didn’t have any plans on asking, it was the kind of information that was likely to come in handy one day. “A proposal as read to you by a governed officer of the law? Handcuffs that say ‘marry me’ while you cart off some perp to justice?”

Danny relaxed back against the wall, sipping at his beer and smiling enigmatically.

“Oh, come on, is it seriously a secret?” Steve asked with a scoff.

“What, you think I’m gonna make this easy for you? Steve, god help me, if one day you decide to propose to me, I’m not handing you the instruction sheet. Give me a little credit here.” Danny took a long sip of beer and held Steve’s gaze, as if daring him to do it – whether now or at some point in time, that was definitely a challenging look on Danny’s face.

Steve was saved by the literal bell.

“Oh thank god, remind me to buy Meka a drink for that kind of timing,” Steve murmured under his breath when Danny left to greet their guests.

Chin raised his brow and Malia pursed her lips, but neither of them actually said anything. Steve focused on the food, his tense mood lifting when the first ones out the sliding doors were Grace and Billy, locked in a spontaneous game of tag. They couldn’t have been there for more than two minutes and already the kids had found a game to play.

“Hey, careful,” Steve called after them. “Stay away from the pool and I don’t want to perform any kind of first aid today!”

“We’ll be careful, Dad!” Grace shrieked as she narrowly avoided Billy’s hand, making a desperate attempt to tag her, before she squirmed her way into some of the lush tree arrangements near the edges of the property.

Steve glanced to Chin and Malia, then back to the kids as he smiled in distracted amusement. “So, are you two going to...?”

“We’re thinking that we’ll focus on the getting married part first,” Chin said with a slightly anxious laugh. “Neither of our families will be very pleased if Malia ends up walking down the aisle with her own plus one.” They were standing comfortably close in that way that Steve suspected all newly-engaged couples did. It was almost as if they were frightened to stray too far lest something happen. Chin’s arm held tight to Malia’s shoulders and she rested her cheek on his shoulder.

It made Steve grateful to see that kind of happiness, and it made him doubly appreciative that he’d found his own.

Danny, Meka, and Amy followed what seemed like ages after the kids had burst outside. Everyone had drinks in hand and they were moving at a sedate pace. Steve stood back and let everyone else greet each other and make their pleasantries and small talk while he kept on grilling, sipping at his beer every now and then.

He felt strange – in that awkward position of being the boss and also of not knowing these people half as well as Danny did.

Amy and Malia were talking excitedly as Amy clasped hold of Malia’s hands while Chin and Meka stood in quiet conference nearby. Steve felt Danny at his side before he heard him and exhaled a breath of relief at being given a reprieve from his next move in social chess. Danny wound his arms around Steve’s waist casually, resting his chin on Steve’s shoulder. “Breathe,” Danny instructed quietly.

“You remember the part where I’m not as good as you at this,” Steve said, just wanting Danny to remember why he was so tense that he was practically vibrating. “Is this going to be a regular thing?”

Danny made a humming sound against Steve’s neck. The vibration against his skin gave Steve chills down his spine. He let out a frustrated groan, knowing that while dinner was close to being served, their guests would likely be around for a while, Grace had hours before bed, and John was supposed to show up. Steve wouldn’t be able to indulge in what his body so desperately wanted, and Danny was only making it harder – in a very frustrating, literal way, too.

“We’ll see,” Danny said, giving Steve’s ass a smack before he held out the serving plates to Steve in order to get the meal going. “Gracie! Billy! Come get some chicken while it’s hot!”

Both kids unearthed themselves from the shrubbery and Steve winced at the amount of dirt on their skin. He could see the dismay on Amy and Meka’s faces and he didn’t even have to look at Danny to feel his radiating disapproval.

“Grace, you’re not sitting in Grandpa John’s lap like that,” Danny warned. “Once you finish dinner, you and me are going upstairs for bath-time. Got it, Monkey?”

“Alright,” Grace grumbled, sulking as she wandered right up to Steve and held out her plate. “You’re not mad, are you?” she asked, staring straight up at Steve with puppy-dog eyes. Steve was a strong man who’d survived a lot of firefights. He wasn’t sure he could survive being looked at like that for too long, though. “Daddy?” she added, dousing the fire with extra fuel.

“Listen to Danno,” Steve said, unearthing strength from some depth of himself he hadn’t even known existed.

Danny clearly approved, so maybe it was worth Grace’s pout.

It was definitely worth enduring Grace’s mood when Danny corralled him by the cheek with a light press of his fingers, turning Steve’s chin forcibly to face him. “Good Dad behaviour and better boyfriend action,” Danny said before bestowing a kiss to Steve’s lips. He took the last plate of food from Steve, sneaking his fingers into the strings of Steve’s apron to covertly loosen the knot, prying it off.

“Danny!” Steve hissed, grabbing it back before he could get too far. The other couples (and the kids) had made their way inside, but there was no way Steve was following without a little cover-up.

Danny gave Steve a concerned look before his attention drifted lower and he saw the clear problem. “Steven. Seriously?”

“You’re the one groping me and smacking my ass,” Steve said as he cinched the apron tight around his waist and knotted it expertly in a bowline knot. Considering he could do that underwater, he finished with frightening speed.

Danny’s grin turned proud and almost self-congratulatory as he lingered, getting in Steve’s space. “When everyone’s gone and Grace is asleep, I’m gonna drag the hammock out of the shed and you and me are gonna have our own little date night out here.” Steve let out a guttural sound and glared at Danny. “What?” Danny asked, forcing a look of innocence.

“Danny, I swear to god...”

“Don’t do that, you might get in trouble with the big man,” Danny said, shifting the plate away in order to press a slow kiss to Steve’s lips, taking a long while to ease away. “C’mon, let’s get inside before our guests think we’re getting up to something.”

“We are getting up to something.”

“Yeah, yeah, semantics,” Danny said, waving a hand as he led the way inside.

The set-up was casual. Steve had arranged placemats around the living room, the game still on the television. Danny’s attention instantly shifted from Steve to the game the moment they got inside. Steve felt practically bereft. “Baseball’s still your true love, huh?” Steve teased, setting the plates down at the table. “Guys, dig in, please,” he insisted, handing plates of chicken burgers with salad to both Grace and Billy. “Danny, I’m turning the television off,” he warned only moments before he pressed the button.

Danny’s protests were short-lived seeing as minutes after Steve took Danny away from baseball, the last of the party joined.

“Look what I found on the driveway,” Matt joked, gesturing to John. “Danny, Steve said he got the meat, so I come bearing red wine. Forgive me?”

“Eh, you can stay,” Danny said dismissively.

“Uncle Matt!” Grace squealed excitedly, running over to hug his leg – and his white suit pants – in all her soil-covered glory. That got a wide grin from Danny. “Oops,” Grace said with worry when some of the dirt rubbed off on the pristine fabric.

“That’s almost worth the pain of the bath,” Danny admitted, practically crowing with glee. “John, hey, come on in. Your boy just finished grilling up some masterpieces, come have a steak,” he said, making room on the sofa by crowding closer to Steve. Steve adjusted by slinging his arm around Danny’s waist to make the space.

In the six months since he’d been back, he and John had been trying to make headway into their relationship. They tried to find common ground, but it was difficult. It seemed that, lately, John wasn’t around and all his attention was spent on his investigation. Danny had confessed that John seemed more paranoid than ever, and it didn’t take long before Steve was fully on board with that assessment.

It worried him. He just didn’t know how he was supposed to bring it up without alienating his father and pushing him away. That was the last thing he needed.

“Dad,” Steve greeted him, his smile tense.

John was leaning forward, loading up his plate with food and popping a stray baby carrot into his mouth. “Steve,” John replied cheerfully, like there wasn’t a growing distance between them and John didn’t spend every waking moment looking into a conspiracy that Steve wasn’t sure existed. “Good work on dinner. I’m glad to know you picked it up somewhere out there.”

There was a chance that the mood could grow chilly, but that was expertly deflected when Danny popped up from his seat and made sure everyone’s drink was freshened up, everyone had enough food, and the kids were enjoying themselves. He busied himself at the television as talk turned to work.

“So what’s the plan, Boss?” Chin asked.

“First, never calling me Boss,” Steve said. “The only reason I got the head position is because the Governor wanted someone used to missions. We’ll still be doing a fair amount of policework, but there’s an element of task force to it all.” He kept his eyes on Danny, who was fiddling with the VCR. “Danny, what are you...”

“I’m putting some of your old games on,” Danny said over his shoulder. “Your Dad wants to show me something that you apparently did before some big NFL-er did.”

“So, you’re not the Bossman, we’re still cops, and...?” Meka piped up, bringing the conversation back around to its point.

“Well, the big news is that we’ve got full immunity and means,” Steve said. “Which means that we have a lot of leeway.”

“Leeway that I don’t wanna see abused, okay?” Danny interrupted. In the time since they’d found out about this job, the one big argument that Steve and Danny ever had (that didn’t revolve around Grace’s upbringing) had to do with how far Steve wanted to push their immunity and how Danny saw it as a reason to exercise restraint.

Steve sent Danny a look that said he still didn’t agree, but it was one of those arguments he didn’t see himself winning anytime soon.

“And what about the name?” Chin asked, but that was the last clear point anyone heard before the room devolved into chaos. Grace and Billy started to chime in with names they thought appropriate (Steve wasn’t sure why, but ‘Super-Cool-T-Rex-Awesome’ didn’t sound as bad as it should have, though he was definitely ruling out ‘Princess Gracie’s Super-Fighters’, because daughter or not, he had his limits). Chin was trying to talk to John, on opposite sides of the room, and Amy, Malia, and Meka were all involved in a conversation regarding benefits and pay.

Danny rearranged himself, sitting on the arm of the sofa, and nudged his bare feet under Steve’s thighs. He raised both brows and while he hadn’t said a word, Steve laughed like he’d just told a joke.

Steve shifted his hand to cup Danny’s ankle, sliding it up and down the calf before leaning in to press a slow kiss to the outside of Danny’s knee. His laugh was breathless and almost one of sheer disbelief. If you told him a year ago that he’d be entertaining guests in the comfort of a home while debating the finer points of a new task force, he’d have called it crazy.

It turned out it was the kind of crazy that Steve could get used to.

“Hey, hey, everyone shut up!” Danny shouted, finally, when people had to raise their voices and the room was in a din. “Hold up, this is the play,” he said excitedly, winding an arm around Steve’s shoulders and gripping on tight as he watched the screen.

“Fifty?” Meka asked warily. “But you’re the quarterback. Shouldn’t you be number one?”

“Oh, god, please don’t encourage the ego,” Danny groaned.

“It’s not fifty,” Steve and John said, at the same time.

“Good, and now the McGarrett echo is back,” Danny said, pressing his lips together in a fond smirk. The others looked confused, save for Chin and Danny, who had heard this story enough times to know where it was going. “Put them out of their misery, tell them.”

“It’s five-0. When Mary and Steve were kids, it’s what I called the family. Five-0, because while this is our home, there are always going to be people calling us haoles because we’re not native Hawaiian,” he explained, casting Danny a sympathetic smile. “I thought, maybe, it would be a way to make Mary and Steve feel like they belonged.”

“It did the trick for me,” Steve said with an appreciative smile.

“Five-0,” Danny said slowly, drawing it out, “isn’t the worst name in the world, you know. If you want to talk about taking people out of their element, making them feel like they belong...” He nudged at Steve’s shoulder, leaning in heavily against his side. “What do you think, boss?”

For all that he proclaimed to dislike being called that by the others, it gave him a definite thrill of pleasure coming from Danny, which was something Steve was going to examine later (much later). Danny gave Steve one last squeeze on the shoulder before extricating himself, picking Grace up at the waist and lifting her up in the air. “Where’re you going?” Steve asked, putting the question aside.

“Bath time for the little miss. I’m serious, Steve, what do you think? You wanna be Five-0?”

“I already have been for most of my life,” Steve said, seriously. “It’s not up to me.”

“Well, then, Chin, Meka, have it out with Steven while I get the grime off this little one,” he said, tapping Grace on the nose and earning a pleased giggle. Steve watched him go up the stairs, turning his attention back to the awaiting group – well, all save for Matt, who was intent on watching Steve’s old football game like it was the NFL.

When Steve stopped watching Danny (his gaze had slipped from staring at his back to watching Danny’s ass), he turned to find the room was quiet and all eyes were on him.

“Well? Because I think it’s that or Billy’s suggestion for Team T-Rex,” Steve offered. “Or Honolulu Task Force,” he admitted to the saner option on the table.

“I like Five-0,” Chin said with a proud smile, bringing Malia in close and brushing a kiss to her temple. “I want to feel like I belong to something. John gave you a name to do that, and since everyone turned down my earlier suggestion...”

“Honey, it was long,” Malia interrupted with a laugh of protest. “And Danny was hopeless trying to pronounce it.”

“In that case, Five-0 it is,” Chin finished with a smile. He lifted his bottle of beer, clearing his throat as he did. “I’d like to propose a toast to tomorrow and whatever the rest of our days bring. To Five-0, to Steve McGarrett, and to the Williams’ brothers for extending their home to us.”

“Hey, seriously, anytime, provided I’m not the one doing the work,” Matt replied.

The chaos of noise descended again once the toast was over and Steve dove right into it this time. The conversation ranged from Chin and Malia’s wedding to the new offices they were moving into. It was only when Meka, Amy, and Billy left that the conversation turned more sedate.

“So, now that Chin’s engaged, I wanna know if you intend to ask my brother,” Matt said once he’d done a thorough check to make sure Danny was still busy upstairs (very busy, if the sounds of the ducky-bath-time-song were any indication).

Steve shook his head, trying not to look his father’s way in case there was disapproval to be found. “It’s not legal here, and we’re already living together. Until the laws change, we’re happy with this as it is. Besides, I’m pretty sure Danny’s still expecting me to pick up and leave.”

“And do you?” John asked. “Do you want to go back to the Navy?”

Steve was grateful that he could smile blissfully, shake his head, say, “No,” and honestly mean it. “I’m eager to start work for the Governor,” he said dutifully. “I think it’ll be everything that I was doing, but more rewarding because I’m protecting my home, just like my grandfather,” he said, locking eyes with his father momentarily. “And things here are good,” he insisted. “So, no, Matt, you’re not getting the chance to hit on my Navy friends at a wedding.”

“God, you suck. Never show me pictures again,” he insisted. “You’re seriously just a big tease.”

“Hey, watch the mouth,” Danny warned, holding Grace’s hand as they came back down from upstairs. Grace’s hair had been combed and she was wearing her pink duckie pyjamas. She wiggled her way out of Danny’s hold and sprinted down the stairs to jump into Steve’s lap.

He gave a mock sound of protest as he pretended to be bowled back, wrapping his arms tightly around her. “All clean?” he surveyed, lifting strands of her hair to check behind her ears.

Grace giggled and tried to edge away. “I’m all clean!” she insisted, crawling out of Steve’s lap and into John’s. “Grandpa John, Danno said you would tell me a bedtime story if I asked really nice. Will you? Please?” she begged, widening her eyes until they were at critical mass level and no one in the room was safe.

Steve pushed himself off the couch to see Chin and Malia to the door when they began to make quiet noises about leaving. He held the front door open, grinning like an idiot as Chin helped Malia into her coat. “It’s all working out, isn’t it?” he asked, partially because he wanted the verbal confirmation.

“Looks like it,” Chin agreed. “I’m glad you stayed, Steve. I couldn’t think of a better task force than the one we’re starting tomorrow.”

Steve had already been brimming with pride, but now he felt like he might explode with it. He clapped Chin on the back and hugged Malia tightly before seeing them off. When he closed the front door, he was ready to start his nightly routine, but Danny was standing in the foyer. He looked ready to throw a wrench in Steve’s plans.

Then, it was Danny. He wouldn’t be Danny if he didn’t cause some kind of havoc.

“Hey,” Danny said fondly.

“Hey. I was just about to start cleaning...”

Danny cut him off with a kiss, wrapping his arms around Steve’s neck and sliding to his toes in order to press their bodies together. “Matt’s got it. Your Dad’s gonna put Grace to bed. How about you and I go outside and find that hammock?”

“My Dad is here,” Steve said, his face pinched.

“...Steven,” Danny said with dismay and mild amusement. “We’ll find the hammock to stargaze. You have a ridiculously filthy mind.”

Steve snuck his fingers down Danny’s jeans, brushing against the edge of his boxers as he leaned in and scraped his teeth over the skin of Danny’s neck before sucking a light pink mark into his skin. “And when Dad’s gone...?”

“Yeah,” Danny breathed out, his grip on Steve’s hips getting tighter. “Then, yeah, maybe.”

Tomorrow was going to start a whole new chapter in their lives. Tonight, all Steve wanted to do was keep spending time with the people he loved best in the world.

cont'd
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