Familial Betrayal

Unchartered Waters

It had been a few days since the barbecue at Danny's place and Steve knew he had to talk to Danny about the phone call he overheard between Matt and whoever was on the other side of the call.

He hated having to even bring this up with Danny but his gut was telling him something was very wrong. Matt was in some sort of trouble and they had to help him; whether he wanted their help or not.

As Steve was driving to Danny's to pick him up, he decided that he would bring it up with him today. The first thing on their agenda today was to ask a witness a few questions and the ride was going to be long enough that Steve could bring up his concerns about Matt.

"Morning Steve," Danny stepped into the car and threw his stuff in the back seat.

"Hey Danno, that seat's missed you," Steve grinned. Steve was glad to have Danny back at work beside him.

"I'm sure it has Steven," Danny smiled as he buckled in.

"So what did you guys get up to the last few days?"

"We went to the zoo, the beach, the museum, and the pool. Grace wanted to make sure that Uncle Matt saw everything," Danny smiled.

After Danny spent a few minutes explaining to Steve everything that they had done at all the places they went to, he suddenly went quiet.

"You alright buddy?" Steve looked over in concern.

"Yeah, I'm good. You know Steve, I don't think I realized how much I missed having Matt around. I mean you know how close Matt and I are, he's my baby brother and for a long time he was the only best friend I really had."

"Until me of course," Steve grinned.

Danny smiled back.

"Yes until I met you, the crazy Neanderthal ninja SEAL."

"Hey you finally got it right," Steve was referring to the term SEAL. Danny was known to get it wrong.

Danny laughed.

"But yeah, before you I kind of just had Matt, he helped me through a lot, not just as a teen, but with my divorce and everything."

"Yeah I remember you telling me," Steve smiled sympathetically.

"It's just been really nice having him here, having him around to actually hang out with and to have Grace be able to hang out with him."

Steve nodded, he knew Danny had more to say.

"Remember when that bomb exploded and we were stuck under all that rubble, do you remember what I told you?"

"About how much you loved me?" Steve grinned, he remembered how uncomfortable it made Danny to actually say those words.

Danny glared at him.

"No you idiot, about me and happiness."

Steve remembered.

"Yeah, of course Danno, how you won't let yourself be happy, how you always think something bad is going to happen."

"Yeah," Danny replied quietly.

"So what about that?"

"I think for the first time in a long time, I actually don't feel that way," Danny smiled looking out the window.

Crap.

"I mean, things with Amber and I are going great, Grace is perfect and happy, work is amazing – you guys are amazing, and Matt is here and he's not in trouble anymore and we can actually spend time as a family. You know he's actually thinking about moving down here for good," Danny couldn't help the smile that formed on his face.

"Oh yeah? That's great Danny," Steve tried to hide his worry but he knew Danny would see right through it.

From the corner of his eye, Steve could see Danny staring at him. Steve kept his eyes on the road hoping Danny would look away and keep talking, he could surely bring up his concerns about Matt later on today.

"Are we really going to do this again Steven?"

"Do what again?" Steve looked over at his glaring partner.

"You obviously want to say something, so just say it."

"I don't wan–"

"Steve! Just say it!" Danny had mastered Steve's facial expressions, he was going to get this out of Steve one way or another.

Steve took a deep breath, he had to tell Danny, if they were going to help Matt, Danny needed to be in the know.

"Have you noticed that Matt takes a phone call everyday around 8 pm?" Steve was hoping that Danny would have noticed.

Danny's face turned to one of shock and anger.

"What...are you keeping tabs on my brother?" Danny started to get a little defensive.

"No, of course not Danno, I just noticed that every time we would hang out he would take a phone call, and one day I happened to look at the time, and when it happened two times in a row I checked my phone again. He's been taking a phone call every day around 8 pm."

"Okay...and...?"

"And a few days ago when we had the barbeque at your house, Matt got a phone call again at 8 and went to take it in Grace's room."

Danny squinted his eyes.

"You didn't have to go to the bathroom did you?"

"No, I wanted to see if I could hear who Matt was on the phone with, make sure he wasn't in trouble," Steve admitted.

Danny shook his head.

"You're unbelievable," Danny mumbled to himself.

"What?"

"You're unbelievable!" Danny yelled a little louder. "What's the matter with you? Why must you always assume something is wrong, that people are up to no good?"

Steve was a little taken back by Danny's accusations and felt the need to defend his actions.

"I don't always assume that, my gut was just telling me in this case that something was wrong."

"And what did you hear?" Danny asked with his hands.

"I could only hear one end of the conversation, but Matt sounded scared, he said something about knowing it's already been a week and he knows what's at stake and that he would meet up with them."

"And did you ask him about it once he was off the phone?"

"Yeah, he said that it was just a colleague asking about some business proposals."

"And let me guess, you didn't believe him?" Danny raised his eyebrows.

"No...Danny his hands were trembling when he came out."

"So what? His work can be really stressful, the business world is cut throat Steven, if he's late on some proposals of course he would be nervous!" Danny knew what he was saying sounded a little ridiculous but he just couldn't accept the fact that Matt was in more trouble.

"Danny..." Steve knew that Danny had a feeling something was wrong but was in denial.

"No, don't Danny me, this is your issue not mine, and not my brothers."

Steve looked over at his partner incredulously.

"Issue? What are you talking about? I don't have an issue with your brother."

"Not with Matt, with life! You always need to find something wrong; you can never just leave things as they are, never accept that things are good. It's like you constantly look for trouble so that you can somehow go in and clean it up like some hero."

Steve was used to Danny's outbursts but this one took him by surprise.

"You know what your problem is? You have a hero complex! You have to be everyone's hero, you need to find trouble where there is none so that you can swoop in and fix it."

Danny knew everything he was saying was wrong and unfounded but he couldn't stop himself.

"That's not tr–" Steve couldn't even finish his sentence as Danny interrupted.

"Or maybe, you can't accept that not all families are messed up like yours! Just because your family is full of lies and deceit doesn't mean that mine is. I get that it's been bothering you that you can't figure out why your mom has been lying to you about Wo Fat so you're always on edge, but don't project that onto my family! Matt made a mistake once, that was it, he owned up to it and made up for it, he's not an idiot he knows better than to get mixed up in something bad again."

Danny knew how stupid his explanation sounded, not everyone learns their lesson the first time around. He also knew he had crossed the line attacking Steve's family. He regretted it the moment it left his mouth.

The look on Steve's face broke his heart. He knew how hard it was for Steve to open up about his family and he had told Danny things that he never told anyone else. He knew how hard the last year had been on Steve, with old wounds opening up and finding out he's been lied to his entire life. The secret his mother has been keeping from him about Wo Fat has slowly been tearing Steve apart, and no one knew that better than Danny.

Never in 4 years of knowing each other had Danny ever said anything about Steve's family, not even when they got in some of their most heated arguments, so he didn't know why he said it this time. To say that Danny felt horrible was the understatement of the year.

"Steve...I'm sorry, I shouldn't have sai–"

"It's fine Danny, I was probably wrong anyways." And just like that Steve closed off and ended their conversation.

Danny knew he messed up.

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