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Chapter 7 – The Course of True Love (Never Did Run Smooth)

When Danny woke the next morning he had a moment of disorientation before the memories of the night before came filtering back. I’m at Steve’s place. In Steve’s bed. He turned his head to find that Steve was awake and watching him. His hair uncharacteristically disheveled and there was a dark shadow of beard on his strong jaw, and Danny thought he looked absurdly attractive.

“Good morning, Danny.” Steve was looking at him with the sweet smile few people got to see.

“Good morning, Steve,” Danny said, smiling back.

Steve leaned forward and kissed him tenderly on the mouth.

“Mm. Steve, what time is it?” Danny asked.

“Time to go to work, unfortunately.”

“Crap, I’m going to have to go home and change,” Danny said, climbing out of bed. He felt a little self-conscious about Steve seeing him naked in the light of day. He looked over at Steve. He’s just as gorgeous as I remember....

“I should have woken up earlier,” Steve said, bending to kiss Danny again. “Want breakfast before you go?”

“Sure.” Honestly, I just want to put off the moment we have to return to the outside world.

Steve put on a dressing gown, loaning a spare to Danny, who had to roll the sleeves up a bit.

“What do you usually have for breakfast?” Steve asked.

“I generally just grab a cup of coffee.”

In the end they had coffee, guava juice, and a ripe mango Steve had peeled and sliced.

“Mm, this is good,” Danny said with his mouth full. “Maybe there’s something to this breakfast thing, after all.” Certainly if I get to look across the table at Steve while I’m eating it....

Afterwards Danny dressed in his clothing from the day before, somewhat amused that Steve had collected it from the floor and neatly folded it when he got up during the night. Must be a habit from his Navy days. He tried to make himself look sufficiently presentable to give the impression that he was stopping by to report on a case rather than doing the walk of shame. Not that I feel ashamed, or anything else but ridiculously happy. Steve....

He finished tying his tie. “OK, Steve, I’ll see you at Five-O,” he called.

Steve stopped him at the door to give him a lingering kiss goodbye. “See you at the office,” he said with a smile.

Steve sat behind his desk, swiveled to look out the lanai door at the beautiful day outside. He couldn’t remember when he had last felt so happy. Last night...Danny.... If he were honest with himself, he’d wanted Danny since he’d come to work for Five-O, though he’d tried to dismiss those thoughts...except every once in a while when he was alone, late at night....The reality, however, was far better than his fantasies. Danny’s inexperienced with men, but he didn’t seem reluctant or freaked out. In fact, he seemed quite...enthusiastic. Steve thought of the pleasure he could look forward to, teaching Danny new ways to make love, and the joy of waking up in the morning to his sleepy, blue-eyed smile, and found himself grinning like an idiot.

The telephone rang.

Danny breezed into Five-O office a few minutes later than usual, due to having had to drive home before showering and changing. “Good morning, May!” he called cheerfully. “It’s a beautiful day.”

“That’s what Mr. McGarrett said, too,” May told him. “Oh, and he wants you in his office—they’re meeting about some new case.”

Danny opened the door of Steve’s office. “Good morning,” he said, trying to make his face look normal, but finding it hard not to grin.

McGarrett didn’t look up from the report he was reading. “You’re late, Danno. Take a seat,” he snapped.

Danny opened his mouth to protest, then closed it again and sat down. Steve, that’s not fair! You know perfectly well why I’m late!

Chin and Kono were already in the office, as well as two men in army uniforms.

McGarrett tossed the report across the desk. “Danny, get up to speed.”

He won’t even look at me. Did being back in the office, reminded of his duty, make him regret what happened last night? Does he regret...us? Danny tried to concentrate on the report, rather than the awful feeling growing in the pit of his stomach. Someone had murdered two women, both bar hostesses. “Why is this a case for Five-O?” Danny asked.

“Drugs,” said one of the uniformed men succinctly. “We had an undercover operative pretending to be a GI just back on leave, looking to score. He had identified both those women as pushers for a major drug kingpin, and was working on them to get the name, but we think he got made and they rubbed out the girls to cover the trail. What we hope they didn’t know is that he’d just found the name of a third woman. She should be pretty scared right now and looking for a friendly face, but we’re afraid to send another of ours in case there was a leak in the operation.”

“Danny, you’ll go undercover as a GI,” McGarrett told him. “Find this woman, take her out, get friendly with her, and get the name. And do it fast—we think they don’t know about her, but we can’t guarantee it.”

“But, Steve...tonight....” Danny protested before he could stop himself. Tonight I wanted to spend with you.

“You had other plans? I’m afraid that in this job your personal life has to take a back seat to your work!” McGarrett snapped angrily. “I want you in uniform and on the job by the time the bars open!”

“Chin, question the women’s friends and associates. See if they know anything that could lead us to who they were working for. Kono, go over their apartments with a fine-toothed comb. Any sign of who their contact was.”

Danny sat in the bar, still sparsely populated at this early evening hour, nursing his beer. He hadn’t spoken to Steve since leaving his office that morning.

A girl in a blue and green mini-dress came in, taking a seat at the bar. She had long dark hair, pale skin, deep brown eyes and a nervous, hunted manner.

Yvonne. Pretty girl. So, Steve wants me to get friendly with her. I’ll show him friendly....

The next morning Danny sat in McGarrett’s office in a black mood, trying to focus through a pounding headache. He thought of how he’d felt when he came to work the day before. What a difference a day makes, he thought bitterly.

McGarrett was pacing beside his desk. “Let’s take it from the top. We know the contact is Steve Bonano, and we have a good guess who he’s working for. We have the girl Yvonne stashed in protective custody, and she’s willing to testify about the drugs. Now we need to tie Bonano to the murders.”

“Che Fong found his prints at both girls’ apartments,” Kono offered.

“Corroborative, but not good enough. There’s no reason he shouldn’t admit to knowing them.”

“What about the murder weapon?” Chin suggested. “We could get a warrant to look for the gun.”

“We’ll give it a try, but these guys are pros. Did you get anything from the friends?” McGarrett asked.

“Just that both the dead women were mixed up in something that paid well. No names,” Chin told him.

McGarrett started snapping his fingers.

Danny winced.

McGarrett rounded on him. “Mr. Williams, if you can manage to focus on work despite your hangover,” he said with heavy sarcasm, “I want you back in uniform to go interview the friends. You can tell them you’re Yvonne’s new boyfriend.”

“I got the hangover in the line of duty,” Danny complained.

“I told you to find out information from the girl, not get drunk with her,” McGarrett snapped.

“You told me to get friendly with her. She’s a bar hostess. How else was I supposed to do it?” Danny protested.

“You were supposed to remember to stay professional! Now, go talk to the friends, and this time see if you can manage to keep it in your pants!”

Danny recoiled as though he had been slapped. “Steve....” he began, unable to keep the hurt out of his voice. He abruptly stood up. “I’ll get to work, then,” he said angrily, slamming the door on his way out.

Chin and Kono were eying Steve, Chin carefully impassive, Kono looking apprehensive.

“Kono, go over the lab report again with Che! Look for something that could ID the killer—fibers, shoeprints, anything. Then you and Chin search Bonano’s place for either the weapon, or anything that matches the lab results,” McGarrett snapped.

“Yes, Boss!” Kono said, hurrying out.

Chin lingered. “Steve,” he said. “I talked to that girl Yvonne when she came in this morning. Danny’s date didn’t exactly turn out how you’re worrying.”

“What do you mean?” Steve demanded.

“Talk to Danny....” Chin said, exiting the office.

The next morning McGarrett sat in his office reporting to the governor on the phone.

“...with the hair and blood from the second victim in Bonano’s trunk he knew we had him dead to rights and he flipped on his boss. The Coast Guard picked him up an hour ago with the drugs in his possession. As a bonus, one of the dead girl’s friends pointed Danny at an accomplice of Bonano’s, who will testify against him.”

“Nice work Steve. Tell the rest of Five-O I said so, too.”

“Thank you Governor, I’ll pass that on. Aloha.” Well, at least the case went well, Steve thought. He wished he weren’t so tired. He’d spent the last two nights uselessly imagining Danny with Yvonne. What the hell did Chin mean? I guess I’ll have to ask Danny, but I’m not looking forward to that conversation. How did everything go wrong so quickly?

McGarrett buzzed his receptionist. “May, have everyone come into my office.”

McGarrett addressed his men. “Thanks to all of your hard work, the Coast Guard picked up the big supplier with the drugs on him, and we have Bonano for the murder of the girls. The Governor sends his congratulations.

Now, Chin, Kono, I want you to talk to the Coast Guard and wrap up the paperwork. Danno, you’re with me.

Steve pulled the big car into the Tantalus overlook. It being a weekday morning, they had the parking lot to themselves. The deep green forest at their backs, through the windshield they could see Honolulu spread out before them.

“Steve, why are we here?” Danny asked.

“To talk,” Steve said. “Now, what is it you wanted to say to me in the office yesterday?”

“I went and did what you asked, found out the information we needed,” Danny said resentfully, “and I come back and you’re mad at me!”

“You didn’t have to get carried away with your role,” Steve snapped, feeling his grip on his temper slipping already.

“What, were you jealous?”

“And what was that on Monday? When I give you an order, I need you to follow it without complaining!” Steve’s voice was raised.

“How could you just order me out of your bed and into hers?” Danny said angrily.

“I told you to take her to dinner, not to fuck her!” Steve yelled.

“You are jealous!”

“You bet I am!”

“Well, you don’t have anything to worry about! I....” Danny shouted, then abruptly caught himself and looked down.

“Chin talked to Yvonne when she came by Five-O to make her statement. He said something like your date ‘didn’t go how I was worrying’. What did he mean by that?” Steve demanded.

“She told Chin?” Danny looked horrified. “She’s been with HPD for the protective custody, too, hasn’t she? Who else did she tell? The DA’s office? Oh, God.” He bolted from the car and stood leaning on the overlook railing.

Steve joined him. “Danny,” he said gently. “What happened?”

“Well, I suppose if everyone else knows, you might as well know, too, to make my humiliation complete,” Danny said, looking over the city without seeing it.

“You know I’ve dated women, taken some of them to bed, and I wasn’t always that interested, but it wasn’t a problem, I could always...perform. But...well, I guess I was hurt that you didn’t mind sending me to make time with someone else after we...for the first time...and I suppose I wanted to make you jealous, so when she seemed willing to sleep with me I went back to her place with her. And...and anyone would say she was a beautiful woman, so it should have been easy, but...I kept seeing your face in front of me, and I...I...couldn’t do it.”

Danny turned to face Steve. “So, now you and everyone else knows. Danny Williams couldn’t get it up with a girl,” he said bitterly.

“Danny,” Steve said, his face full of compassion.

“She laughed at me. Asked me what kind of man I was. I don’t know anymore.” Danny turned back to look at the city. “And don’t give me the old ‘it happens to lots of guys’ speech. It’s never happened to you, has it.”

“Danny.” Steve put his hand gently on Danny’s shoulder. “It has happened to me. With a girl. That’s...one reason I knew I was how I am.”

“You, Steve? I can’t imagine that.” Danny looked at him.

“It was humiliating. She was understanding, but I’d been desperately trying to convince myself I wasn’t attracted to men, that I could have a normal life, and I was crushed. But after that, I finally thought things through and came to a decision, so when I met...a guy...I was able to...try things out.” Steve looked up at Danny. “Danny, I’m sorry you had to go through that.”

“I suppose it was my own fault. It just hurt, after...after that night, that you didn’t seem to care,” Danny said, looking down.

“I’m sorry, Danny. I was angry at myself, and I took it out on you.”

“Angry at yourself? Why?” Danny looked at Steve in surprise.

“When I decided to tell you how I felt, I made a promise to myself that we could only do this if it took nothing from Five-O. I have to be able to send you undercover to do whatever is necessary. But that morning...I really didn’t want to,” he admitted. “I was mad at myself for my weakness, so I was harsh on you. It wasn’t fair, I should have explained.”

“It certainly wasn’t fair chewing me out for being late!”

Steve looked down. “No, it wasn’t. I was afraid if I looked up at you I was going to give you some sort of big, goofy grin and make everyone in the room wonder. So, I just said the first thing that came into my head. I’m not proud of that.”

“I thought you regretted what we did.”

“Never, Danny. It was the best night of my life.” Steve gave Danny the grin he had missed on Monday.

“I feel the same way,” Danny smiled back. But...” Something suddenly occurred to him. “How did you know I didn’t just go home after I reported in?”

Steve looked embarrassed. “I called your place a couple of times. I had thought of dropping by....”

“After what happened, I went and had a couple of drinks...more than a couple, I guess, then went for a long walk on the beach to try to get my head straight. From now on, if I have to go undercover, why don’t we just arrange to meet afterwards?” Danny suggested.

“It’s a deal,” Steve said. “Danny...can you forgive me for being a jealous idiot?”

“If you can forgive me for trying to sleep with someone else because I was mad at you.”

“Come over for dinner tonight?”

“I’d love to.”

“And this time, bring an overnight bag....” Steve gave him a suggestive smile.

Back at Five-O Danny found Chin Ho. “Chin, that girl, what she told you...do you know if she told anyone else?” Danny asked him worriedly.

“She told a detective at HPD, but I planted the idea that she was just trying to get back at you because you turned her down. ‘Hell hath no fury,’ after all.”

“Do you think they bought it?”

“I just heard it back from Kono, picked up from one of his buddies there. They seem to think you’re nuts to be so uptight about staying strictly business, but they believe it.”

“Thanks, Chin. I owe you.”

“Are you and Steve OK now?”

“Yeah, I think so.”

“I’m glad. Because Steve gets really scary when he’s not happy,” Chin said with a smile, clapping Danny on the shoulder.

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