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Danny opened his eyes. It took him a minute to remember where he was. Was there a helicopter? Now he was in bed in a dimly-lit hospital room. He realized to his surprise that Steve was asleep sitting up in a chair next to the bed. His head was thrown back against the wall and his mouth was open a little. Danny found his disheveled state rather endearing. Was he sitting up with me? I suppose he was probably just waiting to question me about the shooting. Danny tried to sit up, letting out an involuntary groan and bringing Steve up out of his chair.
“Danny, you’re finally awake,” Steve said, giving him a smile that made him forget the pain. “Don’t try to get up.”
“Steve...how bad is it?” Danny asked.
“The doctors got the bullet out and patched you up. You lost a lot of blood, but they say you’re going to be fine.”
“Thank you for rescuing me. I was afraid I wasn’t going to make it out of that room.”
Steve stood up abruptly, turning away from the bed. “I’ll tell the doctors you’re awake,” he said, his voice sounding a bit odd. “I have to go to the office, but I’ll be by later.” He left the room.
What was that about? Is there something he’s not telling me? Am
I dying? Am I in trouble? Danny wondered.
Danny spent most of the day drifting in and out of sleep. The doctors had given him morphine for the pain, and it was mostly working, but it made it hard to focus. Chin and Kono came in with a huge bunch of flowers and a card from everyone at Five-O. “As soon as they say you can eat real food my mom is going to make you her special get-well soup,” Kono told him.
Claybairn limped down on crutches to thank him. “It’s my fault you got shot. You saved my life.”
“It wasn’t your fault,” Danny told him.
“I shouldn’t have let him grab my gun.”
“It could have happened to anyone. He wasn’t a suspect, you had no reason to believe he’d do anything like that, and you were helping move him.”
“Danny...you’re the only person at HPD who’s ever really been nice to me. I won’t forget that.”
“You’re a good detective. You just need more confidence,” Danny
assured him. “Now go put your leg up. I’m sure you shouldn’t be
When darkness had long since fallen outside the window, Steve returned. Danny heard him talking to a nurse outside. “I’m sorry, it’s after visiting hours.”
“I have to talk to Williams on urgent police business.”
“Very well, but not too long.”
“Can you see that we’re not disturbed for a while?”
“Yes, Mr. McGarrett.”
Steve came into the room. He looks really uncomfortable. Urgent police business—is he here to grill me about the shooting? I should have been able to stop Auston from getting Claybairn’s gun, Danny thought. Or is it that he just doesn’t want to have to talk to me at all?
Steve carried an orchid plant, which seemed incongruous with his expression. He set it beside the flowers from Five-O. “How are you feeling, Danny?”
“Better,” Danny said, looking at Steve warily. He had convinced the nurse to prop the head of the bed up for him earlier, so at least he felt more prepared to face the music than if he were flat on his back.
Steve sat down beside the bed, his hands resting half-clenched on his thighs. If it didn’t seem so unlikely for Steve, I’d say he looked nervous, Danny thought.
“Danny....” Steve began, then trailed off.
“Steve, just say it,” Danny told him. “Are you here to question me about what happened this afternoon? Am I under investigation?”
“What? No, of course not,” said Steve, looking up in surprise. “There was nothing you could have done to prevent what happened, and by your actions you almost certainly saved the lives of Claybairn and Doctor Cutter at the risk of your own. I intend to recommend you for a commendation.”
“Then why are you looking so grim?”
“Am I?” Steve smiled ruefully. “I suppose it’s because what I have to say is difficult for me. Danny, I owe you an explanation for my decision to reassign you.”
“Steve, I understand why you did it. I could hardly expect anything else after what I said.” Danny looked away.
“No, you don’t understand.” Steve took a deep breath and stared down at his hands. “When I was younger...at the Academy...I had to come to terms with some things about myself. Danny, I’m...a homosexual.”
“Steve? You? But...but...then....” Danny sounded stunned.
“When you came to work for me, of course I couldn’t help but notice that you’re a handsome man, and you’ve become a very good cop. I suppose that’s why I fell for you,” Steve said, finally looking up at Danny with a smile.
Danny could feel himself blushing.
“As long as I knew that anything between us was impossible, I could ignore those feelings. But when you told me you felt...the same way....In the Navy, things were different. It wasn’t easy, but people were generally willing to turn a blind eye. When I took the job with Five-O, I knew I could no longer...indulge myself. However discreet I might be, the risk of being found out and ruined wasn’t worth it. So, I’ve been alone since then.”
“Steve...if I came back to Five-O, couldn’t we both just ignore our feelings?” Danny pleaded.
“No. I’m flesh and blood, not a saint,” Steve said. He leaned forward and took Danny’s hand. “When you get out of here, and we’re partners again, I want us to see where our feelings lead.” He gave Danny a look that made him blush again.
I can’t believe this. “Steve...level with me. Is it worse than they said? Am I dying?”
“Danny! No, you’re going to be fine.” Steve was holding Danny’s hand between both of his own.
“The last two weeks felt like a nightmare,” Danny said, “but this has to be a dream.”
“No dream,” Steve assured him. “Now, I’d better leave and let you get some rest. I’ll come back to see you in the morning. We’ll...take it slow.” He gave a look up at the window in the door, then said, “Just this once,” and leaned over to give Danny a quick kiss on the mouth before leaving.
Steve....Danny thought, still half stunned by Steve’s revelations
and fogged by the morphine. If that was a dream, it was certainly a good
The next morning Steve stopped by before work. “Good morning, Danny,” he said with a smile.
“Good morning, Steve,” Danny said, uncertainly. Could I have dreamed that? With the painkillers and everything? he wondered.
Steve stepped to the side of the bed, reached down, and gave Danny’s hand a gentle squeeze.
Not a dream, then. Danny smiled up at him.
“I brought you a newspaper,” Steve told him. “We made it above
the fold, and they broke out your college graduation photo for the human
interest story inside. You look very cute in your mortarboard,” he added.
Danny was in the hospital for a week. Steve stopped by every morning and evening to visit. On the last day he borrowed Danny’s keys and brought him an overnight bag with a change of clothes.
“If you like, I was thinking of coming to stay with you for a few days to help out until you’re feeling better,” Steve said.
“But, Steve...surely you have better things to do,” Danny protested.
“Nope. Also, I thought this way we could start to get to know each other’s off-duty selves.”
“Steve, I don’t believe you have an ‘off-duty self’,” Danny said with a grin.
“I guess you’ll see....”
Danny leaned over to try to pull on his pants and couldn’t stifle a groan. “Let me help you,” Steve offered. “You don’t have to be self-conscious...I’ve already undressed you once.”
“Don’t remind me....”
Steve drove Danny home. Although he guided the big car as carefully as he could through the bumps and turns, he could see that Danny’s jaw was set and the sweat stood out on his face.
Steve parked straight across the front of the doors to Danny’s building with his usual disregard for marked curbs. He helped Danny out of the car. “Easy, Danny. Lean on me all you want.”
Danny was concentrating too hard on not crying out in pain out to say anything, but he put his arm around Steve and accepted his support as they walked through the unlocked glass doors and rode the elevator to his floor.
At Danny’s apartment, Steve unlocked the door. By now I know which key it is, he thought. “You look like you could stand to lie down,” he said, helping Danny to the bedroom, pulling back the bedcovers, and settling him on the bed.
“Thanks, Steve,” Danny said, breathing hard.
Steve fetched a glass of water and set it on the nightstand next to Danny’s pain medication.
“You’ll be more comfortable in your pajamas,” Steve said.
“Third drawer from the top.”
Steve fetched a dark blue pair.
“Do you want help changing?”
“I think I can handle it this time.”
Steve sat in the living room flipping through the budget report he had brought with him without seeing it. Am I doing the right thing, or just being self-indulgent? Is Chin right, that what makes me and Danny happy could also good for Five-O? Can I possibly make Danny happy? He’s never had a relationship with a man before. He’s probably never thought through the implications, the problems. Hiding, lying, secrets, shame...for a few moments of stolen happiness.
Steve tossed aside the report and paced to the lanai doors, looking out at the view of white buildings and green mountains. In the distance, a rainbow arched over the Manoa Valley. He sighed, and went into the bedroom to check on Danny.
Danny was asleep, lying on his right side half curled up. He’d managed the pajamas, but the bedcovers still lay at his bare feet, and he looked absurdly young and vulnerable. Steve felt a pang as he pulled the covers up and tucked them around Danny’s shoulders. Ten years between us, and a bigger gulf in the things I’ve seen and done. But he’s a cop, and a good one. He’s tougher than he looks.
Steve went back into the living room and stepped out onto the
lanai. If it’s not making Danny unhappy. If it takes nothing from Five-O.
Maybe it’s OK to be self-indulgent for once....
For the next week Steve spent his off-duty time at Danny’s place. He fixed Danny soup, ran errands, changed his dressing, and matter-of-factly helped him with whatever he needed. He insisted on sleeping on the sofa in the living room.
“But, Steve, it’s not even long enough for you. I have a double bed, there’s plenty of room. Why don’t you just sleep here?”
“I’m no good at resisting temptation.” Steve gave a half-smile.
“If that’s true, then that night you took me home and I was coming on to you, why didn’t you take me up on it? I seem to remember being in bed with you after you undressed me.”
“I couldn’t resist kissing you back, if you recall, but I was determined then that it was impossible for us to have anything. Besides, in the state you were in, I would have been taking advantage. Even so, if you hadn’t passed out in the end, I might not have made it out of here.”
“Wait until you’re feeling better,” Steve promised.
Chin Ho came into McGarrett’s office with a lab report. As McGarrett perused it, Chin asked, “How’s Danny doing?”
“Better. He should be able to come back next week.”
“You told him how you feel about him?”
Steve looked up sharply. “Yeah. Chin, how did you know?”
“I’ve been a detective for more than twenty years, Boss. I observe people, and I can’t stop doing it just because the people are my friends.”
“Did you know how Danny felt?”
“I never realized,” Steve said, chagrined.
“You were too close to the problem. Steve, I’m sorry about that night you had to go pick Danny up. I knew it wasn’t a good idea, but someone had to, and my kids....”
“Let’s hope it was all for the best in the end,” Steve said with a smile.
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