Of Ghosts and Men
Matt had been in town for a week and so far everything seemed to be going smoothly. Danny had been spending a lot of time with Matt, he had even introduced Amber to him and the two of them had hit it off instantly. Danny had even taken a few days off to spend some time with Matt, Amber, and Grace, since Grace was on summer holidays. Matt and Danny seemed closer than ever and it was the first time in awhile that Steve saw Danny this happy.
Steve had spent his fair time with the foursome as well, on days he was done early or after his shift he would join the 4 of them for whatever they were doing at the time. Steve and Matt seemed like they were getting pretty close too and Steve instantly looked at Matt like a little brother.
A few of the nights they had all been hanging out at Danny's place, Steve had noticed that Matt had been stepping away to take a call at exactly 8 pm. Steve was sure that Danny hadn't noticed this and didn't want to bring it up in case it was just a mere coincidence, although Steve's gut was telling him otherwise.
One night when they were at Danny's place, 8 pm rolled around and sure enough Matt excused himself to take a phone call.
"Just hurry it up Matty, dinner will be ready in 5 minutes," Danny yelled after him.
Matt gave him a thumbs up as he answered the phone and went down the hallway into Grace's bedroom.
Steve silently slipped away to follow Matt.
"Whoa, whoa, I just said 5 minutes Steven, where you off to?"
"Bathroom Danno, I'm allowed to go to the bathroom right?" Steve smirked as he waited for Danny's response.
Danny didn't bother responding, just gave Steve a "you're such a smartass" glare and went back to checking the barbeque. Steve laughed and headed towards Grace's bedroom.
As he approached the door he could hear the nervousness in Matt's voice, something was definitely going on.
"I know okay, I know, it's just been a little tough, I've been busy, I need to find the right time."
Steve pressed his ear a little closer to the door.
"I know its been a week...no of course I'm not backing out, I know what's at stake."
Maybe he was talking to the Feds, Steve thought. Maybe he's still undercover for them, although he had told Danny that was all cleared up and finished.
"No please, don't, look I promise we'll be there."
The fear in Matt's voice told Steve that he definitely wasn't speaking to the Feds. And "we'll be there"...who was we?
The conversation seemed to have ended as Steve heard nothing on the other end of the door. As Matt came out of Grace's room Steve had timed it perfectly so it looked like he had just come out of the bathroom.
"Hey, everything okay?" He was really hoping Matt would tell him about the phone call so he could help.
"Yeah, everything's good, just a colleague following up on some business proposals," he patted Steve's shoulder and walked back towards the kitchen.
Steve noticed the tremble in Matt's hands and he knew for certain that wasn't a "colleague" on the phone. Something was definitely wrong; Matt wasn't going to say anything though so he'd have to figure it out on his own.
Steve walked back to the kitchen.
"I swear to god Steven, you better not have clogged up my toilet," Danny game him a death glare.
"C'mon Danny, I don't clog up toilets, I'm a SEAL remember," Steve loved to play the SEAL card in front of Danny cause it bothered him so much.
Danny just looked at him with his hands in the air.
"What does that even have to do with anything Steven?"
"Everything," Steve smiled back as he went to grab some food.
"You're ridiculous," Danny mumbled under his breath but couldn't help but let a little grin appear on his face.
The five of them spent the rest of the night eating and talking and telling ghost stories, which of course Danny did not believe in.
"When we were younger, I was probably about 8 or 9, I was so sure there was a ghost in my closet, I had seen it a few times," Matt started as he sat down with a beer.
"Correction, he thought that he had seen it a few times."
"Shhh Danno, I want to hear Uncle Matt's story," Grace chimed up.
"Yea shh Danno!" Steve joined in.
"Story is correct," Danny rolled his eyes.
"Sorry Monkey, continue Matt," Danny smiled as he took a swig of his beer.
"As I was saying, so I had seen this ghost a few times and I was so freaked out. I would see it in my closet, under my bed, in my bathroom, literally everywhere!" Matt was really animated with his stories, Danny had to give him that much.
"You better not give my daughter nightmares Matty!"
"Danno I'm a big girl, I won't have nightmares about ghosts," Grace protested. "So what did you do Uncle Matt, how did you fall asleep every night knowing that there were ghosts?"
Matt looked over at Danny and smiled.
"Well Grace, your daddy let me sleep with him every night. We had our own rooms but I was so freaked out that I didn't want to sleep alone. So every night I would go to your daddy's room and get under his covers, and you know what, not once did he tell me to leave."
Grace grabbed a hold of Danny's hand.
"That's cause Danno's the best" she smiled and Matt followed suit.
"He sure is, I think that's how we got to be so close, your daddy became my hero back then, he made sure the ghosts never got me."
Steve smiled. That definitely sounds like the Danny he knows and loves. Steve looked over at Danny and could see that he was a little emotional. No one else would really be able to tell but Steve could read Danny like a book. He knew how hard the past few months had been on Danny, not knowing where Matt was and if he was okay. He knew having Matt back meant a lot to him and that he loved his little brother more than anything, except for Grace of course.
Danny cleared the frog in his throat.
"Well someone had to protect him from those imaginary ghosts."
"Dannoooo," everyone replied in unison.
Steve stole a glance at Matt. He prayed that whatever Matt was on the phone about an hour ago wasn't going to get him in trouble, wasn't going to take him away from Danny and Grace again, and wasn't going to make Danny go through everything he went through the last time Matt disappeared.