Danny was exhausted from dancing with what seemed like half of the women attending Kealoha’s retirement party, but it was the kind of tired that made you feel good from being part of something bigger than yourself. It was wonderful to be gathering with his brothers-in-arms for a celebration instead of a memorial. Even so, it would nice to escape the smoke and the loud music for a bit.. Excusing himself from Sally as the current song finished, he headed outside. The cool air as he opened the double doors felt good on his overheated skin. They had come right from work and Danny was still wearing his brown suit, accented with the dark brown tie overlaid with gold diamonds that Steve had given him for his birthday last year. Steve had even indulged him by tying it for him that morning.
He found Steve out on the balcony as he knew he would, looking dashing in the dark blue suit that Danny always thought brought out his gorgeous eyes. Steve's hair was as tempting as always and Danny loved to brush it back from his face so he could see those eyes. As much as he wanted to touch Steve, Danny was mindful of where they were and settled for standing close to Steve, shoulders brushing. He smiled as he felt Steve move incrementally closer to him and they fell into a comfortable silence, looking out the lights on water outside the harborside hotel. It really was a beautiful evening and it was nice to be at peace after dealing with the seedier side of humanity all day.
"You ever think about retiring?" Steve asked after a while.
"Every now and then," Danny answered, "but it hasn't felt like the right time yet." It went unsaid that Danny wouldn't stay if Steve left and he knew his partner felt the same. "I always thought we'd know when it was time."
He could see Steve nod out of the corner of his eye, "Not quite yet, but there are more years behind us than ahead," he said, very matter of fact, as Steve usually was. Danny could read him better than anyone, and there wasn't any melancholy hiding underneath. Just a bit of pride for eleven years of service and a sense of a job done well but not finished as of yet.
Another few minutes passed and then Steve asked, "Do you ever regret this?" It took Danny a minute to realize what Steve meant but he knew that Steve was serious. Steve was always willing to ask questions when he didn't know the answer. It was one of the things Danny loved about him and while he might need to seek information for a case, Steve was rarely unsure of himself. He sounded rather tentative and unsure now.
Danny turned to face him but Steve was still looking out over the water. He was beautiful, even in profile. "Not for a second, "Danny told him emphatically, putting all of his feelings for this wonderful man into his words. "I know I couldn't have danced with you in front of all these people, " Danny said, "but then again, even if we could, you wouldn't anyway. Not exactly your style." The light teasing earned him a small quirky smile from his partner.
"So yes, I wish things could be different but I wouldn't trade what we have," Danny told him. And although he was fairly sure he knew the answer, Danny felt he should let Steve have his chance and asked, "Any regrets?"
"Only that we didn't start sooner, " Steve replied and then surprised the hell out of Danny by taking his hand and squeezing gently. "Just that. We've had almost six and a half years together and I hope for many more." Steve squeezed Danny's hand again and let go but it meant as much as if Steve had kissed him.
In a few minutes they'd go back inside and say their goodbyes, shake the hands of the men and kiss the cheeks of the ladies before heading out in separate cars. Danny would follow Steve home as usual, take him to bed and wake up next to him in the morning, and that was close enough to perfect.