andrealyn: (h50: i heart you)
AndreaLyn ([personal profile] andrealyn) wrote2012-02-27 12:40 pm

(no subject)

Title: I Can Make Your Wish Come True
Pairing: Danny/Steve
Rating: PG-13
Disclaimer: If I did own them, I'd do far more deviant things with them.
Word Count: 7696
Summary: "Okay. I have a genie named Steve in my living room.” This isn't exactly what Danny signed up for when he moved to Hawaii.
Notes: Thanks endlessly to [profile] imkalena for putting up with me as I workshopped this fic into something worthwhile.

Danny has a ritual when it comes to new houses.

He checks out the kitchen – no good house is without a spacious kitchen – and then all the rooms from foyer to master bathroom to make sure nothing’s going to slip through the cracks.

This place is lofty and it’s big, but he’s got plenty of money from the divorce settlement from Rachel – he’s still reeling from the fact that his wife had been cheating on him, then suddenly he has full custody and alimony and his life has stopped feeling like he’s got any sense of control of it – and he’s gonna need a nice place to live, now that his transfer to HPD has gone through.

“Danno, I can hear the ocean from here!” Grace says excitedly from the upstairs hallway, hands gripping the railing tightly as she sprints into the next bedroom. “Here, too!”

“As if I needed more of a reason to hate this place,” he mutters to himself – and the owner. “Look, I’m from Jersey. I hate everything on varying levels.”

He’s in Hawaii. He’s far, far away from home because his parents decided that they were tired of life in the city and now that his Pops was retiring, they wanted to live their dreams. Danny, still too much of a Mama’s boy even at thirty-five and in dire need of emotional support from his family post-divorce, bought two plane tickets so he and Grace could join them -- and here he is.

“How much?” he asks the owner.

Danny nearly has a damn heart attack when he quotes the price. It’s steep. It’s not impossible, but it’s about twenty-grand higher than he’d like to be paying.

“Danno,” Grace says breathlessly, hurrying down the stairs. “Daddy, I love it. Can we have it?”

“Grace, it’s kind of expensive,” Danny reminds her gently.

He can afford it if he pushes some numbers around and there’s always the hope that a slightly lowball offer will make it through – but that also has the chance of backfiring and then they won’t get the house at all.

“I’m fairly sure the former owners would be happy to take off five thousand from the asking price if you were to move in immediately,” says the owner eagerly – just a little too eagerly. Danny should have seen that as warning sign number one. “Previous owners have mentioned that certain aspects of the house can be ... stubborn.”

With a sigh, Danny resigns himself to doing anything that’ll make his little girl happy. “Who do I write the check to?”

He finds it when he’s deep in the middle of unpacking.

In future, Danny is never going to think the obvious of something. His theory that the ornate gold piece is ‘just a lamp’ goes out the window when he tugs his sleeve down to give it a good rub and he’s immediately in the middle of a smoke zone, hacking as he drags in deep breaths of incense and the scent of something ancient.

Danny realizes that he’s in deep shit when the shirtless tattooed man arises from the smoke and calls him Master in this sinfully decadent way that has Danny grateful that Grace is out on a playdate. Danny scrambles backwards, fumbling to get to his feet, and he pays attention to the severity of the fucked-up-ness of the situation.

It helps, at least, to quell his raging erection.

“I swear to god, if this is some kind of wet dream, my imagination is seriously improving,” Danny mutters to himself as he takes in the creature that’s made his exit from the lamp in a display that would have most Vegas showmen seething with jealousy. He rubs his eyes, pinches his arm, but Tall, Dark, and Shackled is still staring at him expectantly.

“Look, can you -- can you put on a shirt?” Danny asks.

“Is that your first wish, Master?”

“What? No, it’s common decency!” Danny spits out, staring in disbelief. He’ll get into the whole ‘wishing’ part later, but right now, he needs to pick this issue apart. “When’s the last time you took a trip out of that lamp, huh? Was it in cro-magnon times? You’re a modern day genie now, bucko, and it means wear a damn shirt.”

The genie takes his time looking over Danny. It looks like full obedience isn’t in the cards, because there’s no shirt and instead the genie’s staring judgmentally at Danny’s torso. “You’re wearing a tie.”

“Thank you for pointing out the obvious,” Danny mutters, digging through the boxes of clothes at his side. He finds one of Stan’s shirts (that must have gotten mixed in with Danny’s when he did his whole ‘storming out’ routine) and throws it at the genie. “Here, put that on. As for the tie, I wear it because I’m a professional.”

“You sleep with women for money?” the genie replies, sliding into the shirt.

“What? No, what is the matter with you! I’m a detective! This is what looking professional looks like.” He pokes his finger in the genie’s face. “What, what are you smirking about? And what’s your name? Because if I don’t get one, you’re gonna became Gene and there’s gonna be a lot of Bowie hummed around here.”


“Okay,” Danny exhales. “Okay. I have a genie named Steve in my living room.”

“Steve McGarrett,” he adds, as if that’s helpful.

It’s resoundingly not.

Danny feels like this is one of those things they ought to warn about in the fine print. ‘Buyer beware: mold in the attic, a leak in the basement, and a genie hidden away in the lamp’. Danny’s actually starting to wonder if this is a side-effect of not getting laid in a while, because the man standing before him looks like he’s walked right out of a really high-end porn film.

He’s got a loose pair of harem pants on and the color makes Steve’s eyes practically luminous. He’s not wearing much else, either. His feet are bare, his chest is naked, and the only thing he’s wearing besides the pants are the thick tattoos running over his biceps and – yup, Danny’s losing it – on his lower back.

“What kind of genie has a tramp stamp?”

The look he gets in return could make lesser men melt where they stand, but Danny just got out of a marriage with one of the scariest women in the whole western hemisphere. He isn’t scared of a half-naked genie that smells of potpourri. Still, the last thing Danny needs is for Grace to wander into this mess, so he decides to try and play nice – be the bigger man and all that.

He hasn’t successfully done that in decades, so this should be interesting.

“Will you just make a wish, please?” Steve demands, sounding strained.

“I thought genies were supposed to be obedient to their masters.”

“And I didn’t think masters were supposed to be this much of a pain in the ass. We were both wrong,” Steve gets out and that little grinding sound might very well be coming from Steve’s teeth. Danny stares in wonder, almost able to believe this whole crazy thing is happening and he didn’t just fall asleep with the garage door down and the car engine on.

They stand there, unmoving, in silence. The minutes pass, but neither folds. At some point in this strange standoff, Danny has given in to his stubbornness and is keeping quiet for no other reason than he wants to win. The detente is brought to an end when Steve seems to float ethereally closer to Danny, giving him a slow onceover.

“So,” he says, “I look like something out of your wet dream?”

“Hey! How about you shut up, huh?”

Danny should have known something was wrong with the house when they knocked ten grand off the asking price without him even having to go into an apoplectic fit.

“And put some shoes on. I don’t know how you live in that lamp of yours, but civilized people live out here. Got it?”

“You still haven’t said anything about those wet dreams.”

Maybe Danny can throw the lamp in the ocean. Or maybe he’ll just figure out a way to stop staring at Steve the Genie without wanting to pin him to the nearest chair and use the shackles to secure his wrists to the nearest hard surface.

Danny gets a prime view of Steve’s ass when he bends over to put on a pair of (Danny’s) socks and (Danny’s) shoes. He swallows back that increasing desire to do horrible things to Steve’s person and reminds himself that he is a grown man with a genie in his living room and this is not the first act of his personal porn fantasies. He’s already had his divorce rebound and he’s supposed to be moving into mature adulthood, now, rebuilding his life after the shambles the divorce left him in.

He can do this.

“So,” Danny says, clapping his hands together. “How about you tell me the ground rules?”

It’s the middle of the night and Danny can’t sleep. He tosses, he turns, he tries counting sheep; he even drinks a glass of warm milk. None of it works. When he closes his eyes, the only thing that comes to mind is Steve’s infuriating face and the tattoos on his arms. It’s two in the morning and Danny has got a whole stack of paperwork to go through in the morning.

He doesn’t see himself resting anytime soon and he’s had a dozen questions on his mind since that day in the attic. Quietly, Danny sneaks the lamp outside to the lanai and paces back and forth as the sound of crashing waves interrupt his monologue.

“You’re insane,” he says aloud. “Seriously, crazy. Maybe there never was a genie, maybe you’ve just gone completely around the bend and it’s time for Rachel to come and say ‘I told you so’.” Still, if Danny’s not insane, then when he rubs the lamp with the hem of his shirt...

Danny sets the lamp on the table and watches, in awe, as a gorgeous specimen of a man emerges from the lamp, just like before. If he is crazy, this is one hell of a realistic hallucination and if he has started to go insane, his mind’s standards have gone way up.

There he is, though.

“You called, master?”

Danny closes his eyes tightly, wishing that the name didn’t send a bolt of interest through him, making his dick as alert as the rest of him. He grimaces and shakes his head. “We discussed this. My name is Danny, call me Danny.”

The slightly wicked smirk on Steve’s face tells Danny all he needs to know – that little bout of forgetfulness isn’t entirely on purpose. It only brings Danny back to what’s been keeping him up, though.

“Okay, so, genies as a rule aren’t supposed to be so...” He gestures up and down to Steve. “Well, you. So, come on, what’s the story? Were you always shackled to a lamp? Or were you one of those kids who dreamed of growing up to be a pirate, but his parents were genies, so you felt like you had to become one too?”

That pinched look on Steve’s face is impressive. If a genie could have a stroke, Steve would be having one right now.

“That’s not how it works,” Steve says darkly. “The choice to become a genie was one I made unconsciously, born of my own greed.”

Danny can hazard a pretty good guess as to how Steve stumbled into the life – he’s heard enough legend and myth to know – but he figures that’s a sore subject that he doesn’t want to get into. Instead, he figures he should go over the fine print. “So, when you say wishes. How big are we talking?”

“You can’t wish anyone dead and you can’t wish to make someone fall in love with you.”

Danny snorts. “Yeah, well, I used to wish for that, then I got what I deserved when it came true.” And then she found someone else to love her through the cold nights and Danny’s got a damn lamp to rub when he can’t sleep. “What about a blue fairy wish?”

Steve’s face contorts in heavy confusion. “A what?”

Danny waves his hand expansively in the direction of the house – more specifically, Grace’s window. “Look, you don’t raise a child without developing an intimate knowledge of Disney’s full roster. You know, Sleeping Beauty? What, have you been living in a lamp?” he cracks with a smirk.

Steve doesn’t even reply. The look he’s giving clearly communicates that he doesn’t find Danny funny – which is a crime, because Danny is hilarious.

“Okay, so, look, in the movie, three good fairies give the princess a whole heap of spells to bless her and her life. So, you know, a blue fairy wish. Can I wish to cast some kind of protection spell on my daughter so that no matter what happens to her in life, she always comes out on top? Is that something you need to refer to the genie elders on?”

“Danny, there’s no such thing--” Steve sputters in disbelief.

“Yes or no, babe.”

Steve’s face twists up in a funny way, but before Danny has time to evaluate it, it’s gone from sight. He crosses those tattooed arms over his bare chest and closes his eyes. When the period of deep thought is done, he opens them and gives a sage nod. “Is that your first wish, Danny Williams?”

Steve’s drifted off for a good while, there, so Danny’s started to let his eyes wander over Steve’s body. It’s sinful that there’s so much on display – seeing as every time Steve comes out of the lamp, he’s wearing that pair of loose harem pants and nothing else. Danny’s caught himself wondering if he’s commando down there, too.

“What? Is that a yes?”

“You have to say the words,” Steve coaxes.

“Okay. Okay, then.” Danny takes in a deep breath and exhales sharply, a laugh bubbling on his lips. He cannot believe he’s doing this. “I wish that my daughter, Grace Williams, receives all the blessings of joy, wonder, and kindness through her life.” He closes his eyes tightly, anticipating a massive display of smoke and mirrors.

It’s silent when he peeks an eye open and sees that Steve hasn’t moved. He hasn’t even blinked. He’s standing still with his stupidly sculpted arms crossed over his amazingly perfect torso. And all he says is: “Done.”

Danny doesn’t see any smoke. There’s definitely no theatrics or fireworks. Hell, he doesn’t even feel a tingling sensation to prove that there’s any difference made in the world.

In short, Danny’s kind of disappointed.

“What? That’s it?”

“Your second wish can be for a circus, if you want,” Steve deadpans.

“You know, you have a lot of attitude for a genie,” Danny says mildly, his gaze drifting back to the bedroom window. It’s dark and Danny hopes that Grace is sleeping soundly. He smiles fondly at even the thought of his daughter slumbering away and how she’d never believe him if he told her they had a resident genie.

Steve seems to follow his train of thought. “It’ll work, you know.”


“Your wish. This isn’t one of those ‘you must suffer in horribly unexplained ways in order to have some happiness’. Your wish will work, simple and straightforward as that,” Steve says.

Danny smiles and knows, in that second, that he totally and completely trusts Steve. It might be a mistake, but he doesn’t think it will be. “So, do genies celebrate? I mean, is there a rule against you putting a shirt on and having a beer with me to celebrate my daughter’s newfound lucky life?”

Steve actually looks shocked by Danny’s suggestion and it takes a good minute before Danny realizes that this might be the first time someone hasn’t treated him as more than just a slave to be commanded.

“Come on,” Danny says gently, giving Steve’s bare shoulder a gentle nudge. “I’ve got a six-pack of Primo in the fridge and I got some football recorded. We’ll just have to keep it down so we don’t wake Grace. There is no way I’m letting her know genies are real. The next thing I know, I’ll be on a boat searching for mermaids every other weekend.”

“Actually, there...”

“Steven, not. a. word.”

Danny finds as many books on genies as he can and gets reading. He searches the lore through various cultures and discovers a great deal of myth. There’s one thing that’s sure and that’s a common thread that winds through each and every fable until Danny’s fairly sure that he knows exactly what Steve meant when he said his greed did him in.

Now, too, he knows his second wish.

Danny’s never been able to sleep very well when Grace isn’t in the house. She’s at a sleepover at Jenny’s house and they’re probably up giving each other manicures and talking about boys. Gracie’s probably having the time of her life. Meanwhile, Danny’s lying awake in the middle of the night, the ocean crashing loud in his ears, and the minutes ticking by desperately slow. He’s almost looking forward to the morning, just so he can go to work and focus on anything but this interminable and endless frustration.

He tosses, he turns, and he realizes at about three in the morning that he’s not getting any sleep tonight. The exhaustion sets in and it toys with Danny’s mind, making him think that bad ideas are very good ones.

It’s the only explanation that he has for why he goes for the lamp, brushing his thumb over the long, narrow end, rubbing up and down absently as he stares wearily into the dark space at the end of the bed. He keeps rubbing, long past when the smoke starts to rise from the lamp.

The smoke clears and Danny looks around the room for Steve, but he’s not there.

“God damn it,” he mutters. “As if my abandonment issues needed encouragement...”

Danny shifts, grabbing his pillow and flopping over as he turns in the bed to try and get comfortable in a new position. That’s when he realizes that Steve is still coming on beck and call, but he’s getting creative with the where he’s appearing. He’s also still appearing shirtless and in those goddamn practically see-through pants of his.

“Jesus Christ,” Danny gasps, hand flying to his heart.

Steve is sprawled out on the bed, his head propped up by one elbow. His eyes are dark, half-lidded, and Danny swears that there’s something like desire lurking there. The truth is, he might just be seeing what he wants to see because it’s the dead of the night, Danny’s exhausted, and he’s tired of making excuses about why he doesn’t go for the things he wants.

“You summoned me, Master?” Steve asks.

In that one moment, it’s all Danny can do not to grab hold of Steve by the shoulders, kiss him until his lips are bruised, and wish for Steve to never leave Danny’s bed in his entire life. The divorce had put a strain on him in emotional ways, but the physical ramifications hit in the lonely dead of night when it’s like this. He misses the warmth of another body beside him. He misses the way Rachel used to run her fingers through his hair and make him feel like nothing was wrong. God, he misses skin on skin and the desperate rush that pushes through you at the mere idea of misbehaving.

Right now, he has a genie – an honest to god genie -- saying things that make Danny’s dick sit up and take notice, like it’s a snake and Steve is the charmer.

Danny fumbles with the blankets, trying to put more space between him and Steve. Right now, he can’t do anything but watch the way every breath Steve takes seem to contort and create new shapes out of the tattoos that brand Steve’s skin. He doesn’t even realize he’s reached forward to trace the whorls of the ink until he sees his own fingers against Steve’s arm.

“Do you have a wish to make?” Steve murmurs, his chin bowed to his chest as he watches the path that Danny’s fingers are taking. He looks like he’s a half-step away from being debauched and all Danny needs to do is lean forward and push his fingers through Steve’s hair, muss those curls, pin him to the bed and make him sweat.

His heart is racing, his brain feels like it’s shorting out, and he hasn’t felt this way since Rachel rear-ended his damn patrol car.

That should be his first clue that this is so much more than a couple of really inappropriate thoughts about a really attractive man. “You have no idea the effect you have,” Danny mutters. He hasn’t even been able to rant about this because every time he visits his parents, he gets about two sentences into the whole situation, realizes he’s about to bitch about the fact that he has a gorgeous genie at his beck and call, and that his Ma’s gonna send him into an insane asylum if he finishes that thought.

“I’m pretty sure I have some idea, Danno.”

“Where did you hear that?” Danny asks warily.

“I’m in the lamp, but I’m all-seeing in there. I hear everything. I see everything.” Danny goes a bright shade of red, because if that’s the case, then Steve’s seen what he was doing in the shower at seven that morning and in bed at seven fifteen and oh god, that means he saw what he was doing at seven thirty in the closet with the t-shirt Steve had been wearing the other day and if that ever-powerful all-seeing eye extends to the yard, then Steve also saw seven forty-five.

Danny goes a nuclear shade of red because, well, seven forty-five.

He takes a steadying breath and forces his body to calm down before he explodes. If Steve’s seen all of that, then he knows ...

“So, when you say all-seeing, does that include all-hearing?”

Steve nods with such determined purpose that Danny is so screwed.

His grip on Steve’s shoulder tightens and he takes in a deep breath, crossing the space between them until there’s barely an inch between their bodies. “Gracie’s at a friend’s for a sleepover,” he says, licking his lips as he starts convincing himself that this is what he needs right now. This is what he wants, and Danny thinks that he might even deserve this.

“I know.”

“Right. All-seeing,” Danny says, rolling his eyes.

“Is that such a bad thing?”

Danny closes his eyes and focuses on the feel of Steve’s muscles beneath his hand. He pushes his other hand into Steve’s hair and grabs on tight. The shackles are nowhere to be seen and the lack of their presence means that Danny can pretend that this isn’t just him taking advantage of a being that refers to him as Master. “I just, I have one request,” Danny says, before Steve can close the distance and kiss him.


“But it’s not a wish,” Danny makes a point to stress that. He knows what his second wish is, he’s saving it for something important. “It’s a request.”

“Master. Anything.”

“I want you to call me Danny.”

There are too many confusing connotations to both Danno and Master. Right now, Danny wants something so fervently uncomplicated and if he looks past the lamp, the wishes, the divorce, and all the rest, Danny can pretend like this is just two people in bed together because they want to be.

More than anything, Danny wants to pretend that Steve wants this as much as he does.


Danny slides his fingers down the curve of Steve’s spine, the warmth at his fingertips clouding his mind and making him think such stupid things, like the fact that he swears he can hear Steve’s voice coming from somewhere else – somewhere that isn’t right in front of him. Danny tries to clear his mind, but the downward descent of his fingers doesn’t help matters.

“Just like that,” Danny agrees, his chest rising and falling with his shallow breaths. “Steve, say it again.”


...he wakes up to Steve hovering in his vision, a glass of milk in his hands, and fully dressed. Danny stares up at him helplessly, the covers tangled around him and restricting his body like the world’s most comfortable set of cuffs. He’d been asleep, which means that he’d been dreaming, which means...

“Danny, you were pretty noisy. Are you okay? Was it a nightmare?”

Danny tries to clear his throat, grateful for the thickness of the duvet cover hiding his problem, but he can’t find the words to explain how nightmare was the furthest thing from what he was having. And yet, here Steve stood with a glass of milk, wearing a Navy t-shirt and a pair of sweats, and staring at him like he’s been doing this for years.

“No,” Danny finally gets a hold of himself. “No, Steve, I’m – I’m fine,” he assures him. “What are you doing up?”

He sets the milk on Danny’s nightstand, turning to leave the room. It’s at the door that he stops, shooting Danny a strange look from over his shoulder. “I heard you from the lamp. I thought...well, I thought I heard my name.”

He’s out of the room before Danny can sputter out a demand for an explanation and whether that qualifies as anything remotely close to all-seeing. Because, if it is, then suddenly seven forty-five is back on the table and Danny’s got damn good reason to bed red.

“So,” Danny says. He’s sent Grace off for her horse-riding lesson, brought out the lamp from the drawer, and given it a rub just before he serves dinner for two at the main table. “What was your first wish?”

The resulting expression on Steve’s face lets Danny know he’s hit it right on the nose. Sure, it doesn’t take a genius to read up on the history, but Steve probably figured Danny wouldn’t look past the gift horse to see the possible Trojan aspects of it. “You’re not supposed to know that.”

“I’m a detective,” Danny responds wryly. “I detect.”

“Danny,” Steve replies heatedly, “You can’t know that. It changes things. It means that you know that...”

“That when I make my third wish, I take over for you and you get your freedom?” Danny interrupts. “Yeah, big guy. I know.”


“Steve, don’t worry about it, okay?”

“How can I not worry about it?” Steve demands, a fraught look on his face. “You have Grace. You have a daughter.”

“Steve!” Danny says sharply. “I said don’t worry about it, okay? I have a plan. Now, are you gonna tell me what your first wish was or am I gonna have to pry it out of you?”

Steve seems chastened into silence. He bows his head down and the kohl marks around his eyes are all Danny can focus on. He wants to wipe them away with his thumb, erasing every single mark of servitude that ever existed on Steve’s body. Somehow, Danny’s moved away from the gay porn fantasy and straight into some fucked-up version of playing house.

“I wished for my family to be safe. The war was on and my father was stationed at the naval base. I wished for their safety and it saved their lives. Then, I wished to be financially secure, which was what helped to buy this house.”

“And the last wish?” Danny prods.

“I wished to find someone I could truly love.”

“No, hey, hold up. I thought you couldn’t wish to make someone love you,” Danny says.

“You can’t, but I didn’t wish for that. I just wished to find the person that I was supposed to fall for.”

Well, this got awkward very quickly. Danny shifts uncomfortably, trying to bury any inappropriate feelings for Steve that have popped up in the last while. Not only is the man a genie, but he’s apparently given his heart to someone that magic revealed. How the hell is he supposed to compete with that?

“And? Are they waiting for you? Pining for the day that you serve out your sentence?” Danny asks when he gets his wits back about him. He’s a grown man and he has an infatuated crush on a genie. He’s better than this.

Steve shrugs. “I wouldn’t know. The genie said ‘granted’ and then started doing his thing. The next thing I knew, I was trapped and he was free.” He looks so bereft that Danny wants doesn’t even know. He wants to keep him close and make sure nothing ever hurts Steve like that again. He wants to pin him down and overwhelm him with so many feelings that Steve has no choice but to focus on what Danny’s hands and lips and teeth are doing to him.

Instead, he sits down at the table and gestures to the second plate.

“Have dinner with me,” Danny says.

“I shouldn’t...”

“Steve, have dinner with me and I’ll make my second wish by dessert.”

Steve does exactly as commanded, taking the seat opposite Danny and picking up his fork and knife. He stares at the food on his plate warily, like it’s going to jump up and poison him any second, but Danny lets it slide. He has no idea what the last seventy years have been like for Steve and he’s not about to start making wild guesses about his past.

“So, did the first wish work?” Steve asks.

“Yeah. Yeah,” Danny replies, a warm smile lighting up his face, “Gracie’s been having real good luck. She finds quarters all over, she’s been lucky enough to get whatever book she wants from the library and if I’m driving with her, I get every green light. It’s a nice little side-benefit. It also tells me that you were right about the validity of the wishes.”

Steve looks like he’s sucked on a lemon and Danny doesn’t have to venture very far to know why he looks like that.

“So I’m ready to make my second wish.”

“And then the third?” Steve scoffs.

“You’re an idiot,” Danny tells him. “And maybe I am, too, but here goes. Steven McGarrett, my genie, I wish for you to have your freedom.”

The silence seems endless and Danny wonders, for a moment, if he’s been misheard.

“What?” Steve breathes out the word.

“Are you deaf?” Danny retorts. “You heard me. I wish for you to be free.” He waits expectantly and when Steve still sits there shell-shocked, he goes so far as to snap his fingers in Steve’s direction. “Get with the program, do your thing. Smoke, magic, poof, evaporate the shackles, baby, you’re a free man.”

Danny expects the smoke show and the shocked look on Steve’s face.

What he doesn’t expect is for Steve to suddenly blurt, “I need to go,” and run from Danny’s kitchen table in the harem-pants and nothing else. He’s out the front door, the lamp has clattered to the floor with an empty sound, and Danny is left with dessert on the table and feeling like he’s been stabbed right in the heart.

Three days later, Danny’s cleaned up any trace of Steve from the house. He’s taken all the old photos and possessions from the attic and put them in a box – and he wishes he could say that he didn’t linger at the old photos of Steve, but he did. He doesn’t understand why Steve bolted, but he’s gone and hasn’t come back.

So much for Danny’s theory that they could have enjoyed dessert together before talking about the rest of Steve’s free life, now that he had the freedom of choice.

“Danno,” Grace says from behind him. “Are you still sad?”

“How could I be sad when I’ve got you, Monkey?” Danny asks, bringing her closer and pressing a kiss to her temple. She’s still as lucky as ever, which means that his wish still applies, even if the genie who granted the wish is out of the lamp.

Speaking of which, Danny has to decide what to do with the damn thing. He’d intended to let Steve make that decision, but Steve could be in North Korea by now, for all that he knows. It’s not like he got a note to say ‘Thanks for all the food and the freedom, see you around’. He pushes that out of his mind and holds Grace tighter than before, reminding himself of the good things he’s got.

He’s got his daughter, he’s got his parents, and he really is starting to pick up the pieces of his life. He and Rachel are even communicating civilly – though that’s mostly at the behest of their lawyers – and she’s planning a visit out with the new husband. He should be pissed off that Rachel has already remarried, but it’s not like Danny is completely innocent.

If Steve had asked Danny to jump into bed with him and spend the next couple years there with him, Danny’s pretty sure his answer would be, ‘how naked?’

Danny needs to forget about that, now. He dismisses the thought and focuses on the task at hand – getting rid of the dust and any reminders of Steve in the same fell swoop. He’s grateful that he kept Grace away from him. It’s one thing to be dealing with this kind of rejection alone, but if he’d had to cope with his daughter being distraught over their lost genie, he really might have pulled out his hair.

Grace has squeezed her way out of his arms and is at the small window, peeking out through the blinds. “Danno,” she says worriedly. “There’s a man on the doorstep.”

“He’ll ring the doorbell if he wants to talk to us, sweetie,” Danny says dismissively, not in the mood to shoo someone off the doorstep – he doesn’t need vacuums or knife sets and...actually, okay, he could use the vacuum because apparently the previous owners didn’t own one if the dust is anything to go by.

Grace doesn’t move away from the window. “But it’s raining.”

“Then I’m sure he’ll get out of the rain,” Danny says, trying to reassure her with a smile. “C’mere, sweetheart, let’s get these boxes together for charity.”

That manages to distract Grace for the next fifteen minutes or so, which also keeps Danny’s mind off of thinking about Steve and where he is right now. Maybe he found that love that he was looking for and if he did, can Danny really blame him? He’d wanted it so badly that he gave up his freedom and if he’s been lucky enough to find it, then Danny needs to get over himself.

What’d he do that was so great, after all? He cooked a couple dinners and gave Steve his life back.

Okay, well, maybe Danny’s contribution hadn’t been so small.

“Danno,” Grace whines gently. She’s back at the window and this time she’s propped it open. Peeking out into the rain, she tips her head in the direction of the porch. “Mister, it’s raining outside!”

“I know,” the guy calls back.

And fuck his life, but Danny recognizes that voice.

“Monkey, come on, get away from the window, let’s go to your room and see how that tea party’s going. I’ll go talk to the man at the door,” he promises, bundling her up with a brief hug and personally escorting her to her newly-pink bedroom, careful to close the door fully behind him before he gets to the foyer.

He takes a deep breath, checks his reflection in the mirror (and what, what is his hair trying to do to him? He blames the humidity of the constant rainstorms, but nothing good is going on up there) and makes sure his breath smells okay (again, what the hell is he doing and how does Steve effectively steal his brain cells like this?) before he opens the door.

“I’m not inviting you in,” Danny says evenly, doing his best to look pissed off.

Steve’s alone, which means there’s no long-lost love, which means that Steve apparently bolted for no good reason. He’s allowed to be pissed.

“That’s vampires, Danny,” Steve retorts. “I was a genie. I can come in all I like. And even if I were a vampire, it’s my house.”

“It’s my house, I got the deed to prove it!”

“Yeah, well, it was mine first.”

“Are you seriously here on my doorstep so we can argue about who owned the house first?” Danny asks in disbelief. It takes him a minute to process the fact that Steve is wearing clothes -- actual real-person clothes. Well, mostly. The tan work boots definitely paint the picture of a man who hasn’t seen the outside world for a couple of decades.

It doesn’t do anything to lessen the fact that Steve looks good.

It occurs to Danny that the fact that he thinks Steve looks as good as he does even with the boots is a sign that he’s in deep trouble.

“Did you at least bring dinner?” Danny asks, crossing his arms and trying to keep up the reluctant act, even though he’s ready for Steve to be inside. He’s sopping wet, raindrops running through his hair and the more he squints through the water caught in his eyelashes, the more Danny’s wondering how fast he can get a babysitter over here for Grace.

Steve shrugs haplessly, running a hand through his wet hair. “I had a pizza, but I’ve kind of been here for an hour. I’m pretty sure it’s ice cold, by now. It’s in the car, if you wanted me to get it.”

“Just come in,” Danny says, giving up on acting like he’s pissed off. “We’ve been boxing up your stuff, but I’m pretty sure the one with your clothes is still easy to get to,” he says, jutting a thumb upstairs. “Just, you know, head on up. Be quiet, though, I don’t want you to alert Grace to the presence of stranger danger in the house.”

Steve’s responding look is so deviously mischievous that for a very brief moment, Danny actually forgets how to breathe.

He takes Steve’s absence as an opportunity to collect his wits and breathe through the panic. There’s a reason he’s crap at picking up women and it usually boils down to him being a great boyfriend or husband, but a really, really bad one-night stand. He’s not built for the right line at the right time kind of thing. He’s in things for the long haul.

Danny settles on the couch, watching Steve creep carefully down the stairs – and avoiding the creaky slats, which Danny admires in a man – as he rubs a dry towel through his wet hair. Danny doesn’t make room on the couch, but Steve ends up sitting on his ankle anyway, despite the grumble he evokes out of Danny for it.

“She’s asleep,” Steve says.

“What are you doing here?” Danny asks, jumping right to the heart of the matter. “I made my wish, your shackles vanished, and you didn’t even stick around for the cake I made. You just ... bolted out of here, like the minute you got your freedom, I was the last guy in the world you wanted to see. And, take it from a divorced man, that does wonders for a man’s self-esteem,” he finishes, the heavy sarcasm rife in his tone. “So where’d you go?”

“You really want to know?”

“Yes, Steven, I want to know,” Danny replies sharply. “That’s why I’m asking you.”

“I went to get a puka dog.”

Danny blinks, trying to remember if he’d fallen asleep and that’s the explanation for all the crazy. “I’m sorry. It took you three days to get a hot dog?”

“No, it took me thirty minutes to get a puka dog,” Steve replies, pulling a face that makes it look like he’s having a thousand tiny aneurysms all at once. “It took me three days to figure out what to do about you.” Steve shifts, just enough to pull Danny’s feet into his lap. He slides his thumb over the arch of Danny’s foot, causing him to recoil slightly, hissing at the ticklish sensation. “When I made my final wish, I really didn’t think that I’d ever find it. I thought I’d been screwed over, that the genie had granted it just to get out.”

Danny has a feeling he knows where Steve is going with this, but he doesn’t want to push his luck. Instead, he holds his breath and lets himself go crazy with hoping.

“I didn’t think anything would happen. For one, no one moved in here for the longest time and then nobody stayed. You’re the first person who found the lamp – you’re the first person who found me and I just feel like I know you, Danny Williams. I saw you make a home out of a house and provide for your daughter. Danny, your first wish was completely for her. I guess I got cynical and I stopped expecting so much of people.”

“This is a whole lot of talk,” Danny says calmly, that hope sliding away and getting replaced by the fear that this isn’t a confession of feelings, but rather a lead-up to a goodbye. “Steve, is this your ‘it’s not you, it’s me’ speech?”

“No, Danny,” Steve replies. “This is the speech where I ask you what I have to do to make this work. You shared your life with me and you didn’t have to. You gave up your wishes for me, before you even had to. You’re a damn good father, a better man, and you’re so gorgeous, Danny. Do you even know how gorgeous you are?”

Right. This is the part that Danny doesn’t know how to process. Steve’s shifted onto all fours, crawling towards Danny and causing mini heart palpations. Normally, Danny would happily throw caution to the wind, but Grace is upstairs, which means that Danny’s not about to get lucky tonight.

He reaches out blindly, gripping Steve’s chin and smushing his face into a malleable and somewhat comedic mask. “Wait,” he says.

“M’waiting,” Steve replies, words muffled by the Gumby-like face he’s making right now.

“Am I it? Am I the third wish? Am I...?”

Steve smiles and eases back just enough so that he’s on his knees and Danny can’t reach him anymore. “I guess I just knew. The minute you wished for me to be free, I knew that there was nowhere else in the world I wanted to be, other than right here with you and, if you’ll let me meet her, with Grace. Danny, I’m free. I could be anywhere right now.”

“Trust me, I know.”

“And I don’t want to be anywhere else. Danny, I wish that I could just stay here as long as you’ll have me.”

Danny presses his lips together, trying to avoid getting emotional. He knows that he’s rushing into this blindly and he ought to be more careful about giving away his heart, especially after the divorce, but he can’t help it. He’s got his family in case things go south, he’s got a good job and a decent home, and the last thing he wants to do is kick Steve to the curb, especially when he feels like there really could be the start of something going on.

He reaches out, cupping Steve’s cheek with his palm. “You goof,” he accuses. “You don’t need to do anymore wishing. That’s what got you into this mess to begin with.”

Danny winds his fingers through Steve’s damp-hair and holds tight, pulling him closer and kissing him until he loses track of why he’s supposed to keep this PG. Danny pushes Steve back onto the couch, covering his body with his own, one arm around his back, and takes a sharp breath before kissing him even deeper. When he’s pretty sure he needs to pull back to breathe (and also pretty sure that if he doesn’t ease up, Steve’s going to feel that hard-on), he levels a dazed look on his former-genie.

“I can stay?” Steve asks breathlessly.

“We’ll discuss rent in the morning. And,” Danny murmurs, managing his way to his feet, “you and I are going to talk about you calling me Master and wearing those pants -- maybe just one more time.”

Danny takes great pleasure in the way that hits Steve, making him go pink in the cheeks and clear his throat like he’s choking on something. That conversation can wait until tomorrow. Right now, Danny’s got an introduction to make.

“Come on,” Danny coaxes. “It’s time for you to meet the lady of the house. And I swear to god, Steve, if you even hint that mermaids are real in Grace’s vicinity, I’m going to equip you with the rain boots and the flashlights for all those late night searching expeditions.”

“What about unicorns?”

“What? Are you kidding me? Are you serious? No, wait, don’t tell me, I don’t want to know.”

“I mean, it sounds like you already know about vampires.”

“You’re being an asshole on purpose, now, right.”

“...and, of course, the pixie population is in high flux right now, along with the fairies...”

“Do they have tramp stamps too? Or is that uniquely a genie thing?”

There’s that face again. Danny doesn’t bother to hold back his laughter as he takes the steps (creaking ones and silent ones) with aplomb, ready and eager to introduce Grace to Steve, no matter how much he may come to regret it in future days. He gets the feeling that whatever suffering it might bring will be minor compared to the happiness they’ll give.

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