It was two weeks before Valentine's Day when the first chocolate appeared on Steve McGarrett's desk. With everything that had happened around Mary's kidnapping, he decided it was better to be safe than sorry, and he sent it to the lab.
When the lab results came back, they said that it was a completely ordinary, non-poisoned piece of chocolate.
Another heart-shaped piece of chocolate arrived the next day. This time there was a note attached: It isn't poisoned.
He sent that one to the lab, too. Again, no poison was found.
When the third one arrived, he thought that maybe the first two had been sent to lull him into a false sense of security.
He was met at the lab by one of the cute lab techs that he'd been trying to flirt with for the last month or so. She informed him that they were really very busy, and that Steve's mysterious chocolates were not going to be a high priority. But she took the chocolate from him and said she'd get around to testing it — eventually.
By the time the fourth chocolate showed up on Steve's desk, he decided to just go ahead and eat the damn thing. It turned out to be very high-quality chocolate. It was good. But all day he kept wondering if he was going to suddenly collapse or start throwing up or break out in hives or something.
Danny noticed this behaviour. "What's wrong with you today?" he asked.
Immediately defensive, Steve asked, "What do you mean, what's wrong?" But he was also on the alert: had Danny noticed some symptom that he himself had missed?
"I mean, you're acting weird. Well, weirder than usual. You keep checking your pulse, looking in the mirror, rubbing your stomach.... You sick or something?"
Steve denied any illness, but he did tell Danny about the chocolates.
"You got a secret admirer?" Danny teased.
Trying not to blush — after all, SEALS do not blush — Steve admitted that he didn't know who or where the candies had come from.
"So you ate them without knowing where they came from?"
"I sent the first two — no, three — to the lab," Steve protested. "They didn't find anything wrong. So I figured this one would be safe, but I'm still a little nervous."
"Believe it or not, I know a few things about poison," Danny said cheerfully. "I worked a poisoning case in Jersey a few years ago. How long ago did you eat the chocolate?"
"A few hours ago," Steve said with a shrug.
"Then you're probably safe. Most poisons that aren't cumulative — meaning that you have to be exposed repeatedly — work pretty quickly. If you were going to die, you'd be dead by now. Got any idea how the chocolates got into your office?"
"I have no idea," Steve said. "I just realized that whoever delivered them has to have access to my office. Not a lot of people have that."
"I guess that means your admirer must be either someone who works in the building, or a Ninja." Danny looked at the time. "Anyway, I have to go pick up Grace. See you tomorrow, if you haven't dropped dead from poisoned chocolates."
The next morning Steve found not chocolate, but a candy heart on his desk, with the inscription, "Be mine." He didn't bother taking it to the lab, but he didn't eat it, either.
When Danny walked into Steve's office he saw the candy. "No chocolate today?" he asked.
"I guess my secret admirer is changing tactics."
"I thought only school kids exchanged those little candy hearts. Grace brought some home yesterday," Danny commented.
"Does Grace have a secret admirer, too?" Steve asked.
Danny laughed. "No, but I think some little boy in her class has a crush on her. He keeps telling her wild stories about beating up sharks with boogie boards. I think he's trying to impress her. How did you impress girls when you were a kid?"
"Surfing," Steve replied. "I was a pretty big show-off on my board, at least until I left Hawaii. What about you?"
"I was too shy to try to impress girls," Danny answered.
Steve picked up the candy heart. "I wonder if you can get fingerprints off these things."
Danny took it from him. "Even if you could, which I doubt, we've both handled it by now. Besides, it's probably too small."
The team was away from the palace for most of the day. When they got back, there was another candy on Steve's desk. This one said, "Lover boy."
"Did you get another one?" Danny asked, walking into Steve's office. He sat on the edge of the desk and picked up the candy. "Lover boy," he read. "Any new ideas as to how it got here?"
"None," Steve replied. "I've asked around, but there are so many people who work in this building, no one can say for sure who came in to this specific part of it."
"Well, today's Friday," Danny observed. "Monday makes it a week till Valentine's Day. Maybe whoever it is will reveal themselves then."
"Whoever it is, I hope she's cute, I wonder if I could set up some sort of hidden camera, maybe a web cam, in here, to catch whoever it is."
"You could ask the Governor, I guess," Danny said. "But do you really think she'd give you permission — or the money — just to catch someone who's leaving candy on your desk? It's not like they're leaving explosives or anything dangerous."
"You're probably right," Steve sighed.
"You're really letting this get to you," Danny observed. "Why?"
"I don't know. I guess I don't like mysteries. I'm not a detective."
"That much is fairly obvious."
Steve ignored Danny's comment. "I don't like looking for evidence, reading clues, that kind of thing. I like action. I don't like to beat around the bush. I like directness."
"Well, Action Man, it's Friday. It's the weekend. Let's go have a beer and forget about chocolates and candy hearts for awhile."
This sounded like a good idea to Steve, and he was happy to have a beer with Danny, though he couldn't completely forget his mysterious gifts.
He tried not to obsess about it over the weekend, but he couldn't stop thinking about it entirely. He found that he was looking forward to seeing what surprises his secret admirer would come up with next.
On Monday morning Steve was eager to get to work and see what, if anything, was on his desk, but he tried to take his time and not arrive too early, for fear his admirer would see him and not leave anything. When he did arrive, he was a bit disappointed to see just another candy heart, this one saying, "My man."
He mentioned it to Danny when his partner arrived that morning. "Just a heart. I thought she would have come up with something else by now."
"How do you know it's a she?" Danny asked.
That thought hadn't occurred to Steve. "I don't," he mused. "I guess I just thought that if I had an admirer, it would be a female one. I also kind of thought that this kind of thing — the hearts and candy — were the type of stuff a woman would do."
"What would you do if your secret admirer turned out to be a guy?"
"I don't know," Steve admitted. "Depends on the guy, I guess. I'd probably just say that I was flattered but not interested."
"You wouldn't beat him up or anything like that?"
"Beat him up? No! In spite of the names you call me, I am not a Neanderthal," Steve insisted. He was hurt that Danny would think he'd do something like that. Danny's opinion had become important to him in the months that they'd worked together. Danny himself had become important to him in the months that they'd worked together.
Some of his feelings must have shown on his face, because Danny quickly backtracked. "Hey, I didn't mean to insult you. It's just hard to know sometimes what a guy will do in that kind of situation. I've worked a few cases where what they call the 'homosexual panic defence' was used."
"What's a homosexual panic defence?" Steve asked.
"It's when a guy beats up or murders another guy and says he did it because the other guy made a pass at him, and he panicked."
"Wow," Steve said. "I think that should be called the 'insecure in his sexuality' defence."
Just then their phones beeped at the same time. A case to work on. They headed out.
During their time working on the case, Steve saved Danny from being shot, taking out a gunman who had gotten the drop on his partner, to the great relief of both of them. Steve often wondered what he'd do if something happened to Danny. He didn't want to find out, so he kept a close eye on him when they were working on cases.
When things had been wrapped up and he was back in his office, Steve found a CD sitting on his desk. He slipped it into his computer, and a Sarah McLachlan song started to play. It was about being in love with someone that you see all the time and not being able to tell them.
"I forgot to tell you I love you
And the night's too long
And cold here without you
I grieve in my condition
For I cannot find the words to say
I need you so."
Steve wondered if the song lyrics explained his admirer's use of the conversation hearts. Maybe they didn't know how to express themselves. Maybe they couldn't find the right words to say. He knew what that was like himself. It was why he'd never said anything to Danny about his own feelings. Well, that and the fact that Danny had never shown any signs of liking men.
The next morning Steve was very curious and just a little excited to see what was waiting for him in his office. He arrived to find a Lego mini-figure on his desk. The little toy person was a Navy SEAL. The toy was accompanied by a candy heart that said "My hero."
The combination of the toy and the heart made him laugh, but now he was even more curious. Obviously whoever had sent this knew that Steve was a SEAL. He briefly wondered if Catherine had done it, but she was in the Persian Gulf. She could have had someone do it for her, but the Sarah McLachlan song didn't sound like something she would say. The song made it sound like the admirer was someone much closer.
Danny came in and saw the items on the desk. "What have you got today? Is that a SEAL?"
"Yeah, it's a SEAL. Can you believe it? And look at what the heart says."
"My hero," Danny read. "So what does this tell us about who sent it?"
"Are you being a detective again?" Steve sighed.
"Why yes, I am being a detective. You know what it says on my badge? 'Detective Danny Williams.' That is what I do — unlike you, who runs around dropping people in shark cages and dangling them off buildings."
"Are you ever going to shut up about that?" Steve asked him.
"Okay. Just so we're clear. So what do you think these items say about my secret admirer?"
"The toy says that whoever it is knows that you're a SEAL. The saying on the heart makes me think that it might be someone you've helped, maybe someone whose life you've saved."
Steve thought for a minute. "That makes sense," he said. "I guess I could go over previous cases and find out what people are doing. Say, could you...?"
"No," Danny said immediately. "It's your secret admirer. You can do your own detective work."
"But you're the detective," Steve protested.
"And you are the one with the secret admirer," Danny pointed out. "You do know how to use a computer, right? I mean, they taught you that at SEAL school or in the Boy Scouts or whatever. And when I say 'use a computer,' I mean for purposes other than playing Ms. Pac-Man."
"Yes, I know how to use a computer."
"Good. Then you use the computer to read the files on the cases we've worked on. You use the computer to look up the current locations of people we've helped. Maybe you even use the telephone to call a couple of them and find out how they're doing, what they're up to.
"Don't say you're looking for your secret admirer," Danny quickly added when it looked like Steve was about to say something. "But you could say something like you just want to know how they're doing these days, say you're doing some kind of follow-up or something. Have fun."
Steve spent the rest of the day looking through old case files. He spoke to some of the people that Five-0 had helped, but at the end of the day he was no closer to discovering the identify of his secret admirer.
Wednesday morning Steve found another CD on his desk, accompanied by a single red rose. As he had done with the last one, he immediately put the CD into his computer.
"Boy, you should know that
I got you on my mind
Your secret admirer
I've been watching you
"Boy, you've got all I need
From what I see
And boy every night
I am constantly thinking of you."
Wow. It seemed that his admirer had actually found a "secret admirer" song for him. The candy heart that accompanied his latest gift said simply, "Love you."
Eager to share his latest discovery, Steve looked around for Danny, only to be disappointed. Danny had to go to court today, he remembered. He probably wouldn't be in at all.
His partner's absence put Steve in a foul mood. He hadn't told Chin Ho or Kono about the 'secret admirer' messages, and he wasn't going to. Danny was the only one he trusted with that secret, unless he counted the lab techs who had tested the chocolates. Not having Danny around was like having a piece of himself missing.
After working on paperwork for most of the day, he told his teammates that he was going out to get some fresh air and apologized for his bad mood. He was pretty sure they were happy to see him go. He headed for the courthouse.
Danny was just finishing up when Steve arrived, and Steve met him as he was walking out of the courtroom.
"Is something wrong?" Danny asked as soon as he saw him.
"No, no, nothing," Steve said, regretting his impulsiveness. He should have realized that Danny would think there was an emergency if Steve showed up at the courthouse unexpectedly.
"Then what's going on?" Danny asked. "Why are you here?"
"I missed you," Steve blurted. He couldn't read the expression that crossed Danny's face when he said that.
"Did you get another present from your secret admirer?" Danny wanted to know.
"Yeah. Let me buy you a Longboard, and I'll tell you about it." He turned to head out of the courthouse, but Danny stopped him.
"Show me your money," Danny ordered.
Steve opened his wallet. "Satisfied?"
Danny was indeed satisfied, and they headed to the bar.
As they talked, Steve realized that Danny was almost as excited about Steve's admirer as Steve was himself. He supposed that was what made Danny a good detective: his curiosity. He wanted to know the answers.
Steve shared with Danny his concern that once the identity of his secret admirer was revealed, it would be a letdown. He was afraid he'd built up an ideal mental picture of whoever was leaving him these mystery gifts, and that the actual person could not possibly live up to his expectations.
Danny suddenly thought of something. "Why didn't you try to fingerprint the CD cases?"
"Yes, remember how you were considering trying to fingerprint the candy hearts, but we decided they were too small? Well, you got two CDs from him or her. Why didn't you try to fingerprint them?"
Steve thought about that for a minute. "I didn't want to," he finally admitted. "There's probably not much chance that whoever it was would have fingerprints on record anyway, but I'm actually kind of enjoying the mystery now."
"Enjoying the mystery. Somehow those are words I never thought I'd hear you say," Danny commented. "So I guess you have one more day till you find out your admirer's secret identity."
"One more day plus the weekend," Steve reminded him.
"You don't think they'll contact you at home, do you?"
"No, I don't think so. It's all been at work so far, so I assume whoever it is doesn't know where I live or has some other reason for not contacting me at home."
The two of them still had to go to work the next day, so they didn't spend long at the bar before going their separate ways.
On Friday morning Steve found no candy on his desk. Instead, there was a single red rose, and that was all. He knew that specific rose colours and arrangements had specific meanings, so he quickly Googled "meanings of rose colours."
One single red rose meant "true love."
Before he could show Danny the rose, Kono walked into his office. "Wow, Boss, who gave you the rose?" she asked.
"I don't know," Steve answered, embarrassed. "It was here when I arrived this morning."
"Do you have a secret admirer?"
Steve shrugged and tried to sound nonchalant. "I guess."
Kono grinned. "How romantic!" she said with a sigh.
"Did you have a reason for coming in here?" Steve asked, hoping to change the subject.
Kono immediately started talking about their latest case, and Steve didn't have to discuss his secret admirer anymore, much to his relief.
When Danny finally arrived, he came straight to Steve's office. It seemed as if he were as excited by Steve's admirer as Steve was.
"Is that your admirer's latest offering?" Danny asked, indicating the rose.
"Yeah. No candy this time. No music. Just the rose."
"What does it mean?"
"It means true love," Steve told him. "Whoever he or she is, they're getting serious."
"As opposed to not being serious before?" Danny asked sarcastically.
"I guess I wasn't taking the toys and candy as seriously as my admirer meant them," Steve admitted. "But this rose really means something."
They were prevented from discussing it any further by the arrival of Kono, who reminded them that they had work to do.
Their latest case kept them busy all of Friday and into the wee hours of Saturday. When they were done, all of them were exhausted. At least the work had kept Steve from obsessing over his secret admirer.
As Steve and Danny parted ways at Iolani Palace, Danny said, "Good luck on Monday."
Steve didn't think that luck had anything to do with it, but he accepted Danny's wish of luck and headed home to collapse in bed. In spite of his exhaustion, though, he didn't sleep that well. He was consumed by thoughts of who his secret admirer could be. He wanted it to be Danny, but there was no chance of that.
When he finally rolled out of bed on Saturday, Steve realized that he was not going to be able to sit still or relax. He was just too preoccupied with wondering what would happen on Monday.
He called Danny. "Do you have Grace today?" he asked.
"Of course," Danny answered. "Why?"
"Want to go out for shave ice?"
"Why, do you have some reason you need to talk to Kamekona or something?"
"No, nothing like that. I'm just.... Hell, I can't stay home all day wondering who my secret admirer is going to be. I need to go out, to do something."
"Hang on a minute." Steve could hear Danny talking to Grace in the background. "Shave ice it is."
They wound up going out for not only shave ice, but also malasadas and coco puffs. "You're spoiling my daughter," Danny grumbled good-naturedly.
"I'm sorry," Steve apologized insincerely.
"No, you're not. So what do you want to do tomorrow?"
"I assume that tomorrow you are going to be just as preoccupied, if not more so," Danny said. "So what do you want to do to keep your mind off your secret friend?"
Steve thought about his options, then he turned to Grace. "How would you like to go to the zoo tomorrow, Grace?"
"Can we? Can we go to the zoo?" Grace turned to Danny. "Daddy?"
"All right," Danny said. "We can go to the zoo." To Steve he said, "Definitely spoiling her."
That night when Steve went to bed he still thought about his secret admirer, but his main thoughts were about spending the next day with Danny and Grace. Once again he wished that Danny could be his secret admirer, because he knew that no one could compete with his feelings for his partner.
On Sunday morning Steve was up bright and early, and instead of waiting until the afternoon, which was the time he had arranged to meet Danny and Grace at the zoo, he headed straight over to Danny's place.
He was met by a slightly grumpy Danny. "I thought we were meeting this afternoon."
"I decided to take you out for breakfast," Steve answered. "Grace, you want to go out for pancakes?"
Grace's answer was definitely enthusiastic. "You cheated," Danny grumbled.
Steve stretched out their day together as much as possible, but eventually they had to take Grace back to Rachel and Step-Stan. Grace gave Steve a hug goodbye and thanked him for the trip to the zoo and all the food he'd bought.
When Steve was taking Danny home, Danny again brought up the topic of the secret admirer. "Are you going to be able to sleep at all tonight?"
"I doubt it," Steve sighed.
"This is really getting to you," Danny observed.
"I know. It's stupid. I mean, for all I know it could be some dumb practical joke. I've never had a secret admirer before. It's been fun, but there isn't really anyone I'm interested in at work, so whoever it is, is bound to be disappointed that they've gone to so much effort for nothing."
Danny seemed lost in thought for awhile. Just as they arrived at his apartment, he said, "Turn around."
"Turn around. We're going to the office. I have something to show you."
He didn't know what Danny could possibly have to show him that couldn't wait until the next morning, but Steve did as his partner asked and drove them to Iolani Palace.
When they walked into Five-0 headquarters, Danny indicated Steve's office. "In there, on your desk."
Steve walked into his office and found that his Navy SEAL figurine had been joined by another one, this one wearing a police uniform. The two figures were holding hands, or as close as the figures could get, and they were surrounded by more candy hearts and miniature roses. There was also another CD.
"Wait a minute...." A Navy SEAL and a police officer? It couldn't be — could it? He turned on his computer and put the CD in. The song was Dr. Hook's "Sexy Eyes."
"That's our song," said Danny from behind him.
Steve almost jumped. "Danny.... This was you? You're my secret admirer?"
Danny put up his hands. "I confess," he said. "You were supposed to find these tomorrow, but after the way you've been acting this weekend I decided to tell you before you lost another night's sleep."
"When did you do this?"
"I snuck back in here on Saturday morning. Grace helped me do it. She thought it was fun to set up the toys and candies, and I suspect she's turning into a fan of Dr. Hook."
Completely dumbfounded, Steve could only stand there and stare at his partner. He could hardly believe that this was happening. He'd been wishing that Danny would be his secret admirer, and now it had actually happened.
"I guess now is when you tell me that you're flattered but not interested," Danny said.
No! He couldn't let Danny think that. Steve moved forward and took Danny in his arms. "I'm interested, all right. I'm very interested." He felt Danny relax.
"Thank God," Danny said. "After you said that you wouldn't be interested if your secret admirer was male, I almost stopped the game right there and then."
"I said it depended who it was, remember?"
Danny nodded. "That was why I kept doing it. You gave me just a little bit of hope that I wasn't on the completely wrong track."
"But why did you make it a game? Why didn't you just come right out and tell me?"
"I wanted to kind of feel you out first," Danny answered. "I wanted to pique your curiosity and get you interested, and then see how you reacted when I brought up the possibility that your secret admirer could be a guy. And, well, I kind of wanted to do something romantic for Valentine's Day." He looked into Steve's eyes. "So are you going to kiss me, or what?"
Steve kissed him. "Happy Valentine's Day, partner."
Danny kissed him back. "Happy Valentine's Day to you, too."
"I think you and I are going to call in sick tomorrow," Steve announced.
"We can do that?"
"I'm the boss. What I say, goes." Then he kissed Danny again. He couldn't keep his hands off his new lover.
"I think we should take this to your place — Boss."
"I agree." Steve grabbed his keys and was just about to lock up when he stopped and took Danny in his arms again. "I love you," he said.
Danny grinned. "Love you too, partner."