Rachel was in the kitchen finishing up last minute dishes, Steve going in and out through the doorway and into the dining room with different food items. Danny and Stan were both in the dining room, the former pacing back and forth across the room. He was nervous, his baby girl was bringing home the boyfriend, some kid named Carter. She said she wanted to do the family introductions once, says Carter would probably have a heart attack at seventeen if should he have to do this whole meeting the family thing twice. Danny didn't like him already. They'd gone on one or two dates while Grace had been at her mother's. His ex hadn't insisted either times to meet this boy and he hadn't made a point of introducing himself. Even more reason to not like the punk.
The SEAL came through with the last dish, Rachel following, "thank you, Steven." She stopped short of where the detective was traveling in his pacing, a disapproving look settling on her face, "Daniel, honestly. You'll wear out the flooring at this rate."
He stopped, looked long and hard at his ex wife before informing her that he could spend all night doing so if he so pleased, his daughter, their daughter, was bringing home a boy. Boys are evil. An evil boy that she's been dating and hasn't had the courage to come say hello before now. Rachel sighed and looked over at Steve, they shared a look of exasperation and Danny found himself throwing his hands in the air because what is his life? His wife and partner were in cahoots.
Thankfully it was just the five of them and Grace's new boyfriend tonight, Charlie was spending the night at a friend's house. One less child to worry about for the evening when one child was bringing home her first boyfriend. The punk.
Midway through what must have been his thousandth trek across the dining room the bell rang, the two arriving from a football game, and Rachel excused herself. Steve stepped up to him, hand settling on his lower beck for a comforting minute, "breathe Danno, it's going to be just fine." The shorter man nodded before taking a seat at the table, Steve following his lead and sitting across from Stan.
"You know, I still think Steve should have been sitting in the parlor cleaning his guns waiting for them to get here," the detective looked surprised as his head turned to Stan. He hadn't expected that from the man. The other man shrugged, "she's mine too." Like it was a simple fact of like and maybe it was. Suddenly Danny was glad for the man, his interest in his daughter's well being a strike in the Stan pros column, Rachel definitely could've done worse.
The men chatted about random things, anything to calm the nerves while they waited. They didn't wait too long before Rachel entered, knocking on the wall next to the door way to grab the men's attention. She smiled and came in, sitting next to Stan. Sitting up straighter Danny could see his daughter's back just barely in view from where he was and suddenly everything was happening too soon and not soon enough at the same time. Wanting it to be over but also not wanting it to happen, didn't want to admit that his little monkey was growing up into a young woman.
Grace stepped into the room, shy smile on her face as she spoke to her parents sitting in the room, "I'd like you all to meet Carter." They waited for a few moments and more passed by before Grace sighed and stepped back into the hall and pulling.
The sight before him was not what Danny'd been suspecting, not standing there was a teenage boy. Instead there stood another girl, not quite a head taller than his own child, and she looked terrified. She clung to Grace's hand as if it were a life line, maybe it was at the moment, and Grace squeezed back and gave her a smile.
"Guys, this is Carter. Carter this is my mom Rachel, whom you met. That's my Step-Stan next to her. Then you have my Danno and my Uncle Steve," she finished up with a grin.
Steve was the first to stand and greet the teen with an offered hand, Danny and Stan following just behind, "Nice to meet you." Steve had that lopsided smile on his face that makes Danny want to grab hold of him and never let go.
Up next was Danny, "hello," she took his hand, surprisingly firm before giving a shy "hi" back. Danny looked over at his daughter and gave her a playful wink, "glad to see you took my advice to heart that boys are inherently evil and you stayed away."
"Daaaaad," she whined, her ears turning red in embarrassment. Glad to see he was doing his job well, he'd have to see if Rachel had any of the photo albums of when Grave was little. He pulled Grace in under his arm and popped a kiss on the top of her head, "love you monkey." "Love you too Danno."
Danny turned his attention back on their guest who had just shaken hands with Stan and was watching them with a deer in the headlights look, Danny's grin mortfed into a warm and welcoming smile, "it really is nice to meet you, Carter. Please, have a seat."
The night turned out well after the first few awkward minutes, said she hadn't known how well it would go over, their daughter dating another girl. Apparently she hadn't thought there was anything more to Danny and Steve's partnership than friendship and a work partnership. Didn't know that Uncle Steve was more like Step-Steve. Hadn't known how this dinner would go over with Grace outing their relationship even with the reassurance of Grace saying it would all be just fine.
She told them about how she surfed every spare second she had, she was a B average student, she likes to read. She told them how she always looked forward to reading articles about the latest case Five-0 solved, looked forward to seeing it plastered all over the news. Told them about how she wanted to be an officer like her dad had been. She lost him when she was six, her mom and aunt raising her and telling her all about what a good man he was, a good cop. She wants to make him proud.
After dinner they moved to the living room where Danny was pleased to see old albums getting cracked open and he and Rachel told stories about Gracie growing up much to her dismay. Steve and Stan found themselves laughing, listening to Rachel and Danny trade stories, each of the two men chiming in with stories of their own. Told the story of Danny saying he was banned from Grace runs after he'd left her standing on a sidewalk during one of their morning runs to chase down his car. It turned into a discussion about Steve being clinically insane and all the crap he does to give Danny a heart attack.
The girls spent the evening sitting together, hands laced together. Something that happened when Carter became more comfortable amongst the family, her shyness having been replaced by laughter and smiles. Danny found himself looking forward to the next time he'd have both girls around and offered her a ride home afterwards.