Late on Christmas Day, after Grace had gone back to her mother's house and Chin and Kono had gone to some family get-together, Steve and Danny sat in Danny's now quiet apartment with beers in hand.

"Danny," Steve said suddenly. "I have to tell you something."

Danny looked at him quizzically. "What, is it true confession time or something? You got some deep, dark secret you need to tell me?"

Steve scowled. "I'm serious, Danny."

"Okay," Danny said. "Tell me."

"What happened yesterday got me thinking," he started.

"Thinking about what? About how you're going to explain to HPD what happened to their $10 million?" Danny asked.

Another scowl from Steve. "I was trying to not think about that, actually."

"Sorry," Danny apologized. "Go on with what you were saying."

"If that bomb had gone off while I was fighting with Victor, I'd have lost both Chin Ho and you, just like that." He snapped his fingers.

"Believe me, I am very much aware of what could have happened," Danny commented. "But it's over."

"I know," Steve said, "but I can't stop thinking about it."

Danny reached over and lay a hand on Steve's shoulder. "Don't ruin your Christmas by thinking about it, partner. Look at me. I'm here. Chin was here just a little while ago. We're all safe and sound."

Steve put his hand over Danny's. "There's something else I've been thinking about lately, and what happened with the bomb made it all come together. If that bomb had gone off, losing Chin Ho would have been horrible. Devastating. But losing you.... That would have been even worse."

"I'm not getting what you're trying to say here, babe."

"Why do you call me that?" Steve asked suddenly.

Danny shrugged. "Why do I call you 'babe'? The same reason you call me Danno sometimes, I guess. It's a term of endearment."

"Why do we use terms of endearment with each other?"

Another shrug from Danny. "Because we're friends. It just seems natural, somehow. But what does this have to do with what you were trying to tell me? It sounded important."

Steve took a deep breath. "What I'm trying to say is that I love you, Danno."

A broad grin appeared across Danny's face. "That might very well be the best Christmas present I've ever received. Well, that and the really cool bike my folks gave me when I was nine."

Steve groaned. "Danny...."

Danny got up, put his arms around Steve, and kissed him. "I love you too, babe. Merry Christmas."