Danny thinks that they’re probably going above-and-beyond indulging Jenna in this little team-meeting. He’s of the opinion that once a person (or being) is dead, that’s it for them, no second chances.
History backs him up. The first account of any supernatural being is rumored to be from before time, but they were rare. They became less rare when the Vikings hit the newly-found land and the numbers practically exploded in 1592. As far as normals are concerned, that’s Year Zero for this stuff.
Danny knows better, but it’s not something that he goes shouting about. As far as numbers go, pre-Discovery, there hadn’t been enough to even write it down. All that they have pre-Discovery is bound in the oral history passed between generations. The population of each species numbered a hundred at best. Post-Discovery, they number in the thousands. Shifters, wolves, vamps, mers, immortals, faes, and more than Danny can name in one sitting all started to flood out of the cracks of the world and no one knows why.
There’s one thing that isn’t on that list, though, and that’s spirits.
He feels bad. He knows that Jenna is wasting her time, but she has valuable information and he isn’t ready to give up on it just because he doesn’t have a couple of hours to spare. She’s due in the office in a couple of hours and Danny’s taking advantage of the time to put some of his old cases in order. At least, he had been until Steve walks into his office, closes the door behind him, and locks it.
Danny looks up suspiciously. “Yes?”
“I want to tell you.”
Okay, Danny’s officially lost.
“Steve, I have no idea what you’re talking about,” he says. He puts down his pen and sets aside his requisition form for a wiretap into one of the local deadbeat hangouts and when he looks up to see if Steve’s ready to talk, Steve isn’t there anymore.
There is a pile of clothes and a wolf sitting obediently atop them.
“I seriously hope you stripped before you shifted, your budget for new clothes is ridiculous,” Danny grumbles as he pushes away from the desk in order to start picking up after Steve, draping pants and the t-shirt over his arm as he looks into those hazel-tinted eyes. He reaches out to run his fingers through the fur, scratching just behind the ear where Steve likes it best. “What do you want to tell me, huh? I know you’re a wolf. I know you mated with me. We’re running out of stories here.”
Just as quickly as Steve had turned into the wolf, he’s back to himself. And he’s naked.
“Steve, damn it, at least give me some warning!” Danny snaps, practically lunging for the blinds so he can yank them shut in a hurry. The last thing he needs is to find out just how jealous he can get when he thinks Kono and Chin are looking in on something he’s as good as decided belongs to him. He whirls around and watches as Steve calmly redresses, like he hasn’t just gone through a pointless shift. “Okay. Explain.”
“I want to tell you how this happened to me and I want you to tell me what happened to you. We’re going to be spending a lot of years together, if I get my way, and I don’t like being in the dark,” Steve says, tugging on his t-shirt and settling the fabric around his chest. “Deal?”
“Steve, I’ve told you...”
“No, Danny, you haven’t. All you’ve said is you died young and violently.” Steve is over there pulling faces like he wants to go back a couple centuries and change that, but if he does, then no present-day Danno. It’s almost adorable watching that conundrum settle and how Steve processes it with a pinched look on his brow. “I want to know how you met Rachel. I want to know how you died. I want to know everything so we can try and make this ‘mate’ thing work.”
Danny’s still somewhat lost. “What’s to say it’s not already working?”
“Danno,” Steve says, perching on the edge of his desk, his arms crossed over his torso. “You and I might possibly be spending the next three centuries together, depending on how much I shift. We can be great, but I don’t want any secrets between us.”
“It’s history, Steve,” Danny says, trying to get out of talking about long-ago times.
“It’s your history.”
Danny’s suddenly praying that Jenna’s one of those compulsively early types, but every time he glances at the main office door, she still hasn’t come through and Steve has started to look at him with a mild tinge of desperation. It’s like he’s willing to try whatever avenues he can in order to get him to talk.
“Fine,” Danny finally concedes. “This is stupid, Steve, but fine. You were turned in Maryland when you were out camping, and it took you ten years before you could hold onto the memories of what you did during your shifts. What am I missing?”
Steve’s staring at the wooden slats in the floor, suddenly awkward – considering this was all his idea. “My father turned me.”
“What?” Danny’s eyes widened. “Okay, yeah, Steve, that’s kind of one of those things that’s new information,” he admits, sounding a bit strangled. “Why didn’t you tell me?” he asks, hushing his voice as he takes long strides closer to Steve, reaching out to rub his thumb against Steve’s jaw in an effort to reassure him. “Fuck, Steve, that means...that means you’re the alpha of your pack, now. That means that the day your father died, you didn’t just lose him, you lost your leader.” It’s all coming into clear focus. Even Steve’s insane acts are beginning to make sense. “Is this why you’re so insane at work? Some need to mark the ground as the alpha of the team? Look, babe, I have no need to be in charge. I’ve learned it’s better for me to lie low. It does good things, you know, extends the life expectancy,” Danny says, his thumb steadily stroking the soft skin at Steve’s cheek.
Danny’s beginning to understand a little more of the picture.
It’s not just a wolf that’s mated with him. He had an alpha imprint on him without realizing, mere days after he became leader of his pack. “It’s just you and Mary, right?”
“Officially,” Steve says with a curt nod. “Unofficially, I consider you, Chin, and Kono to be part of my pack. I’m pretty sure my father did the same with the Governor.”
“But you’re not trusting her the way that he did,” Danny says suspiciously.
He shifts awkwardly on the desk and Danny’s touch is doing nothing to soothe him now. “I don’t trust fae. We’ve had too many double-crosses on missions in the Navy for me to give Governor Jameson the same kind of leeway that my father did.”
“Keeping her on a short leash?” Danny jokes with a proud smirk on his face.
“You have a book, don’t you,” Steve accuses. “You have a book of dog jokes and you keep it hidden from me, just so you can be absolutely infuriating.” Danny says nothing, choosing instead to smile and stay silent. He’s learned that it pisses Steve off more than anything else. “But yeah. Long story short, my Dad turned me, Hesse killed him, and I’m the alpha.”
“And you mated with me,” Danny says, reminding him of that little side-plot in the story. “Don’t skip that part, I’m still kind of angry with you about that part.”
“Not all the time, though, right?” Steve asks, as if checking on the progress of Danny’s anger.
Danny takes in a deep breath and tries to deal with Steve’s little bombshell. He’s already fairly in the dark when it comes to the care and feeding of wolves – not to mention their mating habits – and adding in alpha traits doesn’t exactly clear it up so much. He pinches the bridge of his nose.
“Does Catherine know?”
“So, all this stuff she’s telling me,” Danny says, waving his hand in the air to give it something to do. He feels like if he sits still, he might burst. “She’s telling me with you, specifically you, in mind?”
Steve nods. “Yes,” he confirms, as sure of her as if he’d done the work himself. “Danny, it doesn’t change much.”
“Actually, it kind of explains your control freak issues,” Danny points out, scratching at Steve’s sideburn before withdrawing his hand and shoving them both in his pockets as he begins to pace the floor. With Steve’s confession out in the open, he knows what’s coming next. He paces a little while longer to see if Steve will give up the ghost, so to speak, but no dice. “Seriously, Steve, I have no idea what you’re looking for. What is it you want to know?” he asks helplessly when he turns to find Steve staring at him with that laser-like look of his.
It burns and itches, getting under Danny’s skin until he thinks he might combust if Steve doesn’t look away.
“It was 1644,” Danny starts, thinking that the beginning is as good a place as any. “I was fighting in the Wars of the Three Kingdoms.” It’s depressing for Danny to even think about because no one these days even knows about the damn thing. “Anyway, I wasn’t looking and I got a sword right through my chest,” he says, tapping two inches above his heart and letting his gaze linger there.
It’s the only scar he’s ever carried, the diagonal puckered shape of a sword that brought him into this second life.
“That was the First Death. I’m trying not to hit a second,” he says, giving Steve a sharp look. “And sometimes, Steve, I swear to god, you’re trying to kill me permanently.”
“You’re immortal, you can take it,” Steve says defensively, his attention stuck on the place on Danny’s chest that’s been gestured to. “I’ve never seen you without this off,” he admits, taking slow strides across the room until he’s standing above Danny, his chin tipped towards his chest as he reaches his fingers out. “Can I...?”
“Not here,” Danny says, trying to shake off the feeling of discomfort that’s come on the heels of the need to say yes and practically beg Steve to rip his shirt off. “Later.” It’s always later with him. “Besides, I thought you wanted the whole story. That’s just the start.”
His hope for Jenna’s arrival remains steadfast, but the door never opens, which means he’s going to have to get into the details.
“Rachel was my first teacher,” Danny explains, not shouting at Steve when his fingers start to fidget and play with the collar of Danny’s blue dress-shirt. “For a couple hundred years, we had a romantic relationship. I’ve challenged, I’ve been challenged, and I picked up policework about two years after my second life began. Rach and I came over here in 1911, things started to fall apart, and then she met Stan. She came out here to do some research about other supernatural creatures and I followed, because she brought Grace.”
“Grace isn’t the first,” Steve murmurs, his attention rapt when it comes to the fabric of Danny’s shirt, just above his heart.
Danny’s fairly sure that it isn’t a question, but he owes the answer. “No,” he says. “No, she’s not. She’s the fifteenth. Rachel is somewhat retired. She’ll fight if she’s challenged, but she doesn’t seek it out. She tries to teach the ways of it, instead. She’s got this uncanny knack of sensing other immortals out, it’s amazing, Steve. She’s only wrong for maybe two in ten. We’ve had fifteen children. Three died of natural causes, four died violently, but weren’t like us. Eight, though, eight of them, she was right about.”
“How many of them are still out there?”
“Four,” Danny says. He doesn’t need more than a moment to remember. “Rachel was challenged by one of them, a couple others lost their battles, but there’s still four out there. Matthew, Lauren, Elizabeth, and Margaret. They’re around my age and they took my name, but I’m not allowed to call them my kids anymore,” he says ruefully. “I can get away with calling them family, so I’ll take what I can get.”
“And now, you two have Grace,” Steve says with a fond smile on his lips, like he’s already decided to make Gracie one of his pack. “Is she...?”
“We won’t know until she dies and honestly, I’d really prefer we don’t even approach that road for another three decades at least,” he strains his words, just in case Steve is thinking up ways to test her. “So that’s it, that’s me.”
“How many have you killed?”
Or maybe they’re not done.
Danny grimaces and notes that Steve is done manhandling his shirt. He’s decided to loom in Danny’s personal space until he gets his answer. “Steve, do you really want to hear this?” Danny asks, reflexively gripping the hilt of his sword at the mere mention of the challenges. When Steve doesn’t answer, Danny dares to stare him down, refusing to blink or look away. “Fine,” he gets out. “I’ve lost track, but the last time I thought about it, the number was sixty. Maybe seventy. I try to follow Rachel’s example. I don’t challenge unless I have to.”
Truth be told, he is goddamn waiting for the day he gets to challenge Sang Min. They’ve met before, but there’s always been Holy Ground or human law to stop it. One day, those things won’t get in their way and Danny’s going to get his chance.
“Unless you have to,” Steve echoes, an unhappy growl lurking behind the words. He’s fisting Danny’s shirt, hauling him closer. “Don’t.”
“Don’t. No more challenges, no more battles. You’re mine, you don’t fight.”
“Sometimes, I won’t have a choice, Steven,” Danny says mildly, trying to shove Steve off before this gets too close and personal for him to cope with. “Get back, Jenna’s going to be here any minute and I don’t exactly want her thinking that me mounting you on top of the desk is a normal everyday occurrence.” Steve licks his lips and bears closer to Danny.
He thinks this might be it.
Danny stops checking the door for Jenna’s arrival and occupies his hands with the fumbling and fondling of the hem of Steve’s shirt rather than being shoved away. Steve is so overbearingly close and Danny can feel the moist warmth of his breath against his cheek and he’s so tired of putting this off for other so-called ‘important’ things. He looks up in the short distance between them and takes hold of Steve’s hand, pushing it off so that he can lean in, splay his palm out over Steve’s neck, and hold him in place as he leans up on his toes.
“Guys! She’s here!” Kono interrupts before Danny can get any closer.
He sinks back to his heels, a grimace written in bold colors across his face. Danny doesn’t hold back his vivid swear as he runs a hand over his tie and tries to make himself look presentable. He chances a look at Steve, who is still staring at Danny with a dazed look in his half-lidded eyes, looking like he doesn’t intend to move anytime soon.
“Babe,” Danny says with a sigh. “We have to go.”
Steve seems to acknowledge that fact, but isn’t pleased about it. He grabs hold of Danny’s arm and forcibly hauls him into the main room where the talk is about to begin. Apparently, Danny’s new role in the department is ‘Steve’s rag doll’. It’s a step above chew toy, at least. He greets their company with a tight-lipped smile.
“Ignore him,” Danny says, trying to brush Steve off of him before grab-handling Danny becomes a thing. He manages to pry himself away, steadying his hand on the hilt of his sword to regain some of his composure. “Ms. Kaye, it’s a pleasure to see you again and let me apologize again for Alpha Boy’s behavior.”
“It’s really no problem,” Jenna hurries to insist with a nervous smile as she begins to spread out pictures on the table. “I’m just glad you guys are seeing me at all. If I had to attend one more séance...” She pulls a face, eyes bugging out, lips pushed out by a breath. “Well, I might have screamed. What I really need is access to your database. I’ve got a couple of patterns to look for and I’d like to take copies to help my search. In return,” she goes on, splaying the photographs out in a fan-pattern, “I want to give you all the information I have on the man who orchestrated the kill on Commander McGarrett’s father.”
Steve is staring at the photographs intensely, to the point that Danny’s beginning to get a sympathetic migraine from just looking at him.
“Okay, from the start. Who is Wo Fat?” Danny asks, deciding to speak up as the voice of reason, if no one else is willing to tear themselves away from staring at the pictures.
“What,” Jenna responds. “That’s the question you’re looking for. What is Wo Fat?”
There it is. There’s that chill down his spine that Danny’s been expecting. “Are we talking fae?” he asks in a hush, jumping to the worst case scenario.
“No. No, thank god, though I hear the Governor of the islands is a benevolent...the point, right,” Jenna says, focusing her attention on the photographs. “Wo Fat is a vampire. The rumors are that he’s about three hundred years old, but there are accounts of him dating back to Hideyoshi’s rule in the late fifteen-hundreds.”
“Great, a contemporary shows up and of course he’s a douchebag,” Danny mutters to himself. He chances a look to his side to see how Steve is doing, aware that he shouldn’t have even bothered looking. Steve’s reacting as expected – a low growl caught on his lips, his full fury bearing down on Wo Fat as he appears in the pictures. “Okay, but hold up, Hesse pulled the trigger. We’re searching for Hesse.”
“Wo Fat is the puppet master behind all of this. Hesse wouldn’t have even touched John if not for his orders,” Jenna says, staring up warily from the table. “I’m pretty sure he’s back on the island because...” She trails off, her attention fixed on Steve.
Danny’s been reading people’s body language for a long time now, and it doesn’t take very long before he understands what Jenna’s saying.
“He wants to kill Steve so no one will pick up the trail,” Danny says, blanching with horror at the mere thought of losing Steve to a fangy maniac. “Okay, so, first of all, there’s no way in hell that bastard’s getting his hands on Steve, not on my Steve, not on my watch.” He chances the look at Chin and Kono that tells him what he already knows – they’re incredibly amused by this little show. “Second, we’ve still got Sang Min to deal with. We all thought he was under Hesse’s employ, which means...”
Jenna nods vociferously. “Yes, yeah, he is definitely working for Wo Fat. I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s broken out of jail anytime soon.”
Danny smiles darkly, almost hoping that Wo Fat decides to jailbreak Sang Min – any good excuse to bring on the challenge. He can sense Steve looking at him and tries to reign in his morbid delight at the thought of collecting another head. “So, now we know who’s behind all this.”
“Now we go see Sang Min,” Steve decides, “in prison, where no one can be challenged,” he continues, practically forcing Danny to raise both hands in surrender, “and then we talk to the Governor and see how she hasn’t caught wind of this.”
“You would think that she knew,” Kono says as she starts compiling folders to keep all the evidence. Danny watches as Chin pulls up their files on supernaturals and realizes that they’re about to trust their database to this woman.
God, he hopes they’re not wrong on this count.
“Steve, let’s go,” Danny says, grabbing at his sleeve –turnabout is fair play – and hauling him down to the parking lot. “Look, I’m not going to challenge him. Technically, I can’t. The prison’s built on hallow ground, plus the whole bulletproof glass thing sort of spoils the fight...” It’s a weak joke, but excuse him for trying to lighten the mood.
It doesn’t work. Danny can practically feel dark and grim radiating off Steve. He reaches over and grabs at Steve’s other shoulder, holding him a foot away with an iron grip.
“Steven,” he says, giving him a mild shake to reiterate his point. “We’ll catch the bad guys. And do you know why? It’s because we’re the good guys and the police. And what do the police do?”
“They put the bad guys behind bars,” Steve narrates in reply, reciting by rote. “Danny, what if...”
“No, nuh uh, no way, no hypotheticals,” Danny interrupts. “Okay? We’re just visiting today. Pretend it’s your really ugly cousin and your scary aunt that we’re going to see. No hypotheticals, no thinking about silver bullets, and no thinking about challenges. Understood?”
Steve doesn’t look like he likes it, but that’s tough.
“Get in the car and warm it up. I’m gonna say goodbye to Chin and Kono, see if Jenna wants us to ask anything in particular,” he says, jutting a thumb over his shoulder.
Danny takes the walk as an opportunity to try and calm his mind, which is brimming with crazed panic as he thinks about all those scary hypotheticals he’s trying to ignore. Yeah, okay, he’ll say it – he’s worried. He’s worried about some maniac in the shadows with a gun, silver bullets, and a freakish inability to die via normal methods. He’s worried about Steve and he’s a little worried about himself.
Maybe he needs to ask Rachel to protect him, just for a couple of days.
He puts all those thoughts aside so that he can seem cool, calm, and collected when he heads back into the office. Chin, Kono, and Jenna are all bent around the main computer table and look pretty damn engrossed by whatever it is they’re finding. “Everyone having fun in here?” Danny asks.
“You guys have so much information,” Jenna says with an awestruck look on her face.
Danny shrugs as he picks up his trenchcoat – the one he wears when he doesn’t feel like letting his sword announce what he is. “Immunity and means. It’s pretty handy when you want to call up the FBI or the CIA and use political authority to get what you want. Chin, Kono, I’m out for the weekend after this. Don’t do anything stupid.”
“We won’t,” they reply in chorus, both too preoccupied with the information at hand to really bother with Danny. Just as quickly as they’ve said goodbye to him, they’re back to quiet conversation about a potential lead that Jenna had suggested.
Danny lingers for just a moment longer. He needs it to get his wits about him, because every moment that he spends thinking about the possible danger that’s looming for all of them – namely Steve – it throws him into a heightened state of alertness where he wants to lock Steve in a panic-room Steve until this is over. He’d feel bad about it if he weren’t so sure that Steve’s already making plans to do the same to him.
He forces his face into a neutral expression so that Steve doesn’t think anything is wrong. Well, scratch that. It’s so that Steve doesn’t think anything’s gotten worse.
“We ready?” Steve asks.
“We’re ready,” Danny confirms, sliding into the passenger seat of the Camaro with ease. “One day, you and I are going to have a discussion about the fact that ‘alpha’ does not mean ‘automatic car driver’.”
Steve doesn’t even glance over at Danny, revving the engine as he peels out of the parking lot. “Funny. Because it’s in the Oxford-Wolf dictionary.”
Steve’s smiling, though, which temporarily calms Danny’s singing nerves. They’ll get worse again as they approach Halawa, but for right now, Danny’s going to count every small blessing as a practical miracle.
As far as the world is concerned, Daniel has been dead for eight months.
Rachel has quickly taken Daniel as one of her own – her family -- but Daniel isn’t sure how much trust he places in a woman he’s only just met, even if she has been very helpful in keeping him alive. She’s taught him the rules of hallowed ground before explaining how a fight progresses when the earth beneath them isn’t sanctioned by faith. She’d forced him to stand to the side as she collected another victory and one more in a long line of heads. She’s told him all she can, but Daniel has yet to meet another immortal in combat.
That’s about to change.
He senses the other immortal instantly as he’s passing through Piccadilly and a group of constables pass him. Daniel stops immediately, his hand on his sword as he locks eyes with a tall man with brown hair. If he’s an immortal like in Rachel’s many tales, he also possesses a determined desire to live.
The only trouble is that Daniel Williams is a terribly stubborn man. He’s positive that his will to live exceeds this constable’s. He’s killed many in his former life, but he had always rationalized it under the notion that he was fighting a war and men are permitted to do terrible things. He’s not sure he’ll be able to use the same excuse in these endeavors.
Rachel insists on one absolute truth to this life: kill or be killed when it comes to the battle.
Daniel watches the constable carefully. He has to be careful not to exhibit any sign of weakness, lest he put himself in danger of becoming one of the sorry excuses for an immortal – the kind who can’t even live past a natural life’s span. The man is making his excuses and edging towards Daniel, which gives him a limited amount of time to find an area to wage the battle. Instinct has pushed Daniel towards issuing the challenge with him barely realizing it. He might not have coaxed out the fight by anything but instinct, but now that he has, he’s raring for a victory.
He thinks he can do this. He knows he can do this.
In his natural life, he’d found victory many times on the battlefield, but he lives in a far more terrifying world now where the bumps in the nights truly are monsters. There’s no telling how skilled this man is, so it’s best to be cautiously on-guard and assured in the skills that Daniel does possess.
“Are you sure about this?” the man asks, as if he’s trying to press doubt into Daniel, who has already rid himself of most every shred of it. “Once we begin, you know what the only possible conclusion will be.”
“What’s your name?” Daniel asks, spurred on by a sudden need to know. He withdraws his sword as a response to the man’s question about whether he truly wants to continue. “Constable...?”
“Constable Andrew Sawcott,” the man replies, drawing out his rapier. It’s thinner than Daniel’s and far more elegant. Rachel had been insistent that Daniel purchase a blade that would weather whole centuries. Hers is a leftover from the Viking regimes, and is an impressive thing for such a petite woman.
Daniel casts his overcoat to the side of the small clearing they’ve found, circling Sawcott with long strides. Were this still the wars, the attack might have been faster and without precision, but there are no armies and little strategy. As far as Daniel can tell, there is only the steel resolve to walk away with one’s head intact. He doesn’t precisely have a way to evaluate his opponent’s fighting technique except to know that Sawcott is trained for this.
The upper hand remains in Daniel’s favor, given that he’s trained in a far more barbaric type of combat. Sawcott has no idea of this. Rachel has paid for Daniel’s clothes and he no longer looks like a man of the infantry. Now, he looks as though he comes from society and might have no clue about how to wield his blade except for sport with fellow-minded men.
They circle each other for five more paces before the first strike is made. Sawcott lunges and Daniel shuffles to his right -- avoiding a defense by being out of the way entirely. Interestingly enough, Sawcott’s first strikes are not aiming to take off Daniel’s head.
He wonders if that’s common or if this is a unique trait to just one man.
“What will you do, if you win?” Daniel finds himself asking, attention shared between Sawcott’s paces and his tense grip on his sword, trying to predict where the next attack will come from. The heavy grip of the sword implies that whatever blow does come next will be an attempt to end Daniel’s life. “Do you have a wife at home?”
“No. Do you?”
Daniel pauses, wondering what Rachel is to him. “No,” he finally says. Rachel is nothing so simple as anyone’s wife. Even without her there, he doesn’t want to insult her by saying that’s all she is. Just as he’d predicted, the next attack is swift and forceful. Sawcott steps to the side, drawing back his sword in an attempt to catch Daniel off guard and remove his head from behind, but his reflexes are sharper than that. He brings the sword up quickly in defense and the metallic clash brings the blades close to eye-level.
His sword is brand new, but Sawcott’s looks aged. There are even well-worn rusting spots, as though he’s allowed the blood to remain as a warning to any who might think it prudent to challenge him – people like Daniel, who had to take on a first fight at some point and is growing more confident with every passing moment.
Daniel knows with great clarity, within mere moments of evaluating Sawcott’s stance and expression, how this battle is going to end -- and it will most certainly be in his favor. “What is it you do?” Sawcott asks, his gaze fixed on Daniel’s neck. It’s like eyeing the trophy before it has been won. It’s very poor sport.
“I’m still deciding. Do you like constable work?”
“It provides a sense of justice,” Sawcott says, striking forward to parry and stab at Daniel’s abdomen. He lands a hit, though only a rip of his shirt and a shallow flesh wound at best. It’s deliberate on Danny’s part with the knowledge that any wound will be temporary, but a victory will be permanent.
Sawcott is smiling privately, as though he’s cottoned onto some private knowledge. He thinks that Daniel is weakening – a fresh immortal with no skills – and that soon he’ll have another head. Daniel intends to keep him believing this false truth for as long as he can. He feigns weakness with every parry and thrust.
Inevitably, Daniel has to fall. He crumples to the ground, sword at an unnatural angle as dust stains the knees of his trousers. He sways forward, tucking his chin to his chest and remaining in the role of the ever-weary soldier.
Sawcott is laughing. It’s quiet, but it’s unmistakable.
Instantly, that laugh brings to mind a perverse knowledge of how much Daniel is going to enjoy stealing that smug belief of victory away. He waits patiently, listens for the sword as Sawcott prepares himself for the final swing. Daniel’s body practically shakes with a need to move, but he hears the tell-tale sound of a sword coming down upon him soon enough.
Then, it’s over almost as quickly as it had begun.
Daniel rolls forward and when Sawcott’s blade comes smashing down, it’s embedded in the heavy earth below. Daniel’s already got both hands on his sword as he pivots, aware that he only has a finite amount of time before Sawcott recovers. Daniel is a new immortal and if this battle rages on for too much longer, he’s not sure whether he’ll survive.
It’s now or it’s never.
He spares a brief thought of sympathy to the people in Sawcott’s life who loved him. Sometimes the world is cruel, and sometimes people have to play the villains if they expect to live on. Daniel’s hands are steady as they see the task through, removing the head from the body with an efficient blow. He rises as he watches the head roll clumsily on the alley ground, energy beginning to crackle about him.
When he returns to Rachel that evening, he’s not the same man who left that morning. His clothes are ruined, but he feels like he’s better acquainted with how the world works. “What on earth happened to you?” Rachel demands, running her fingers over the remaining fringe of Daniel’s shirt – now in tatters. “Do you have any idea how much I paid for all of this? Honestly, Daniel, I hope you have a bloody good reason...”
“I won,” is all Daniel feels compelled to say. “And I think I figured out what I’d like to do. What do you think about police work?”
Danny is lingering beside the Camaro, unable to shake the horrible feeling in his gut. They’ve promised Jenna that they’ll help her and she’s given them reams of information, which means that now they get to confront Sang Min about who he’s really working for. If that weren’t enough to make Danny twitchy, he’s also got to deal with the idea that the mastermind behind all of this could be watching them at any moment.
It’s just not fucking sitting well.
Steve is loading his body with weapons from his personal armory housed in the trunk of Danny’s car. He’s holstering guns to thigh, shoulder, arm, and probably to some hidden foot holsters. Danny’s already equipped himself with silver bullets, knowing that Steve can’t even go near the things without breaking into a cold sweat. He’s pretty sure that’s half the wolf recoiling and half his human memory remembering what a silver bullet did to his father.
The prison looms over them and every minute that they don’t go inside to have this talk and get it over with is another minute that Danny feels like he’s going to be sick. The one consolation is that he’s on holy ground and he’s allowed to let his guard down, if only for a moment.
“Steve, seriously,” Danny says, as Steve tucks away an iron-cast knife in a holster at his wrist. “What are you doing, you really think they’re even going to let you in there with all that strapped to you? You’re practically a suicide bomb.”
“Immunity and means,” Steve grunts in reply.
“Immunity and...you know what, I am so tired of that saying. You know how tired I am of it? I am beyond sick of it and don’t think for a second I don’t know how much you like it,” Danny accuses, poking his finger in Steve’s face. “I bet you have it cross-stitched on a pillow somewhere in your house, you gigantic immunity-and-means-loving freak.” He crosses his arms impatiently when Steve leans half his body into the trunk. “Okay, I swear to god, if you haul a battering ram out of my trunk, I’ll batter you with it.”
“Relax, I’m just grabbing a mag,” Steve says, holding it up before tucking it into his utility belt – so equipped that it would give Batman a healthy dose of envy.
Danny shakes his head, taking long strides towards the prison entrance. “You’re sick, you know that? I genuinely fear walking in here with you looking like that, it is disgusting, you could go off and I’d just be shrapnel, you’re so overly-armed, and is that a grenade on your belt!?”
Steve shrugs, looking like he doesn’t understand what’s so terrifying about that. “I had one in the glove box.”
“You had one in the...okay, Steven, when we’re home, you and I are going to have a talk about this.”
Danny’s not sure what part of his furious tone made Steve stop in his tracks and grin like a grade-A goofball, but he’s just stopped walking and that idiot grin is all over his face.
“What? What did I do?”
“Home,” Steve repeats.
Danny waves a hand to try and dismiss Steve before he starts getting so goofy that Danny doesn’t know what to do with him. “We are standing outside of a prison and we’re about to interrogate a man who’s over a hundred years old and who’s serving a full life sentence. Do you know how long that is, for an immortal? There is zero, zip, nothing, nada that we can use as a bargaining chip since we’ve already tapped the resource of his wife. And then, then we have to go walk on eggshells around a fae and ask her politely, ‘Ma’am, why the hell didn’t you tell us there was a vengeance-happy vampire on your island?’ and pray, pray, that the response isn’t ‘because I wanted him here’.” He sucks in a breath, desperate for the oxygen, and glares at Steve.
Steve is, predictably, smirking away.
“What is so funny?”
Steve leans forward and taps on Danny’s forehead lightly. “There’s this vein in your forehead that starts throbbing when you get really angry. It’s kinda cute, Danno.”
“I’ll give you cute,” Danny mutters under his breath, slapping away Steve’s intruding fingers and storming towards the entrance. “C’mon, werewolf-time-bomb, let’s go see our man.” He takes the longest strides he can, but Steve’s long legs mean that even at Danny’s most furious speed, he keeps pace.
The security they encounter when they enter the prison is minimal. Danny tips his gaze to the ceiling as if pleading with someone up above and takes a deep breath to center himself before Sang Min shows up and his senses go haywire. “Take that look off your face, McGarrett,” Danny warns without even needing to look at him. “You’re the one who made the rule that they have to leave our weapons alone; you don’t need to look so smug every time we come here.”
His chin is forcibly grasped and maneuvered so that he’s looking dead-straight at Steve.
“What? What is the need for the manhandling?” Danny yelps, hands rising to smack Steve off of him. “And in public, why’s it always in public?” he mutters to himself in grievous complaint.
“No one touches your sword but you,” Steve says, like he’s been picking up on a couple of tips here and there on the care and feeding of immortals, “and those you trust the most.”
Danny knows there’s a lot of implication in those words considering that Steve’s handled Danny’s sword on more than one occasion – and has since two days after the first time they met – like he’d decided that once he appropriated Danny into his life, all his possessions and relationships came with the package.
Now that Danny knows about the mating bond, he could blame his trust on that. Truth is, though, Steve has a tendency to insert himself in other people’s lives, whether they like it or not. Danny’s practically ready to wish pity on the poor bastard who’s stuck with that for the rest of his life before the reality of their situation catches up to him and he remembers that it’s him.
The guard shows them to their usual spot.
“I find it ridiculous that we have a regular booth,” Danny voices aloud as he takes the chair, sitting with a quick adjustment of his sword. He places his palms flat on the counter as Steve leans over his shoulder, chest pressed firmly to Danny’s back. “What? What is it?”
“Nothing, just noticing the dent in the glass is still here from last time,” Steve murmurs, right into Danny’s ear.
“Fuck you and your lame, thinly-veiled excuses to try and get close to me and sniff me,” Danny says sharply. “I’m onto you. I know you.” He ignores the little voice inside of him that pipes up with how good it feels to sense Steve so close.
That little voice is fired. It’s going to be dragged out back, shot, and buried.
There’s a time and a place for what Steve’s doing and when Danny’s senses are already in overdrive at the proximity of so many immortals, he’s already at the end of his rope. If he ends up shoving Steve up against that chipped glass and giving him a hickey on his stupid neck for the world to see, it’s going to be his own fault.
“Danno, calm down,” Steve says, right into his ear. It’s all fine and well, but then he has to go and brush his lips over Danny’s pulse point.
Danny practically flips. “How the hell am I supposed to be calm when you do things like that!”
Steve kisses the point blatantly. This is no accidental move, this is something designed to make everyone in their immediate area sit up and take notice that Danny Williams is hands-off. Danny’s almost willing to play into this madness – or he would have been, except that his senses start scrambling.
It means their company has arrived. “Off,” Danny says, making a shooing motion with his hands. “Off, he’s coming.”
Steve doesn’t comment on Danny’s dog-like commands as he slides into a rigidly-straight stance, hands folded behind his back as he stands at attention.
Sang Min saunters up to the chair and sprawls down onto it, holding the prison phone in his hand and contemplating Danny from behind the glass for longer than he needs to. Danny can sense Steve itching to start this process, but Danny wants to revel in Sang Min’s imprisonment for just a moment lest he get too eager to break him out for a night, just to collect his head. “You’re looking a little lost there without your personal effects,” Danny comments into the phone, smirking like he’s taunting an old friend. His tone’s missing all the warmth.
“You won’t be so happy to see me when I get them back,” Sang Min warns.
“It’s good to see the criminal class is still so woefully ignorant, Steven,” Danny comments idly, never once taking his eyes off of Sang Min. “You have no idea how happy I’ll be when you’re out and you get them back. What’ve you got? Multiple life sentences? We’ll even make a date.”
Steve presses a hand to Danny’s shoulder and squeezes hard, as if to get him back on track. It’s gone as quickly as it arrived, but it reminds Danny of why they’re here.
“Speaking of dates, there’s a little bird going around telling me that you haven’t just been seeing Hesse when it comes to your dastardly little plans,” Danny says, watching Sang Min’s face for any kind of reaction. “The name Wo Fat make you happy in your pants at all?”
That gets a reaction, even if it’s not as dramatic as Danny had been hoping for. Sang Min squirms slightly and wrinkles his nose in disgust.
“You’re crazy, haole,” he spits out. Sang Min starts to fidget, scratching his cheek and looking like he’d rather talk about almost anything else. “What’s the deal with your dog? Never seen a mute mutt before.”
Danny wonders if he knows what a bad idea jumping to that ledge of a topic is.
“His dog,” Steve cuts in, words edging on too-calm -- and Danny, who knows how dangerous the situation is going to get if McGarrett sounds this calm, starts to pray for patience -- “is trying to think of a good reason not to come into that prison and take your head off myself.”
Danny waves a hand and takes in a deep breath to remind himself that half of what Steve does is just for show and he doesn’t really mean this stuff.
“We could easily spread a rumor that you helped us,” Danny points out. “I know two of the immortals behind these bars because I put ‘em there. Both are older than you, and if they find out you’re the kind of guy who snitches, they might not be able to kill you, but they could make your life hell.”
Sang Min looks impassive, giving Danny a look that seems to demand ‘is that all?’
“Listen to me,” Danny gets out, edging on desperation as he pokes a finger at the glass. “This is not a guy you want to be affiliated with. You’re caught up in some bad business, sure, but Wo Fat is into murder, and the nasty kind, at that. You really want to be in bed with this guy?”
Something’s sinking in. Sang Min gives Danny a thoughtful look as he leans forward, phone dangling lazily in his fingers like he’s deciding whether or not he’s done with this conversation. “What’s in it for me? I helped you bring in Hesse, you let me see my family.”
Danny hadn’t been too happy with that, but for Meka? For Meka, he’d have done anything – even if he’d had to let Chin escort Sang Min so that Danny didn’t end up killing their prisoner during the commute.
“If I help you this time, what will you give me?”
“I make sure Detective Williams doesn’t collect your head,” Steve says.
“He’s not, you can’t...” Danny sputters, pinching the bridge of his nose and wondering if he can ask Rachel for a copy of the ‘How to Be an Immortal for Dummies’ book that’s quietly passed along the underground of their kind. “Look, you help us out, I’ll make sure you steer clear of other immortals as long as you want in this place. Hell, I’ll transfer you in with the fangers if that’s what makes you happy. Think of it as prime real estate in exchange for information on a name.”
“That doesn’t sound like much to me,” Sang Min says.
He’s right, too. Danny hates the fact that there’s so little they can offer him. He knows what Sang Min is aiming for, and he could give him that offer. He just hates that he has to say it out loud, it burns through every fiber of rightness in his body. “We could look at shortening your sentence,” he gets out.
Sang Min grins. “Hurt you to say, didn’t it?”
“Yeah, but it doesn’t take away from the fact that it’s true. If Steve or I put in a good word for you to the parole board, you could see some of those life sentences dropping away like flies,” Danny says, tensing up. “Just tell us, is Wo Fat the guy at the top? Is that where your orders come from?”
Sang Min lets the phone drop to the counter. The offer goes untouched, he gives no response, and they’re up shit creek without a paddle.
Danny’s already tired of begging this creep, and he’s not willing to offer him anything more than what’s already on the table. He doesn’t even think there is anything more they can offer. “You done? Is that it?” Sang Min sits there resolutely silent, crossing his arms over his chest. “Wo Fat. Remember that name,” he says, a little louder just in case Sang Min can’t hear him. “We’re taking him down and then you lose whatever meager protection he’s providing you.”
He hangs up the phone firmly and makes a dismissive gesture with his fingers to get the guards to take him away. He watches Sang Min’s retreating back before pressing his fingertips to his temple to try and ease the tension away, feeling Steve breathing down on his neck. He keeps standing there, not saying anything.
Danny doesn’t bother with Steve until Sang Min is out of sight and the buzzing in his head is gone.
“What the hell is wrong with you, huh? You can’t talk?” Danny snaps.
“Think of it this way, Danno,” Steve says as he offers a hand out to Danny. Despite his hesitations, he takes it and lets Steve haul him up to his feet. “We’ll call it a trade-off. You do the talking here and I do the talking with the Governor since she ‘gives you that freaky feeling’, whatever that means.”
“Look, fae-powers aren’t fully documented. She could be doing anything and we’d never know,” Danny insists, walking side-by-side with Steve on their way out of the prison. “Look at you, look at that face,” he says, gesturing to Steve when he notices that Steve’s lower lip is slightly jutted out and there’s a crease in the middle of his forehead. “Are you disappointed that you didn’t get to use a grenade?”
He’s met with guilty, guilty silence.
“You’re a menace,” Danny says, pushing the exit door open and greeting the sun with a hand over his eyes to reduce the glare. “If the Governor can read my mind, I hope she can sift through my murderous intentions and my need to find out if you get uncontrollably growly in bed to see the respect I have for her.”
“I didn’t think you respected anyone but Rachel, your children, and the esteemed honor of Jersey.”
“New, this time,” Steve says. He stops in order to grab Danny by the hip, anchoring him to the spot while he pushes his hand into Danny’s front pocket to get the Camaro keys out from where Danny had shoved them upon arrival. He keeps searching for them, like they’re mysteriously hidden and those fingers of his linger on the thin fabric that separates Steve’s hand from Danny’s thigh.
Danny’s not complaining, right up until the moment those fingers start getting a little too close to his inner thigh. “Public,” Danny gets out in a strangled voice. “Why do you always do this when we’re in public?” He shifts his hips forward based on his body’s need for more, but forces himself to take in a deep breath and calm down. Steve finally fishes the keys out and heads for the driver’s seat, grinning boyishly as he does. “What?”
“Uncontrollably growly,” he says, enunciating the words and drawing them out. “I have been known to give in to the wolf from time to time while in bed.”
“Should I be asking Catherine about this, too?” Danny asks darkly. “Do not think I’ve forgotten how ill you made me by having dirty, athletic sex with her. Given how furiously sick I was, I’m guessing that you hot-sexed her for at least three rounds. You still owe me for that.” He slams the door shut harder than he needs to, but takes great delight in imagining it falling off its hinges.
He’s so busy picturing it that he’s caught off-guard when Steve crosses the divide of the gearshift, grabs Danny by the hair and hauls him towards the middle of the car. He’s leaning forward, his gaze lowered to stare at Danny’s lips as if contemplating exactly where he’s going to start paying back his debt to Danny. The grip in his hair tightens, and then loosens as Steve lets his hand descend and cups the nape of Danny’s neck, bringing him in for a kiss.
Danny’s not about to let this happen without escalation.
He reaches down to Steve’s belt and yanks hard, fisting his t-shirt in his hands at the same time in order to forcibly haul Steve right over the divide and practically into Danny’s lap. “Public,” Steve warns when Danny lets him have a minute to breathe.
“Fuck you,” Danny retorts, biting on Steve’s lower lip to suck it between his teeth and get back to kissing Steve until he’s done mapping out the inside of his mouth. “You only have yourself to blame,” he mumbles against Steve’s neck, slumped there as he tries to catch his breath. One hand is still slipped between Steve’s pants and his belt, the other has moved from the t-shirt to Steve’s thigh. “Fuck, you’re hot.”
“Wolves burn hot when we get worked up,” Steve replies. “Which means I’m ready to explode anytime I’m around you.”
“And you’ve killed the mood,” Danny announces, backing away with a consolation-pat to Steve’s thigh.
Steve lets out a small noise of discontent that sounds eerily like a puppy’s whine. Whatever it is, it makes Danny grin and, for a second, he forgets what they’re heading off to do.
“Okay, let’s get this over with. If we survive this day, you might even get lucky when we get home,” Danny says, and should have really expected it when Steve guns the acceleration pedal. “But not if you kill me before we get there!” he shouts above the sound of the Camaro peeling out of the prison parking lot.
Steve obeys the traffic laws on the drive to the Governor’s mansion, which is good, but not good in that he has time to cast thoughtful looks Danny’s way, like he’s strategic-op-planning his way into Danny’s pants.
“Jesus, Mary, and Joseph,” Danny sighs and prays aloud (despite his insistence on a lack of faith). “I’m not going to survive this mating process, am I?”
“Trust me, Danno,” Steve assures him in that tone he has that says he’s capable of dealing with even the strangest of things – that tone that comes out when there are cases like mermaid incursions or that terrifying pixie plague – and intends to win. “I’ll get you through. Come on, it’s bad form to keep the Governor waiting.”
He’s out of the car instantly, like he’s not the one who started all the hanky-panky in the first place at the prison. Danny has to struggle to catch up, getting his sword adjusted while he fixes his hair before they enter the fae’s nest.
Steve’s waiting for him at the door. Danny unclips the catch on his sword, just in case, and prepares himself for an encounter with the unpredictable. “The last time we saw her, she asked us to look into the murders of those girls, and I’m pretty sure the cyclone off the islands was due to her grief,” Danny says under his breath. “I’m just saying, Steve, go against your Rambo instincts, please. Tread carefully.”
“Yeah,” Steve notes distractedly, ringing the doorbell. “Sure, Danno, whatever you say.”
“You’re gonna get me killed, and that means you’re never getting that thing you want,” Danny says, choosing to advocate discretion, given the fact that they’re about to walk into a serious meeting with the highest-ranking official on the island.
The doors are drawn open by the Governor herself, whose skin is as luminescent as ever. It’s far from unearthly, but one thing fae have in common is their visible tendency to glow. Danny once cracked that you could spot a fae with ease because they were all just overgrown fireflies.
“Don’t worry, Detective Williams,” Governor Jameson assures. “You’re going to give him that thing he’s been longing for. And you should stop thinking about how he’ll injure your knee. You should know that any injuries are short-term.”
Danny’s posture goes rigid and he chalks up a couple more notches in the column of ‘can read minds’.
“Governor,” he greets her, trying to be pleasant with a woman who’s probably burrowing through his mind as they speak. “It’s a pleasure.”
“It’s business,” she corrects him, gesturing inside. “Come in, boys. I’ve got Longboards in the office and I already know what you’re going to ask. I figured I’d try and couch your disappointment with alcohol.”
Danny feels a slight nudge at the small of his back. He presses his lips together and bites back an insult directed at Steve, choosing instead to obey their little agreement and play second fiddle on this particular visit. He jabs Steve in the side as a silent ‘get moving’ and drops back to follow behind him, trying to get his mind off Steve, sex, and his knee – now that it’s been placed there as quickly as you could say ‘pink elephant’.
“I don’t like the sound of that,” Steve says bluntly as they follow her into the den. “You don’t even know what we’re here to ask.”
“You want to know about Wo Fat,” the Governor replies. “Am I wrong?”
Steve hesitates, giving Danny a clear signal to ‘help’, but Danny’s got nothing. “Yes, but...”
“I’ve never heard of that name before in my life,” she says.
The glow of her skin turns vaguely angrier, if Danny has to put a word to it. It pulses red for a moment and then returns to normal; if you’d blinked, you might never have seen it at all. Whether it means she’s lying or just pissed they even came here to ask, he has no clue. He does know that he hovers closer to Steve than he might otherwise, placing a hand on his hip to keep close.
“Steve,” Danny mumbles in warning.
It’s no use. Steve’s already decided what tactics he’s going to use. “This is a man who’s orchestrated the death of my father, attacks on your island, and now has a price on my head. Who knows, he could be out for yours, as well!”
“Are you implying that I can’t take care of myself, Commander McGarrett?” the Governor questions with a graceful arch of her brow.
“That is not...” Danny cuts in. “Steve, tell her that’s not what you meant.”
There’s terrifying silence for a moment, and Danny has to forcibly step on Steve’s toes to elicit a response before they die and Danny never gets to experience sex with Steve. His whole body is practically vibrating with tension. If they don’t get out of here soon, Danny’s going to take out his sword and cut his own head off.
“It’s not what I meant,” Steve finally says and he even sounds genuine. Danny casts a wary look in his direction and is grateful to see that he looks like he means it, too. “Governor, my life is at risk, which puts my partner’s life at risk. It means that your island isn’t as safe as it could be. You’ve never heard of Wo Fat? You have no idea who he is?”
The Governor pauses just a moment too long, brushing her thumb against her cheek compulsively as she looks away from them. That’s when Danny realizes how screwed they really are. “I’m afraid I can’t help you, gentlemen. Would you like to indulge in that beer, now?”
Danny hooks his arm in Steve’s in order to drag him in the direction of the front door, smiling politely as they go. “Actually, ma’am, if it’s fine by you, I thought maybe I’d take Steve here and get him into a private place. You know how it is,” he says with a strained smile. “Mates, and all.”
“Steve,” Danny says sharply, turning to look him dead in the eye, trying to communicate ‘if you ever want to get laid in your life, go with me’ in a single look. “We’ll come by next week with an update of the situation, right?”
“Of course you’ll be kept apprised,” Steve agrees. He has that pinched look on his face that Danny’s coined as ‘angry robot’. Danny pinches his side again to prevent him from shifting into his wolf form and taking out said anger in a decidedly more animalistic way. “Thank you for the drink offer, Governor. We’ll be seeing you soon.”
Danny hauls Steve out with him, clamping his hand forcibly over Steve’s mouth the minute that he tries to say something. He ends up having to do it three times before they get to the Camaro.
He just needs a minute to think about the fact that the Governor is lying to them. He’s been on the force for a lot of years and he’s dealt with a lot of scumbag witnesses. He knows when someone’s not telling him the full story, and he’s just seen a bag of evidence that says the same about the Governor.
Danny leans his forearms over the roof and lets his posture slump as Steve grips the door until his knuckles go white. They don’t move and neither says a thing for almost five minutes. Inevitably, it’s like a silent switch has been flicked and they look over the car to meet each other’s eyes. Danny wonders if he looks as worried and angry as Steve does, but he knows that he’s definitely leery of the whole thing.
Because if the Governor is lying to them, it means that she’s in bed with Wo Fat. It means that their best chance of a powerful ally in all of this is actually working against them.
“So,” Danny finally says, taking in a deep breath. “Are we in trouble or are we severely and truly screwed?”
“If the Governor isn’t really on our side?” Steve says, brows knit together in worry. “Danny...”
“No, whatever it is, no,” Danny cuts him off. “We’re not even going to approach worst case scenarios right now.” He runs his free hand through his hair, tugging on it slightly to try and inspire some kind of genius thought to come along. “Look, it’s mid-afternoon now. I’ll head back to headquarters and brief the team on the situation. You go let off whatever steam you’ve been keeping in, because I can practically feel it coming off you in waves. I’ll be at your place for dinner,” Danny says. “That’s a promise, Steve.”
“You’d better come by, Danny,” Steve warns as he gets into the car, his grip on the steering wheel loosening as he casts a glance to the passenger seat. It’s like all he needs is one look at Danny in order to brighten up. It’s like he’s forgotten all about the dangerous situation they’re in or the fact that there’s a maniac out there with a silver bullet intended for Steve’s heart.
One look at Danny and Steve looks like he’s the luckiest man in the world.
It’s a goddamn powerful thing. Danny knows, in that moment, that today’s going to be a game-changer. Even if nothing happens later on, the events of the morning at the office in combination with the visits have exhausted him. Danny spends the whole drive going through a dozen possible scenarios in his head.
All of them, each and every single one, are better than his knowledge that tomorrow morning – when all the denial is shaken off and he can’t ignore the threat anymore – is going to be the harshest light of day he’s ever seen.
Danny’s had a key to Steve’s house practically since the day they met. Now that he knows Steve mated with him immediately, maybe it shouldn’t be so surprising that Steve began trusting him with his possessions from the very start.
Despite having the key, Danny hasn’t taken it as an invitation to make Steve’s home into his own. After the day they’ve had, though, Danny doesn’t want to be anywhere else. There’s a price on Steve’s head, Sang Min is as frustrating as ever, and the Governor won’t help them. It’s just another day in Oahu.
As promised, Danny heads to Steve’s place, grateful that he’s not about to spend the night alone in his apartment, mired in a thousand unsavory thoughts. Steve had called to say he was out at Diamond Head for a long run, but should be back soon. If nothing else, Danny’s finally following through on his promise to get to the ‘eventually’ they keep circling.
At first, he just sits in the living room. He paces the floor and studies Steve’s old family pictures on the mantle, brushing his fingers over the frayed edges. Even the best of care hasn’t preserved them entirely. Danny can’t help his bemused snort at what Mary used to look like back in the late 1800’s. He’s definitely not going to let her live that down anytime soon. The lack of pictures of Steve makes him wonder how many pictures from the olden days are hidden away in boxes.
Danny’s got his own portraits from the early days of his new life, but has yet to share them with any of Five-0.
He thinks that he might need to haul out the oldest portrait of him as a young boy at some point soon, if he and Steve are really going to end up together for the long haul. There aren’t many because his family had a large number of children and while they were well-to-do, they couldn’t afford many sittings.
Rachel had paid for more after Danny ‘died’, but they’re tucked away safely. Danny tries to keep his past behind him as much as possible. It keeps him securely locked in the present and ensures that he doesn’t obsess over his former actions.
He sets down the picture and lets his fingers drift over the wood of the mantelpiece until they arrive at a glass jar with a distinctively familiar item inside. It’s a silver bullet. It doesn’t take Danny’s deductive skills to understand exactly what it is and it breaks his heart the minute he realizes. It’s the silver bullet – the one that Hesse used to kill John McGarrett.
Here it is on the mantelpiece, like some morbid sort of souvenir.
Danny palms the jar in his hand and tips it upwards so that the bullet catches the fading light from the west-facing windows. He wants to pitch the thing into the ocean and pray that it stops haunting Steve, but he knows it doesn’t work like that. Steve probably finds a kind of comfort in having it close-by.
His grip on it tightens when he hears the front door being unlocked. He doesn’t put it down, but turns to anticipate Steve’s return.
“Danny?” Steve calls out. “I saw your car in the driveway, are you...” He stops in the doorway of the living room. “...here? Danno, what are you doing with that?” he asks, an edge of panic lurking in his voice. With those long legs of his, it doesn’t take him more than four steps to cross the room and snatch the jar from Danny, setting it back on the mantle with careful fingers, twisting it until it’s facing some supposed ‘right’ way.
Danny raises his brows, giving Steve a dubious look. “Is this just your Dad-specific OCD or have you been hiding more crazy in the basement?”
“Danny, everything in this house belongs to you,” Steve says heatedly. “Even if you didn’t know it, I made that call the day I took you as mine, but not that,” he growls. “Not that, not ever that.”
“Technically, I could arrest you for stealing evidence, Steve,” Danny replies mildly, trying to ignore the fact that Steve looks like he’s about to pounce on Danny and tear his throat out if he doesn’t agree. “This belongs in the cage with the rest.”
“So arrest me,” Steve says. “Get your cuffs out, slap them on my wrists, and haul me off.”
Danny bites his lower lip, aware that it’s probably a little worrisome that he finds that image as hot as he does. He shifts, one hand hauling up the waistband of his trousers to try and conceal the fact that Steve’s got him to half-mast with a mental image alone, then realizes that Steve isn’t that far behind.
Danny puts the jar out of mind, taking it out of sight by grabbing Steve’s hips and forcibly putting his body between Danny and the bullet. There are so many issues to talk about, but Danny wants to shove them aside for one night. He’s done his due diligence and warned the team about Jameson possibly being on the take. They’ll pick up the case again in the morning, but until then, Danny thinks it’s time for something he knows they both want.
“You know that thing we keep putting off?” Danny murmurs, letting his gaze drift slowly over Steve’s body, taking in the increased breathing pattern, the flush over his cheeks, the way the hairs on his arms are standing up on end. “I think maybe it’s time we face it.” He’s looked into this as much as he could, but it turns out that outside of a couple really sleazy romance novels, there’s not much talk about immortal men building a relationship with an alpha wolf.
It’s almost funny how Steve manages to subvert the world’s expectations one crazy way at a time – or it would be if it didn’t scare Danny with how that brings insanity to his doorstep.
He licks his lower lip, sucking it between his teeth as his gaze drifts to the hem of Steve’s shirt. He thinks about the variety of tattoos hidden just behind the cloth and how Danny is absolutely free to explore each and every one of them. If he wanted to bruise that tramp stamp with purpling hickey marks, he absolutely could.
Danny’s almost embarrassed to say that it’s that thought that pushes him from interested to straining at the seams of his pants. He swallows hard, and that singular action pulls Steve’s attention down to his Adam’s apple. “What?” Danny murmurs. “What is it?” he asks again, when Steve’s expression goes glazed.
“You have no idea how badly I want to mark your skin,” Steve growls, running his arms down Danny’s biceps and gripping tightly enough that pleasure is pretty far out of sight as pain signals are the only ones broadcasting.
Wolves are known to have a fair amount of strength and Steve’s is on display when he lifts Danny off the floor with nothing but a grip on his biceps and practically throws him down onto the couch. He straddles Danny in a hurry, bending his head in a way that brings to mind dogs howling at the moon.
“Oh my god,” Danny says, realizing a moment too late what Steve is actually doing with his head bent low over Danny’s neck. “You’re scenting me.”
“You smell so good, I can’t help it,” Steve says. “Please, Danny, just let me,” he begs, tugging at the collar of Danny’s shirt with his teeth to pull it aside, pressing a tongue-heavy kiss to his collarbone before sliding the tip of his nose along the bone and sniffing his way to Danny’s shoulder. “Please,” he breathes out, each word adding a soft puff of breath to Danny’s neck. “Please,” he begs again, hips moving in a graceful thrust that makes it seem like Steve’s whole body is fluid -- how is he even doing that? “Danny, just let me smell you, god, you have no idea how good you smell.”
“You’re starting to freak me out,” Danny says warily, shifting as he tries to find a comfortable spot on this couch, which isn’t looking possible anytime soon. “I know you own a bed. Get me up, c’mon, I’ve been alive over four hundred years and this is, by far, the most uncomfortable thing I’ve been on.”
“Do you ever shut up, Danno?” Steve asks, eyes widening in vague alarm as if he’s concerned that such a thing isn’t possible.
“Rachel says that sex defaults my settings and turns me off. Wanna find out if she’s right?” Danny says with a smirk. It’s dirty play, bringing up an ex to a possessive werewolf, but it does the trick in getting off the couch. Steve slides a hand up Danny’s back, hauling him half-vertical and then tucking Danny’s legs around his waist as he carries him upstairs. “Whoa, hey! When was the memo sent out about me not having use of my legs, huh? Huh!”
“Danno!” Steve laughs in fond exasperation, pausing on the third step from the top in order to level him with a look of disbelief. “Shut up before I make you.”
Danny locks his ankles around the small of Steve’s back, tipping his head to one side and searching for that elusive spot on McGarrett’s neck that makes him sigh in ecstasy. When Danny thinks he’s found it, he digs his blunt nail in against the area and scratches. He keeps scratching until he’s got his hands buried in Steve’s hair, scratching and soothing him like a cherished pet.
Steve’s lids flutter, and while he keeps trying to get them to the bedroom, he falters every other step when Danny’s fingers burrow deeper into Steve’s thick hair.
“If you make,” Steve mumbles, his voice lazy, “a single ‘good dog’ comment, I’m going to throw you down the stairs, just because I can.”
“Abuse,” Danny sighs. “Abuse and domestic violence, I should have known this was a volatile home.”
Steve doesn’t follow through on his threat. Instead, he tightens his grip on Danny and continues to tote him up the stairs, taking him straight to the master bedroom. Danny’s not blind enough to think that things will remain the same past tonight. If he wanted, if he asked, he could stay here for the rest of his very long life and Steve would actively let him – more than that, he’d want it.
They stumble into the bedroom in a hurry when Steve’s steps falter, like suddenly he’s forgotten that he’s walking on two legs instead of four. He grabs Danny by the waist, shoving him onto the bed when he bends them over and gets close enough that it’s not far to fall.
Danny takes in deep breaths, fingers fumbling to get his tie loose.
“Stop,” Steve orders. “Don’t even think about it.”
“Yeah? You want to do this?”
“I’ve been thinking about destroying your ties for months, you’re not taking away that away from me,” Steve warns, crawling atop Danny on all fours. He seems at home in the stance, like his baser urges are bringing him back to the wolf inside. He doesn’t stop until he’s looming over Danny, his knee pressed between the small space of Danny’s parted thighs. “I’m gonna take it off, I’m gonna rip that shirt off you, I’m going to tie you to the bed with that belt, and when you’re finally stripped naked for me, I’m going to make it so tomorrow morning, you won’t be able to sit.”
Danny exhales shakily, trying to get out an irreverent laugh.
Turns out, he’s not capable of doing much. His brain is shorting out at the thought of Steve fucking him until he’s screaming for mercy. Danny’s fingers are itching to touch now that Steve’s forbid him from helping. Now that he’s been expressly told no, his body is screaming yes and it’s a challenge not to disobey Steve.
In the end, he does anyway.
While Steve is busy stripping off his t-shirt, Danny takes the opportunity to loosen the knot of his tie, getting two of the buttons on his shirt unfastened before Steve catches onto his movements. In a flash, he’s on Danny, pinning his wrists above his head and leaning right into his personal space, upper lip curled in anger and something akin to disappointment.
“You’re not listening, Danny,” Steve says, giving Danny a look that is, no joke, making his hard-on go from pesky to absolutely fucking painful. Steve’s practically searing him with his eyes alone. “I told you not to do that.”
Danny shivers. His shirt falls open, revealing the barest hint of his scar, which takes Steve’s attention off of him and places it dead on the puckered and pink mark on his chest. Rachel’s always treated it reverently because it’s a symbol of the bridge between Danny’s first life and this one.
Steve stares at it like it’s going to come to life and bite him on the damn nose.
“It’s just a scar, Steven,” Danny says as he shifts upwards, only to be forced flat on his back by Steve’s grip on his wrists. Danny’s left trying to give Steve a significant look to get him back on task. “Steve,” he says again. “Steve! I’m aware you bitch and you bitch about this every day and this is the first and only time I’m agreeing with you, but will you get these clothes off me before I change my mind?”
“You won’t do that,” Steve says with an air of confidence.
“No? Why not?” Danny challenges. “Because I am so close, Steve, so close.”
“You won’t because you love me and you want this as badly as I do,” Steve says, sliding his fingers slowly down Danny’s arms. The calloused fingertips leave goosebumps in their wake as Steve gets his hands on Danny’s collar.
He tugs, once, before burying his fingers in the knot of Danny’s tie, loosening it. Steve eases back and wraps a hand around the material, using the tie to yank Danny into a sitting position at the same time as Steve settles into a straddle of Danny’s hips in a hurry. The sudden friction of Steve’s thighs against Danny’s coaxes a guttural sound from Danny’s throat. He can’t even begin to imagine how badly he’ll react when there aren’t several layers of clothing between them.
“Steve,” Danny gasps out breathlessly, watching how Steve doesn’t really know where to look. His eyes are everywhere, scanning everything from the way Danny’s chest heaves with breath to the flush in his cheeks, seeing as Danny feels like he’s at about a hundred degrees without trying. “Come on. I’m letting you have control here, but I can just as quickly take it back...”
Steve just grins, gripping Danny’s tie firmly as he lets his other hand descend and grab at Danny’s waist. Just when Danny’s opening his mouth to protest again, Steve takes the opportunity to swoop in and kiss him.
Each kiss is aggressive, like he’s trying to push Danny away by lips alone, but for every outward force, he balances it by pulling him back by the tie. Every time Danny gets an inch too far for Steve’s liking, the tie gets yanked and Danny’s jerked forward into a deeper kiss.
“Ste...” Danny can’t even get the word out before he’s being silenced by Steve’s lips. There are going to be bruise marks all over his neck and swelling around his lips, but all his protests fall away when he chooses instead to let the give and take lull him into a good rhythm. When Steve starts kissing too hard and Danny starts falling back towards the bed, Steve’s hand on his waist slides roughly up his body until it’s buried in his hair, gripping tight and pulling him closer.
Danny doesn’t know how long they stay like this, but it’s, in turns, too fucking long and not even remotely close to long enough.
It’s been half an hour since they got to this point and Danny still hasn’t managed to get rid of a single piece of clothing. He lets loose a frustrating groan and grabs Steve by the hem of his khakis.
“Do you want to fuck me or what?” Danny demands sharply. “I like the foreplay, I really do, but right now, I just want to get you in me already.” He slips his fingers lower until they’re brushing against the edge of Steve’s boxers, a devious smirk on his face. “Or I could just decide to do it. You wouldn’t say no. Could you, even?”
Danny shoves his hand lower, splaying his fingers out and cupping Steve’s erection. He doesn’t apply too much pressure, teasing and doing barely more than squeezing.
“Could you say no to me? If it really mattered, if I really wanted something, would you ever really say no?” Danny murmurs the words against Steve’s neck, lips pressed against Steve’s overly hot skin, coated by a thin sheen of sweat. Danny nips at the skin in between words, his other hand groping at Steve’s ass to haul him closer. One rock of his hips and there’s instant friction that makes his vision go temporarily blurred before he focuses on a spot on Steve’s neck, a small freckle that he wants to mark.
Steve’s trying to get it together, but all he musters is a, “Please, Danny.”
“You couldn’t,” Danny says triumphantly, tipping his head to the side to run his tongue over the freckle, shifting to press a slow kiss to that place. “You couldn’t say no to me.”
“No,” Steve agrees, eagerly. “No, Danny, no, I couldn’t. Wouldn’t.” He sounds like he’d say just about anything if it meant that Danny would keep his hand down Steve’s pants and start touching him instead of just teasing.
He knows that Steve will flip them over soon enough. Soon, Danny’s going to lose whatever upper hand he has, so he has to work fast. He yanks the tie off and flicks it across the room, untucking his shirt from the pants.
Steve’s licking his lips the whole time, bending his head in order to press a reverent kiss to Danny’s heart and the scar formed around the skin.
It’s the only permanent mark Danny’s worn all these years.
Steve’s gentle with it, taking his time as he flexes his shoulders back, hands scrambling to get Danny’s pants off while he presses kisses down his chest. It reeks of impatience, but Danny’s not exactly eager to sit around and chit-chat all day. He’d rather get right down to it.
He reaches up, grabs Steve’s jaw and holds him where he can get at him, kissing him possessively. “Mine,” Danny gets out in a guttural tone. He pulls his hand out of Steve’s pants and grabs at his waist, taking in sharp breaths as he fixes his gaze between them. “Steve, pants off, get your goddamn pants off or shift and rip ‘em, for all I care, but if you’re not prepping me, fucking me, and making me beg for more in the next ten minutes, you’re fired.”
“I thought I was the boss, Danny,” Steve mocks in turn, a smirk on his lips.
“You wish you were. You think it, but Kono, Chin, and I know better,” Danny says, watching the way that Steve’s back arcs so fucking beautifully as he reaches for the lube, his tattoos stretching with every pull of muscle. Danny feels a bit dry in the mouth and he’s only watching.
Steve seems to take Danny’s challenge to heart. The lackadaisical pace is gone. Steve’s got a hold of Danny’s hips and forcibly turns him. Before Danny can ask what Steve’s doing, he’s got Danny pressed flush against the bed with a knee between Danny’s parted thighs and a hand on the small of his back as he aligns their bodies and slips in. Danny gasps sharply as his body grows accustomed to something he hasn’t done in decades.
Danny’s been through this enough times to know what to do.
It’s all the same until suddenly it’s not, when Steve begins to press slow kisses down Danny’s back, murmuring a reverent, ‘you feel me, Danny? Huh? You feel that? You’re fucking mine,’ in a possessive growl, more animal than human. Then it’s everything Danny’s spent the last four hundred years trying to achieve and only getting there with Rachel every other decade.
He stops thinking, his ability to speak cuts out. He stops everything but the frantic push back against every one of Steve’s thrusts, letting out whatever damn sound wants to get past his lips. It’s just sex, but it’s Steve, it’s his mate, it’s the man he’s going to spend the rest of forever with and fuck, but that ought to sound sappy, but right now with Steve’s dick in his ass, it’s working to make Danny feel like any minute, he’ll see stars.
“You’re next,” Danny gets out, his words choked. When he finally finds speech, this is what comes out. “You are so next, you’re, you’re, fuck, Steve, I’m gonna screw you into this goddamn mattress until you’re begging for more,” Danny gets out, fisting full handfuls of the sheets in his palms and forcing the tenseness from his limbs, getting to a place of sheer, relaxed bliss for the first time in years.
Words abandon him when Steve pushes as deep as he can and just stays there, like the goddamn asshole he is. Danny musters out a choked cry, spitting Steve’s name out angrily, pressing his forehead against the sheets and deciding that Steve doesn’t get to have full control anymore if he’s just going to fuck Danny and not give a single thought of concern to Danny’s dick in all of this.
Danny releases the sheets with a soft moan, wrapping his hand around his dick and imagining it’s Steve’s hand, that Steve isn’t just grabbing him by the hips, but that it’s him jerking Danny off. He must get that into words or Steve isn’t telling him something about their connection, because it’s only seconds after Danny so much as thinks that and Steve’s suddenly got his hand over Danny’s, slotting their fingers together as he leans forward to help bring Danny off.
“Danny,” Steve ekes out, a desperate plea. “God, Danny,” he whimpers, pressing kisses down his neck in sloppy haste. “I can’t...”
“So don’t,” Danny cuts him off heavily. He doesn’t care whether it’s ‘can’t do this’ or ‘can’t hold on’. Whatever it is, Danny doesn’t care, he wants Steve to do it. “Steven, fuck,” Danny moans, pressing his lips together and breathing out heavily as Steve thrusts deep, rubs his calloused thumb torturously slow over the head of his dick, and then bites on Danny’s earlobe before whispering, ‘you’re all mine, Danny. I’ll kill anyone who thinks otherwise’.
One by one, Danny might have been able to stand each of those things.
Together? Well, he’s screwed.
He’s coming before he even realizes what he’s doing. Steve doesn’t move his hand. He doesn’t pull out. He just stays deep in Danny and he can feel Steve’s smile pressed up against his shoulder blade.
“What?” Danny mumbles. “What’s that for?”
Steve thrusts, his other hand still clasping Danny’s hip possessively tight. “You’re mine, now,” he says smugly, with sharp little thrusts, pushing Danny’s sanity right to the edge until he comes, moments later, and slumps over Danny’s back, flush against his naked body. “Anyone will smell me on you.”
“Everyone already does,” Danny grumbles, but he doesn’t move an inch. “Steve, you’re fucking heavy.”
Steve crooks his fingers – nothing more than a twitch – but they stroke along Danny’s limp dick and suddenly it’s taking interest again.
“Oh, fuck, no,” Danny complains with a sharp whine. “You’re the kind of guy who doesn’t believe in recuperation time, aren’t you?”
“You know me best, babe,” Steve’s smug tone is back and Danny hates it as much as he ever has. Steve’s fingers twitch and Danny’s hips snap forward. Vaguely, he recalls Catherine hinting at this, at the shortened refractory period (and Danny hadn’t believed her, idiot that he is). “I’m not even remotely done with you.”
Danny gets a first-hand opportunity of finding out how true that is.
Steve doesn’t give him a chance to breathe. If he’s not jerking him off, then he’s flipping Danny over and introducing him to the knowledge of how talented that tongue of Steve’s is (which isn’t one of those facts you ever really forget). And when Danny thinks they’re done, he gets Steve’s fingers massaging at his back, chin pressed to the inward curve of his spine. Danny isn’t sure if he’s slipped into a sex-coma, but he’s pretty sure he hears Steve give a thoughtful noise.
“What?” Danny asks warily.
“I was just thinking about your lips wrapped around my dick,” Steve admits, and well, fuck, but that sets them off again.
Danny’s in charge, now, not about to be outdone. He grips Steve by the shoulders, pushing him down into the bed, intending and capable of giving just as good as he’d got earlier in the evening. It feels like hours have passed by the time Danny’s through marking Steve’s skin with kisses, bites, and the hard press of his fingers.
With one last kiss to Steve’s lips – a lingering, desperate thing – Danny slumps to the side, and runs a hand through his sex-mussed and likely ridiculous hair, not bothering expending energy on something like keeping his eyes open. “I’m going to sleep, now,” Danny mumbles, shifting and groping his way to get a hold of Steve’s hip, pulling him flush against Danny’s body. “We can do the cleaning thing in the morning. And maybe some more of the sex thing.”
“The sex thing,” Steve echoes, sounding way too awake considering what they’ve just done. “Is that what we just did, the sex thing?” Danny hears the sound of rustling sheets and suddenly he’s being maneuvered into Steve’s space, his temple pressed against Steve’s heart. Danny smiles lazily at the steady rhythm beneath his ear, the best lullaby he could ever conceive.
“Fuck you,” Danny says.
“You did. Twice.”
“Yeah, and I’ll fuck you again if you’re good. Go to sleep, Steven,” Danny says with heavy protest. Finally, the adjusting stops and Steve settles.
It almost seems like Danny’s going to get some extremely good post-sex sleep out of this. The last time he’d had sex this good, he’d slept twelve hours straight and had only woken up when Rachel had dumped a bucket of cold water on his head, informing him that the sex hadn’t been that good (they’d agreed to disagree).
Danny’s dreams of sleeping blissfully through the night are crushed when reality comes crashing through the door and said reality is in cahoots with an insane maniac like Steve.
He’s woken by a familiar and frustrating sound.
Danny is sore in all the right places and some of the wrong ones, his muscles screaming from the kind of workout he hasn’t indulged in for a long while. He grimaces and flops over until he’s on his stomach in Steve’s bed, face buried in the pillow, inhaling the familiar scent of Steve on the linens.
The sound isn’t going away. It’s hard to miss, what with it being a wolf’s howl at the moon.
Danny mutters to himself as he reaches to the floor to pick up a pair of strewn boxers. It’s too dark to tell whether they’re his or Steve’s, but it’s not like it matters. He doesn’t intend to be up for very long. He squints, checking the sky to see how full the moon is, and when it’s only half-waxing, he wants to shout at McGarrett even more.
“Hey!” Danny shouts out the bedroom window.
Abruptly, the howling stops. The wolf turns and cranes its snout up towards the source of noise, tail beginning to wag happily at the sight of Danny. A quick glance to the clock behind him tells him that it’s four-fifteen and Steve is bound to have some very pissed neighbors, at this rate.
“Get your ass back to bed,” Danny insists tiredly, pinching the bridge of his nose and wondering what it is he’s got himself into. “It’s way too early in the morning and you’re waking everyone up.”
The wolf settles into a sit, perfectly rested back on its haunches, but Steve doesn’t move.
In fact, he looks like he’s trying to invite Danny outside with him. The sun should be rising any minute, now, but Danny’s not the kind of idiot who goes for swims at dawn, like his erstwhile mate has a habit of doing. Danny pushes the curtains back a little more and leans his bare torso out the window. “I’m going back to bed,” he informs Steve. “If you come up now, you can curl up with me and cuddle for a while. And if you do, I might just be inclined to reward you for it when a decent hour of the morning gets here.”
Steve rises to all fours and starts to lope in the direction of the house. Danny listens carefully as the sound of four feet on the stairs turn into two and he gets comfortable in bed, waiting for Steve to get back.
It doesn’t take much longer and then he’s being rewarded with Steve at the bedroom door, naked as the day he was born.
Danny grins and gestures to all the empty space in the bed. “We have a lot of work to do in the morning. Are you telling me you’d rather spend all that time outside like a maniac instead of here in the nice warm bed, beside me?” Danny pats the bed twice. “Get in here and be the little spoon, already.”
“I have so many protests, but I’m going to demonstrate how much I love you,” Steve says calmly, using his hands to gesture between him and Danny as he closes the space, “and I’m not going to say anything at all.”
He curls up against Danny, shifting his ass against Danny’s hips in a deliberately taunting way. “You love me, huh?” Danny asks, with a smug smirk on his lips.
“Fuck you, Daniel,” Steve sleepily mumbles.
“We’ve already covered that. We’ll get to it in the morning.” Danny thinks about the schedule for the day and amends that to, “Maybe a quickie.” He punches Steve in the thigh and then grabs at his hips to forcibly reposition Steve into something more comfortable. “Sleep, you overgrown wolf-pup,” he says, giving in to the exhaustion that’s been trying to claim him since he was rudely awoken by the howling.
The only reply he gets from Steve is a loud snore.
Steve wakes to the pale dawn light spilling into his bedroom, casting lines all over Danny’s body. His smile is instant and stupid as he takes in a deep breath. For the first time in months, he feels settled by what he smells. Danny has Steve’s scent all over him and it’s intoxicating and refreshing all at once.
He could lie here in bed all day, sniffing Danny from head to toe and re-marking him with Steve’s scent.
Steve intends to do that, too, but his cell starts ringing and he’s suddenly a tornado of naked activity trying to get to it before it wakes Danny up. He manages to grab a pair of shorts in the process, curling the phone and holding it between neck and shoulder.
“Mary, what have I told you about time zones?” he hisses, pulling up the waist of the shorts, trying not to disturb Danny in the process. Thank god he’s a deep sleeper (though at the same time, tactically, Danny’s at a disadvantage and Steve will have to make contingency plans for that). “It’s six in the morning.”
“Well, it’s not, here,” is her infuriating reply. “Happy anniversary.”
“What?” Steve asks, lost.
“You. Me. The day you turned me into a monster controlled by the full moon? It’s that day again. I called to say happy anniversary,” she goes on. She’s done this every year since they split apart and Steve’s hated it more with every passing time. In the beginning, she did it out of anger and cruelty. It was a way to punish Steve when she knew she couldn’t change their circumstances and had two options – she could live with it or she could take a silver knife to her throat and end it all.
Mary’s always been too stubborn to just give up.
Over the years, these phone calls have become somewhat more affectionate. With their father gone, they’re all the family either of them has and Steve knows that Mary isn’t stupid enough to throw that away so carelessly. “So, I was thinking that I’d fly over today and we could spend the weekend hanging out and talking about old times. You can even take me to dinner to the place that does steaks really rare.”
Steve glances over his shoulder to where Danny is slumbering peacefully, having stolen Steve’s pillow in order to bury his face. “I’m not sure that’s a good idea, Mare.”
“What?” she replies with sharp shock. “We always do this.”
“Mary, we’re investigating someone connected to Dad’s murder. It’s safest if you stay off the islands,” he says, which is the truth, but not the whole truth. Steve has a bad feeling that Mary’s going to see right through him.
There’s a long silence on the phone.
“Steven,” she says evenly.
“What’s at the house that you don’t want me to see?”
It’s at that very moment that Danny starts to rouse. It’s nothing more than the sheets rustling and a soft sigh, but Mary’s got enhanced hearing the same as Steve does and he’s not far enough away that she won’t pick up on those sounds. Steve screws his eyes shut tightly and waits for it.
“Oh my god,” Mary announces with glee. “Someone’s there with you! You have someone at the house, Steve, you’re finally getting laid again? It’s been ages since Cath and her ‘oh god’ this and her ‘that’s right, fuck me, Steve’ that. So! Who is it? Is it Kono? What about that cute guy from fingerprints?”
“Wha...?” Danny mumbles, barely coherent.
Steve covers the mouth of the phone (as if that’ll do any good). “Nothing, go back to bed, babe.” He turns away from Danny and takes a deep breath, readying himself for the onslaught that can only come from little sisters. “Go on,” he encourages. “Let me have it now instead of later. I do have to work at some point today.”
“Immortal Danny?” she clarifies.
“No, Mare, mechanic Danny from the garage. I randomly decided to hook up with him because of the way he greases my axles,” Steve replies instantly, blaming some of the sarcasm on Danny’s influence – and wishing that thought didn’t make him grin like a loon.
He expects her to instantly come back with something sharp, but instead Steve’s greeted with silence.
“...I thought I smelled him on you, but I thought it was just the proximity of working with him every day,” Mary finally speaks, disrupting that awful crackle of silence on the phone. “You mated with him, didn’t you? That’s why I could smell you on him and him on you so strongly. Ew, Steve,” she protests. He can practically see her wrinkling her nose, even though she’s hundreds of miles away. “Is that why I’ve been having weird maternal desires when I think about him? I thought I was broken, you could have told me.”
“He didn’t actually know,” Steve says. Or, well, he mumbles it underneath his breath.
Mary pauses on the line. “Sorry, what was that? I lost my idiot-to-English dictionary. Did you just mumble that he didn’t know?” she says incredulously.
“I did it accidentally, I was trying to let it...just go away.”
“Oh my god, you are such an idiot,” Mary says. “How am I even related to you?”
“Honestly, after two hundred years and you making a point not to live even remotely close to me...” Steve doesn’t mean to sound so bitter, but it’s hard not to, especially when the issue of family comes up. They’ve both lost Dad and he never asked to be so distant with his sister. At the same time, it’s not like he can blame her.
He’s the one who dragged her forcibly into this mess, after all.
Steve runs a palm over his face as he tries to regain some kind of control of the situation. “Mary, I’ll take you out when I come to the mainland. Maybe when this is all over, I’ll bring Danny with me and we can all sit down and talk now that everything’s out in the open.” Steve tries to play down how much he wants to do that. He might be the alpha of his pack, but it’s a small one and he feels like Mary’s drifting from him by the day.
If he can just get her back, if he can undo the distance they’ve put between them over the last century, maybe they can make headway in attempting to be a closer-knit family in the decades to come.
The silence on the line is practically accusatory and Steve knows that if she were there, she’d be leveling that ‘you’re an asshole’ look in his direction.
“Mary,” Steve says. He’s half a step away from pleading, and he’ll do it. He’ll do anything to keep her safe.
“You’re the last family I’ve got,” she says with heavy frustration weighing down her words. “You’re it, Steve. And you want me to, what, sit here on the mainland on my hands and not do anything?”
He bites his tongue because that’s exactly what he wants her to do.
“God, you’re so frustrating,” she barks at him. “If you die...if you get silver in you like Dad did, I’m never going to forgive you. I’m not ready to be this family’s alpha,” she says and Steve can’t take it anymore.
“You think I was?” he snaps. “I don’t know how to do this Mary, I don’t...” He trails off when he realizes that he’s woken Danny up. He’s sitting up in the bed, his hair tousled, his eyes lazy with sleep, and looking like the very best thing in the world. Steve’s tempted to hang up, throw the phone as far as he can, and pounce on Danny before another second passes.
In the end, he knows that if he does that, Mary will just call back. She’ll keep calling until Steve picks up and the thought of going down on Danny while his sister leaves messages on his machine doesn’t set the most romantic of moods.
Steve settles for pressing the phone in the crook between neck and shoulder, crawling back into bed with Danny and sitting with his back pressed to the headboard, grabbing Danny with a hand cupped around his neck to bring him closer. He drops an absent kiss to his forehead before turning his attention back to Mary. “I’m serious about the danger, though,” Steve says. “Stay where you are. I’ll contact you with time and place coordinates when everything is safe.”
He hangs up before she can get a word in edgewise (because she always does) and turns to find Danny looking at him incredulously.
“What?” Steve protests.
“Time and place coordinates?” Danny echoes. His forehead pinches in a really sexy way and Steve wonders if he should be worried that he finds Danny’s hypothetical-future-wrinkles sexy. “That was your sister? How the hell did you talk to your father? Did you tell him you loved him in morse code? Oh god, I can’t believe this is the kind of emotional regression I married into.”
Steve experiences a heady frisson of delight and doesn’t bother to hide his smile, aware that he probably looks like a stupid idiot. “I didn’t propose.”
“You didn’t have to, you did the next worst thing,” Danny grumbles, sitting up and grabbing a pillow to smack Steve in the face with it. “You mated with me for life. I’d better get something out of this.”
Steve opens his mouth to reply.
“If you say the sex is what I’m getting out of it, I’m going to cuff you with silver,” Danny warns, cutting him off before Steve can say something exactly along those lines. Danny shifts, sprawling out on the bed and giving Steve a close-up of the way Danny’s muscles move in the most amazing ways. “Steve, we have to get to work,” Danny says, nudging a crooked finger under Steve’s chin to get his attention.
“Hm?” Steve mumbles.
“You’re making ‘do me’ eyes, but we need to get to work, they’re waiting for us.”
“Just one more, Danny,” Steve insists, grabbing hold of his hips and pinning him to the bed. He kicks at the phone with his foot, pushing it off the bed before covering Danny’s body with his own, threading the tips of his fingers into Danny’s hair and kissing him as deeply as possible, the best convincer he’s ever used. “One more,” he murmurs. “One more, babe, c’mon, just one.”
“Fine, but when we’re late and I have sex hair, you’re glaring for me,” Danny sighs, poking a finger right in Steve’s face.
Steve, still with no patience for that kind of behavior, grabs Danny’s wrist and shoves his whole hand down between their bodies. Fifteen minutes later, neither of them are dressed, Danny’s hair is somehow standing straight up, and Steve thinks he can’t move his left leg.
“Danny,” Steve says. They’re lying shoulder-to-shoulder, staring up at the ceiling, and Steve’s convinced that he’s never been more in love than he is at this very moment. “You’re incredible.”
“And you’re insane,” Danny replies, hand splayed over his stomach. “Steve?”
“Don’t you go anywhere on me,” Danny says.
Steve wishes he could promise, but with Wo Fat out there gunning for the whole McGarrett pack, it’s not a guarantee – and he knows Danny would die trying to protect him. He’ll feel better when the threat is buried, but for now, he needs to remember that it’s not all bad. This, right here, is the best reminder of all.
Steve walks into the office to find Danny standing there wielding a sword in each hand, wearing a belt that has at least three centuries’ worth of knives on display, and wearing an expression that says that all the calming Steve did last night has worn off. “This is why you wanted to drive in separately?” Steve asks in disbelief. “Danny, if you wanted to roleplay as Rambo, you could’ve just told me.”
“Very funny,” Danny dryly responds. “Get downstairs. Now.”
Steve blames his instant abeyance to the fact that Danny earned a lot of brownie points the night before and he’s more than willing to do whatever he says – mostly because Steve thinks he can earn himself a repeat.
Steve follows Danny closely down the stairs, still wary about what they’re doing.
Wariness turns to abject anger when Danny turns and offers the hilt of his sword out to Steve, only for him to find out that it’s been forged in silver. His hand burns audibly before he yanks it away, letting the sword clatter to the concrete floor.
“Danny, what the hell?” he hisses.
“Look, Steve, I realize that in your wolf-brain, the sex might have pushed everything else to the backburner, but I’ve been alive long enough to prioritize these kinds of things,” Danny clarifies. “Someone out there is trying to kill you, and I realize you’ve been a Navy SEAL and have been defending your life against all manner of human threats, but Wo Fat isn’t human.”
“Danny, I get that my life is in danger,” Steve gets out through gritted teeth.
“We’re going to spar today and every day going forward,” Danny says, crouching to pick up the dropped sword. “I’m going to remind you what it’s like to fight supernatural scumbags left, right, and center. You’re going to build up a tolerance to silver—”
“Danny, it doesn’t work like that…”
“Hey!” Danny snaps. “We don’t know that, so we’re going to try,” he insists. He still sounds fairly heated, but Steve’s been reading Danny’s small tics for a long time now. This is as patient as Danny’s ever going to get.
Steve senses that he’s going to need to appeal to reason. “Okay, listen, Danny,” he says as he watches Danny start to unearth weapons from the cupboards. “Think of this in the other direction. Danny, what if – what if Wo Fat comes after me and I’m weakened by this?”
Danny falters. It doesn’t last longer than a brief moment, but Steve’s paying attention. He sees and seizes.
“Danny, I know you’re worried.”
“You know, huh?” Danny echoes, sounding slightly hollow. “Steve, I didn’t force a mating bond between us. Even if you hadn’t, if you died, I would probably try convincing a siren to put me in a haze. You’re important to me, okay?”
Steve stays quiet, brushing his brow with an idle scratch of his thumb as he tries to find the words to tell Danny that he knows, that Danny is important too, and that he’d never actively choose death when life with Danny Williams is an option.
“I think you’re on the right track with this idea, Danny,” Steve says.
“God, I can hear the ‘but’ coming from miles away,” Danny interrupts, a wry smile on his face. “But…?”
“But we do it hand to hand or wolf to sword. We don’t waste our time testing out old wives’ tales.”
There’s no knee-jerk reaction, giving Steve a sense of relief that Danny’s actually taking this seriously. He counts to ten and there’s still no angry retort. Steve might actually have won this argument. Finally, when Danny doesn’t seem to have a reply, Steve pushes forward, reaching back to pinch his polo shirt and yank it off in one fell swoop.
“Whoa,” Danny protests – as expected. “Steve, we’re not having--”
Steve rolls his eyes, shucks off his pants, and shifts to his wolf form.
“—sex. Right, you were shifting, obviously. Ignore me.”
In this form, Steve’s senses go into overdrive, but he never remembers the exact smell, taste, or sound of anything when he goes back to being human. They linger, of course they do, but it’s a hazy memory – like trying to piece together the night before when you’ve woken up after an evening of heavy drinking. Danny smells incredible, and that’s heady enough to make Steve feel like he’s incapacitated with the most blissful of drugs. He reminds himself that they’re training and digs his front paws into the floor, baring his teeth and letting loose a threatening growl.
It really would help if Danny didn’t laugh at him.
Steve barks in disapproval, prowling forward in order to circle Danny.
“Sorry, babe,” Danny gets out through a huff of laughter. “I know you’re the big, bad wolf, but you spend half your time curled up on my feet. Your tail twitches when I rub your belly with my foot. To me, you’re not dangerous. That said, I know you’re the animal that tends to rip birds’ heads off in the neighborhood, so congratulations on keeping me just this side of wary that you’re secretly a cold-blooded killer under it all.”
Steve approaches slowly, sniffing out the situation and trying to figure his way in. This is hardly the ideal training scenario. It’s Danny. If ever there were a person in the world that Steve knew inside and out, it’s him – so this whole exercise just feels like a waste of time.
He says as much after he shifts back to human – in the midst of pulling his shirt back on.
“Steve,” Danny complains sharply, and for all that Danny keeps talking about Steve’s faces, Danny’s wearing a pretty clear face of his own right now. “Don’t do this.”
“Danny, I know you. Okay? I know your style, I know your technique, and I know how to defend myself from you and how to defend you. This is a waste of time. I’d rather be spending it making the last few months up to you,” Steve says, knowing that if he plays his cards right, he can wheedle his way back into the bedroom.
Danny still looks wary, so Steve has to proceed with caution.
“Steve, your life is in danger,” Danny says.
“So, let’s go hide out at your place. Literally, no one would ever actively look for someone there. No one,” Steve insists. “Danny, you have all the money in the world, what is it with you and that place?”
“I’m holding out until I find somewhere perfect!” Danny heatedly replies.
Steve smiles to himself, pleased to see that he’s on the right track. He needs to keep Danny away from the danger at hand and this is the perfect time to bring up another topic: “Well, what about my place?”
“What about your place?” Danny echoes suspiciously.
“I mean, do you want move in?”
“Do I want to move in?”
Steve furrows his brow. “Are you just repeating everything I say?”
Okay, well, at least Danny’s stuck on just the one particular phrase. Steve wants this more than he’s wanted practically anything – outside of what the wolf demands – and he doesn’t know what he’ll do if he doesn’t get it. “Yeah, well, you know. My place has felt too big and lonely since Dad was killed. Mary’s on the mainland, she’s not coming back. Plus, you know, now that we’re mated and we’re sleeping together, it’s kind of a logical step. Right?”
“Steve, to you, logical step implies binding a suspect before pulling the grenade pin and tossing him to the sharks,” Danny says.
“One time! And those were two separate incidents…”
Danny’s pursing his lips together, but Steve knows better. He’s not pissed. This is how Danny tries to hide his amusement, which means that Steve’s got a half-decent shot at getting what he wants.
“Come on, Danny,” Steve says, thumb lingering over the button of his jeans, fully dressed again just in time to intrude on Danny’s personal space, lips hovering just above Danny’s. He leans in close enough so that every time Danny exhales a sharp breath, Steve feels it. “Don’t you want to know what I look like first thing in the morning?” he asks, shoulders curved as he leans down to shorten the distance between them. “I don’t really sleep in clothes.”
“And I really like morning sex,” Steve adds.
“See, that? You start with that,” Danny encourages, but for all his bitching, that smile is breaking through the grumpiness. Steve’s winning this fight. “Start with the morning sex bid. You can move on to logic later.” Steve takes that last half-step he needs to press up against Danny, sliding his arm around his back to hitch him in close. “Steven?”
“I’m not forgetting that your life is in danger.”
“No,” Steve says, a very serious and severe look on his face. “No, not at all. But, I mean, if we went to your place, I could be persuaded to try and make you forget. I hear that really good oral has an amazing way of loosening the mind’s ability to make short-term memories.”
Danny lets out a scoff of delight and Steve can feel the way Danny’s chest expands with that amused breath. “No shit, huh? You’re that good with a blowjob?”
“You want to find out?”
It’s such a non-question that Steve never should have bothered to ask in the first place. Danny practically bowls into him and pushes him towards the door with a hand on each shoulder, muttering ‘go, go, get out of here’ as he does. Steve takes no small amount of pleasure in the fact that Danny can protest until the cows come home, but Steve knows the truth.
He’s in this just as much as Steve is – and he likes it.