Steve Meets Steve
It had been two weeks since Matt had shown up on Steve's doorstep to say goodbye and Danny hadn't spoken about it since that day. Steve had tried to breach the subject a few times only to be shut down before he could complete a sentence. Steve knew better than anyone that pushing someone like Danny to talk, someone who was usually very willing to open up and share his feelings, wasn't going to work. So he let it be, knowing that when Danny was ready he would talk.
As Steve walked through the doors of Five-0 Danny was headed out and grabbed Steve's arm turning him around.
"About time you got here, let's go."
Chin and Kono smiled as Steve was dragged out the doors by his much shorter partner.
"Where we going?"
"I knew you'd forget, it's Grace's career day today and we promised we would go present."
A light bulb went off in Steve's head as he remembered the conversation a few weeks ago.
Grace had been spending a lot of time at Danny's the last few weeks as Rachel thought it would be good for both Danny and Steve's psyche to have the little girl around after everything that they had been through over the last few weeks.
This meant that Danny and Steve were also responsible for dropping Grace off at school every morning.
"Monkey you're going to be late let's go," Danny yelled grabbing the car keys as Steve took one last swig of his orange juice.
"Coming Danno, i'll be there in 2 minutes."
Danny shook his head, "You said that 5 minutes ago."
"Take a chill pill Danno, I'll be right there."
Steve couldn't help but smirk as Danny stared daggers at him.
"That's great Steven, go ahead, condone her rebellious teenage years of talking back to her father."
Steve's smirk grew even wider, "She's right, you need to take a chill pill Danno, you're too sensitive, it's gonna age you buddy."
It was Danny's turn to laugh, "No, YOU my friend, you are what's going to age me."
Just as Steve was about to say something back, Grace ran out of her room.
"Okay I'm ready, let's go," Grace grabbed her bag and ran out the door with Steve and Danny in tow.
Grace opened the back door and jumped in. As Steve and Danny got in and pulled out Grace suddenly remembered something she had been meaning to ask her dad.
"Danno, we have career presentations next week at school do you think you can come and present?"
Danny turned around and looked at his daughter's lit up face. As much as he hated presentations he could never deny a request from Grace.
"Of course Monkey, I'd be happy to."
Grace smiled as she turned to her Uncle Steve, "Uncle Steve, can you come too? You and Danno can present together."
Steve looked in the rear view mirror with a smile.
"I'd be happy to kiddo," Steve said as he pulled into Grace's school parking lot.
"Awesome! It's next Tuesday at 10am, don't be late!" Grace jumped out of the car. "Thanks for the ride Uncle Steve! Bye Danno!"
"Bye Monkey have a good da- and she's gone," Danny threw his hands in the air as Grace ran to her friends.
"You know, she used to give me a hug and a kiss whenever I dropped her off at school, now she can't even wait till I finish a sentence. What are you smirking at Steven!" Danny glared at Steve.
"You're just being all sensitive again, it's cute."
Danny shook his head, "I hate you, just drive."
The minute Steve and Danny walked through the doors the entire room went quiet. Everyone knew who they were and Danny could overhear two little boys whispering about Steve.
"That's him, he's the boss of Five-0. He used to be a Navy SEAL."
"A Navy SEAL? Whoa!"
Danny couldn't help but smile, a smile that widened when he realized how uncomfortable and awkward his partner looked; a room full of gun-wielding psychos was no problem for the great Steve McGarrett, but put him in a room full of little kids and he clams up.
"Settle down everyone, our next presenters are here," Mrs. Karmakone was ushering children back to their seats. "Commander, Detective, thank you so much for coming in."
"Our pleasure," Danny smiled as he turned to the students. "Are you guys ready to learn all about policing?"
The class hollered out a loud yes in unison.
After Danny and Steve finished their presentation about being policing and working for 5-0, one of Grace's classmates wanted to know more about being a SEAL and since they were ahead of schedule Mrs. Karmakone opened up the floor to Steve.
As Danny watched Steve talk about being a SEAL he couldn't help but smile at Steve's enthusiasm; he looked like a little kid who had just been asked to describe his favourite toy. As Danny continued to listen to Steve, his smile was soon replaced by a gut wrenching pit in his stomach, a pit that seemed to surface every now and then, at the most random moments. If Matt and Wo Fat had it their way, Steve wouldn't even be standing here right now. That thought alone made Danny sick to his stomach as he gripped the table he was leaning on a little tighter. Memories started to flood in of Steve in the warehouse, Steve in that cellar and Steve in the hospital. As much as he wanted to put it all behind him and move on, there were fleeting moments like this where it all came back to him. It wasn't ever triggered by one specific thing, it just happened randomly, and Danny hated it.
Danny snapped out of his stupor as the teacher announced that they had something special they wanted to show Steve; he hadn't even realized that Steve was done his presentation.
Grace walked up and grabbed Steve's hand as she walked him over to the window.
"Uncle Steve, meet Steve the turtle, Steve, meet Uncle Steve!"
Danny could hardly contain his laughter as he saw the shocked expression on Steve's face; undoubtedly residing from the fact that in Steve's mind he was being compared to a turtle.
"Uh, that's uh, a turtle huh Gracie, you didn't have a snake or anything you could name after me?" Steve joked.
"We named him Steve because he had been through a lot and Mrs. Karmakone found him when he was barely alive and he still survived, just like you!" one of Grace's classmates spoke up.
Danny saw the instant change in Steve as he swallowed the lump in his throat. Danny could see that Steve was struggling for words so he stepped in.
"Gracie why don't you show Uncle Steve how fast turtle Steve can move now that you guys helped nurse his broken leg back to health."
Steve smiled at Danny appreciatively.
Grace's smile spread across her face as she looked to her teacher for permission to take Steve out of his glass tank. When Mrs. Karmakone gave the nod of approval Grace reached in and grabbed Steve out of his cage and placed him on the ground.
The cracks on his shell were still evident and that struck a cord with both Steve and Danny, this little guy definitely looked like he had been through a lot.
They spent the rest of lunch break playing with the turtle before heading back to 5-0 headquarters.
Both men were pretty quiet on the drive back; the visit to Grace's school had gone a lot more differently than either of them had imagined.
"You okay?" Danny finally broke the silence as he looked over at Steve.
Danny gave Steve a small unconvincing smile, "Yeah."
"You know that's the story Grace was telling you when you woke up," Danny pointed out as he tilted his head towards Steve.
"Yeah she was going on and on about Steve the turtle and you woke up right after that."
Steve smiled as he imagined what that conversation must've been like. He then thought about why Grace had to have that conversation in the first place and why he had no recollection of it.
"It's been one hell of a month huh Danno," Steve's smile was gone now as he looked over at his partner.
Danny shook his head, "You could say that again."
The last month and a bit had been the longest period of Danny's life and it blew his mind when he thought about everything that they had been through in such a short period of time. Between Matt, Doris, and Wo Fat, they had dealt with more heartache and pain than most people go through in a lifetime.
"Where'd you go during my presentation? I looked over and you were completely checked out like you were somewhere else," Steve looked over at Danny hoping that Danny wasn't going to keep whatever was bothering him to himself.
Danny swallowed the lump in his throat; he was really hoping Steve hadn't noticed.
"I uh, I have these moments, these random moments where everything that has happened over the last few weeks comes rushing back all at once. I'm back in that warehouse, in that cellar, in that hospital," Danny choked out as he fidgeted with his fingers.
"It's stupid right, I mean you're the one who went through hell and back and here I am having mental breakdowns," Danny scoffed embarrassed at his inability to stuff all of this somewhere down deep.
"It's not stupid Danno, I've told you before and I'll tell you again, what you went through was just as bad, if not worse, as what I went through. I would have the same reactions you're having if the roles were reversed man."
Danny looked at Steve and could hear the sincerity in his words. He looked over appreciatively, "Yeah."
"Seeing Matty probably didn't help at all either," Steve's voice was barely above a whisper, unsure of how Danny would react to Matt being brought up.
And there it was. He knew it was a matter of time before Steve tried to breach that subject again. Both he and Steve knew that it was a matter of time before Danny spoke about it and now seemed like a good a time as any.
"No, it definitely didn't help. I hope he stays gone though, I'd be fine never seeing his face ever again."
"Danny - "
"Steve look," Danny interrupted as he looked over at Steve, hoping that this was the last time they would have to talk about this. "I know he is my family, I know he's my blood and yes at one point I adored the hell out of the kid, but I can't get over what he did. Do I still love him? Somewhere deep deep deep DEEP down I do cause I still remember my kid brother who once meant the world to me. I've thought about forgiving him okay, I honestly have. But every single time I do my mind goes back to that warehouse, goes back to the feeling I had when I realized what Matt had done and what it meant for you. I can't even begin to tell you what that felt like man; my own brother setting you up and then having to leave you there with Wo Fat."
Dannys voice cracked, "Man, if you hadn't made it..."
"But I did, Danny, I did, thanks to you. And thanks to you Wo Fat won't be a threat to anyone ever again. And I get it Danno, about Matt, I do, I just want you to be okay, I don't want this thing with Matt to eat away at you."
"It won't, I'll be okay eventually, we both will be," Danny looked over at Steve with a genuine smile.
"Yeah, I ugh," Steve looked out at the road and then back at his partner. "I love you Danno."
Danny looked over at his best friend who he thanked god every day was still alive. "I love you too buddy."
Steve smiled as he cleared his throat and turned on the music.
I can see every tear you've cried
Like an ocean in your eyes
All the pain and the scars have left you cold
I can see all the fears you face
Through a storm that never goes away
Don't believe all the lies that you've been told
I'll be right here now
To hold you when the sky falls down
I will always, be the one who took your place
When the rain falls I won't let go
I'll be right here
I will show you the way back home
Never leave you all alone
I will stay until the morning comes
I'll show you how to live again
And heal the brokenness within
Let me love you when you come undone
Both men sat quietly as a calm settled in over them; the lyrics really hit home. They had been through hell and back together and they knew it wouldn't be the last time. But they had a lot of support and a lot of love and above all else they had each other. Neither of them had ever had a friendship as strong as the one they shared. The bond they had was rare and they had proved time and time again that it was unbreakable. They both knew that it was this unbreakable bond that would get them through this and get them through anything they would face in the future.
The house was dark as he sat in his bedroom, awoken yet again by another memory-turned-dream of burying his son. He reached under his bed and grabbed the box of photos. One by one he looking longingly at the pictures of him and his son, the son that was taken away from him.
Yeun looked up from the last picture as he placed the box down and walked over to the newspaper clipping he had pinned to the wall with Danny's face on it. He could feel his hatred and anger boiling inside of him and he knew exactly what he was going to do and how he was going to do it.
"You will pay for this Detective, mark my words, you will pay for this."
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