<--Previous Chapter Next Chapter-->
Chapter 5 – The Box

The next day, McGarrett ate breakfast, scanned the paper, then called HPD to see if there was anything urgent happening, finding that there wasn’t.

I meant to wait before seeing Danny again, Steve thought. To take it slow. But honestly, I can’t.

He picked up the phone and called Danny.

“Steve?” Danny said, sounding pleased.

“Hi, Danny. We don’t seem to have anything pressing on the books. So, what kind of fishing did you have in mind?”

“I was thinking maybe we could go to the North Shore and rent kayaks, take a lunch out to Goat Island.”

“Sounds good. Shall I pick you up?”

“Sure, Steve.”

At Malekahana on the North Shore, Steve and Danny unloaded the kayaks from the trunk. “Good thing you have such a big car. Have you used these before?” Danny asked Steve.

“No, this will be the first time.”

“Once you get the hang of it, it should be no problem,” Danny assured him. Besides, the water’s warm,” he said with a smirk.

They slid one of the kayaks into the water. Danny said, “Here, I’ll hold the end steady while you get in. It may take a couple of tries.”

Steve waded out, then lifted himself into the kayak with his arms. It gave a sideways lurch, but remained upright.

“Steve, are you just naturally good at everything?” Danny protested, handing him the paddle.

“I was in the Navy, you know. I have a fair amount of experience with boats,” Steve said mildly.

Danny launched his own kayak, balanced the picnic basket on it, then vaulted in. “Remember, you have to paddle, not row,” he reminded Steve.

They paddled out though the flat, calm sea, looking down at the little fish that swam among the rocks and weed, zig-zagging towards whatever looked interesting.

“Honu!” Steve pointed to where the head of a sea turtle could just be seen bobbing above the surface of the water. They circled to watch it from a polite distance.

“Shall we land on the island and have a swim before lunch?” Danny asked.

“Why not?”

They pulled the kayaks a safe distance up onto the shore of the flat, rocky islet. Danny extracted a blanket from the basket and spread it out. Steve looked over at him appreciatively. Danny was wearing a very small, tight red bathing suit, and an unbuttoned aloha shirt. He looks good enough to eat, Steve thought. I’m glad this beach is deserted. If there were any girls here, they’d be all over him. Steve himself was wearing navy blue trunks and a sweatshirt, feeling strangely self-conscious about Danny seeing him without a shirt for the first time. I’m ten years older than him, after all, and he’s used to looking at girls, not hairy-chested men.

Danny took off his shirt, revealing the muscular shoulders and arms Steve had admired that night in his apartment. “Can you put some sun cream on my back?” he asked, holding the tube out to Steve.

Steve put some in his hands, then slid them over Danny’s shoulders, enjoying the feel of smooth, sun-warmed skin over hard muscle. He moved to Danny’s shoulder blades, then down his spine, unconsciously turning his touch into a caress. He slid his hands outward over Danny’s ribs, feeling the planes of muscle and sliding his hands around to Danny’s sides, smoothing them upwards under his arms. Returning to Danny’s shoulders, this time he worked his hands downward, his fingers curving around Danny’s upper arms.

“Steve...that...that’s fine,” Danny said, his voice sounding a bit odd.

Did being touched that way by a man freak him out? Is he not ready for this? Steve worried, then noticed that Danny had “casually” dropped his shirt in his lap. Did I actually turn him on just by doing that? He smiled inwardly.

“Shall I put some on you?” Danny asked with a half-smile, his bright blue eyes challenging.

Well, I suppose I have to take off my shirt sooner or later, unless I want to swim in it, Steve thought, pulling it off over his head and trying to make his expression unconcerned.

“You know, I don’t think I’ve ever seen you without a shirt before,” Danny said.

“And?” Steve raised an eyebrow.

“You should go without one more often,” Danny gave him a frankly admiring smile.

Steve relaxed, not realizing he’d been tense. Danny sat behind him and started smoothing sun cream over his back. His touch was unsure at first, but as he gained confidence he was obviously enjoying exploring the feel of Steve’s muscular back.

Mm, strong hands, Steve thought. I wonder how they’d feel on my....

“Shall we go in?” Danny asked.

They waded into the cool water, enjoying the pleasant contrast to the warmth of the sun. Both strong swimmers, they went out beyond the island a bit where the waves were rougher, and swam along the coast until they decided it was time to return for lunch.

“I’m afraid it’s only sandwiches,” Danny said. “Ham or chicken?” he asked.

“Chicken sounds good.”

Danny handed Steve a sandwich and a banana, and they sat on the beach eating and looking across at the shore with its pale sand and tall, dark evergreens.

Steve looked over at Danny, who was eating an apple. In that little red bathing suit with the sun sparkling off the drops of water on his skin and a dusting of sand across his shoulders he looks like the poster boy for temptation, Steve thought. He imagined licking the water droplets off Danny’s taut stomach, tasting the salt of sea and sweat, running his hands over Danny’s chest to feel the sprinkling of crisp blond hair...I wonder if he’s blond everywhere...I didn’t have the nerve to look that time in his apartment, I could never have resisted taking advantage of the situation...better stop this line of thought or I’m going to have to borrow Danny’s shirt....

Danny glanced over at him, apparently unconscious of the effect he was having on Steve. He stretched his arms over his head, the muscles rippling, then lay down on his side facing Steve, propped on one elbow and him giving an innocent blue-eyed smile before taking a bite of apple.

I swear he did that on purpose because I was gaping at him. Well, only fair.... Steve peeled the banana, and, looking directly at Danny, deliberately lowered his mouth over the fruit’s pale shaft, gave Danny a bat of his eyelashes, and took a large bite. He was rewarded by seeing Danny blush under his tan and roll onto his stomach, resting his head on his arms. Mm, that bathing suit looks good from this angle, too, Steve thought.

“Steve....” Danny said, turning his head to look over to where Steve had stretched out next to him. “This beach looks pretty deserted. But I suppose we can’t....”

“No, we can’t. All we’d need is someone with binoculars or a telephoto lens.” You have no idea how hard it was to say that.

“Yeah, I guess so.” Danny sighed, then said, “C’mon, let’s go back in the water.”

They swam again, diving down to more closely examine the life under the sea. Returning to the island, they repacked the basket and carried the kayaks down to the water. “I suppose this doesn’t actually count as fishing,” Danny said.

“There are plenty of perfectly good fish at the market.”

As they paddled back towards shore two kayaks came into view from around the edge of the coastline. They were being propelled by two young women who seemed to be having a tough time figuring out the paddles. They were aimed roughly at the island, but the send of the tide angled them towards Danny and Steve. As they approached they waved enthusiastically and steered to meet them. “Hi! We’re on vacation!” called the blond, in the lead. They were both young, pretty, and wearing very small bikinis.

“Amazing! No one ever comes to Hawaii for that,” Danny said with a tolerant smile.

They giggled.

“Hey, watch it!” Danny attempted to fend off the lead kayak with his paddle.

“Sorry, I don’t seem to have the hang of this!” the blond said. She made a huge stab at the water with one end of her paddle, forgetting the other end, which swung in an arc to smack into Danny’s hastily upraised arm just as the second kayak knocked into the end of his, overbalancing it and sending Danny, the picnic basket, the paddle, the blond, and her kayak into a thrashing tangle in the water.

“Eek! I’m so sorry!” cried the brunette of the second kayak, clearly at a loss as to what to do.

Steve, floating nearby at a safe distance, dove smoothly into the water and swam to the scene of confusion. By this time Danny had surfaced and was holding onto his overturned kayak looking slightly dazed and the blond was thrashing around crying “Help! I can’t swim!”

Steve dodged her flailing arms and propelled her to the second overturned kayak. “You don’t seem to be drowning to me,” he told her. “Hang onto this.”

“Danny, are you OK?” he asked in some concern.

“Yeah, I’m fine. Our stuff is full fathom five, though. I suppose we need to do something about her,” he said, looking over at the blond.

They transferred her to cling to Danny’s kayak, and righted hers, then tried to steady it in the water as she climbed back in. After three failed attempts and Steve narrowly avoiding being brained by the end of the kayak, they got her in.

“Thank you so much!” she cried. “After you saved us like that, now you boys have to let us buy you a drink tonight. We’re staying at the Waikikian.”

“I’m terribly sorry, but I’m afraid we’re otherwise engaged,” Steve told her.

“Aww, no fair! See you around?” She waved again and they floundered off in the general direction of the island.

Danny fetched their floating property together by degrees, while Steve dived successfully for the luncheon-basket.

“I can only find one of my flip-flops,” Danny said sadly. “I think the other is probably on its way to Kaua’i.”

Reassembled, if in a damper state, they paddled back to shore and reloaded the kayaks, Danny occasionally discovering one of the spiky evergreen cones under his bare foot. He attempted to wring out his shirt. “I’m sorry, Steve, I don’t want to drip on your upholstery. I guess we should have left some spare towels in the car.”

“Don’t worry, a little water won’t hurt it.”

They dropped off the kayaks and drove back across the island to Honolulu through the usual late-afternoon rain shower.

As they pulled up in front of Danny’s building, Danny asked diffidently, “Steve...are you doing anything for dinner? I know you said we can’t go out to eat too often, but maybe I could pick up some take-out....”

Take it slow...oh, to Hell with it.

“Sure, why not? Why don’t you come by my place around 7?”

“Is Chinese OK? I could something get from Chin’s uncle’s restaurant.”

“Sounds good.”

Danny turned up at Steve’s door at the appointed time carrying a stack of fragrant boxes. He had showered and changed into slacks and a green sports shirt.

How could I have even considered sending him away and losing the way I feel every time I see him? Steve thought, answering the door in slacks and shirtsleeves. Careful, Steve, take it slow. This is all new to Danny, and you don’t want to scare him away, because you know perfectly well you’re already in over your head.

They put the food on the coffee table and ate off plates balanced in their laps, talking comfortably with each other as usual, but with an added spark that made Danny occasionally catch himself noticing the way Steve’s dark hair curled over his forehead, or Steve find he was imagining Danny’s mouth on something other than his chopsticks.

After dinner they stacked the few dishes and carried them to the kitchen.

“Let me help,” Danny offered.

“Here, I’ll wash, you rinse.”

They stood side-by-side at the sink, their elbows touching in the confined space.

As Danny slotted the last plate into the drying rack, Steve dried his hands on a dishtowel and turned towards him.

Danny looked over, and the expression in Steve’s deep blue eyes stopped what he had been going to say on his lips.

Steve put his hands on Danny’s shoulders, leaned down, and kissed him.

Danny responded, his mouth opening to let Steve’s probing tongue in, his arms reaching around Steve’s neck to pull them closer together. Steve kissed him deeply, his hands roaming over Danny’s back. He raised his head briefly to look down into Danny’s blue eyes, then gently kissed his way to Danny’s ear, tracing with his tongue, then taking the lobe into his mouth and teasing it with his teeth. He unbuttoned the top of Danny’s shirt, wishing he were wearing something that opened all the way down, and kissed down Danny’s neck to the hollow of his throat, caressing it with his tongue.

Danny moaned softly, pressing his body against Steve. Steve’s arms tensed as he struggled for control. He devoured Danny’s mouth urgently, one hand moving down to caress Danny’s tight ass, pulling their hips together. He could feel Danny’s erection against him through the fabric of their slacks and when their stiff cocks made contact Steve groaned, pressing Danny back against the refrigerator, and Danny gasped, “Steve!”

Steve abruptly broke away, turning to face the wall. He leaned on it, breathing hard, his forehead against the cool surface, his fingertips pressed hard against the paint. Whatever happened to ‘take it slow’? he asked himself sarcastically. Sure, it’s been quite a while, and watching Danny look incredibly sexy in that bathing suit all day didn’t help, but get a grip! This is, what, the third time he’s even kissed a guy, and you’re going to suddenly whip your cock out and show it to him?

“Steve?” Danny’s voice sounded bewildered, and a bit hurt.

Steve turned. Danny still stood near him in the small space between the kitchen table and the refrigerator. He, too, was breathing hard, the top of his shirt still unbuttoned and his lips slightly reddened by Steve’s kisses.

Steve clenched his fists against the wall behind his back.

“Danny...we should...go slow. This is all new for you, and I don’t want to get carried away and do anything you’re not ready for.”

“And who decides what I’m ready for?” Danny asked, stepping forward with an obstinate glint in his eye.

“Danny, please, this is hard enough as it is,” Steve said, turning away again.

Danny took a deep breath. “OK, Steve, I’ll see you on Monday,” he said flatly, turning and walking out of the kitchen, buttoning his shirt.

Steve closed his eyes in frustration.

“Danny, wait.” He strode across the living room to stop Danny before he went out the door. “I’m sorry. I just...don’t want to take a chance on ruining things between us.” He reached out to caress Danny’s cheek.

“It’s just, when I’m with you....” Danny looked down.

“I feel the same way,” Steve admitted. “But you’re too important to me to screw this up by rushing things. Thank you for today. I can’t remember when I last had such an enjoyable day off,” Steve said. He leaned forward and kissed Danny gently on the mouth. “Goodnight, Danny.”

“Goodnight, Steve.”

Over the next few days Danny quickly settled back into the routine of working at Steve’s side at Five-O, although he found himself from time to time looking at Steve and smiling for no reason, and he occasionally caught Steve looking at him in a way that made his heart beat faster.

Friday morning McGarrett sat in his office reading over the budget report.

The telephone rang.


“Steve, this is the Governor. There’s been an incident at Oahu State Prison. You remember Charlie Swanson, of course?”

“Yeah, I put him there.”

“He’s got a gun and he’s taken hostages. He’s threatening to start killing them if the gates aren’t opened.”

“I’ll be right there.”

Danny stood behind a wall of crates watching Steve walk across the prison yard to give himself up as a hostage. They’re going to kill him. Not only Swanson, but Big Chicken, Tommy...Steve put half those guys away, and they hate him. Steve knows Swanson won’t keep his deal, but he’s going in anyway because he’d rather offer up his own life than stand back and watch while one of the hostages is killed. I guess that’s why I admire him so much, but if he gets himself killed I’ll never forgive him. To lose him so soon...I can’t bear it. Oh, Steve, I wish at least we’d finished what we started Saturday night.

Swanson refused to send out the hostages.

Danny strode into the office of Captain Wade, the prison warden, who was on the phone. “Anything?” he asked anxiously.

“No. No further word from the shower room area.” Wade told him.

“Steve could be dead in there right now,” Danny said. I have to face it. “No,” Chin tried to reassure him. “Charlie Swanson’s smart enough not to blow his last chance of getting out of there alive.”

“Maybe he figures it’s already blown and there’s nothing left to do but start sending out the dead bodies,” Danny said harshly.

“He knows what’ll happen then,” Wade said.

“That won’t stop him unless he can figure another way!” “That’s why Steve went in. To show him another way,” Chin said.

“If he can find one,” Danny said angrily, rounding on Wade and Chin.

“There’s nothing we can do about that, Danny. That’s up to Steve. Now, we’ve got our own work to do,” Wade told him.

“Yeah.” Danny took a deep breath. I have to concentrate on doing whatever I can from out here. Little as that is. “Where do we stand?”

They discussed logistics, and Danny sent Chin off to help Kono with the communications setup.

Captain Wade promised Danny that he’d get word to him in the press room if anything happened.

“Captain, one favor. If something goes wrong out there, let somebody else handle the press. I want some time with Charlie Swanson.” If he kills Steve, I don’t care what happens to me. I’ll take out Swanson if it’s the last thing I do.

McGarrett stood in the shower room, trying to convince Swanson that he could use the situation to make people listen to his complaints about the problems at the prison. His midsection still ached from the attentions of Big Chicken’s fists. So many ways this could go wrong. Danny...I wish we’d finished what we started on Saturday night.

Danny walked across the prison yard. He could see Steve standing behind the two bound guards Swanson had arranged across the shower room entrance. “Steve, are you OK?” he asked.

“Yeah, I’m OK, Danno.”

McGarrett stretched out his arm, and Danny reached forward to take the notebook pages with Swanson’s demands from his hand. It hurts to be so close and not even be able to touch his hand. Steve, please, please stay safe.... Danny forced himself to turn away and walk back across the yard.

Danny rushed up to where Wade and Chin waited behind the stack of crates. “I’ve got the newspaper with Swanson’s demands!” Please, this has to work....

Danny tossed the paper in to Steve. A couple of minutes passed, and then, just like that, it was over, the hostages released, the prisoners retaken, and McGarrett emerging with the injured Swanson.

Back at Five-O, McGarrett leaned back in his desk chair. Now that the adrenaline had worn off, he felt bone weary. He flexed his right hand experimentally. He’d settled the score with Chicken, but possibly he should have been a little more careful.

Danny came into the office with his report. “Steve, you look beat.”

Steve gave him a tired smile.

“We’ve pretty much wrapped things up here. Why don’t I come by your place with some take-out?” Danny suggested.

“Thanks, Danny. And good work today.”

They sat in the living room with their feet up eating noodles and shrimp fried rice. “I can see it hurts every time you move, Steve...are you sure you don’t need an X-ray?” Danny asked, concerned.

“Nothing a warm bath and good night’s sleep won’t fix,” Steve assured him.

Danny insisted on clearing up and doing the dishes, while Steve lay back on the sofa. It’s amazing how good it feels to come home and be looked after, to know that someone cares, he thought.

Danny came back into the room. “I’ll let you get some rest,” he said, going to the door to put on his jacket.

Steve joined him there. “Thanks, Danny, for everything.”

“Steve...I’m so glad you’re OK,” Danny said. “I...I was terrified I’d never see you alive again.” He looked down to hide his feelings.

“Danny.” Steve put his arms around him, and they stood holding each other close, banishing the horror of the day with physical contact. Steve leaned down and kissed him tenderly. “Now, you’d better go, because holding you like this is making me want to do things I’m in no condition for,” Steve told him with a smile. “Come over for dinner on Sunday? I should be feeling more like myself then.”

“It’s a date. Should I bring take-out?”

“No, I’ll cook,” Steve told him.

“I didn’t know you could cook,” Danny said, sounding surprised.

“Well, I guess Sunday you’ll find out if I can,” Steve said with a smile. “Good night, Danny.”

“Good night, Steve.”

<--Previous Chapter Next Chapter-->

Return to The Telephone Rang