A slightly belated birthday present to the lovely creedcascade . Sorry it's late, babe. This is also not my best work so, at least for now, I'm just leaving it here on my journal.
Author: Fatorangekat (DC)
Rating: PG (for language)
Pairing: Danny/Steve (Preslash)
Warning: No spoilers
Disclaimer: Hawaii Five-0 and it's characters do not belong to me- I simply love to play in their sandbox.
Summary: Steve finds out the real reason Danny hates the beach.
Steve watched as Danny stormed into his small apartment, slamming the door back before throwing his keys on the kitchen counter. He started to empty his pockets, muttering under his breath as Steve came in, closing the door behind him. Danny unknotted his dripping tie with sharp movements before starting to strip out of his drenched shirt, still cursing and muttering about teenagers who needed to be dragged out into the street and shot.
“For God sakes, Danny, it’s just water.” Steve couldn’t help grinning as he watched his partner. The guy was beyond pissed as he shot Steve a look that could peel paint.
“Oh sure, says you who jumped out of the way when those brats heaved buckets of ice water out the window! I see you and Kono managed to get your asses out of the way just fine while I got completely doused!”
“Come on, Chin got hit too.” Steve couldn’t help but chuckle.
Danny, now shirtless, his hair still dripping, unzipped his wet pants as he stormed into his small bathroom. “Chin barely got touched!” Danny came back out, towel over his head, pants now off. He dumped them with the wet shirt and tie and grabbed a fresh shirt, hanger and all, from where it hung from one of the wall sconces. “Damn kids, I swear if I ever catch them, I’ll shoot their skinny asses myself.” He grabbed a clean pair of dress slacks, yanking them on with such fury Steve thought he might rip them.
“It was just water, Danno. Geesh, you are worse than a cat, I swear. What is it with you and your aversion to water?”
“Shut up, you!” Danny pointed at him, his pants on but hanging low on his hips, fly undone.
Steve leaned back against the wall, appreciating the view of half naked and livid Danny. There was a lot to appreciate there, considering Steve rarely got to see this much bare skin on the guy. He was always so buttoned up in those damned dress shirts and pants.
Which was a damn shame considering the package that was Danny Williams.
“And I do NOT have an aversion to water! I do not like brat teenagers dumping buckets of ice water on me!” He disappeared back into the bathroom.
“You should be thankful it was just water, considering the part of town we were in.”
“You kiss your daughter with that mouth?” Steve couldn’t resist teasing.
“I’m gonna kiss you with my fist in a minute!”
“Yeah, yeah, promises, promises.” Steve walked across the tiny living room to the couch. There was a fat paperback book, face down on the cushion and a portfolio of some sort next to it. On the table next to the couch, a couple of other fat novels were stacked. It never occurred to Steve that Danny was a reader. He picked up the portfolio so he could sit down and flipped it open in distracted curiosity.
He found several important documents that included graduation and birth certificates, a passport and a copy of the divorce papers among other things. Realizing he was being incredibly nosy and even rude, Steve began to close the portfolio and set it back down when he caught the corner of a photograph.
Behind him, he heard Danny still swearing and complaining from the bathroom as he finished getting changed. Curious, Steve flipped the papers to find several photos tucked behind them. They were family pictures. Steve recognized Danny’s brother, Matthew and what had to be his sisters—both beautiful women. There were some others including a sweet one of Danny, in uniform, holding an infant Grace. Steve assumed it was taken shortly after her birth. It was clear his partner had fallen totally in love with his daughter right from the beginning judging by the enchanted smile on Danny’s face.
There was another one that made Steve pause. It was Danny and Grace, Danny holding his very young daughter as he stood in the water at a shore somewhere. Steve estimated Grace to be maybe four, Danny holding her on his hip. They were both laughing and smiling as they looked at each other. Danny wore swim shorts, the water not quite to his hips.
“See something you like?”
Steve looked up, startled, finding Danny watching him with his arms crossed over his chest. He wore a fresh white dress shirt, the long sleeves rolled to just below his elbows. He’d draped a red striped tie around his neck, but it remained unknotted. He’d combed his wet hair back.
Steve expected anger and rightly so. He had no business glancing through what were clearly very personal things. Instead, there was something else in the other man’s eyes that caught Steve offguard. He held up the picture, showing it to Danny. “The Jersey Shore?”
Something flickered across Danny’s features before he glanced down. When he looked up again, Steve saw a Danny he’d only caught in rare glimpses—an open vulnerability and distant sadness.
“Yes.” Danny came across the room and took the photo and portfolio from Steve.
“Danny, listen, I didn’t mean to pry or get nosy—“
“I used to take Rachel out there when we started to date. On my days off.” Danny stood, looking at the picture. “We loved to go after we were married, even when she was pregnant with Grace. Then after Grace was born…” Danny put the picture inside before bringing the folder over to his kitchen counter and setting it there.
Steve got to his feet. “Danny—“
“I used to love the beach, loved to swim. I’d play for hours with Grace in the surf.” Danny started to shove his wallet, keys and badge into his pockets. He grabbed his cuffs and tucked them into the waistband of his slacks at the small of his back. He picked up his weapon and looked at it for a long moment before finally meeting Steve’s gaze.
The rawness there, the devastation of his failed marriage and how everything had changed shown unmasked in his friend’s eyes.
Danny shook his head. “It was a lifetime ago and that was a different man. It doesn’t matter, what’s done is done and five thousand miles away. Sometimes things happen that can’t be changed.” He went to the door, pulling it open. “We should get going.”
Steve didn’t know what to say. He knew Danny hurt on some levels about what had happened between him and Rachel, but it never occurred to Steve just how deep those wounds ran.
Now he had a better understanding, but not what to do about it.