sirona_fics: (steve/danno whisper in your ear)
[personal profile] sirona_fics
AAHA;HG;FJGH;DKFG POSTING THIS NOW WHILE LJ IS STILL WORKING. I have so many comments to answer, I am trufax panicking it's going to cut off again! D:

ANYWAY. I know I promised to have this done for you when you woke up, darling, but -- those pesky DDOS-perpetrators, NO LOVE, YOU GUYS.

[ profile] zolac_no_miko and I have known each other now for over four years; both of us were one of the first people the other met on LJ, and that little group of us just clicked! We've stuck together through various fandoms; she dragged me kicking and screaming into White Collar, and I retaliated with Hawaii Five-0 (BOYAKA I'M SO PROUD OF THAT ONE, SHE RESISTED WOMANFULLY BUT I AM JUST TOO GOOD AT INCEPTION), and I imagine years and decades ahead of us filled with random squeeage and oodles of love, no matter the fandom involved. She is my very own SuperBeta, and my go-to flail partner, and an all-round amazing, beautiful, and squishy person of awesome. I love you, babe!

So! When I asked her what she wanted for her birthday, she hit me with this song: Momentum by Vienna Teng (sorry, there isn't a decent YouTube version), and said IS THIS NOT THE MOST PERFECT STEVE/DANNY SONG IN THE HISTORY OF EVER, and I said OMG YES ALL THESE ~FEELINGS~ WHAT DID YOU UNLEASH, and she said HERE'S THE LYRICS, WRITE ME SOMETHING ABOUT STEVE BEING IN LOVE WITH DANNY, AND DANNY BEING IN LOVE WITH STEVE AND ALKHAKGHFAKLGF BOOOOYS, and I said, YOU GOT IT, and got to writing. This story is NOTHING LIKE what I started out meaning to write, and for that credit blame credit goes to [ profile] ssw_loved, who squeed at me like a pro when I threw out a random fic idea, and said (and I quote), I THINK YOU SHOULD WRITE THAT GLORIOUS PIECE OF IDEA RIGHT THERE. BECAUSE THAT IS ONE OF THE MOST GLORIOUS THINGS I HAVE EVER HEARD, and so this story happened.

So without further ado, Happy belated Birthday, [ profile] zolac_no_miko! Thank you for being so patient while I faffed and re-wrote and panicked! ♥♥♥ Only six days late, too! /facepalm

Hold my breath against the snow
Hawaii Five-0
~3,450 words

The permanent silence of the too-empty house is shattered by the roar of an old engine catching for the first time. The sound is loud and visceral, muscling its way through rooms turned into shrines to a family long gone, rooms the house’s only occupant no longer sees when he walks through -- the furniture and decorations have not changed in eighteen years, when the housemistress had last run a loving hand over the turquoise-blue vase, or the green stained-glass candlestick. He doesn’t think about what these rooms hold, because if he does he gets overwhelmed by red splotches on off-white walls, the smell of iron and cordite and, distantly, the stench of smoke and charred metal, even though the house has never caught fire in its thirty years as a McGarrett residence.

In the garage, Steve sits back in the driver’s seat, french key still clutched in one hand. The arm he runs over his forehead to wipe off the sweat leaves a dark smudge across his skin, but he neither notices nor cares. The car rumbles happily around him; he can feel the vibrations through the shiny leather of the seat, through the floor under his flip-flops.

His phone is in his hand before he even notices he’s reached for it, slippery fingers calling up the call log and hitting re-dial. He considers the screen, thumb hovering over the End Call button -- but who else is he going to call, really? The need to share this breakthrough is trying to burst out of his chest--no. The need to share this with Danny is what’s clawing at his heart, what’s moving the arm holding his phone up to his ear in time to hear the sleepy grumble on the other side.

“Someone better be dying,” Danny slurs. “Why, why do you like to make me suffer, what did I ever do to you that you feel the need to interrupt a perfectly good dream, I was working an angle here--wait, no. What in the hell is that infernal noise? You fall into a submarine on your five-mile pre-dawn swim, I’m not coming to drag you back out.”

Steve feels momentarily guilty for waking Danny up on the one day he has to catch a few winks more than their workload allows, but it’s just so damn good to hear his voice, even when it’s only been nine hours or so since he left Steve’s house last night; he can’t even bitch about how apparently Danny never shuts up, not even when he’s barely awake.

“It’s the Marquise,” he says, is all he can say all of a sudden. His face aches -- he realises he’s grinning, can’t remember when he started, can’t seem to stop.

“Oh, hey,” Danny says in his ear, sounding marginally more awake. “You fixed it? Congratulations, babe. You--” there’s a rustle over the line, sounds like Danny scrubbing a hand over his face, catching at morning stubble as he exhales quickly, like he can’t believe what he’s about to say. “You wanna do something? Take it for a drive?”

Something’s happening to Steve’s breathing; it hurts to draw air, like his chest is too tight. He’d hoped, wanted Danny to say it, so much, even when he’d thought a snowball in hell had a better chance of happening, that when Danny does, it’s all he can do not to choke on the relief.

“Yeah,” he croaks, has to clear his throat. “Yeah, that would be great. Pick you up in half an hour?”

“Jesus, McGarrett, not all of us are superhuman. Give me at least a chance to coffee up, what are you, heartless? Make it 45 minutes.”

Steve grins even harder. “You got it,” he says, maps the route to Danny’s place in his head so he passes Danny’s favourite coffee shop down on Bishop St.

Danny hangs up without saying goodbye, but they never do -- they never have to. Steve refuses to consider a time when they might. He leaves the car running, just in case he jinxes it if he tries to turn the engine off, kicks off his flip-flops and races barefoot up the stairs and into the shower to wash off the worst of the grime. The fourth step up creaks under his feet, and the door of his bedroom always bangs against the wall when he’s in a rush. The crushing silence of waking up without a sound but the waves breaking against the shore outside his window is gone as if it’s never been, chased off by breathless anticipation and the familiar comfort of making plans. Steve squeezes his eyes closed for a moment, trying to calm his racing heart. He feels alive for the first time since he opened them this morning.


Danny’s rinsing the mug he’s just drained the last of his coffee out of when the roar outside announces Steve’s arrival. He winces when he hears a slight splutter in the regular thrum, considers the very real possibility that the car will break down and leave them stranded somewhere in a godforsaken part of the island. Pushes his feet inside his loafers and walks outside anyway.

Steve is looking so damn happy that Danny feels himself warm up all over again, basking in the sheer pleasure of his company. There’s something about this giant goofball that thaws out the walls of ice that he’d raised around himself ten months ago, as if they’ve never been. Danny doesn’t know why it’s easier to breathe around Steve, just that it is -- even when Steve’s trying to come up with new and creative ways of getting the both of them killed.

Steve’s beaming smile dims down a few hundred watts when he sees Danny walking towards him, even as he reaches for a giant cup of coffee to hand him.

“Are you serious? A shirt and tie on your day off, Danny, really? It’s like you’re trying to be insulting.”

“Hey, hey, this has nothing to do with you, you’re not that special, okay? I’d just like to be prepared, if and when we get a call that a bunch of criminals are blowing off steam again--hang on, you know what? You have just lost your right to bitch at me, polo shirt and cargoes, like you’re not in full G. I. Joe mode?”

Steve rolls his eyes and backs off the clutch, steps on the gas with enough force that when the car peels out of the driveway to Danny’s block of flats, it leaves a plume of dust in its wake. Danny clutches at the door handle and his giant cup of coffee, barely keeping from splashing it all over his shirt. The yelp that slips out of his mouth is utterly undignified, but not all that uncommon around the 6’1” hulk of muscle to his left.

“Fucking hell, McGarrett, watch it!”

Steve throws him a look out of the corner of his eye, laying the wounded innocence on thick.

“Do not even!” Danny grumbles, because while he may not be able to see the whole of Steve’s face, he can recognise the amused curl at the corner of his mouth from space.

Steve wisely keeps silent, but his shoulders are relaxed where he sprawls against the leather seat, arm in a loose curl over the steering wheel. The small smile doesn’t fade, but it morphs into simple contentment rather than amusement at Danny’s expense. They drive in silence for a little while, and it’s so comfortable, so pleasant, the morning breeze teasing at Danny’s neck as he tilts his head back to drink from the still-hot coffee, the not-yet-scorching sun playing loops over his arms as he rolls his sleeves up, the easy hum of the engine under his thighs. At this time, in this place, there is nowhere he’d rather be, nothing he’d rather do than relax in Steve’s presence -- except if maybe Grace could have been with them, but for the moment, for the first time, her absence is not the vicious, tearing pain it could have been, that it has been for the past year. Danny has the fair idea that it’s the doing of the man sitting at his side, the man who hasn’t left him alone since the first day he walked into his life and took it over, woke him up, kick-started his heart back to the land of the living.

Danny could get used to this.

They are steadily climbing up Round Top Drive, and okay, Danny is maybe a little in love with the view spreading beneath them, all sleek city and blue, blue ocean in the background -- it’s nowhere close to New Jersey, but he’d be willing to admit that it warms his heart in a way he’d been sure nowhere else would ever achieve. The windows are down, the wind cools his face beautifully, finally, “what is it with vintage cars and no A/C, huh, McGarrett, I’m not dissing your dad’s car, don’t get me wrong, it’s just stupid, wanting to drive one of these all the time -- maybe it would be okay in Jersey, where the weather has some self-control, it’s fond of variety, is all I’m saying, doesn’t have a default setting of ‘baking hot’ all year long, where driving around with no A/C wouldn’t be torture, okay, just because it’s something you’ve been taught to withstand doesn’t mean I have to go through it, I don’t care how cool this car is, it is not cool where it matters”, this is maybe the one time when he doesn’t mind the Hawai’ian weather all that much, absent-minded kvetching notwithstanding.

So, in retrospect, it makes perfect sense that it happens right then, when Danny is actually maybe ready to admit that his life is kinda okay, good, a little bit great, even; when the exhilarated grin on Steve’s face as he pushes the behemoth of a car as fast as it will go, caution be damned, makes something warm simmer gently inside him, fueled by his heart beating too fast, alive. The engine stutters a little, once, twice; he feels Steve freeze next to him, hands white-knuckled on the wheel as he pumps the clutch a few times and steps on the gas pedal; but it’s no use. The engine coughs tiredly another couple of times and stills, a flatline if Danny ever saw one. Danny’s mouth is half-open already; he’s drawing breath even as Steve jabs a finger at the emergency lights button and steers the dead lump of metal to the side, about a half-mile from the hard shoulder -- and then he takes a look at Steve’s face and sees the tightness around his eyes, the downturn to the corners of his mouth, misery and frustration and unhappiness etched into every feature. He thinks of which car they’re in right now, and exactly how long it’s been since it last saw daylight before Steve whipped the dustcover off it, and he closes his mouth again.

He doesn’t look away; he can’t, not even when the car rolls to a slow stop in the middle of the blessedly empty lane. Steve leans back, a defeated slump to his shoulders, and runs an ever-so-slightly shaking hand through his hair as his head hangs forward. He pushes open the door and jumps out like the seat’s on fire, spine ramrod-straight, looking like he’s bracing himself for the epic rant that he knows Danny’s about to unleash upon him.

Danny can’t breathe for the tightness in his chest, for wanting to reach over and run a soothing palm down that tense back; wants to slip his arms around Steve’s waist and hold on, just for a little while, until Steve knows he’s there, remembers that he’s not alone anymore.

It’s so hard to check the urge that Danny gets out of the car as well, takes a few steps away, tries to breathe in and out a couple times, tries to find his bearings.

“Well, much as I’d like to act all surprised, this isn’t completely unexpected,” he says at last, makes it as lighthearted as he can. “Against all odds, we’ve found something you’re not all that good at. More evidence in support of the theory that you are, in fact, human and not SuperSEAL, would you look at that. Might want to make a note here, McGarrett, just for future reference.”

He chances a look at Steve, notices with some relief that the tension in his stance, if not gone, is much less tightly woven than before.

“Oh, don’t start, Danny,” Steve says, but if he’s trying for irritated, it falls woefully short. Danny has to stuff his hands in his pockets to keep from touching him.

Instead, he fills his palms with the hot steel of the trunk, pushes the car up the steep hill and uses his breath for fueling his tired muscles, for once keeping that too-sharp tongue of his silent.

It doesn’t last; of course it doesn’t. In the 25 minutes it takes them to roll up to the spot where the hard shoulder widens, Danny’s tugged his tie undone and unbuttoned his shirt as far down as he feels comfortable, and Steve has shucked his overshirt and is sweating his way through the polo shirt just as fast as Danny. Danny is pissed, hot, sweaty, pissed, and whatever good intentions he has left evaporate right about the time Steve decides to cheek him, on top of everything. The only good thing that comes out of it is that Steve’s bad mood is gone, disappearing under the crankiness Danny is a pro at bringing out when he wants to be an ass, which, let’s face it, is most of the time.

So he bitches, and Steve snarks, and before they know it they’re elbow-deep in hostages and Steve blows up a pawn shop just to keep in practice, because this is Danny’s life now. In the running and chasing and fretting there’s no time to talk what happened earlier, and it’s not until the happy families are reunited, the case is done with, and darkness falls at last to cool the day down to bearable, that Danny can even think about it. When Steve drives him to his place for post-case beers and a few steaks on the grill he sees the lifeless hunk of metal in Steve’s driveway, waiting to be rolled back into the garage, to start the whole process all over again. Danny sees Steve’s eyes tighten when they fall on it, and Danny can’t, can’t stop himself from reaching over and touching the back of Steve’s hand just a little, offering silent reassurance.

The pinched look fades and Steve exhales roughly, but throws a little half-smile Danny’s way before he climbs out and waves Kono’s car back down the drive so they can park on the street this time.

After the steaks and beers are gone and Kono and Chin leave, in Kono’s car so Chin doesn’t have to drive the bike back into town, Steve wanders out the back door to stand barefoot on the decking and look out into the night. He feels the bitterness trying to swallow him again, like coffee on his tongue, and he knows that exhausted as he is, it’s unlikely that he’ll sleep tonight. The house is silent again, empty of the laughter and the talk and the simple presence of his team, and Danny didn’t even say goodnight when he walked out the door with Chin and Kono, and now Steve can feel the weight of this place press down on him all over again, nothing to distract him from the ghosts, all the stronger tonight after the way his day started, after the case and the memories it stirred.

The noise behind him is loud in the silence, so loud that Steve whips around, hand already reaching for a gun that’s back inside on the kitchen table, stupid, stupid, but then he sees Danny round the corner and his thoughts stutter in surprise.

“I thought you left,” he blurts out before he can help it.

Danny wanders closer and looks at him head-on, the open, focused gaze Steve has gotten so used to, and it’s like he can see all the way inside, like he wishes he knew what Steve was thinking; and it’s still something Steve’s not used to, this caring, this someone wanting to, needing to know he’s okay.

“Didn’t say goodnight, did I?” Danny says, and it echoes Steve’s thoughts yet twists them -- just like Danny always does, Steve can never figure him out.

Steve looks at him helplessly; he’s got nothing, after today he’s got nothing but the silence that Danny shatters with his voice, his thoughts, his complete disregard for the forbidding walls of this house, walking right in as if he belongs, unapologetic, as if by being there he’s staking a claim, too.

“Look,” Danny says, and he sounds embarrassed, unsure, like he’s asking for something Steve won’t allow. The thought is laughable and heartbreaking all at once -- there isn’t anything Steve won’t give him, nothing in his power he would not do to keep Danny in his life, there. “Look, you can tell me to fuck off, okay, but I just wanted to. It’s been a tough day, and yeah, could have been worse, but.” Danny sighs, waves an uncharacteristically questioning arm. “You want another beer?” and Steve can see there’s more that Danny wants to say by the way his eyes crease when he smiles, like it’s more a wince than a grin, like there’s something on his mind he can’t find the words for, like after all the yelling he’s done today, he’s run out of words altogether.

“Beer?” Steve repeats stupidly. He’s having trouble picking his way through the mass of signals Danny’s sending out, so he doesn’t say anything, just stands there until Danny closes the distance between them and comes to stand in front of him.

Slowly, hesitantly, Danny raises a hand and rubs at the spot between his eyebrows, smooths away the frown Steve didn’t even know he was holding on to. The thumb trails across his eyebrow, a single point of contact over his cheekbone and down to the corner of his lips where it presses gently, parts them and tugs the lower one down a little, just enough to make Steve’s breath quicken.

And still there’s that question in Danny’s eyes, like he’s expecting rejection, expecting to be told he’s mistaken, he’s read it all wrong, that Steve can’t, won’t meet him half-way, won’t let him burn down that final wall.

And Steve breaks; he gives Danny the answer the only way he can right now, with his lips and his tongue, with hands clutching into Danny’s hair, cradling his face as Steve uses his mouth to tell him in no uncertain terms that it’s Yes, has always been Yes, what is Danny, stupid? How could he not know that he’s the answer to Steve’s every question without even meaning to be, that Steve needs him more than breathing, that he’s the only one the house lets inside, relaxes and curls around like a well-loved pet, lets shatter the silence and bring it back to life -- because he’s already done it to its owner. He’s staked a place out for himself in Steve’s life and his house and his heart and dug in for the duration.

He overcomes Steve in the best way possible, in the way Steve needs without knowing, needs to stay alive. It’s scary, and overwhelming, and it terrifies Steve that he’s let someone so far inside his walls that he has no chance in hell of pushing him out again; but Danny clutches at him like he’s the answer to Danny’s every question, too, like now he has this he’ll be damned if he lets go.

Steve might be gone on Danny, but Danny’s pretty gone, too. And as he steers Danny up the stairs into his bedroom, as he kisses and bites his way down his chest like he’s wanted to do ever since this morning, as Danny arches into him and pulls him closer, Steve feels pretty good about his chances.

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