Danny Williams didn't like Hawaii very much.
When his friends in New Jersey had first heard that he was moving to the Aloha State, they'd said that they were envious. Most of them had mentioned the "sun, sand and surf." They'd told him he would have a great time living there.
Danny thought that was a load of bull.
Sun? Since he'd lived in Hawaii Danny had considered buying stock in sunscreen manufacturers. He was a blond. He burned easily.
No, Danny wasn't crazy about the sun.
Sand? Obviously the people who praised sand weren't constantly emptying it from their shoes or cleaning it out of their cars or finding it in uncomfortable places in their clothes. Sand was everywhere.
Danny wasn't crazy about sand, either.
Surf? Well, Danny could take or leave surfing. He didn't mind watching the tanned, toned bodies on their surfboards, but it wasn't something he was about to try himself. He liked to keep all his limbs intact if he could.
Surf was not a big selling point for Danny.
There were, however, some things — well, people, really — that he liked about Hawaii. Those were his daughter, Grace, and his partner, Steve McGarrett.
Not that Danny didn't find Steve annoying sometimes — well, a lot of the time. Steve could come out of the worst possible situation without a scratch on him, his clothes still perfectly clean, while Danny wound up with bullet wounds, a bum knee, and ruined clothing. Not to mention the fact that the man often seemed to be just on the verge of complete insanity.
One night at a pub, Danny, Chin and Kono (Steve had been on a date with Catherine) had started speculating about how Steve managed these seemingly superhuman feats without injury. They'd wound up making a list on a napkin.
1) Steve was part of some sort of top-secret military experiment to create a super-soldier capable of withstanding whatever the enemy could throw at him.
2) Steve was some kind of mutant.
3) Steve was an alien who'd been found in Hawaii as a baby and raised as human.
4) Steve was just damn lucky.
Danny figured that number 4 was the most likely answer, but the others couldn't be completely ruled out as possibilities.
Of course, Steve himself would probably credit his military training and great physical condition (Danny certainly wouldn't argue about the great physical condition) for his being able to remain uninjured. But Danny figured it just came down to luck, and for some reason Steve had more luck than Danny or anyone else did.
Then one day it looked like Steve's luck had run out.
It was yet another of Steve's "creative" attempts at getting a suspect to talk. He'd driven the man to edge of a cliff, a steep drop-off above rocks and the ocean. Danny didn't know what exactly Steve had been planning to do with him at the cliff. He hadn't been there because he'd been working on a different lead, and Steve had texted him to meet him there.
Danny had arrived just in time to see Steve fighting with the suspect. Before he could intervene, the two of them went over the cliff together.
Stunned, Danny ran to the cliff edge. He didn't see a sign of either Steve or the suspect. But no one could have survived that fall, not even someone with Steve's luck.
He turned away from the cliff, fighting back tears. He couldn't believe that his partner was gone. All that made life bearable for Danny in Hawaii were his daughter and his partnership with Steve. Now Steve had been taken away from him.
Suddenly he heard something. At first he thought his mind was playing tricks on him. He was hearing the sound of the surf, or gulls, or something.
No, there it was again.
Impossible. It was absolutely impossible. But with Steve's luck....
Danny lay on the ground and peered over the edge of the cliff.
A ledge. There was a ledge. And impossibly, Steve was on it.
"Hang on!" Danny yelled. "I'll get a rope!"
Fortunately, Danny did indeed have rope in his trunk. It was a miracle that it was long enough. Probably more of Steve's luck, Danny thought. The man had horseshoes up his butt.
When Steve was safe and sound, he grinned at Danny and said, "Thanks, partner."
Danny just stood and stared at him for a moment before grabbing him in a bear hug.
Seeming to understand what his partner was going through, Steve accepted the embrace and patted Danny reassuringly on the back. "Hey, it's okay," he said. "I'm okay. I'm right here. You saved me, Danno."
That was when Danny kissed him. He hadn't been intending to kiss Steve. Just a moment ago the idea of kissing his partner had probably been the furthest thing from his mind. But sometimes his body overruled his mind, and this was one of those times.
Steve didn't fight him, but he didn't respond, either. Danny came to his senses and backed away.
"I'm sorry," Danny said. "I shouldn't have done that. I was just.... I thought you were dead."
"You thought I was dead, so you kissed me?" Steve asked, sounding slightly bewildered.
"Forget it," Danny sighed. "Just forget everything that's happened. We have to find that guy you were fighting with — find his body, I guess."
Steve looked at him sideways but agreed, and they found a small, narrow trail leading down the cliff. A few times Danny slipped, and Steve caught him before he stumbled over the edge of the path. When they got to the bottom they discovered that the tide was in, so there was no beach, nowhere to look for a body. They gave up looking and called search & rescue.
On the drive back to Five-0 headquarters Danny was grateful that he and Steve were in separate vehicles. He didn't want to even try to explain why he'd kissed his partner. He was relieved that today was Friday; he could spend the weekend with Grace and attempt to forget about what had happened with Steve for a couple of days.
When he explained to Chin Ho and Kono what had happened, Steve told them how he had just intended to scare the suspect but had accidentally slipped and fallen off the cliff and had grabbed the man to try to stop himself from falling. He said that he had somehow managed to land on a ledge, but that he had no idea what had happened to the suspect.
"Luckily for me, Danny was there with a rope when I needed him," Steve added. "I owe him my life."
Danny demurred, saying that with Steve's luck, an angel would have appeared and levitated him right off that ledge and back to solid ground.
He was grateful that Steve didn't mention the kiss. The kiss that Danny wished he could forget.
He enjoyed his weekend with Grace, as he always did, but he still didn't forget what had happened with Steve at the edge of the cliff. For one thing, Grace kept asking about him. She'd met Steve a few times, and sometimes Danny thought Grace had as much of a crush on Steve as he did.
Everything made Danny think of Steve, think of holding Steve, think of kissing Steve. There was a song on the radio that went "I kissed a girl, and I liked it." Danny mentally changed it to "I kissed a guy, and I liked it." I kissed my partner, and I liked it, he thought.
He also couldn't get rid of the mental image of Steve going over the edge of that cliff.
Danny decided that he was thoroughly screwed.
Sunday night came too soon. Grace went back to Rachel and Step-Stan. Tomorrow Danny would go back to work, and Steve would be there.
Then there was a knock at the door. It was Steve, almost as if Danny's thoughts had summoned him.
Danny was immediately on the alert, assuming that Steve's visit was work-related. "Is something wrong?"
"I need to talk to you," Steve answered.
Oh, shit. Steve wanted to talk. Great. Well, he couldn't leave his partner standing there in the doorway, or he'd probably start the talk right there. Danny didn't want his neighbours to hear whatever it was Steve had to say, so he stepped aside and let him in.
"What do you want to talk about?" Danny asked, though he already knew.
"You kissed me," Steve began.
Not like he'd been able to forget that. "Yes, I am aware of that."
"I can't stop thinking about it," Steve continued.
Well, that makes two of us, Danny thought. "Okay," he said. "And?"
Steve grabbed Danny and kissed him. "And ever since then, this is all I can think about. Kissing you." Then, as if to underscore this point, he kissed Danny again.
Whoa. Whoa. Whoa. Was this really happening? Why was this happening? Why was Steve kissing him?
"Er, Steve, why are you kissing me?"
"You kissed me first," Steve pointed out.
"Yes, yes, I did. But when I kissed you, nothing happened. You didn't return the kiss. Why are you suddenly here now, kissing me?"
Steve groaned. "I was surprised. I wasn't expecting you to kiss me. Admittedly, you'd just pulled me off the side of a cliff that I'd been expecting to fall from at any minute, so I was a bit preoccupied at the time. But after everything was over, I kept thinking about it. I realized that I liked you kissing me, and I wanted it to happen again. That's why I came over."
The reminder of how close he had come to losing his partner made Danny feel cold all over and just slightly sick.
Noticing the change, Steve was alarmed. "Hey, Danno, are you okay?" He put an arm around Danny and drew him close.
"I saw you go over that cliff," Danny said. "I thought you were dead. The idea of something happening to you scares me more than I like to think about."
"Nothing is going to happen to me," Steve answered.
"You're kidding, right? What do you think happened to you on Friday?"
"Nothing happened to me on Friday, because you were there." Steve sounded way too casual about this.
Danny stared at his partner. "Let me get this straight," he said. "You fell over a cliff, you could have died, and you call that 'nothing'."
Steve shrugged. "I landed on a ledge, and you rescued me. I wasn't even hurt. So yeah, I call that nothing."
Danny rolled his eyes. "This is why I worry about you, partner. You do all these massively insane things, and...." His words were cut off by another kiss from Steve.
While Danny normally enjoyed arguing with Steve, strange as that sounded, he enjoyed kissing Steve even more. They would pick up this argument another time, but now it was time for kissing.
"Have you really been thinking about kissing me?" Danny asked when they came up for air.
"Oh yeah, and about a lot of other things, too."
"Other things like what?"
"Where's the bedroom?" Steve asked. "I'll show you what."
Danny pointed. Steve took his hand and led him to the bed.
"Hey, before we go any further," Danny interrupted, "have you done this before — with a guy, I mean?"
"A few times," Steve answered. "In the Navy. 'Don't ask, don't tell' notwithstanding."
"As long as one of us knows what we're doing."
Steve demonstrated that he knew very well what he was doing.