scenes from nuptials in progress

scenes from nuptials in progress
by templemarker

Notes: So “totally married” is a logical progression from fake boyfriends, right? This isn’t a sequel–consider it more an alternate interpretation of the facts. Thanks to angelgazing for being inspiration, cheerleader, and beta all rolled into one.

***

“Babe, did you get the macaroni for the project?” Danny asked absently, threading a finger through his half-Windsor, loosening it a bit.

He looked up when Steve didn’t answer him; Steve’s face was a cross between pained and “don’t make me fill out the form, please don’t make me fill out the form.”

“What,” Danny said, his eyes narrowing, “did you forget?”

“No,” Steve said. “They just–all the moms must have done a run to Whole Foods at the same time, because there was seriously no macaroni in the aisle. Not even that rice shit you hate.”

Danny raised an eyebrow. “The likelihood of that aside, what about the Safeway?”

Somehow Steve managed to look even more put upon, with a little dash of, “c’mon, Danny, that foot chase wasn’t so bad.”

“Only had spaghetti,” Steve said, one hand out to forestall Danny’s protests. “Look, I’m just saying, I think we’re going to have to go to Costco tonight if you want to get stuff for Grace’s project, and I know you hate it but that’s just how it is.”

“I fucking hate Costco,” Danny ground out, turning back down to the pictures of the assholes they were trying to run down in defiance of box stores and all their ilk.

“I know you do,” Steve said placatingly, “but we’ll get a case of that beer you like, and maybe one of those cooked chickens, some macaroni, it’ll be fine.”

“Fine,” Danny echoed, swiping at a picture to send it up to the television. Chin was standing next to it, a file in his hand, with an incredulous look on his face.

“What,” Danny said irritably, “do you want us to pick up a human-sized bag of cheese curls for you or something?”

“I didn’t realize you two had actually gone through with the civil union,” Chin said, the edge of a grin on his face. “But, you know, congratulations.”

“I don’t know what the fuck you’re talking about, stop standing in front of the asshole. I need to memorize his face,” Danny said, waving at Chin until he got out of the way. Steve stepped up next to him, and they started planning out how they were going to get this motherfucker to rat out his stupid asshole friends. Just another day.

Grace got into the car, her uniform top featuring a new grass stain and one of her little pearl earrings missing, but she was happy like she always was when Danny picked her up from school. She was talking about the bring-your-parent-into-work day, and how her teacher had selected her for next week’s presentation. Danny was saying “mm-hmm” and “uh-huh” in all the right places even as he was trying to navigate the traffic hell that was the 201, and it took a moment for him to really check into the conversation.

“–so I told her that you and Steve would come in and talk to the class because you work for the Governor, and Alice Wen Ha’s dad is just a fireman–” Grace carried on.

“Whoa, whoa,” Danny said, pressing a hand to her arms where they were dancing excitedly in front of her body, “first of all, there is no such thing as ‘just a fireman,’ okay, your grandfather was a fireman, fireperson, whatever, and it’s a very important public service job, okay, monkey?”

Grace nodded, looking a little abashed.

“And for the second thing, I’ll come to your class, but I don’t know if Steve will be able to. You know he has work to do, and sometimes he does that without me, even though he’s clearly a lesser man without my presence.”

Danny looked over and Grace’s face was screwed up, like it got when she was about to make a scene.

“What–Gracie, I said I’d come, what’s the problem?”

“Steve has to come too!” she shrieked, combined with the waterworks that every kid under ten somehow knew how to put on when they didn’t get their way. Danny looked up at the roof of his car in one brief moment, begging for mercy, before sighing.

“Baby, why does Steve have to come? I’m your father, I work for the Governor too, isn’t that enough?”

“No,” Grace sobbed out, “you’re supposed to work together, you have to come together, that’s what Steve said, he said you’re better when you work like a team and you can’t just come by yourself! It’s wrong, Danno!”

Sweet weeping Jesus, Danny thought, Steve was gonna get his ass torn a new one when they got home. “Grace,” he said, trying for stern and knowing he was going to fail, “Steve and I work together, but we also work with other people, and sometimes we work alone, too. It’s not just me and Steve all the time.”

“But Mommy said–” oh, how Rachel was going to hear it too, “–that grown-ups get together because it makes them happier, and Danno, Steve makes you happier! You have to stay with Steve! It’s like Mommy and Stan, Mommy was unhappy but then she met Stan and she was happy again and we moved here and it got better, Danno!”

Danny blew out a breath and pulled into the parking lot of the strip mall he was driving past. He turned off the car and faced his daughter, whose face was screwed up into a reddened, unhappy twist.

“Grace,” he said carefully. “I’ll ask Steve if he’ll come to your class too, okay? I just wanted you to understand that he might not be able to, because sometimes he has other things to do. Do you understand that?”

Grace hesitated, but nodded, scrubbing at her eyes with the back of her hand. Danny sighed and pulled out his handkerchief from his pocket and gave it to her.

“And, okay, you’re right, things have been a lot better since we moved here, since your mom married Stan. I’m sorry you’ve worried about that, honey. But–Steve and I aren’t like your mom and Stan, okay? We–Steve’s my friend, and he’s my partner. Stan’s married to your mother, baby, it’s a whole different thing.”

Grace looked at him, eyes big and little wet still, and he let her work out whatever was in her mind. “Danno,” she said quietly, “Steve makes you happy.”

Danny suppressed an exasperated breath. “He does, monkey,” he said finally. “But–”

“Can we go home now?” Grace said, turning to the front of the car. She got that from Rachel, that thing where she heard what she wanted and didn’t want to hear any more. Danny gripped the steering wheel and felt his jaw clench, and then relaxed it, because there was no point in getting angry at Grace for expressing logical syllogisms. He started the car and pointed them home.

The house was quiet, and Grace immediately peeled out for the clothes she kept in Steve’s childhood room. It had started a funny transformation, from the stereotypical tradition of a boy’s blue wallpaper and shelf of trophies to a pile of wild-haired barbies and pink socks strewn across the floor. Steve’s face was always a little comical when he witnessed his past slowly overgrown by his present, but Danny never worried about it. He saw the way Steve’s things had started to disappear from the room, probably put away into boxes in the crawl space.

Danny made sure the alarm system was disabled and started unpacking his bag on the kitchen counter. Steve had mentioned something about grilling that night when he told Danny to come over, which was far from unusual except he mentioned steak–which he only did when he was trying to slip out of doing paperwork by appeasing Danny’s appetite. Every other night it was fish or chicken or some other low-fat heart-healthy shit that kept Steve in the pants size to which he had become accustomed.

But steak. Steak meant that Steve didn’t want to do something, and that something was paperwork. Danny hefted out his laptop and a nice, organized stack of blank triplicate forms for the last four cases they worked. Danny would have his steak, and Steve would be forced to do his paperwork just in time for their departmental deadline, and then maybe they’d all go out for a shave ice.

He was just collecting a beer from the fridge when Steve entered the lanai, shaking water from his hair and setting his board up against the house. “Wash your feet this time,” Danny called out, and he got a grunt in response. The waves weren’t that great from the little cove Steve’s house was on, but about half a mile along a sandy dirt path was a decent break. Far from the best, but enough that it was possible to get a little light surfing in the afternoon. Steve was always happier if he could go out for an hour or two after they spent a day in the office. He went somewhere else for his morning surf–Danny was always asleep when he did that shit–but the afternoon set was just down the block. So to speak.

Danny popped another longneck and handed it out the back door to Steve, who was wiping the sea water from his face. Steve took a long pull, evening light shadowing the contours of his neck, and Danny frowned. “Hey, you’ve got some,” he said, and caught some water on his thumb to rub it against Steve’s cheek, wiping away a streak of sand.

“Thanks,” Steve said when Danny pulled his hand back. He closed his eyes and ducked under the water again. Steve’s shorts were looking kind of ragged, the top button missing and one of the belt loops frayed off. Danny would have to make him go to the mall soon. Wouldn’t that be fun.

“Hello boys!” the next door neighbor, a matronly lady named Mrs. Pokoe, said from her lanai across the hedge.

“Hi, Mrs. Pokoe,” they both called back, the manners rote.

“How’s that lovely little girl of yours?” she asked, fanning her face with her Harper’s Bazaar.

“She’s good,” Danny said.

“She’s got a big project to work on tonight,” Steve said, pulling his shirt over his head. Danny elbowed him–he really shouldn’t wander around half-naked in the neighborhood, it looked bad.

“Oh, how nice,” Mrs. Pokoe cooed. “You boys have a good evening, now, enjoy the sunset.”

“Yes ma’am,” Danny said, trying to be an object lesson. Steve just waved and drank some more of his beer.

“So I went to Costco for the macaroni when you went for Grace,” Steve said, following Danny into the house, “and I picked up that beer you like, and some–”

“Steaks, yeah, I know, I saw ‘em in the fridge,” Danny said, hopping up onto a kitchen island stool. “But don’t think you’re getting out of doing your paperwork that easy, Steven McGarrett, because it’s just not true.”

Steve’s face was crestfallen, “why can’t I jump off the bridge?” mixed with a little, “but you let Gracie play on the swings, why can’t I go to the firing range today?”

“Uh-uh,” Danny said. “No way, mister, do not try that face with me. It doesn’t work when Grace does it, and she’s smaller and cuter than you.”

Steve couldn’t help but grin a little at that. “Yeah, but I’m bigger and stronger than her,” he said, and bent down, tucked a shoulder into Danny’s stomach, and threw him into a fireman’s carry like Danny was a fucking featherweight.

“Put me down!” he shouted, and if his voice sounded a little like his daughter’s in that moment, he didn’t fucking care. “Steve! Put me the frog down!”

Grace raced into the kitchen and Danny threw his hands over his face. “Steve!” she shouted with delight, “what are you doing to Danno?”

Steve patted Danny’s thigh and Danny thumped him in the kidneys, for all the good it did. “Me and Danno are having a little discussion about compromise, Gracie,” Steve said without even hitching his breath, the bastard. “And I will put him the frog down when figures that out.”

Grace laughed, high and loud, and Danny tried to kick his foot into Steve’s chest but couldn’t quite manage it.

After struggling for a minute to the sound of his only child laughing at his expense, he finally sagged and said, “Steve. If you help Grace with her macaroni map of the United States after dinner, I will fill out the case information on all your reports for you.”

“Done,” Steve said, dropping Danny immediately to the ground.

“But you still have to fill them out!” he shouted through his head rush at Steve’s retreating back.

“I’m gonna fire up the grill,” Steve said, and Grace wrapped herself around Danny’s waist and said, “Steve makes me happy too!”

Danny sighed, dropped a hand to her head, and drank some more of his beer. At least he’d already filled out all the case information. He knew how to create a bargaining chip when he needed one.

“Fuck you!” Danny roared across the bullpen, waving the partially-completed DD825 forms above his head like a standard. “Fuck you, McGarrett! All you had to goddamn do was fill out the fucking form, but no! You couldn’t even fucking do that, and so now! Now! I have to stay here until it’s done otherwise we are going to get fined because it is the end of the fiscal year and you’re an asshole!”

Steve stood mulishly against the door frame, arms crossed, feet hooked at the ankles, with a murderous look on his face. “I will unpin this grenade right now” crossed with “that shark tank has an invitation on it” and fuck that, Danny didn’t even care any more, he was so angry.

“I was helping Grace,” Steve hissed. “She was about to fall asleep, and we had to finish Alaska, and you had fallen asleep on the couch watching the game. So don’t get into my face about some stupid form, it was important to her and I had to help her out.”

“It was one thing, one thing I asked you to do, because we needed to make the audit deadline,” Danny said.

“It was like three dozen things, Danny, and I have better shit to do that fill out some stupid form,” Steve ground out.

“Oh yeah? Well, let me call up the Governor and see what she has to say about missing the audit deadline, see if she gives a fuck about what you do or do not want to do when it’s her budget on the line,” Danny said, slamming down the papers on the table and thrusting his finger in Steve’s general direction.

“I can tell you right now, she won’t be pleased,” Governor Jameson said, heels clicking as she walked into the department. Steve stood up straight, and Danny straightened his tie. The Governor looked amused.

“Lover’s spat?” she said with an amused twist of her mouth.

Danny shook his head mutely, letting Steve grab the ball on this one.

“No, ma’am,” he said, all deferential and polite like he could be, when he wanted to be. “Just a disagreement over workplace priorities.”

The Governor snorted and turned to Danny. “My ex-husband was like that too,” she said, as if Steve wasn’t even in the room. “Always so diplomatic when he was spilling bullshit.”

Danny covered his mouth so as not to laugh, and Steve’s face did a hilarious dance between, “yes ma’am of course ma’am whatever you say ma’am” and “I am a delicate flower, beware my fragile ego.”

“Ma’am,” Steve started, but the Governor cut him off. “Look,” she said, “I’m your boss. Get your shit done by the state’s deadline so that I can justify giving you all these shiny toys for another year to a bunch of Hawai’i congressman looking to cut anything that moves into their sightlines, okay? Spend some of that money on a PA if you have to, but get it done, Commander. That is an order.”

It was near thing, but Steve somehow managed to keep from snapping to. “Yes ma’am,” he said instead, and the Governor graced him with a smile.

“Now, Detective Williams,” she said to Danny, one hand on her hip, “the key to getting what you need in these kinds of situations is knowing who to call. With my ex-husband, it was his mother. With Commander McGarrett,” she paused, and showed her teeth when she smiled, “it is me. Don’t hesitate, Detective.”

“Yes ma’am,” he said, slightly reverently, and smoothed a hand down his tie.

“I didn’t come down here to talk about forms,” she said dismissively. “I wanted to know the status of the investigation into the gunrunners out of Lihue. Commander,” she said, turning back to Steve, “why don’t you update me, and then see to your other tasks.”

Steve snuck a glance at Danny, who wasn’t even gloating, and his face in that brief moment said, “you are gonna pay for this one, Williams.”

To which Danny thought, bullshit, and brought up Asshole #562 on the screen.

“Danno, I’m tired,” Grace said from her slump on the living room floor.

“Okay, monkey, give me just one minute,” Danny said, signing the bottom of the report with a flourish. When he looked up, Steve already had Grace in his arms, and was jerking his head towards her bedroom. Steve’s bedroom. The bedroom.

Danny trailed after him, watching as Steve put her gently into the bed. They’d already gone through the pajamas-and-toothbrush routine, and as a reward for finishing all her homework, even the bonus work, she had been allowed to stay up for an extra twenty minutes with them. But she always crashed out early, and tonight was no exception.

“Goodnight, Grace,” Steve said softly, bending down to kiss her on the forehead. Danny went around to the other side and said, “Goodnight, baby, sleep well,” kissing her in the same spot. And then, like his body remembered how to do it even before his mind had caught up with him, he was planting a kiss on Steve’s temple across his daughter’s body like he used to do with Rachel, like his parents used to do with him.

Steve stiffened under Danny’s touch, and Danny withdrew carefully, not wanting to disturb Grace, who was watching them with half-open eyes. Steve’s own eyes were wide with shock, and Danny could read a hundred different things in them, in Steve’s face, but settled on, yes, this.

“Steve,” Grace said, on a yawn, “does Danno make you happy?”

Steve opened and closed his mouth for a moment before finally saying, “Yeah. Danno makes me happy.”

“Good,” Grace said. “G’night.”

They left the room quietly, flicking on the night-light and shutting the door.

In the hallway, Steve’s posture hadn’t changed, but something in Danny had.

“You make me happy too,” Danny said, feeling like the boldest guy in the world. He watched Steve’s fists clench and unclench at his sides and wondered what was going to happen here, if Steve would try to kick him out of the house after his kid just fell asleep, if Steve would run away, if, if.

“Danno,” Steve said roughly, his eyes wild when Danny met them again. “Don’t I get conjugal rights?”

Danny’s brain didn’t quite catch on. “Huh?”

“I mean, if we’re married,” Steve said, stepping closer, stepping into Danny’s space, running a proprietary hand down Danny’s arms, lifting them to rest Danny’s hands on the taper of Steve’s waist, “don’t I get–”

“Oh my god, this is not medieval England,” Danny huffed, and pulled Steve’s mouth to his own.

One Response to “scenes from nuptials in progress”

  1. Lozza Says:

    Brill!

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