In one moment Steve’s going into the house to take a new six-pack and in another, he’s outside, said six-pack slipping out of his fingers and straight to the ground. The bottles don’t shatter, they bounce on the grass and tumble to the side but he doesn’t really notice it, his eyes occupied with something… someone else.
He stands there in the middle of the lawn, slightly swaying on his feet because it hits him then, hits him with the power of thousands of suns. It’s like he’s sucked up into vertigo, his head spinning so much.
It’s possible he miscalculated some things.
Namely his feelings.
It’s strange that’s what it is but Steve's too shaken off of his axis to really consider what the hell is going on. He stumbles forward ungracefully, Danny fidgets and Steve freezes in his spot blinking owlishly at him.
It’s just Danny.
Except it’s never just Danny or maybe it is because Danny became an integral part of Steve’s life at this point. He omits the part where Danny became pretty much integrated into his life since the beginning.
The soft breeze wash him over, grass tickles him in the toes and all he can do is look. He feels like laughing or crying or maybe both because his heart literally breaks all speed limits at this moment and it’s just… it’s just so ridiculous.
Except it’s not because it’s Danny.
“You know it’s funny how you and Danny tease Junior and me about being married. Did you look into the mirror?” Tani says, not really looking at him from her tablet. She flicks her wrists and taps the screen a few times. It suspiciously look like she’s playing tetris.
Steve raises his brow, “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
Tani shakes her head, her brows furrowed in annoyance, “of course you don’t.”
Danny walks out of his office then, “ready to go, babe?”
Steve glances at him, noting the impatience coming off of Danny in waves, “sure.” He nods at Tani who gives him a stink eye, he shakes his head at her.
Danny almost immediately falls into a rant about this or that, Steve’s not sure, really, too busy with avoiding the whirlwind of motion that are Danny’s hands. He puts his palm on the small of his back and pushes him forward through the door.
“Pot, kettle!” Tani shouts after them but Steve decides to ignore her.
He’s not sure why he’s remembering this now but suddenly it makes an awful lot of sense. Maybe he is an oblivious idiot after all. He hides his face in his hands for a moment, trying to will down his freight train of a heart but it doesn’t do much aside from making his knees weak for some reason. He runs his hands up and through his hair.
Danny steps forward into the Ocean, the waves washing his ankles now and he looks so relaxed and at home that it’s almost too painful to watch.
Steve can’t take his eyes away.
There’s something beautiful about it that Steve doesn’t quite have words for. He saw Danny in many situations where he could be anywhere from grumpy curmudgeon to dare he say adorable cutie. Honestly, if Danny knew he thought him adorable, he would bite Steve’s head off so he keeps that one to himself.
The point is, he saw him relaxed before, he saw him at home at Steve’s house but never quite like this.
Danny moves his hands and hides them in the pockets of his sweatpants, face turned to the last rays of the sun like a cat on a sunny day. His sweats are rolled up and his shirt, Steve’s Navy shirt because Danny borrowed it after spilling beer all over himself, nicely hugs his back. The sun glimmers in his hair making it spark with gold and Steve itches to touch, he wants to thread his fingers through this ridiculous mane, maybe rub his scalp and making Danny melt under his palm. He looks soft and pliant under the setting sun.
But what really gets to Steve is the smile.
Without the usual edges, serene and absolutely gorgeous.
He never wanted to let go of Danny, even when they had problems.
Especially not then.
But maybe, possibly, he miscalculated how much actually he wants Danny by his side, how much of Danny he really wants.
It should be embarrassing, this realization that his love for Danny runs deeper than he let himself believe originally.
Apparently, Danny was right, all along. Steve was an idiot.
He doesn’t realize he’s walking until Danny looks up at him with a quirked brow, question hiding in the corners of his eyes. Steve opens his mouth, closes it, tries to swallow around the sudden lump in his throat and tries again with a miserable result.
Danny tilts his head to the side and makes a curious noise in the back of his throat. “Steve?”
Blood thrums in Steve’s ears and his heart tries to jump out of his chest and he’s swaying again because the onslaught of emotions just overwhelms him.
Danny straightens up, his face in alarm. “Steve, what’s wrong?” He touches Steve’s elbow to steady him, terrified eyes locked onto his face.
For a second he curses Danny’s ability to go through million worse case scenarios in a span of seconds, something must show on his face though, because Danny lets out a breath and tugs him closer. “C'mere.” He envelops Steve in his arms and he all but clings to him and tucks his nose in the hollow of Danny’s throat.
For a second he’s lost in the past, not that long ago, where he told Danny that he wants a home, a family.
He chuckles because he didn’t realize his heart already had its home. “Danny, Danny, Danny.” He mumbles into the hot skin under his mouth and Danny trembles whatever from the sensitivity of his neck or Steve’s desperation hiding in his voice. Maybe both.
He loves Danny.
He laughs, hugging Danny’s closer to his chest and he relishes in the feeling of how pliant Danny is.
Of course, he loves Danny, how could he not?
I love you, he wants to say.
“Marry me.” Comes out instead. The moment the words leave his mouth he stills, tension spreading through his muscles like a tidal wave. He’s pretty sure his heart stops, too.
Danny is still and when he moves back, out of Steve’s arms, his heart all but plummets into the ocean they’re stand in.
He is an idiot.
Danny looks at him with a frown and a question ready on the tip of his tongue, because he can insist that Steve’s the one with the faces but he has his own telltales showing in the quirk of his lips or lines around his eyes.
Steve’s ready for everything now. For a laugh or a punch in the face, nothing of it happens because Danny’s eyes widen before he looks softly at Steve. “You know…” he starts and Steve gulps because he just realized he’s in love with his partner only to destroy it in the next minute.
Danny smiles, the one that’s more amusement than ire and Steve relaxes slightly because that means that Danny won’t pack his things and run away from Steve to the other end of the world. Not that he wouldn’t follow him because he would.
“After all these married jokes I sometimes entertained an idea how your proposal would go and this,” he splays his hands widely, “is not one of the many ideas I came up with.”
“You imagined me proposing to you?” Steve asks trying not to seem too hopeful.
Danny rolls his eyes, he steps from leg to leg and juts his hip to the side while he crosses his arms over his chest. The wind muses his hairs and Steve wants to trace the last gold lines, he doesn’t, too afraid to cross that thin line he found himself on.
“It’s not important right now.”
Steve begs to differ, “it’s very…” A finger jabs him in the chest and he squints down.
“It’s not,” Danny says and Steve relents under that piercing stare. “I always thought that you would, you know, propose in a gunfight or something.”
He smiles and Danny sighs dramatically. “Don’t get any ideas you goof.” He stares at Steve for a long moment before he turns his head to the side, he bites his lip and looks back at Steve. “Let’s do that.”
Steve blinks before it downs on him, “you mean— are you—is that a –“
“You know... 'I'm in love with you' would be nice before jumping straight to the proposal but it's you so I should know that you would go from zero to sixty in a matter of seconds." Danny shakes his head at Steve's afronted look. "Yes, you idiot. It's a yes.” Danny finishes for him, his voice fond, and Steve kind of maybe tackles Danny into the Ocean from the happiness that threatens to spill over.
Danny’s indignant ‘Steven!’ Is a music to his ears.
They’re in the restaurant, after a successful opening and look at that, they made it despite all the throwbacks over their road to this point. Steve’s pleasantly fatigued but he’s happy, he glances at Danny, who stares at him unimpressed. He grins wider.
“Steve when I said yes I didn’t mean for you to drag me first thing in the morning to make us, even more us right here and there,” Danny says taking a swig of beer from his bottle.
Steve walks up to him, leans on the counter and throws an arm around Danny’s shoulders, his palm resting over his partner heart. “Us even more us? Really?”
Danny raises his brow at him, he takes another sip of his beer and looks over the place. He might rant and act grumpy but Steve knows that he’s as happy as he is if the tilt of his lips is anything to go by.
“Besides didn’t want you to back out.”
Danny almost chokes, “back out— what? Steve!”
He grins pushing Danny closer to his side, “yes?”
“You’re unbelievable,” Danny says with resignation. He slumps on Steve with a deep intake of breath before he lets it out in a sigh, he’s smiling though so Steve not too worried.
He takes a sip of his own beer when he catches Danny putting aside his beer bottle and moving his hand up to inspect it. He stares at the inside of his palm and flexes his ring finger where an intricate line adores the soft skin. Identical to the one Steve has on the inside of his own finger. They’re nicely hidden from the curious eyes but telling all the same for ones who care to look.
One day they’ll get the rings, for now, it must suffice, besides Steve liked the permanent nature of these tiny tattoos.
“Do you really think, it’s a good idea not telling the team?”
Steve hums taking another sip. “Don’t you want to see how long it will take them to catch up on things?”
Danny glances at him, he squeezes Steve’s hand that lies loosely over his heart. His expression thoughtful but there’s mischief hiding in his eyes. Steve grins. “Well, we need to keep them on their toes when it comes to detective work.”
Steve nods, “exactly.”
They stay in silence sipping their beer, it’s nice and warm and everything Steve ever wanted that is until Steve’s phone rings. With a frustrated sigh, he puts down his bottle and fishes out his phone. Governor's name flashes over the screen and he moves back away from Danny, his stance rigid when he picks up. Danny moves too and it’s good to know that after all these years they’re still in tune.
“McGarrett.” He says in what Danny likes to call his Commander's voice. He goes through all kinds of scenarios, from kidnapping to murder.
Governor is silent on the other side of the line and Steve anticipates the worst. He’s glad he’s not drinking his beer anymore because he would choke to death after Governor did talk.
“You know Commander when the two of my best task force officers decide to marry off,” she pauses, “to each other no less, I would like to know that.” Her voice is serious but it’s hard to say if she’s angry or not and what it means.
Steve pales and Danny tenses beside him, ready to go and bring their guns and badges. Steve would laugh hysterically because his partner is on high alert and really from his point of view when he doesn’t hear what Governor is saying it must look really serious. The-peak-of-criminal-world-decided-to-take-vacation-in-Hawaii serious.
“Oh, crap.” Is all that comes out of Steve’s mouth. It’s a whisper, barely spoken out loud but Danny still catches on, his lips hang open in realization.
“Fuck,” Danny says and Steve nods weakly because it about sums it up.