Steve McGarrett decided that he liked waking up next to Danny Williams, not that he had any intention of actually admitting that to his partner. He lay in bed watching the sun rise over the ocean, painting both sky and sea with a vivid palette of colors, and his arm rested over the waist of the shorter blonde man whose body he spooned.
"You know you arenít in the Army anymore; you donít have to get up at the crack of dawn," Danny muttered without opening his eyes.
"But just think of all the time it gives us to do other things," Steve chuckled, ignoring the deliberate Army misnomer this once in favor of pressing a kiss to the back of Dannyís neck, causing him to sigh and press back against Steve.
"And then we get weird looks when we go into work all endorphined out."
Steve laughed. "What better way to start the day though?"
"Weíre going to have to tell them," Danny finally said. "Chin and Kono... and Grace.
"Yes," Steve agreed easily, not sounding bothered at all by the idea.
"If we donít, theyíre going to figure it outóDid you say yes?" Danny asked, pushing up on an elbow to stare at Steve, scowling at just how damned scruffy and edible the other man looked.
"Of course I said yes. Did you think I intended to hide this as if I was ashamed of us?"
"I donít know!" Danny protested.
"Well, I donít. So weíll tell Kono and Chin and Grace, and weíll go on from there."
"And hopefully nobody will try to shoot us or blow us up today."
Steve chuckled. "Iím happy to provide any excitement you want. Including coffee."
"Your idea of excitement gives me grey hair," Danny laughed, leaning in to give Steve a kiss, "but coffee would be good."
After another quick kiss, Steve let him go and went into the kitchen to make the promised coffee. "Do you want anything to eat with that?" he called.
"What do you have?" Danny called before he hurried through a shower and got dressed, grabbing his tie and knotting it loosely around his neck.
"Fresh fruit, yoghurt, cereal, toast, bacon and eggs, you name it," Steve said as if the question had just been asked, knowing Danny would just ask it again if he didnít.
"Cerealís fine unless itís just that organic crap you love."
"Iíve got Honey-Nut Cheerios," Steve told him, pulling it out of the cupboard and setting the box on the table. He glanced over at Danny and shook his head. "Iím going to break you of wearing a tie one of these days if it kills me."
"Professional," Danny shot back, though one corner of his mouth curved upward at the sight of his favorite cereal.
"Inappropriate to the environment," Steve retorted. He got the milk out of the fridge and put it in front of Danny, then poured two mugs of coffee and put them on the table as well before returning to the refrigerator for some fresh fruit. It only took a few minutes for him to slice and chop what he wanted, and then he was sitting down across from Danny, smiling at the domesticity of the scene.
"It gives me something to tie people up with if I lose my cuffs." Danny shrugged before lifting the mug and taking a cautious sip, sighing at the flavor. "Okay, I have to say you make damn good coffee."
"Weíre in Hawaii; the coffee has to be good," Steve pointed out. "I think bad coffeeís grounds for deportation."
"I donít think the HPD has gotten that memo."
"HPD doesnít spring for Kona," Steve laughed.
"HPD doesnít even spring for Maxwell House," Danny snickered before digging into his cereal. "Good thing the governor likes you."
Steve snorted. "You think she pays for Kona? Dream on, Danno. No, Iíve been investing my pay for years, and Iíve done well enough to indulge myself with coffee when I want the good stuff."
"Good, that means you can supply the office as well; Iíll let Chin and Kono know youíll be bringing the good stuff in."
"Like hell! If people want good stuff at work, we can all contribute to a coffee fund. Iím not supporting all of you."
"Whatever. I can think of better ways to spend my money."
"Fine, fine," Danny said between bites, "weíll all chip in because that coffee is one of the few good things about this place."
"At least you didnít say the only good thing."
"Iím still on one handís worth of fingers though."
"You are a stubborn man, Danny Williams," Steve laughed, pointing at him with a spear of honeydew. "But Iíll convert you yet."
"The day that happens is the day I donít wear a tie to work," Danny said wryly.
"Which will be two reasons to celebrate."
"What is with you people?" Danny asked. "Itís like an epidemic or a cult or something. No, I know, youíre the Borg! Assimilate or else!"
Steve stared. "I think you need to switch to decaf."
"Iím going to start looking for those big cube ships," Danny said, nodding to himself as he finished his cereal and coffee.
"Big cube ships?" Steve repeated, sounding baffled.
Danny stood, carrying his bowl over to the sink and rinsing it out. "You know, the big cubes the Borg travelled around in."
Steve started to laugh. "You are such a geek. Should I get you a lightsaber to carry around?"
"Yeah, itíll go great with the tie."
"Weíll get pictures and make you the task forceís poster boy."
"Thatís right, go with the good looking one," Danny laughed before glancing at the clock on the wall and cursing. "Gotta go," he said, downing the last of his coffee, "see you in a while."
"Donít forget to make sure to get her bag so you donít have to go back this afternoon."
"Yes, dear. Anything else?"
"No, Iíll pick up groceries later today to make sure we can feed Grace for the weekend."
"Just remember youíre feeding three!" Danny called as he headed for the door.
"Yes, Danny," Steve sighed.
"No problems this morning?" Steve asked when Danny got to the office later that morning.
Danny raised his hand to greet Chin and Kono as he answered. "Rachel was at the spa already, so it was nice and quiet. What about here?"
"Seems like the criminals are taking the day off," Steve said with a shrug.
He looked questioningly at Danny, waiting for his nod before clearing his throat. When he had Kono and Chinís attention, he said, "In the interests of full disclosure, we have something to tell you. Danny and I have been seeing each other."
The other two exchanged a look, and Chin shrugged. "Yeah, we knew that."
"About five weeks, right?" Kono asked, smiling at them both.
"How..." Danny began, staring at her.
"Weíre cops, brah," Chin pointed out, looking at him as if he was nuts.
"So much for a private life," Steve muttered.
"You can say that again." Danny ran a hand over his chin before shaking his head. "So, did Steve tell you about the coffee kitty?"
"Yeah, I think itís a great idea," Kono replied. "The sludge they have here is only good for polishing metal."
"Still better than over at the precinct," Chin pointed out. "But yeah, Iím in if you buy the machine, boss."
"Sounds fair to me," Danny got in before Steve could speak.
Steve gave him a dirty look that promised Danny was going to pay for that, but he nodded. "Okay, Iíll get one this weekend, and weíll be set for Monday."
"We can start with a decent blend," Kono mused. "Five dollars each should do it for the first pound."
"Hereís ten," Danny chuckled, handing her the bill, "I have the feeling that weíll need extra."
"Take it," Steve advised. "He mainlines coffee."
"Was that supposed to be humor?"
"A statement of fact."
"How did they think we wouldnít notice that they bicker like an old married couple?" Chin murmured to Kono.
"Selective blindness," she whispered back, struggling not to laugh as Steve and Danny continued to argue back and forth. "Or deafness."
"Steve looks frustrated," Chin mused. "Do you get the feeling that heíd have stopped Danny arguing in a different way by now if they were alone?"
"No bet, cuz. Danny, does Grace know yet?" Kono called, taking pity on the team leader.
"No, not yet, I was thinking this weekend..."
"You still want to do that BBQ tomorrow?" Chin asked, glancing at Steve.
After a glance at Danny, Steve nodded. "Yeah, weíre all due for some fun, and Dannyís got Grace for the weekend."
"Sheís looking forward to seeing you guys; I think she wants to play football with us all."
"Thatíll be fun," Kono said. "I thought maybe I should bring my board too."
"Great," Dannyís smile was a little sickly, but it was there. "Youíre going to be her hero."
"Sheís got good balance," Steve told Kono. "Sheíll do well."
"Weíll take it easy this time," she promised Danny.
"You know I wouldnít let anything happen to her," Steve added.
"Oh, I know, and sheís loved it when youíve gotten her out there." Danny rubbed his chin again.
"Donít worry, brah; you and I will man the grill and have some beer while theyíre out there," Chin promised.
"Itíll be good," Steve said. "Itís the next step in my plot to make you like it here."
"What? Is that a twelve-step plan?" Danny snorted.
"That sounds about right," Steve agreed while the other two laughed.
"Ready for a great weekend?" Danny asked as he pulled his daughter in for a hug, feeling her small arms go around him and squeeze him tight.
"Yes! Are we going to surf again?" she asked excitedly.
"Actually, I was thinking of us camping out at Steveís house this weekend if you donít mind; he lives on the water, and Uncle Chin and Kono were going to come over on Saturday to grill. Kono used to be a professional surferĖ" Graceís squeal of excitement cut him off.
"Hurray!" She bounced in his arms, nearly slipping out of his grasp.
"Careful there, monkey, thereís no water under you yet," he warned, setting her back on her feet and catching her hand so they could walk to his car.
"Are we going to Steveís now?" she asked excitedly.
"We are, and I think we can manage a swim before dinneróunless youíd rather not." Danny grinned as he unlocked the car and Grace climbed in the passenger seat.
"Silly!" She made a face at him, and he made one right back at her.
"So you donít? Because Iím sure we can find something else to do, like weeding Steveís garden..."
"Gra-a-a-cie," Danny laughed, checking her seatbelt and closing the door before heading around the car and climbing in. "Ready to blow this popcorn stand?"
"Uh huh! Is Steve going to be home when we get there, or is he coming later?"
"He should be there; he was leaving work when I did."
"Yay! We can all go swimming." Graceís smile somehow got even wider.
"So, letís hear about your day then; you running the school yet?"
"Iím not sure whoís having more fun, Kono or Grace," Steve observed to Danny during a lull when heíd come in to shore.
"I think itís a tie," Danny chuckled as he watched the pair out in the water.
"Careful or Kono might steal her," Chin called from the grill.
"Your cousinís not that crazy," Steve retorted, but he darted a hard glance out at the water, checking on where Grace was.
"Gracieís safe with her," Danny murmured, almost to himself.
"Yeah, she is." But Steve was still watching every move they made, and he was almost quivering with alertness, clearly ready to dive back into the surf at any moment.
Danny glanced over at him and gave him a nudge. "Go back into the water, Steve; Iím the only one whoís supposed to be worrying himself grey out here."
Steve gave him a wry grin and took a single step before swinging around to give Danny a quick kiss. He grinned again at whatever he saw on Dannyís face and waded back out toward Grace and Kono.
"You told Grace yet, brah?" Chin asked, and Danny shook his head.
"Later tonight weíll have a talk, the three of us."
"Donít be surprised if sheís already figured it out. Kids notice more than we give them credit for."
"If she has, she hasnít said anything, and sheís usually pretty good about letting me know she knows something, especially something she thinks is a secret."
"At least you already know she likes Steve... and he obviously likes her."
Danny nodded and took a sip of his beer as he watched Grace, Steve and Kono out in the water. "Yeah, itís all good." He was smiling slightly as he spoke.
"Youíre lucky, brah. Hang on to it."
"Oh, I intend to." Danny glanced over at the grill and nudged Chin in the side. "Those coals going to be ready any time soon?"
Chin nodded. "Meatís going on!" he called, raising his voice so the three in the water could hear him, and Steve waved in acknowledgement.
"That was so much fun, Danno," Grace enthused as she, Danny and Steve stood in front of the house, watching Chin and Kono drive off. "Can we do it again soon?"
"By again do you mean the food, the football or the surfing?" Danny asked, tugging her ponytail.
Steve laughed. "I think we can probably manage that again. I know Kono really enjoyed herself."
"Did you enjoy yourself, Steve?" she asked, looking up at him as they all walked back into the house.
"Yes, I did. Itís nice to have a family to spend time with."
"You donít have a family?"
"No, it was just me, my sister Mary, and my dad, and my sister lives far away, and heís gone now," Steve said carefully, Graceís eyes going wide before she hugged him tightly.
"You can have Danno and me for a family, and Kono and Uncle Chin too, okay?"
"Thank you, Grace." Steve returned the hug, looking up at Danny, his eyebrows raised in question.
"That was really sweet of you, monkey," Danny murmured, resting his hand on her shoulder before steering them all over to the sofa. "And it fits with something we wanted to talk about with you."
Steve sat down, with Grace in the center, and he took her hand. "Do you remember the first day we met, and you asked if your dad and I were partners like your friendís moms?"
Grace nodded as she looked back and forth between the two men. "You said you were work partners."
"And right then, thatís what we were, but now weíre dating," Danny said.
"Does that mean youíre going to kiss and stuff?"
Cravenly, Steve remained silent, letting Danny field that one.
"We are." Danny spoke seriously as he looked down at his daughter.
Grace thought about that for a little while before she nodded. "Okay."
Steve looked at her, then at Danny, clearly wondering if that was it.
"So weíre good."
"Yup, weíre good," she said, patting them both on the knee.
"Since youíre going to be spending a lot of time here, munchkin, I was thinking that you should have a room of your own. Would you like to redecorate the room that was mine when I was your age and make it all yours?" Steve offered. This wasnít something heíd discussed with Danny, but it only made sense.
Grace didnít have to think about that before she nodded eagerly. With that settled, she moved on to the really important question. "Can I have another marshmallow?"
"Sure, just one though." Grace bounced off to the kitchen to get her snack, and Danny collapsed against the back of the sofa.
"Thatís it?" Steve asked, sounding dazed.
"Well, Rachel is going to find out, and Iím betting that wonít go as easy, but... yeah." Danny chuckled quietly and looked over at Steve. "So, I guess weíre allowed to kiss and stuff."
"We have permission." Steve nodded, and after a moment, he started to chuckle as well.
"I wonder if sheíll give us a curfew."
"Good thing we usually stay in for our dates."
"Sounds like itóand since we have permission..." Danny reached over, caught Steve by the front of his t-shirt and pulled him in for a short, intense kiss.
"I never knew being good could be so much fun."
"Amazing, isnít it?"
"Danno, can we watch a movie?" Grace asked as she came back into the living room.
"Like the one you packed?"
"Exactly like that," she giggled. "You want to watch a movie, donít you, Steve?"
"Uh, sure, Iíd like that." Steve caved to the pleading expression in the big, brown eyes.
"PJs before movie," Danny ordered.
"Okay!" Grace beamed at them and ran from the room to go up and change in the room Steve had just made hers.
"I hope youíre ready for Beauty and the Beast; I think I spied that in her bag, and you have no idea how glad I am that you have that shower outside, no fighting about getting her in the bath when she wants to be out here."
Steve laughed. "It worked on me when I was a kid too."
"Iím amazed you ever came in out of the water."
"Only when I had to."
"And let me guess, that was to play football."
"Howíd you guess?" Steve grinned. "But I also came in to play with other boys and girls."
"Ooo, never could have guessed that one either," Danny laughed before Grace raced down the stairs, now dressed in a pair of soft shorts and a tank top, and threw herself between Danny and Steve, holding the DVD up to Steve as she snuggled against her fatherís side.
Barely an hour later, long before the movie ended, Steve turned the player off while Danny carried Grace up to the bedroom. Steve stood in the doorway, smiling as he watched the blonde man tuck his sleeping daughter into the bed.
"I had a feeling sheíd crash once she stopped moving," Steve said softly.
Danny leaned in to kiss Grace on the forehead, then walked back over to Steve, making sure the nightlight was on as he passed it. "She had a busy day," he murmured, sliding an arm around Steveís waist as they watched his daughter sleep.
"It was a good day."
"For me too."
"Come on, time for you to go to bed too," Steve said, drawing Danny away from the door.
"Yes, dear. Are you going to tuck me in too?"
"Thatís one way of putting it."
"Iím looking forward to tucking you in as well," Danny grinned, sliding his hand lower to grope Steveís ass, making him smile sensually.
"Me too," Steve agreed, working his fingers under Dannyís waistband to curve over his ass.
"Thanks." They reached the doorway to the master bedroom, and Danny paused, shifting his grip to Steveís hip so that he could press Steve up against the jamb and kiss him. "This is the best day Iíve had in a while." The last was murmured against Steveís jaw line.
"Me too," Steve gasped, his head falling back to let Danny reach more of him.
"You did good with Grace," Danny said, breathing the words against Steveís skin. "I think thatís really sexy."
"I like her," Steve replied. "And I think youíre really sexy."
"She likes you. I like you." Dannyís hands delved under Steveís shirt, rucking it upward so he could stroke the warm flesh beneath it.
"Works out pretty well since I like you too," Steve murmured, pulling Dannyís shirt off to run his hands over Dannyís back.
"So, letís take this out of the hall, hrmm?"
"Youíre the one who stopped us here," Steve pointed out, but he got them moving again, wanting another closed door between them and Grace before this went any further.
"You were too tempting," Danny shrugged as the door shut behind them, leaving them in darkness.
"Oh damn, Iím brokenhearted." Steve pulled Danny closer, not bothering with the lights, only the moonlight through the half drawn curtains illuminating the room and silvering their bodies.
Danny snorted out a half-laugh against Steveís mouth before licking his way inside, his tongue sliding against Steveís with a slow, demanding rhythm that Steve met with pleasure. They pressed together, hands leisurely exploring each other, simply enjoying being together.
Dominance of the kiss moved back and forth, and Danny slid his hands to the waistband of Steveís shorts, tugging at the button and zipper that held them closed. Steve obviously approved of Dannyís actions since he stepped back just enough for him to get the shorts undone, and as soon as they dropped to the floor, he pressed close again, groaning at the sensation of Dannyís shorts against his naked skin.
Dannyís hand slid to Steveís bare hip, then paused, and he pulled back slightly. "You were commando this whole evening?" he asked incredulously.
Steve shrugged. "Itís easier after Iíve been in the water. And itís not like I was flashing anyone."
"Underwear, Steve! Most people wear them when theyíre around other people!"
"Most people donít wear ties in Hawaii. I guess weíre just both rebels."
Danny sputtered out something incoherent before giving up and kissing Steve again, nudging him back out of the shorts that were bunched around his feet and toward the bed.
Steve landed on the bed in a controlled tumble and lay there, grinning up at Danny. "Youíre a little overdressed for this party, donít you think."
"Why? Because I have more than one layer on?" Even as Danny was asking the question, he was stripping off his shorts and boxers.
"Because you haveóhad," Steve corrected as Dannyís garments hit the floor, "anything at all on."
"Not so much now." Danny climbed onto the bed, sprawling out on top of Steve, a groan escaping his throat at the feel of skin sliding against skin.
"So I see." Steve wrapped his arms around Dannyís waist, anchoring them together. "I approve."
Danny squirmed slightly in response, his cock aligning with and sliding along Steveís, earning a low groan from him.
"Oh fuck yeah," Steve rasped, making sure to keep his voice down.
Danny grunted and ran his hands up Steveís arms, kneading the muscles in his shoulders, and kissed him again as he arched his hips, rocking their bodies together.
Steve groaned harshly as he spread his legs, letting Danny settle between them, and he thrust up, feeling them slide against each other.
"Gotta be quiet," Danny whispered as they moved together, his lips rubbing against Steveís as he spoke.
"Youíre trying to kill me," Steve moaned.
"You really want Grace to wake up and come looking for us?" Danny asked incredulously.
"No!" Steve somehow managed to squawk in a whisper. "Guess youíre just going to have to keep kissing me to keep me quiet."
"I think I can manage that," Danny chuckled, covering Steveís mouth with his.
Steve moaned softly, the sound muffled by Dannyís kiss, and his fingers dug into Dannyís hips, pulling him closer, Danny moving over him and against him, his mouth eating the noises Steve made just as Steveís concealed his.
Soon, however, it wasnít enough, and Steve pulled the lube and a condom out the nightstand, pushing them toward Danny.
"Christ," Danny rasped, grabbing them and rocking back to his knees, the supplies held in one hand, the other stroking over Steveís thigh and up to his hip.
"Just Steve." He smirked up at the blonde, spreading his legs more.
"Fuck youóoh yeah, Iím going to."
"Yeah, you are. Now would be good." Steve grabbed the back of one knee and drew it up and back, still smirking at Danny.
The sound Danny made was half groan, half growl, and he tore open the rubber and rolled it onto his cock. That done, he flipped open the lube and slicked up his fingers, pressing two into Steveís ass, desperate to stretch him.
"Oh God," Steve groaned, clenching down on Dannyís fingers, a shudder of pleasure wracking him.
"Just Danny," the other man chuckled, twisting his fingers and slicking himself up with the other hand.
"Smartass. Now fuck me."
"Bossy," Danny muttered even as he did as Steve asked, pushing forward and sinking into his ass, one hand curling around his cock as Danny began to move.
"Oh, yeah, thatís good," Steve moaned, again muffled by Dannyís kiss. One hand slid down to Dannyís ass, a finger slowly gliding around Dannyís entrance, drawing a groan from the other manís throat as Danny began to move, almost pulling out of Steve before driving back in.
Steve stared up into Dannyís eyes, the darkness of the room not enough to mask their expressions, and he clutched at Dannyís shoulder, needing the connection. Danny raised his free hand, his fingers twining with Steveís as they moved together, their breath harsh against each otherís skin.
"Could do this forever," Steve rasped, rising to meet every thrust.
"Thatíd be good," Danny nodded, his voice tight with need as his body slid within Steveís and his hand stroked the thick shaft within his grip.
"Great, weíll get food delivered."
"Donít think thatíll work too well," Danny panted.
"Well, that sucks," Steve gasped. "Guess weíll just have to do it whenever we can." He moaned and shuddered, the finger that had been teasing Dannyís ass pushing inside him.
A strangled yelp answered that move, and Dannyís hips reflexively jerked forward, burying his entire length in Steveís body, the slow, measured pace devolving into short, rapid thrusts.
Steve muffled his cry against Dannyís shoulder as he came, spasm after spasm tearing through his body and making him clench down on the shaft filling him.
"Steve..." Danny gasped, his body tensing as Steve spasmed around him, blood-hot liquid gouting over his hand.
"Danny," Steve whispered, dragging heavy lids up to stare into Dannyís eyes, waiting for him to come as well, the moment following quickly as Danny gasped and jerked forward, his fingers tightening around Steveís as he came.
"Perfect end to a perfect day," Steve said once heíd caught his breath.
"Mmm, yeah," Danny whispered, nuzzling Steveís temple as they relaxed, their bodies pressed together.
"Letís do it again."
"Sure, you start."
Danny chuckled at that and slowly pushed up and off of Steve, pulling off the rubber and carrying it into the bathroom where he threw it away and cleaned up, finally running a washcloth under warm water and carrying it back so that he could wipe down Steveís stomach and chest.
Steve practically purred under the attention, and when Danny was done and slid back into bed, he drew him close, an arm curving over Dannyís waist.
"We need to put something on," Danny yawned.
"Huh? Oh, right." Steve groaned. "Moving sucks."
"Not arguing there." Danny slowly rolled back out of bed, grabbing his shorts and pulling them back on. "Be back in a minute."
"Uh huh." Steve rolled to his feet, stretching, and then padded over to the dresser to get a pair of boxers that he slipped on before going back to bed, hoping Danny wouldnít be long.
"She hasnít moved," Danny said when he returned, dressed in a pair of soft sleep pants and a worn t-shirt. "I think we can collapse now."
"Sounds good. You going to stay the night, or are you planning on moving to the other room?"
"Weíre up early enough that I think I can manage staying the night," Danny said as he walked back over to the bed and climbed in beside Steve, managing to get them back in the position they had been in before he had remembered they needed to get clothes on.
"Good," Steve replied, pressing a kiss to the back of Dannyís neck, his smile audible in his voice.
"Sleep," Danny yawned back as he settled more firmly against him.
"Daddy, are you going to sleep with Steve every night?"
Jolted awake, Steve absolutely refused to open his eyes.
It took Danny a second to focus on Graceís expression as she leaned in to look at him, but then he smiled at her. "Not every night, monkey, but some of them."
"Oh." She thought about that for a second. "But Mommy and Stan sleep together every night."
"Well," Danny said, sitting up and managing to kick Steve in the calf as he did so, "your Mommy and Stan live together."
Steve grunted, finally opening his eyes to glare at Danny when he was sure Grace wasnít looking at him.
"Well, Steveís giving me a room, so I live here when Iím not with Mommy and Stan, so you should live here too."
Dannyís mouth dropped open before he recovered and grinned at his daughter. "How about we talk about this after breakfast, hrmm?" he asked, swooping Grace into his arms as he stood, glancing back at Steve with an almost hunted expression on his face as he did so.
Nothing on earth could have induced Steve to comment on any of that, so he simply gave Danny a smile and waited till heíd carried Grace from the room before getting up and getting dressed in cut-offs and an old, ratty t-shirt. As he expected, he found the two of them in the kitchen when he made his way there.
"Waffles this morning?" he asked, already getting the ingredients out.
"Do you have grape jelly?" Grace asked. "Danno and I like grape jelly on our waffles."
Steve paused, his eyebrows rising, and then shrugged. "Yes, thereís a jar in the fridge. Along with the passionfruit syrup that I like."
"What does that taste like?" Grace asked, and Danny shrugged.
"No idea, kiddo, but I bet we can save a corner of a waffle to try it."
"I donít share with just anyone, you know," Steve said, "but Iíll make an exception in your cases. Especially if Danny makes the coffee."
"Milk for me, please!"
"Why did I know that was coming?" Danny chuckled, pouring Grace a glass of milk then setting up the coffee maker.
"You werenít getting coffee anyways, munchkin," Steve informed her.
"Mommy says it stunts your growth."
"Yes, well, your mommyís wrong in that case," Danny said.
Steve looked at him and snickered, earning himself a glare while Grace wasnít looking. Steve just grinned at him.
"Donít worry; I can always get booster seats if necessary. But sticking to milk is a better idea."
"Dead, dead, so dead," Danny muttered under his breath.
Steve snickered again, but he didnít comment, knowing Grace would catch on if he pushed it much further. "How many waffles for each of you?" he asked.
"Three!" Grave exclaimed, bouncing in her chair, and Danny shook his head.
"Two to start with, monkey, and Iíll take four." The coffee maker beeped, and he poured two mugs, purposely putting Steveís out of his reach.
Steve eyed him, then the mug, then looked at the waffle batter and back at Danny with raised eyebrows. The other man responding by smiling and lifting his mug to his lips, humming in pleasure at the flavor of the coffee.
"Youíre both silly," Grace announced, leaning over the table to push Steveís cup over where he could reach it.
"Silly?" Iíll show you silly," Danny growled, reaching over and unerringly hitting the ticklish spots right under Graceís ribs. "See? Whoís silly now?"
"Danno!" Grace shrieked, her arms flailing as she laughed, one of them connecting with her glass and knocking it over.
Steve caught the glass before it could roll off the table and set it down again, safely out of elbow range, then grabbed some paper towels to mop up the mess. "Careful, kids," he said, but he was amused by their antics.
"Sorry, Steve!" Grace grabbed the now soggy towels from him and swiped at the remaining milk while Danny pulled more from the roll.
"Yeah, sorry," he said sheepishly, "my fault."
"Looks like weíre going to have to put you in charge, Grace," Steve said. "Dannoís just a big kid getting into trouble all the time." His smile invited her to join in on the joke.
"Does that mean I can tell him what to do?"
"I think maybe you should."
"Hey, now!" Danny laughed when Grace turned to look at him, her grin widening.
"Daddy, you need to behave; we canít mess up Steveís house."
"I think his house needs a little mess."
"What do you have against neatness?" Steve flipped the first four waffles onto plates, setting two in front of each of the others.
"Thereís neat, and then thereís an... Army neat."
Steve glared. "Navy!"
"You were in the Navy, Steve?" Grace asked. "Were you on a boat?"
"Sometimes, but my assignments were usually... on land," Steve finished after an almost imperceptible hesitation.
"What did you do?"
"He did what we do now," Danny said, saving Steve from having to try to explain, "he caught the bad guys."
Steve nodded, turning back to the next batch of waffles to avoid having to answer. Dannyís answer was good enough to satisfy Grace, and he really didnít want to get into what SEAL teams did.
Grace busied herself carefully spreading grape jelly on her waffles while Danny poured her another glass of milk, passing behind Steve on the way back to the table and rubbing a hand over the small of his back as he walked by.
Steve gave him a smile over his shoulder, and in a short time, he was sitting down with them, three waffles in front of him, and a third on Dannyís plate. He poured the syrup on and then took the first bite, smiling blissfully at the flavor. He eyed the other two and then cut a small piece, offering it to Danny to try.
"How does it taste, Danno?" Grace asked, watching as he carefully chewed the morsel.
"Good, sort of sour-sweet," he said, squeezing Steveís knee under the table.
"Can I try a bite, Steve?"
"Sure thing, munchkin." Steve cut another piece and offered it to her, Grace leaning forward to nip the piece of waffle off his fork, chewing it experimentally before smiling brightly.
"I like it! Can we mix it with the jelly?"
Steve shrugged. "Sure. You can do anything to waffles that you like. Sometimes, instead of having them for breakfast, I have them for dessert with strawberries, powdered sugar and whipped cream."
"Oh yum! We get waffle cones sometimes, and those are good too."
"That they are, monkey," Danny agreed, watching as she carefully cut a piece of waffle and jelly, poured some of the syrup on the square, and offered it to Steve to try.
To his credit, Steve didnít even hesitate before leaning forward to take the bite. He chewed thoughtfully, and after he swallowed, he nodded. "Thatís actually not bad."
Grace quickly prepared another bite which she offered to her father, who swallowed then grinned. "Itís the extra special Gracie-sauce that makes the difference."
Steve chuckled. "I should have known."
Grace looked expectantly at both of them, and Danny quickly prepared a bite for her. "Okay, letís see if this tastes just as good." He held out the fork and watched as she nibbled the square from it.
"I like it," she decided. "This is my new favorite, with something from Danno and something from Steve."
Danny cleared his throat and avoided looking at Steve, who seemed to be about to melt off his seat. "Thatís really sweet, monkey. I think itís my new favorite as well since itís got some of you in it too."
"Mine too," Steve agreed, only a little hoarse.
"We should name it," Grace laughed, "itís the Danno-Grace-Steve waffle!"
"Thatís more of a mouthful than the waffle," Steve chuckled.
"How about the DGS waffle?" Danny suggested. "We could call Ďem digs for short."
"Mmm, I dig those digs," Steve said, and Grace gave him the look that he usually gave Danny.
"That was really bad, Steve."
Danny snickered into his coffee cup and avoided saying anything.
"I thought it was pretty good," Steve protested, laughter filling his hazel eyes.
"I know," Grace sighed. "That makes it even worse."
"Hey, monkey, can you do me a favor and see if your mother can come out for a minute and talk to me?" Danny asked after he hugged Grace goodbye.
Grace stared. "Really?" she asked dubiously, but when Danny nodded, she shrugged and agreed, dashing up the long drive to the house.
A couple minutes later Rachel let herself out the front door and marched down the driveway, the sunlight reflecting off her glossy, mink brown hair.
"What do you want, Danny?"
"Hello to you too, Rachel," he sighed. "Look, I wanted you to hear it from me before Grace said anything; Iím seeing someone."
Rachel frowned. "Danny, I donít want Grace around those bimbos you like to date."
Biting his tongue to keep from saying the first thing that popped into his mind, Danny smiled though the expression was strained. "I donít think Steve would appreciate you calling him a bimbo."
There was dead silence for a moment as Rachel stared at him, apparently trying to decide if sheíd heard what she thought she heard. "Steve?" she repeated carefully.
"Yes," Danny nodded, "Steve McGarrett, we work together."
She frowned. "Youíre seeing a man?"
"Yes, Rachel, Iím dating a man."
Danny smiled wryly at that and rubbed his chin. "Iíve asked myself that more than once, but I guess the best reason is that I like him."
"Too bad for him."
"And how did I know this was going to happen? Look, Rachel, I wanted you to know so you didnít blow up when you heard Gracie mention him."
"I want to meet him if Grace is going to be spending time around him."
"We can do that."
"Good." Rachel pulled out her Blackberry and checked her calendar. "Stan and I can do dinner on Thursday. We can make reservations at the club."
"Whoa, whoa, whoa! Dinner? At the club?" Danny stammered.
"Oh fine, we can go somewhere else if you donít want to go to the club." Rachel sounded annoyed.
"How about Indigo?" Danny suggested.
"Hmm, that sounds fine." Rachel seemed surprised that he would suggest an acceptable restaurant. "Shall I make the reservations, or will you?"
"Iíll do it. Seven work for you?"
"You actually were married to that woman?" Steve seemed to be appalled.
"For seven years," Danny nodded. "Thanks for not killing her or Stan."
"It was tempting," Steve admitted. "Considering the way you two snipe, itís a miracle you manage not to do it in front of Grace, but obviously you donít."
"Sometimes Iíve almost bitten my tongue in two, but itís not Gracieís fault we canít get along now, and Iím not going to bitch about her mother in front of her."
Steve nodded. "That says a lot for you, both of you, even if you bring out the worst in each other. I can guarantee that weíll never be one of those families where the exes and new partners and kids all get together for holidays though."
"No chance of that at all." Danny rested his head back against the car seat and rubbed his forehead. "At least she got the cracks out of the way early."
"You were no slouch in that department yourself," Steve pointed out, but heíd gotten in a few himself when Rachelís jabs at Danny went past what he could take.
"And now you know where I get it from."
"Weíll find better uses of your time."
"I was hoping that youíd say that." Danny chuckled and looked over at Steve at that. "You know what Gracie wants to do this weekend?"
"Let me guess, surfing?"
"She wants to paint the room that you said was hers."
"Ah. We can do that." Steve smiled, liking the idea of Grace having a room in his house.
"You havenít heard the colors yet."
"Your kidís a girly girl. Iím guessing pink and possibly lavender and sparkly unicorns."
"Got it in one, except for the sparkly unicorns, that is; I think sheís taking pity on us and going for the plush footballs."
"Plush footballs?" Steve laughed. "Okay, you have laundry detail."
"Gee, thanks," Danny snorted.
"Anytime," Steve replied with a smile. "So I guess we need to take her shopping tomorrow after school?"
"You sure youíre up to it?"
"Iím a SEAL; I can do this."
Danny started to laugh at that, holding his stomach as he howled. "You handle the manly paint, Steve; Iíll deal with the rest."
"Iím going to hold you to that. I donít do decals."
Danny looked out the window and tried to keep from snickering at the thought of Grace putting a sticker on the back of Steveís phone.
"I donít know what youíre thinking, but I know I donít like it, so stop!"
Steveís tone set Danny off again, and he collapsed in the seat.
"I really hate you."
"No, you donít," Danny gasped, wiping his eyes.
"Well, I should."
"Guess you donít always do everything you should, do you?"
"I pretty much never do."
"Yeah, I figured that."
"It works for me."
"Just donít get me shot again because of it, and itís all good."
"Want me to kiss it better?"
Danny turned his head and gave a slow smile. "Once we get back to your place, sure."
"Good thing we have the rest of the night then."
"Itíll make up for not getting dessert."
"That will be dessert."
Danny chuckled at that. "Then letís get back to your place."
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