"You miss me, don't you?" Danny had asked. He was half-serious, half-teasing. He wanted Steve to miss him. He wanted Steve to feel the disconnect that he himself felt when they weren't working alongside each other.
"Yeah, I wish you were here," Steve had answered, before adding, "but you don't swim."
Danny had made a token protest at that last part, but he'd felt a bit better at hearing the first part.
Now he was standing in the brilliant Hawaiian sunshine, waiting, like everyone else, for the one he loved to come safely off that ship. Unlike the rest of them, though, he'd heard Graham Wilson ordering Steve to his knees. He knew what that meant.
It meant that Graham had been planning to shoot Steve execution-style in the back of the head.
Danny had only been able to pray that he could get to the Missouri in time.
When they had arrived with Lily at the ship, Danny had waited anxiously until he saw a man whom he presumed to be Graham Wilson being led away in handcuffs, followed, to Danny's immense relief, by an obviously exhausted but still-in-one-piece Steve McGarrett. Steve said something to the S.W.A.T. team members holding Wilson, and they released him from his handcuffs long enough for him to say goodbye to his daughter.
That scene tugged at Danny's heartstrings, seeing that man and his little girl and knowing how painful their separation would be.
Then he looked at his partner, who looked weary and serious and just a little sad.
That was when Steve looked up and saw him. And Steve smiled.
Suddenly everything was right with Danny Williams's world.
When Steve reached him, Danny grabbed him in a hug. He knew his partner needed it. Steve didn't need to say anything.
"You okay?" Danny asked.
"Yeah," Steve sighed.
"Then why do you not look or sound okay?"
Steve shook his head. "I'm tired. That's all. It's what happens when you have someone threatening your life for four hours."
Danny hated hearing that. He hated knowing how much danger his partner had been in. "Let me take you home," he offered.
"Wait a minute. There's someone I need to check on. Come with me. You should meet him." Steve led Danny to the ambulance where the paramedics were patching up Ed.
"Ed, I'd like you to meet my partner, Danny Williams," Steve said. "Danno, this is Ed McKay. He's the one who let me out of the head."
Danny shook his hand. "Thanks for looking after my partner in there," he said.
"This is the one you were talking to on the phone?" Ed asked Steve.
Ed beckoned to Danny. "I want to talk to you for a minute. McGarrett, you go wait over there."
Steve and Danny looked at each other, then Steve went where he was told.
"Wow, he listened to you," Danny observed. "How did you do that?"
"I'm old. I knew his grandfather," Ed answered, as if that explained everything.
"So what did you want to talk to me about?" Danny asked in curiousity.
"Well, I just wanted to tell you that you have a fine man there for your partner," Ed told him, "and I want you to know that I don't care what the politicians say. I think you two should get married." He'd noticed that neither man was wearing a ring.
"Well, that could be a problem, Ed," Danny replied.
"Why? Who cares if it's not legal? Go do one of those domestic partner things or whatever the heck they call it."
"The problem is, he hasn't asked me."
Ed snorted. "So then, you ask him. What's the problem there? You love him, don't you?"
"Yeah, Ed. I do love him."
"And he loves you," Ed continued.
"Well, yeah, I guess he does," Danny said uncertainly. He really didn't know whether Steve loved him. He hoped he did, but he had no way of knowing.
"Of course he does," Ed stated. "So ask him. And invite me to the male'ana ."
"To the what now?"
"The wedding, haole."
"Yes, sir," Danny said. "Thanks again for taking care of him."
"You're welcome. You take care of him yourself, now. He needs someone to do that for him. Man takes crazy risks."
"That he does," Danny agreed as he walked away.
"What did you two talk about for so long?" Steve wanted to know when Danny rejoined him.
"You," Danny answered simply.
"Me? What about me?" Steve demanded.
"I'll tell you later. First let me take you home."
Danny figured it was a sign of how exhausted Steve was that he didn't argue.
Back at Steve's house....
"So what were you and Ed saying about me?" Steve asked as he devoured the pizza that Danny had ordered for them.
"He said you need someone to take care of you, because you take crazy risks," Danny began. "I agreed, of course. Since I'm your partner, it follows that I should be the one to take care of you."
"I do not take that many risks," Steve argued.
Ah ha. Steve was arguing. The food must have helped him get some energy back, Danny thought. "No, of course you don't. What you did today? No risk at all. Certainly not a crazy one."
"At least we proved Graham didn't murder his wife," Steve said. "What else did you talk about?"
"Oh, Ed said that you and I should get married."
Steve choked on the beer he'd been drinking. "Ed said what?"
"He said that if you don't propose to me, then I should propose to you, because I love you — which I do, by the way — and you love me."
"You.... You.... You love me?" Steve was completely stunned.
"Yeah. I think I've been in love with you for awhile now, but today.... Well, I just realized it today when I heard...." Danny took a deep breath. "I was talking to you on the phone, and then suddenly you weren't there. I heard Wilson ordering you to your knees, and from the sound of his voice.... He was so angry. I thought.... I knew he was planning to shoot you. There was nothing I could do.
"I felt so helpless, and I was so scared. That was when I realized how I feel about you. I don't want to lose you, Steve. Every time you pull one of those crazy stunts I'm afraid that this is the time your luck runs out. This is the time you don't come out squeaky clean at the end."
Steve waited until Danny had finished talking. Then he got up and walked around the table to where his partner was sitting. Danny tensed, wondering if Steve was going to hit him or throw him out.
"You won't lose me, Danno," Steve said softly before he bent and kissed Danny.
"Does this mean what I think it means?"
"It means I love you too, Danno."
"So will you marry me, then?" Danny asked.
Steve laughed. "Don't you think we should at least go on a few dates first? Maybe live together for awhile, then get married?"
"Oh, but we can't disappoint Ed. After all, he's not a young man. What is he, 80 or so?"
Steve did some mental math. "Eighty-five, I think. But don't worry about Ed. He's a tough guy. I'm sure he'll live to be at least 100."
"I'll tell him you turned down my proposal," Danny said.
"I'm sure he can live with the disappointment," Steve answered.
Danny thought for a moment. "When you're ready to get married, will you propose to me?"
Steve kissed him again. "I promise."