It had been a long, tiring day; 14 hours to be exact. Danny sunk into his chair in his office, wanting to finish up some last minute paper work before him and Steve headed home. Danny was still living at Steve's; after everything that happened with Doris, he didn't want to leave Steve alone, and Steve hadn't asked him to leave, so Danny stayed.
As Danny was finishing up the last of his paper work he looked up from his computer into Steve's office. It had been a week since Doris had dropped the bombshell on Steve and Steve had subsequently kicked her out of his house, vowing never to see her again. Since that day Steve had been putting up a good front, to everyone else he seemed like he was pretty much back to normal; making jokes and going into raids guns blazing, but Danny knew better, he could see the cracks in Steve's smile and the emptiness in his eyes from the void that was slowly swallowing him whole.
It was these fleeting moments, like the one he was currently witnessing, that the others never seemed to catch. He could see his partner sitting in his office staring at his computer screen, hands on his lap, nowhere near the mouse. Even from afar Danny could see the glazed over look in Steve's eyes telling him that his stoic partner was somewhere else, physically he was there but mentally he was checked out and it didn't take a genius to guess where his head was at.
Danny had thought that after Steve's breakdown at his house a week ago that he would be more open, at least with him, but he had been wrong. Something in Steve broke that day and as much as Danny wanted to piece it back together he was starting to worry that it wasn't possible.
The past week had shown Danny small glimpses of the damage that Doris had caused. It was the small things that got to him, the off moments where Steve would zone out or look like he was miles away, the jokes that he would crack at his own expense to make everyone think that he was okay, the late nights he worked so that he wouldn't have to deal with whatever was going on in his head, and the restless nights he would have when Danny could hear him awake and unable to sleep.
Danny sighed. He hated this, as if Steve hadn't suffered enough in his life, to have to find out that Doris was protecting the man responsible for all of their suffering, it just wasn't fair.
Danny packed up his things, closed his computer, and went to grab Steve.
"Ready to head out?" Danny peered into Steve's office.
Steve hadn't even realized that Danny was in his office as he continued to stare at the screen in front of him.
Danny looked worriedly at Steve.
"Steve...you ready to go?" Danny said a little louder bringing Steve back from wherever he had gone.
Steve's head suddenly snapped up.
"Uh, yeah, I'm ready." Steve closed his laptop and grabbed his belongings.
As the two made their way out Danny headed for the driver's side.
That was something else that had changed about Steve, he let Danny drive.
As much as Danny enjoyed driving his own car, he hated the cost it came at.
They were half way home when Danny looked over at Steve. Steve hadn't said a word the entire car ride and had been staring out the window the entire time.
Steve spun his head to look at Danny.
"Yeah, I'm good Danny."
Danny could see right through the fake smile that Steve plastered on his face. He shook his head as Steve turned and looked out the window once again. He didn't want to push Steve but he knew he was going to have to make Steve talk sooner or later.
After dinner Steve headed up to bed as he had been doing every night for the past week; if he wasn't working he was sleeping, or trying to. Danny was on the couch and watched as Steve headed up the stairs. He put his head back and let out a deep sigh. Steve wasn't dealing; he wasn't coping with what he had found out, the only thing he was doing was trying to bury it somewhere deep hoping that by some miracle it stayed buried. But Danny knew better; this wasn't something Steve was going to be able to forgive and forget, it was something that would fester inside of him until it ate him alive.
Danny stayed downstairs for a little while longer before heading upstairs himself.
Danny woke up to the sound of footsteps down the hall. He looked over at his clock, 2:34am. Danny sighed as he laid his head back down staring at the ceiling.
Steve was up...again. He knew he couldn't just roll around and go to bed, not this time.
Danny got up and made his way over to Steve's room. The door was ajar but Danny knocked anyway.
Danny looked inside a little and could see Steve sitting on the ground on the side of the bed; he slowly opened the door and walked in and paused as he saw Steve.
Steve was sitting on the ground with his knees up, elbows on his knees and his right hand was holding the picture of Wo Fat, Yeun, and Doris at his high school graduation.
Danny closed his eyes as he took in the scene in front of him.
Steve looked up as he put the picture down.
"Danny...oh man did I wake you, I'm sorry."
Danny smiled and took a seat beside Steve on the ground.
"It's fine Steve, still looking at those pictures huh?"
Steve looked down embarrassed as he shoved the pictures back in the envelope and pushed it under his bed. Danny sighed.
"Steve...you have to talk to someone man, a professional, someone who can help you through this."
Steve looked over and grinned.
"That's what I have you for."
Danny shook his head.
"That would be fine, if you were actually talking to me, but you're not, you just keep saying that you're okay."
Steve looked away.
Danny took a deep breath. Here we go again. He hated the silence, he couldn't try and fix silence, he wouldn't even know where to begin.
A few minutes later Danny just shook his head.
"You can't keep doing this Steve, you can't go on like this, you're going to destroy yourself," Danny pointed out as Steve continued to stare straight ahead, not even acknowledging what Danny had just said.
Danny knew he wasn't going to get anywhere with Steve so with a sigh of resignation he stood up and started walking to the door when...
"I'm not okay..."
Danny froze as he turned around and looked at Steve. Although Steve was still staring straight ahead, the tone in those three words made Danny's heart drop.
Danny made his way back to where he was sitting just seconds ago, beside Steve on the ground.
Danny looked over and could see the slight shake in Steve's hand. He knew Steve was ready to talk now; all he had to do was sit and wait.
A few more minutes passed before...
"I don't know how to get passed this. When I thought my mom died, there was finality in it almost, she was gone, it was a car accident, a drunk driver. I coped with it, it took time but I made my peace with it. When my dad was killed it was a lot harder, but I had a purpose, I had something to do, I had to find the person who did it and bring them to justice. Same thing for when I found out that my mom's accident wasn't an accident and that it was a car bomb, it took some time to sink in but it became a mission to find the person who did it. With this...I don't know what to do next, I don't know where to go from here, and I hate it."
Danny shook his head, hearing Steve mention those three pivotal moments in his life out loud made Danny's heart ache. Steve had already been through more than most people go through in a lifetime. Danny also understood why this was so hard for Steve to deal with. There were no questions to be answered, for the first time in his life he had all the answers, but those answers lead him to a much harsher reality, one filled with deceit and betrayal; two things that could keep scars from ever healing.
"What Doris did...I can't even begin to try and understand how you feel. You've been through more than anyone should ever have to go through, so you not knowing how to feel, not knowing how to deal with this, that's normal Steve."
"It doesn't feel normal..." Steve looked away from Danny and back at the ground.
"That's because you're Steven McGarrett, super SEAL extraordinaire!" Danny hands went up to accentuate his point. "Your entire life since your mom left has been about discipline and control, everything you were ever taught was focussed around those two key components. But life outside of the Navy doesn't always work like that babe. And everything you've gone through, everything that you've found out, no one expects you to feel like you're in control, no one expects you to go back to normal like nothing ever happened, except for you. I know you think you need to be strong and not let anything faze you, but its okay to admit that you're hurting, you're never going to get passed this if you bottle it all up inside."
Danny looked at Steve, really hoping that he was getting through to his thick-headed partner. Steve took in everything Danny was saying, knowing that his partner was right, he needed to let it all out.
"Up until a week ago, I thought that I had just gone through a lot of really terrible things in my life, everything seemed to be clouded with death, but I worked around it, I moved on the best I could. But to hear Doris say the things that she said that day, to hear about her and Wo Fat, to hear how she had protected him after everything he had done, even after he had my father killed...it just feels like my entire life has been one big lie Danny. There were so many things that Doris kept from us, I'm starting to doubt everything I ever knew about her...hell, I'm even starting to doubt whether she really loved us."
Danny shook his head.
"Don't Steve, don't do that. As much as I hate Doris, I don't doubt for a second that she loved you, Mary, and your dad. You said it yourself, before the car bomb you guys were a really happy family; your parents loved each other and loved you and Mary, don't lose sight of that because of everything that happened after."
"I wanna believe that, I do, but how can she love us AND love him? He destroyed us; he threatened our lives, he killed my father, and she still protected him. If she loved us wouldn't she have turned him in at the least? I mean hell look at you, you can't even forgive your brother for what he did to me, and I'm still alive! You arrested Matty, who you adored, and I'm not even your family...says a lot about Doris."
Danny looked at Steve sharply.
"You are my family."
"I know, but you know what I mean, we're not blood related, Doris is my mother and you've shown you care more than she ever has."
Danny looked at the ground. He had no idea what to say to Steve, everything Steve was saying was valid. Danny knew that if anyone hurt Grace the way that Wo Fat had hurt Steve he would make it his mission to put them behind bars at the least and he would hate them with a venomous passion, so he couldn't excuse Doris, he wouldn't.
"How am I supposed to ever look at her again, how am I supposed to forgive her?" Steve tilted his head back and looked up at the ceiling.
"Maybe you don't..."
This caught Steve's attention as he looked up at his partner.
"At least not yet. Everything that Doris kept from all of you, all the secrets and lies, and her forgiving Wo Fat, protecting him, that's not something you easily forgive. It's going to take a while Steve, and if you never forgive her, that's okay too. But in the meantime, while you're figuring it all out, doing this," Danny motioned between him and Steve. "...talking, keep doing it. I'm here for you buddy, and I'm not going anywhere. I may not always have something to say but sometimes it just helps to vent out loud."
"Yeah." Steve nodded his head in agreement.
"I know it all seems really bleak right now, but think of it this way, it can only go up from here right? You know everything now; there are no more secrets or lies and how you feel right now, this is the worst you're going to feel, you can only start to feel better from here on out. You're going to get through this Steve, Gracie and I will make sure of that."
Steve let everything Danny was saying sink in. Danny was right; this was as bad as it was going to get, so if he could find a way to pull himself out of this, he was going to be okay.
Steve looked at Danny and smiled.
"See, I told you you're the only therapist I need."
Danny laughed as he squeezed Steve's shoulder.
Steve nodded his head as he looked up at Danny.
"Thanks Danno...for everything."
For finding me, for standing by my side, for defending me, for pushing me to talk, for being my family.
Danny smiled as he saw the sincerity in Steve's eyes and heard the sincerity in his voice.
"No thanks necessary, we have each other's backs no matter what...always."
Steve smiled and nodded.