Word Count: 13,487
Disclaimer: Not mine, never owned, though I wished upon many stars.
Summary: There isn't a world in which Danny wouldn't go after Grace. So when Rachel moves the family to California, Danny goes with. Steve gets left to process life without Danny.
Notes: So, that word count is exactly how many donuts I baked in Iqaluit in four days. But that's another story. The title is from Unfinished Business by Mumford & Sons, gyzym was my incrediwonderawesome beta who let me ramble and this story is for liketheroad, who puts up with me.
Danny leaves the island on a Tuesday.
It’s not a day that anyone is likely to forget. For one, Grace had a pretty big fit at the airport when it comes time to say goodbye to Chin and Kono. Danny feels for her, he really does. The kid didn’t ask to be taken away from her home once, and now she has to go through it all over again. Worse, this time she’s old enough to really know what she’s leaving behind. Grace sulks and pouts, but Rachel just holds onto her hand tighter. “Grace, our flight is boarding,” she prompts.
Grace turns to Danny, looking a little wild around the eyes. “Danno, Steve isn’t here yet.”
Danny’s holding a boarding pass in his hands. He’s booked onto the very same flight as his daughter’s happy shiny family because he meant it when he said that he’d follow Grace anywhere, no matter what. He’d go to the moon and Jupiter and right back if he had to. They’ve been in Oahu for three years now, but Stan’s business isn’t the kind that keeps them in one place. It’s time for them to move on and home from here on out is San Diego.
Danny had known what he was going to do from the moment Rachel delivered the news. After all, he’s pretty predicable when it comes to his daughter.
Rachel and Stan pack up their livelihood and along goes Grace to a new home. Despite having a rough go of accepting it, Danny knows that there’s no other option. He’s going, too. All his possessions have been sent in advance -- his meager little collection of a life in sad little brown boxes -- and he’s ready to follow.
They’d be on that plane, too, if it weren’t for Grace’s stubborn determination to say goodbye to a man who hasn’t even got the stones to show up and see them off.
Danny wishes this didn’t hurt so goddamn much. After three years working with Steve and forming the perfect partnership they had, he thinks he deserves at least a goodbye. If nothing else, maybe one of those constipated SEAL looks where Steve’s forehead gets all pinched and he crosses his arms tight over his torso and shows off those back muscles he’s spent years cultivating. Instead, Danny’s hovering just outside security and getting nothing. Nada.
“Chin, we really don’t have much time and I can’t afford to change my ticket,” Danny warns. “If he’s not here soon…”
“I’m on it, bro,” Chin says, already getting his phone out to text Steve.
Kono lingers, a worried look on her face trying to supersede the sadness. “I’m going to miss you, Danny. I’m really, really going to miss you.” She’s moving forward in no time, throwing her arms around him tightly and burying her face in his neck. “I always thought maybe it’d be New Jersey that got you. Boss always said so.”
“Yeah, well, Steve had a paranoid fear that Jersey could pull me back,” Danny says, teasing her as he brushes hair from off her cheek. “I’m just a flight away, okay? I mean, hell, Mary does it all the time, who says I can’t visit?”
“It won’t be the same,” is all Kono has to say about that, the sadness becoming overwhelming. “Catch a wave for me, will you? Just one. Please?”
“We’ll see. I mean, I’m moving back to the mainland, I’m pretty sure I’m going to become at least five times more sane the minute my feet touch the ground,” Danny jokes, a grin on his face to mask the fact that this is one of the hardest moments of his entire life. “And hey! Now you’re getting a promotion. Steve’s gonna need a new partner and you have been roundhousing your way into his heart, don’t think he hasn’t noticed.”
Kono just hugs him that much tighter and for a second Danny feels like he can’t breathe. He’s never been good with loss and while he knows this has always been a possibility, seeing it in reality – Grace leaving, him shadowing – is killing him.
Chin hangs up and heads back over. “ETA ten minutes.”
“He made you say that verbatim, didn’t he,” Danny accuses, but they really are running out of time. He claps a hand on Chin’s shoulder and brings him closer into a tight hug, trying to keep himself together. He’s got all the time in the world to lose it on the plane. Right now, he’s Danny Williams, steady rock of emotions.
Chin looks pretty happy for him. He looks as if he’s ready to congratulate Danny on getting what he wants.
Danny ignores the sick feeling in his stomach that is so very quick to remind him that ever since he joined Five-O and met Steve McGarrett, what he wants has been sliding over an axis of change and has become something so entirely different. “You’re on my five.”
“I’m on your what?” Danny protests with a burst of strangled laughter at the insanity of it all.
“My family five, bro, call any time,” Chin says seriously, wiggling his phone.
“I’m glad to have nudged out Cousin Ele for the privilege,” Danny deadpans, but hugs Chin a little tighter, nonetheless, only releasing him when Grace starts tugging at his pants, demanding her turn.
Danny shifts his gaze to the line for security where Rachel has been lingering, pointedly staring at her watch. He mouths ‘I know’ as clearly as he can and keeps his attention simultaneously on his watch and the airport doors. He bends down and looks Grace in the eye.
It’s time to do damage control because it’s looking like Steve isn’t going to make it.
Danny buries the rage that settles in his stomach. Now is not the time to go over his many issues with Steve and what his absence is implying. Danny doesn’t want to focus on the fact that a good number of those issues didn’t even exist until Danny showed up and told Steve he was moving and things grew strange between them. “Monkey,” Danny says softly, “Uncle Steve looks like he’s still in traffic. How about we get through security and then we can call him when we land?”
“I want to say goodbye, though,” Grace replies, sounding so very unsure. “Can’t we just wait a little longer, Danno?”
“Just a little bit,” Danny says because he would miss the plane if it meant he could say goodbye to Steve properly. But planes wait for no man, child, or Navy SEAL who can’t run on time.
He scrubs a hand through his hair as he feels tension start to sink through his body like a stone. He really can’t miss this flight and he’s so pissed, so righteously pissed at McGarrett for doing this to him.
Yeah, so it’s difficult. Of course it’s fucking difficult. It’s not like this is Danny’s first choice. If he had his way, Grace would stay exactly where she was so Danny could stay with Five-O. So Danny could stay with Steve. For the last few months, things had been building up to the point that Danny was sure the pressure was going to blow and they were going to make headway into this thing they had.
He still isn’t sure if he would’ve made the first move or if it would’ve been Steve, but it was gonna happen. Danny had been feeling it right down to his bones. Then came the fateful phone call from Rachel which set off a chain reaction of apartment hunting, job transfer applications, and telling Steve.
Steve, who had taken the news like a robot. Who’d said, “You’d do anything for Grace,” and then didn’t speak to Danny for two whole days, which had been impressive considering they still shared a car during that time.
And then, like a switch got turned off, Danny stopped catching those looks of Steve’s that lingered just a minute or two too long. Steve had stopped pressing his hands to Danny’s person and, in general, it had been like Steve reverted back to the cold and calculating man he had been when Danny had first met him – before Danny had done some good work on the headstrong menace, in his not so humble opinion.
And now he’s late to say goodbye. That’s not the part that miffs Danny. Sure, he’s pissed and all, but he can cope. It’s the fact that Steve is late and it’s making Grace upset that doesn’t even qualify for any kind of safe harbor. There are things you just do not do and upsetting Danny’s daughter is numero uno on that list.
“Chin, we gotta go,” Danny says, when eight minutes has passed.
“No,” Kono begs. “Wait, hold on, I see his truck.”
Danny hates his traitorous emotions, which practically leap at the knowledge that Steve is here. He can even see him flash his badge at the parking attendant and that, more than anything, makes Danny shake his head at how Steve he’s being, even now.
Danny gives Grace a light nudge and watches her go running off in Steve’s direction, jumping up into his arms and holding on so tight that it looks like one of them is going to break. That look on Steve’s face is a pretty good hint that it’ll be him. Danny watches them and remembers to breathe, lets out a hiss of an exhalation that he’d been keeping in.
Steve whispers something to Grace and she nods and nods. Eventually, he sets her back on the floor and she readjusts the straps of her Barbie backpack and wanders back over to Danny’s side.
“He wants to see you, Danno,” Grace says very seriously.
“Chin, can you take her over to Rachel?” Danny asks, but he hasn’t let his gaze slip away from Steve for a single second. Chin says something, Danny’s sure he does, but Danny is a little more preoccupied with the fact that he’s closing the distance between him and Steve and he’s not entirely sure yet if he’s going to do something really stupid like kiss him or something really sane like punch him to bookend their Hawaii relationship.
In the end, he compromises by shoving Steve as hard as he can before hauling him back, hands gripping his shoulders to pull him into a tight embrace.
“You’re an asshole and if you’d been two minutes later, you would’ve ruined Grace’s day,” Danny says, tipping his face to the side so his words don’t get muffled by Steve’s ridiculous chest. He starts to feel really awkward about the fact that they’re doing this while thousands of people mill around them and backs off, clearing his throat.
Steve’s doing the whole thousand-yard stare thing and oh god, is it pissing the crap out of Danny.
“I’m not even joking, Steve, I’ve got minutes before security’s gonna close down my flight and I gotta go,” Danny says, not sure if he’s expecting Steve to flash a ticket that says he’s coming along or whether he’s really just going to keep staring. Steve just keeps standing there and saying nothing. “Okay, fuck this,” Danny announces. “Steve, I have to go, so, say whatever it is you’re going to say and let’s get it over with.”
“Danno,” Steve says, looking him up and down. “Don’t forget to put on sunscreen. The UV levels are high in California right now.”
“The UV, the UV levels are…” Danny is sputtering at this point, shaking his head. He’s not sure what he’d been expecting, but he thought maybe it’d be a little more intimate or personal than ‘hey Danny, I’m concerned about you contracting melanoma’. He exhales and it’s sharp enough that it feels like his chest collapses once the breath is out of him.
Steve is standing there stoic and steady. He’s not about to do anything else and it’s Danny who decides ‘to hell with it’.
He winds his hand around Steve’s neck, burying in the short hairs at the nape and just hauls Steve down to him, pressing their foreheads firmly together. He can feel Steve breathing against his neck and Danny stays resolute and strong.
“If you die because I left the island, you’re gonna piss me off an incredible amount, Steve,” is all Danny has to say in warning. “And I have put too much work and time and blood into keeping you alive and turning you into a good cop to just let you do that. I’m a flight away, do not think this gives you permission to go crazy.” He tightens his grip when Steve tries to back away.
If he’d wanted to, if Steve had actually resisted, Danny would never have been able to keep him there. Steve doesn’t move a single inch. Danny lets his gaze flick up and he looks at Steve’s half-lidded eyes, the way his lashes just barely brush against his cheek and thinks about how many times this gorgeous man has heard all about how good he looks.
Danny tightens his grip once more, bringing Steve in so close that he could do anything. He could kiss him, he could punch him, he could beg for Steve to say something else, but Danny holds strong.
“I’m serious,” Danny says in warning. “Steve…”
“Danno,” Steve finally says, interrupting him. “Your family is waiting.”
“You asshole, you’re family too,” Danny accuses, wondering if Steve is just playing a martyr or if he genuinely doesn’t know. He finally lets go of Steve and from the look on Steve’s face, he didn’t actually know, which just breaks Danny’s heart in about twelve ways at once. “Steve, I’ll call,” he promises. “Don’t do anything I wouldn’t do.”
“I’m not wearing ties, Danny.”
It’s just what he needs to lighten him up. Danny lets out a laugh as he grabs hold of his carry-on and blows one final kiss in Steve’s direction before joining Rachel and Grace at the security line.
“He’s not coming?” Rachel remarks softly, like she’d been expecting it too.
Danny has to stop living in a fantasy. They’re adults and this isn’t some pulp novel off the shelves of the romance section. “What are you talking about, are you kidding me?” he says, getting his ID and his boarding pass ready. “The man has a job to do, a task force to run, and his home is here. What are you talking about, he’s not coming, of course he’s not.”
Rachel gives a thoughtful noise and proceeds, leaving Danny to take hold of Grace’s hand tightly.
“Ready as I’m getting, Monkey,” Danny agrees and with one last look back at Steve, he boards the flight that takes him far, far away from Hawaii.
The idea that Danny would just forget Hawaii in the blink of an eye is a fair assumption only to the people who don’t really get him. Sure, he never liked the place. It was too hot, it had too many tropical fruits, and the way of life just isn’t something that Danny could ever get used to. He likes it when he doesn’t live in a place where ‘welcome to the island’ is a catch-all to explain everything wrong with the way that Danny lives his life.
Still, there were good things about it, too. And that’s why there’s no way that he’d ever just forget.
San Diego isn’t exactly that much of a change from his regular routine. It’s on the mainland, sure, but it still gets plenty hot and he’s still occasionally surrounded by beach bums who wouldn’t know a tie if it strangled them.
It makes him think of Oahu and Five-O. It makes him want to pick up the phone and call headquarters to get new updates.
For every surfboard that makes him think of Kono, every motorbike passing by his apartment in the middle of the night reminding him of Chin, there’s something here that’s far worse. The presence of the Naval Base makes him think of Steve, always and constantly. Every time they have a case that brings them onto the base, Danny looks at men with short-cut hair and lithe bodies and sees Steve. He’s gone half-crazy thinking he’s actually seen Steve about three times now and Garcia, his partner, is starting to worry about him.
“Always on the base, brother,” Garcia says while they’re parked outside a lunch truck, grabbing a couple of deli sandwiches before they go back to the precinct to question another suspect. “What’s the matter, did a sailor fuck you over in a previous life?”
And because Danny doesn’t even know what Steve’s done to him, he doesn’t get hot under the collar. Instead, he just laughs until his stomach’s sore and claps Garcia on the back. “It’s a long story, my friend, and I’m not even sure I know how to tell it right.”
So yeah, this whole place has reminders for him. He takes them in, lets them settle, and when he’s ready, he calls Five-O and lets Chin tell him all about their latest caseload. He lets Kono regale her last victory on the water.
On the days that he’s really feeling strong, he bucks up his bravery and says, “Put Steve on, will you?”
There’s a hesitation and a shuffle as if they’re not sure if it’s a good idea to do that, but moments later, Steve turns up on the other end of the line.
“Hi.” Danny always speaks first, a halting awkwardness in his speech that had never been there before he put half an ocean between them. “How are you?” It’s like they’re acquaintances, like in the last months before Danny had left, Danny hadn’t been slowly moving all his things into Steve’s place in a kind of blind game of chicken.
Danny had pretended that he was getting away with it and Steve had pretended not to notice and slowly all of Danny’s things began to take up residence in Steve’s closet. Danny’s lease had been about to expire and Danny was going to make it official then, but before he could do that, Rachel and the Call came.
Now, it’s like they’re strangers.
“You blow anyone up today?” Danny asks and, god help him, as pissy as he is at Steve for being a total asshole who’s knocked their relationship back several ice ages, he still can’t help his fond tone. And Steve, so very aware of his tones, can probably pick it out thousands of miles away. “Because I’ve been checking the newspaper and it’s almost like you’re behaving.”
“I don’t blow people up, Danny,” is Steve’s heated reply.
So it’s going to be one of those days. Danny sighs and pinches the bridge of his nose as he heads to the kitchen for a beer. If Steve is going to be like this, Danny’s going to be in need of some alcoholic assistance.
“Steve,” Danny sighs. “Look, is it possible for you to drop the machismo for ten minutes? Fifteen?” Danny begs, pleads, practically cajoles and he’s using his free hand to gesticulate, even though Steve can’t actually see it. “What happened, babe?”
“Well,” comes Steve’s patient reply, “I got to work one day to find a job transfer application on my desk with your name on it and you didn’t say anything for a full day. That’s about what happened, Danny. Tell me if I’m wrong.”
Danny shifts uncomfortably and keeps rubbing at his forehead. “I tried to get them to stall the form until I told you.”
“Your number one reaction should have been telling me, Danny. We saw each other twenty-four seven. You could have done it over breakfast or in the car on the way to work or while we watched the game.” Steve sounds really calm. He always sounds really calm, like he always has things in hand and Danny’s just the overemotional one who can’t keep it together.
What’s he supposed to say to this? It’s his own fault for thinking that he could get away with it, but it would’ve happened one way or the other.
So Danny goes back to his default response in this situation. “Steve, c’mon, you know how my life goes. Rachel moves, Grace goes with her, and I follow. She’s my baby girl, Steve,” he says, helplessly. “There isn’t any other way this could’ve gone.”
There’s just a slight catch in his tone and someone experienced in reading Danny would know that there is a different way this could have gone, but that way involves Danny being so selfish that he takes away a great leader from Honolulu and he is not that guy. He is not.
It doesn’t matter that there’s a little voice that tells him that he deserves to be selfish because he lives his life being selfless – catching the bad guys, putting them away, living anywhere in the world just for his kid – and he deserves something. He deserves to have something he wants and he’s not afraid to admit that he wants Steve.
He wants Steve to pick up and leave Hawaii for him.
So, in short, Danny Williams is an idiot. He’s aware of this. Rachel makes sure he’s aware of it on a daily basis.
With Steve so far away and Danny settling into a new life here, he’s going to take what he can get and right now that constitutes a phone call. “Seriously, Steve, what’s up, what happened?” Danny tries again, settling back on the couch with the phone tucked in against his neck. It takes a little more prodding, but inevitably Steve just starts talking.
It’s like a dam has burst. Once he starts, he keeps going. He tells Danny all about the Governor’s visit and about the latest bad guys. He spends at least twenty minutes ranting about something his sister’s done and then tells Danny that Kono hurt her knee again on the Pipeline.
“I told her to stay off that thing,” Danny kvetches with a sigh. “Why don’t you listen to me more often? There would be less injuries if I got listened to, is all I’m saying.”
“Yes, dear,” is Steve’s automatic reply and Danny grins.
They might not be face to face, but it’s like a little piece of home over the phone. “Hey,” Danny says, grabbing a pillow to get comfortable as he lies down, closing his eyes to let Steve’s voice wash over him as he relaxes after a day at the office. “Keep talking to me.”
He falls asleep to the sound of Steve’s voice and in the morning, all Garcia can talk about is how glad he is that Danny finally got laid.
“Fuck off, man,” Danny complains sharply. “You know I haven’t had anyone in my place since I got here.”
“Whatever it is,” Garcia says, compiling the files for the day, “keep it up, Williams. You actually look like you’re not minutes away from a stroke. So, whatever you ate or whatever game you watched or whatever you did, do it again. We’ve already solved three cases, you and me. Can’t have you stroking out on the job. What’s gonna happen to my success rate then?”
“It’ll plummet,” Danny takes great delight in saying. “Right to the bottom of the ocean, my friend. Because this is all Williams,” he says, smug and glad to finally have a partner that understands due process and that when you’re interrogating a witness, torture techniques should not appear anywhere on the agenda.
Danny refuses to admit it, but there are times in the middle of those interrogations that he maybe misses Steve a lot. Not because of how much quicker Steve tends to pull information out of people, just because he misses showing off what a cop is actually supposed to do.
Yeah. That’s all it is.
On a Wednesday afternoon, Danny gets the third best shock of his life. He arrives back at the station with lunch in hand and a hell of a complaint about the pizza place they’ve been going to. When he checks in at the front desk, he’s told that there’s a delinquent waiting for him at his desk.
“You’re shitting me,” he says, grinning as he practically drops the box of pizza on Garcia’s desk and takes long strides across the office. He makes it to his desk and doesn’t even wait a second to haul the blond woman right up from the chair and into his arms. “How’d the fun McGarrett find me first?” he wonders, hugging her tightly. “Seriously, I’ve been expecting Steve to break into my apartment for months now.”
He’s not joking. He wishes he were, but he’s not. Every morning he wakes up and half-expects to see Steve there to help Danny finish their unfinished whatever, but he never is.
It’s good to see Mary. It’s really good and Danny sometimes forgets that she’s just down the coastline. She looks pretty damn happy to see him back and she looks good. No hint of guilt in her expression, no bruises from wayward kidnappings.
“Funny you should say that,” she says when they sit down again to talk. “I just got back from the island.”
“Tell me you’re not here on Five-O check-up business,” Danny says with a pleading groan.
“Chin worries,” Mary says evenly, but there’s a smirk playing around her lips. “And my brother…well…”
Danny’s been getting the feeling that Steve’s not in a good place. Sure, he gets told that everything’s fine, but once in a while Danny goes into the HPD database and he finds a string of complaints from suspects about Five-O brutality. So, you know, nothing out of the ordinary, but the numbers have gone up just enough to be a worry.
“You want some coffee?”
Mary checks her watch. “It’s two. I want a drink.”
Which is how Danny ends up drinking at a bar with McGarrett’s sister at three o’clock in the afternoon while Danny half-pays attention to the game and listens to Mary discuss the old boyfriend who’s now an ex and the new boyfriend who used to be an ex.
“Please, don’t mind me saying,” Danny murmurs between pints, “but your love life is terrifying and complicated.”
She scoffs. “Like yours is any better? You do know Steve has a picture of you in his bedroom, right?”
“That, I did not know, no, I did not know that,” Danny says, a little shocked by this turn of information, frankly. “Where in the bedroom? I mean, are we talking about hearts drawn around me pinned to the back of the door? Is it in his pillowcase next to his Uzi or is this just one of those pictures with darts in it?”
Mary just smiles in an enigmatic way. Danny hates that smile.
“You learned that one from Steve.”
“He’s not bad for a few things,” she says and leans over the bar with her whole upper torso. “Bartender! Another round for me and my…” She turns and narrows her eyes as she looks at Danny. “Hell, why not, he’s my buddy now,” she says.
“You say that,” Danny says, licking the foam from off his upper lip, “but I am telling you right now, you commit any felonies, I am not cutting you loose. I am not that easily bought.”
She smiles at him and this one, this one he has also seen in the vicinity of Steve McGarrett’s face. It’s mischievous and daring and cuts just a little too dangerously on the side of her doing something that Danny’s not going to like. And as opposed to her brother’s insane daredevil smiles, Mary’s has just an edge of pride and smugness to it.
“Steve wants to know how you’re doing,” she finally says. “Not that he asked or said it in as many words, but his first question was whether or not you were dating anyone and then he asked about your knee and a bunch of other things. He thinks that you’re not honest with him.”
“He’s secretly a nag, isn’t he? He’s kept it secret this long, but he’s a big old worrywart nag,” Danny says. “I feel this. I feel this to my very bones.”
“Well, after Mom…” Mary presses her lips tightly together and suddenly Danny feels bad. He feels like the kid who puts gum in a little girl’s hair as a joke and she starts sobbing right in his face. That’s generally about how he feels. “Dad shipped us both off. It’s not like either of us really figured out how you’re supposed to act. So, I maybe got a little irresponsible and Steve…”
“Oh, trust me, I know all about the head wound your brother suffered to be the way he is,” Danny says with great sureness, using his hands to gesture all over the place. “And I know all about those primal pack instincts. Protect your family, grr, all that. There is a look he gets, it is like a puppy with a toy. A very possessive puppy that will not let anyone hurt his toys and we,” he says, gesturing between them, “we are those toys. We are those squeaky, abused, well-worn toys.”
Mary stares into her pint of beer for a very long moment before looking at Danny. “I’m not a squeaky toy,” is all she says.
“Respect a metaphor, will you?” Danny says, but he leans over and nudges her with his shoulder, sending her swaying slightly. He’s happy. He’s not giddy because Danny is suspect as to whether he could ever be such a thing, but having beers with Mary with the knowledge that he’s picking up his kid in a couple days, that makes him happy. “Besides, I’m the toy with the prize inside. I’ve got layers, I am deep,” he says.
“So,” Mary says. “Are you dating anyone?”
“Tell Steve no, no, I am not dating anyone. And then tell him that my knee is fine. It is extra fine because there are no maniacs injuring me on a weekly basis in their refusal to conduct proper police procedure. And uh, and what else does he want to know?”
“I’m pretty sure Steve won’t be happy until you send him an hour-by-hour log of your day,” Mary says with such a sad tone, like even she understands how lost a cause Steve is. “That includes when you get off.”
Danny had been drinking some very good beer when she’d said that. Very good beer that is no longer any kind of decent beer because he’s spit most of it up on the bar and there’s a good portion of it on his shirt.
She’s grinning away when he turns to glare at her. He picks up his soaking tie and runs his palm over it. “This was a good tie. This was a silk tie.”
“It’s California, why are you still wearing ties?”
He pokes a finger right in her face because no. No, this will not happen here. Not again. “This is the mainland. This is what a detective looks like and, unlike in Honolulu, if you walk into SDPD, you will see a number of men wearing ties and women in suits. I have returned to the land of sanity and now my tie is ruined because you think Steve cares about my jacking off habits.”
She shrugs and slides her glass from hand to hand. “I’m just saying what I know. If you want to know when Steve does it…”
Danny plugs his fingers in his ears. “Not listening! I am not listening! Sisters should not know this kind of information about their brothers.” He keeps making loud noises until Mary forcibly reaches over and pries his hand away by the wrist. “You two have an incredibly creepy relationship.”
“We had a unique upbringing,” she agrees. “I’ll tell Steve that he’s being an idiot paranoid jackass. In exchange, you and I do this at least once a week. I kinda can see what my brother sees in you. You’re fun,” she says.
Danny’s not sure that he likes being fun as labeled by Mary McGarrett.
“And also?” she says, after the bartender takes away the empty glasses. “I don’t think you’re the squeaky toy with the prize inside.” Danny doesn’t even want to know where this is going, but he makes a gesture to encourage her to finish. She just slings her arm around his shoulders and brings him close, like she’s about to tell him a secret. “You’re the big plushy toy that he wants to hump.”
“You are horrifying!” Danny accuses, but he’s grinning, laughing, and he’s got three beers in him. “Genuinely, honestly horrifying. One day, I am going to tell your brother that you have a filthy, filthy mind and he’s gonna do some SEAL thing and cleanse it all out of you using good dental hygiene routines or…or something, I don’t know.” Danny is practically pink, but he’s still laughing until his stomach starts to ache from it.
He’s definitely had worse afternoons than this.