A continuation of what I started in No Promises. Fair warning, this is a boatload of angst and for whatever reason, I like writing messed up Danny.
Banner provided by the lovely azziria
Title: No Compromise
Author: Fatorangekat (DC)
Rating: R- for language
Disclaimer: The Hawaii Five-0 characters to not belong to me. I simply like to play on their beach.
Spoilers: Very brief mention of Episodes 17 & 18.
Note: this is a continuation of No Promises, which you do need to read to understand what's going on here.
Summary: Steve just can't let things alone, even when he knows he should.
He’d moved too fast and too soon and the result had been Danny's freaking out.
He’d moved too fast and too soon and the result had been Danny's freaking out. Steve was furious with himself. He should have known better, should have understood this was not the time to make his move.
The damage was done. He couldn’t take it back and pretend it didn't happen. They were both naked in that shower and all of Steve's fantasies and longing had come true as he held and touched Danny.
Months of flirting and “what if” looks. Of Danny’s casual touch with a hand to the small of Steve’s back, or on his arm or resting briefly on his leg. The contact never lingered but Steve was hyper aware every single time Danny did it. He wanted more than those fleeting brushes of hand and fingers and ached for Danny to really lay his hands on him.
He wanted Danny, it was that simple. But he understood it wasn’t that simple for the other man. He knew Danny was still raw and hurting from his breakup and divorce. He put up a good front, always making noises about beautiful women and Steve teased him right back about it. Yet despite that, Steve was very much aware Danny never hooked up or went out.
He’d seen past the noise and bluster and caught, despite Danny’s best efforts, those rare unguarded moments when he couldn’t hide the pain of his failed marriage. They were brief and Steve had to be looking, but he saw them more than once.
So Steve could understand that it might not be easy for Danny to just let all that go and jump into something with him. But Steve felt it was worth the wait, worth the gentle nudging, light flirting and knowing glances. He knew that eventually Danny would come around.
But Steve making his move in the shower when Danny was so in the wrong place in his head had been a huge mistake. Steve had been so caught up in the moment, with Danny there in his arms, pressed against him as Steve held his cock in his hand that he wasn’t paying attention to what was really going on.
Or he didn’t want to.
Danny had whispered, “No promises,” and that should have been Steve’s first clue.
He should have pulled back when what Danny wanted was to be hurt. It wasn’t a kink, Steve knew that now. Should have known it when he saw the misery in his friend’s eyes. Instead, Steve took advantage of it. Christ, he was such an idiot. Then he pushed it just that bit too far, misreading what Danny really wanted.
That’s when Danny panicked and practically bolted.
Steve couldn’t be more ashamed.
Giving Danny a few hours to calm down, Steve tried to call him later that evening. But Danny didn’t pick up. Over the next hour, Steve kept trying but still no Danny.
Frustrated and afraid he'd ruined more than just their friendship, Steve finally gave in and drove out to Danny's apartment. The Camero wasn't there and the place looked dark in the late evening shadows.
He tried calling again but like all his previous attempts, he got bumped to voice mail. "Come on, Danny, can we please talk about this? I just want to make sure you're okay—that we're okay. Hell." Steve didn't know what else to say, so he hung up and drove home.
He didn't sleep that night, waiting for his cell to ring. When false dawn started to color the eastern horizon, Steve gave up and decided to go into work. He wanted to believe Danny would come in as it wasn't in his nature to just blow the day off.
Hell, he prayed Danny would come in because he wasn’t sure what he’d do if the other man didn’t.
He'd be able to talk to him then, try to smooth over what happened and apologize. Although how does one smooth over jumping your partner in the shower when he’s at an emotional low? Do they make greeting cards for that?
Knowing Danny’s weakness for sweets, Steve picked up a bag of malasadas when he stopped for coffee. It wasn’t much as peace offerings went considering what he was apologizing for.
He sipped his coffee as he came into the Five-O headquarters, flipping on the lights in the dark room. He went straight for his office, his mind tumbling over what to say and how to say it. He didn’t want to lose Danny, not like this.
The place was a fishbowl with no privacy, which rarely presented a problem. Steve liked that he could look up from his desk and see what the rest of the team was doing, no matter where they were in the headquarters. This morning was no exception when he slowed to a halt, staring in at Danny’s office.
Danny was passed out on the couch, face down, hair a total wreck. Well, mystery solved. This was where his friend had been last night. He must have gone home at some point though, as he wasn't wearing the too-big sweats. Instead he had on a pair of worn jeans and a black T-shirt. A pair of ratty sneakers were on the floor next to the couch.
Sweet Christ, up until this moment, Steve hadn’t been entirely sure Danny even owned any jeans and T-shirts. Casual for Danny meant no tie and the first two or three buttons undone on his shirt. Seriously. Which was a shame because even passed out and sprawled on that couch, Steve could appreciate how the T-shirt stretched over those spectacular arms and shoulders.
Of course nothing could compare to Danny naked in Steve’s shower. Nothing.
This wasn’t helping his cause, Steve reminded himself. Glancing at the bag of donuts, Steve took a deep breath and crossed over to Danny’s office, nudging the door open.
The other man muttered, grumbled and shifted, finally getting his arms under him and levering himself up enough to look and blink at Steve. As the sleep cleared from his eyes, Steve saw something else chase across before Danny ducked his head and looked away. He shoved himself up enough to sit, stretching his legs out and wincing. Steve didn’t realize until then that he was barefoot.
He sat on the edge of the desk, setting the bag there. “Hey.”
Danny didn’t say anything, only ran his hands though the wild tangle of hair that was normally tamed and perfect. Steve could read the tension across his friend’s shoulders.
“What do you want, McGarrett?” He finally looked up. There was a riot of emotions there in his eyes, belying the coolness of his voice.
“We need to talk.”
Danny shoved to his feet, shaking his head as he went behind his desk. He had a dress shirt, pants and tie draped over the chair and he gathered those up, throwing them over his arm. “No, we don’t.” He picked up a small duffle bag that had been on the floor out of Steve’s sight.
“Danny, please, just listen to me for a minute—“
“I’m not in the mood to discuss this right now.” Danny headed for the door. Steve moved to cut him off but Danny spun on him, head up and eyes bright. “Don’t! Don’t do something stupid here!”
“Are you serious? I think we’re past that, don’t you?”
“I’m only gonna say this once, McGarrett.” Danny’s voice was cold, the words clipped. “It never happened. End of story. Drop it here and now.” He pushed past Steve who could only stare at him. “I’m going to change and get some coffee.” He pushed the door open and glanced back at Steve, eyes dark. “And don’t ever try to box me in my office again.” Then he was gone, walking across the main office before Steve could understand what just happened.
Danny dumped the clothes and beat up sneakers he’d changed out of in the trunk of his car next to the rifle he kept there. He didn’t like keeping it in his small apartment for a lot of reasons, Grace being at the top of the list. He didn’t use it often but he knew how to and it had come in handy a couple of times since he’d come to the Islands.
He drew the line at grenades in the glove box, though. Danny slammed the trunk closed. He drove Grace around in this car, for the love of God. What the hell was McGarrett thinking?
And that was the crux of it, wasn’t it? McGarrett’s absolute refusal to use an ounce of common sense. Danny turned and rested back against the car, arms crossed. He nodded absently to the uniforms who walked by and greeted him. It was shaping up to be another postcard day in paradise.
It wasn’t just that. Steve liked to charge into situations regardless of the consequences. Danny wasn’t sure the guy didn’t have some underlying death wish. Unfortunately, there had been times when they all got caught up in the mess and resulting fallout.
If there had ever been a thrill or fun factor in any of it, it had long since worn off.
Steve apparently used that same careless impulsiveness off the job as well; acting before thinking about it.
And okay, Danny had to share the blame. He didn’t push Steve out or demand he get the hell out. Instead, for some reason, Danny let it happen. He knew he was lonely, he knew he craved contact and hell, he wanted that with Steve. But there were too many things that could go wrong, even if he removed the fact that Steve was his boss and partner.
Danny couldn’t be sure that Steve wasn’t just as reckless with his relationships as he was with everything else. And Danny wasn’t ready for that kind of fallout. He was still busy licking his wounds over his divorce.
More than that, Danny didn’t do casual. If he did, he’d have been hooking up all over the damned island. It wasn’t like he didn’t lack for opportunity. He’d turn down any number of offers.
He simply wasn’t interested.
But when it came to Steve…
Danny could share some of the blame and admit that in no small part, this was his fault. Steve was an outrageous flirt and Danny did nothing to dissuade it, including the “What if” looks or occasional innuendo. Danny told himself it was harmless, that nothing was really going to come of it. It fed a few private fantasies he kept to himself. And how pathetic was that, really?
He should have put a stop to it. He should have cornered Steve and laid it out—that he was not ready or interested. That Steve was his boss and that alone made it a bad idea. Instead he led the other man on.
When it was over with Rachel, when it was at its most bitter and Danny found himself on that emotional ledge, he understood what had put him there. As fucked up as he was in those months following the split, and he was so fucked up, he had enough clarity to promise himself he wouldn’t be in that situation again. Ever.
No easy task considering how he was raised. To put everything out there, to love and love large, that’s what Danny had always done. He still had that with Grace and nothing would change that. But it had cost him dearly, nearly destroying him when he and Rachel split. Thank god his brother had been there to pick up the shattered pieces.
But the cracks were still there and nothing could fix that.
Danny lowered his head, shoving his hands through his hair. Sweet Christ, what had his life come to at this point? Reduced to his job and the precious hours he had with his daughter each week and little else. He was so tired of being miserable but what choices were there?
He was a coward and he knew it. But McGarrett was too much of a risk and there was no compromising on it. Not if Danny wanted to survive.
The day dragged by in a strained silence that was hard to ignore. Chin and Kono attributed Danny’s mood to yesterday’s events and left it at that. Steve did nothing to dissuade either from the notion. Besides, the truth was a bit awkward, even among their tight knit group.
Steve didn’t think that the cousins wouldn’t approve of him starting up a relationship with Danny or even the fact that they were both men. No, the real truth was much more complicated than that.
There had been an evening about a month ago where they’d all gone out after shift. Danny didn’t have Grace for the weekend so they’d stopped at the local cop bar down the street. It had been crowded with both uniforms and plainclothes, the noise level loud as it competed with the music. There was a rowdy game of pool going on in the back, drawing laughter and good natured if ribald insults.
Kono had excused herself to chat with a couple of her academy buddies at the next table. Danny got up to get the next round of beers.
Steve couldn’t stop watching him as he negotiated the crowded room, tossing a smile at someone who called his name. The dress shirt pulled across his shoulders, Steve admiring the play of muscles and the way Danny’s slacks hugged that impressive ass. Despite some questionable eating habits, Danny was built, a solid package from top to bottom. And those hands—Steve watched with no small amount of envy as Danny rested those hands on arms and shoulders as he threaded his way to the bar. Danny had big hands that he just couldn’t keep to himself. Steve loved those hands…
“You considering trying to get in on that action?” Chin broke across his thoughts and Steve glanced at him, confused.
Chin tilted his head and raised an eyebrow at him and Steve was reminded with a flush of embarrassment that the man was a watcher. Chin missed very few details, something his father had admired.
“I had been wondering, the thought having crossed my mind a time or two with the way you crowd his personal space sometimes.” Chin took a sip of his beer. “And seriously, it’s not like you’ve exactly been subtle, brah. I think the only one who hasn’t got a clue is Danny.”
“I don’t know what you’re insinuating, Chin.”
Chin shook his head. “Yeah, you do but I’ll come right out and say it anyway. He’s still very much in love with his wife.”
“EX-wife.” It was out before Steve could censor it, apparently the filter from his brain to his mouth disabled. He looked away from Chin’s quiet smile. “You’re reading too much into it, Chin.”
“Am I? I don’t think so. Mind you, I’m not judging, I’m just saying.”
Danny returned at that point, Longboards in his hands and Kono right behind him, ending any further speculation on Chin’s part.
But the conversation had pushed a few truths to the forefront for Steve, things he tried not to think about in what he thought was his careful pursuit of his partner. Steve hadn’t wanted to acknowledge it but Chin was right. Danny was still very much in love with his wife even though she’d long since moved on.
Steve hoped with patience he could get Danny’s attention and make him realize what Steve could offer him. Steve knew how to be patient, how to lie in wait for just the right opportunity.
It was a fucking shame he blew it the night before.
It wasn’t in Steve’s nature to leave things at loose ends, especially something like this. Wisdom dictated that maybe he should just let it cool down for a few days, give Danny enough space and time to reconsider what had happened. It was Friday, and a weekend without Steve in Danny’s space might be best for both of them. If this were an incident within his SEAL team, he’d be more level headed about it.
But Steve just couldn’t leave well enough alone and after he saw Chin and Kono step out he found himself crossing to Danny’s office before he realized it. What was it about coming back to Hawaii that made him toss good sense out the door, even when it was screaming at him to back the hell off.
Danny was on his cell, talking to Rachel as he cleared his computer screens and started to power down. It seemed something unexpected had come up and would Danny consider taking Grace for the weekend? If Danny didn’t have plans.
Danny didn’t care if he had plans or not; Grace trumped everything and cleared his calendar so yes, he was eager to have his daughter for a bonus weekend. With everything that had happened in the last twenty-four hours, dealing with his sweet daughter would be more than welcome. He’d ask Chin and Kono if there wasn’t something or someplace he hadn’t been to yet with Grace. Right now, asking Steve was out of the question.
Promising to pick up Grace shortly, Danny hung up, shoving his cellphone in his pants pocket as he stood up. He started sliding paper work into case folders, cleaning his desk, considering what they’d do tonight. He didn’t see Steve come across the main office, didn’t realize what was going on until the other man pushed open his door.
“You leaving?” Steve paused with one of those faces that Danny didn't have a name for yet.
“Yeah, I am. Not that it’s any of your business, Steven, but I’ve just agreed to take Grace for the weekend.” Danny pointed to the stack of case folders neatly piled in the middle of his desk as he pulled out the keys to the Camero. “Those all need to be signed.”
“Oh. Grace, huh?”
Danny didn’t miss the edge of something in Steve’s tone, but he didn’t know what it was. And right now, he didn’t care. “I told Rachel I’d be right over to get her.” It had to be his imagination because Danny did NOT see Steve flinch at the mention of his ex-wife’s name.
“I was hoping we could talk, I didn’t want to leave things the way they are between us.” Steve came all the way into the room.
Behind him, Danny saw Chin and Kono come back into the main office, Kono laughing and Chin smiling.
“Now’s not a good time, Steven.”
“Give me a minute, Danny, okay? Just let me apologize. I value our friendship too much to pretend what happened yesterday didn’t. I don’t want to sweep it under the rug.”
“Well, I do. I’m not interested in revisiting this, especially right now. What I want is to pick up my daughter and spend a weekend with her not thinking about this place, about the kid who died yesterday, about what happened at your house or anything else. I’m tired, I’m angry and I’ve got a headache. So unless you want to suggest a hamburger place I can take Grace to for dinner, let’s just forget about any of what happened. Do me the courtesy of giving me the weekend, Steven.” Danny had both hands out in front of him, palms up.
Danny felt what little patience he had left snap. “What is it with you? What part of ‘I don’t want to discuss this anymore’ don’t you get?” Danny knew he was shouting, his hands up and slicing through the air to punctuate his words. Through the glass Chin and Kono had paused and were staring. “I don’t want to do this anymore, McGarrett! For once in your life, let it go! Let it go, let ME go!”
But it appeared Steve wasn’t ready to do that. Danny saw something he didn’t quite catch chase across the slate blue eyes behind the hurt and confusion.
“When are you going to stop fighting me? When are you going to wake up and realize what’s going on around you? Can you really tell me you like being this miserable?” Steve was pointing at him now. “You don’t even get it, what you have and what you could have if you’d just trust me for five minutes instead of blowing me off every chance you get!”
“Enough, already! This is tabled! I’m getting Grace and I’ll see you on Monday.” Danny fisted the keys in his hand, reaching for the door.
“Rachel’s re-married with a new life. She’s moved on, Danny.” Steve’s voice was quiet, almost hushed. “She’s another man’s wife now.”
Something snapped and shattered and before Danny realized what he was doing, he whirled on Steve and swung, connecting with his jaw, sending the other man stumbling back, eyes wide in shock.
“You don’t get to say that, you understand me!” Danny shouted, hands fisted, his chest tight with anger and hurt. “You are the last person on this goddamned island to lecture me about what I should and shouldn’t be doing!” Danny half twisted away, his guts tied up in knots, misery of a truth he knew but refused to face now naked in front of him, in front of both of them. “Damn you! You just couldn’t give me the weekend, could you?”
He realized he was shaking, feeling like he could fly apart any moment. Steve just stared at him, misery in his eyes for the mistake he just made.
Swallowing against the acid taste in his mouth, Danny yanked the door open without another look. He had to get out of there, had to get away from all of this as fast as he could. It didn’t change the damage done or the fallout that would come, but he’d be damned if he dealt with it now.
Kono and Chin watched as Danny stormed out of the office. It wasn’t a secret that Danny was a hothead, but not like this. This was something else entirely. Chin had a pretty good idea that some lines got crossed yesterday. They certainly were crossed today.
He followed Kono, who looked shell shocked, to where Steve still stood in Danny’s office, rubbing his jaw. He couldn’t quite meet Chin’s curious look as Kono laid her hand briefly on his arm. “Boss, you okay?”
“Yeah, I’m fine.”
“What the hell just happened?” She glanced back at Chin, bewildered.
“It was a misunderstanding, that’s all, Kono. I overstepped my bounds; I’ll apologize to him on Monday.”
“He hit you over a misunderstanding?” Kono couldn’t keep the shock out of her voice. “Our Danny? That doesn’t-“
“Kono, enough.” Chin caught her arm lightly. “Go get one of the cold packs from the first aid locker, okay?”
“What the hell is going on here?”
“Kono! Don’t argue with me!” Kono’s eyes went wide with the sharpness in his voice, Chin instantly regretting it. “Please, just get the cold pack, okay?”
She glanced back at Steve who wasn’t looking at anyone, only continued to rub his jaw where Danny landed a helluva right hook. Shaking her head, she left, heading for the equipment locker where they kept first aid supplies.
Chin turned his attention back to Steve. “You deserved that.”
“Excuse me?” Steve narrowed his eyes in annoyance but he didn’t intimidate Chin.
“You heard me. I don’t know what happened between you two yesterday, but you crossed the line today.” Chin shook his head. “And as with anything when it comes to you, you couldn’t just cross it, you had to storm over it with a no prisoners attitude.”
The small flare of annoyance drained away and Steve turned his back on Chin, resting his hands on Danny’s desk, head hanging. “I don’t know what got into me. The words were out before I realized it, before I could take them back.”
“You better pray a weekend away from your idiocy will cool him down and help him get it back into proportion. But you’ve got some major damage control here.”
“Yeah, I know. I just hope I get the chance to try and fix this.”