Word Count: 2736
Summary: Small world, similar types of partners, it was bound to happen eventually (Steve/Catherine, Kono/Catherine, Steve+Danny friendship)
"You look happy," Danny says suspiciously when Steve gets to Five-O's offices on Thursday morning. Danny tilts his head to one side, frowning at Steve, who obligingly stands still to be glared at. "You do. And you're grinning. Why are you grinning happily?"
"I'm not allowed to be happy?" Steve asks, trying to hide his grin. It probably doesn't work – Danny's got a point about him being pretty happy this morning.
"Only if you provide me with an adequate explanation for this unusual state so I can assess whether I should be wearing my vest on coffee runs or not."
"My happiness should in no way increase your chances of being shot at while running errands," Steve says, edging round Danny. They're the only two in the office – Chin and Kono spent the night on a stake-out and have presumably headed home, and Lori's back on the mainland for an old friend's wedding. "I can't promise no-one will take it into their heads to shoot you for other reasons, though."
"Are you implying that something about my person induces random people to shoot at me?"
"It's the shirts and loafers," Steve tells him solemnly, pulling up the files for their current case.
"The – professional attire, Steven. And don't think I haven't noticed that you're avoiding answering the question."
"I'm grinning happily because I'm happy and choosing to express that with a grin."
Steve can feel Danny's glare at his back changing, shifting into something softer, protective, and so he's prepared for the change in Danny's voice as well. "That's good, I guess. Is it something that's going to carry on?"
"For a few days."
"Ah," Danny says, circling round the other side of the computer table to bestow his knowing look on Steve. "Catherine's back from the other side of the world, finally. That's why you look so relaxed."
Steve cocks an eyebrow at Danny because, seriously? Much as he likes Catherine and is thrilled that she's close enough again to see her without hours on a place, he doesn't get why Danny's so continuously interested in their time together. "I thought I looked happy."
"You can be both," Danny says generously. "So she's not sticking around?"
"She's in naval intelligence, assigned to a ship. Sticking around isn't part of her job description."
"Shame," Danny says, hip checking Steve out of the way so he can get at the coffee pot on the corner of the table in flagrant disregard of Chin's rules. "We get shot at fifty per cent less when she's in town."
"You know Danny thinks you being in town increases our chances of not being shot at?" Steve asks.
Lying next to him on the sand, Catherine turns her head from watching the stars. "Is he right?"
Steve shrugs. He's never thought about it, but he supposes Danny might be. He knows he's a lot less tempted to stay late at work chasing leads until his head aches from staring at computer screens, when Catherine's in town. It's not impossible there's a connection between the two.
"I suppose it's good to know I serve a purpose in your life," Catherine says.
When Steve tips his head to look at her, she's smiling, not looking at him. She's wearing her Navy shirt, the one she's always wearing when she turns up at his door. It triggers some kind of automatic response in Steve, has for years now. He rolls up onto one elbow and leans down to kiss her.
She immediately gets her hands on him, pulling him down on top of her and into a real kiss, her lips still tasting faintly of salt from their swim earlier.
"Maybe more than one purpose," Steve says when they finally break apart.
Catherine pats him on the shoulder consolingly. "It's sweet that you think it works that way around," she tells him. "Are we done with the romantic star-gazing portion of the evening yet?"
"Depends on what comes next."
Catherine wraps one leg around Steve's waist, which is just as mind-blowingly hot as it always is – hey, he knows exactly what she can do with that much flexibility – and grinds up against him. "The part where we get naked and happy."
Steve shrugs as best he can, trying to keep a straight face. "I thought we could just cuddle."
Catherine flips him onto his back so fast he doesn't have time to react to her tensing to do it, and then she's straddling him, flicking open the buttons of her jeans with one hand. "You can cuddle if you want to. I've got other plans."
She's wearing a pair of his black boxer-briefs under her jeans, and sliding her finger under the waistband. Steve's resisted torture, but this is something else. "I was always taught to give a lady what she wants," he says.
Catherine kisses him, her tongue in his mouth an insistent message. "Then get your ass inside," she says against his mouth. "Because that's what I want."
"It doesn't count as bringing me on vacation with you," Kono tells Kalea, one elbow resting on the bar, "If you ditch me to go sleep with some surfer girl."
Kalea's laugh is bright even over the scratchy cell reception, and it makes Kono smile back. "I'm some surfer girl, baby. And you said it yourself, she's hot."
"I'm hot," Kono protests. She regrets it a moment later, when the guy two stools down gives her a once-over and a nod. She gives him her best death glare, the one that even works on Steve, and he suddenly gets very interested in his beer.
"To the winner go the spoils," Kalea teases back. "She said you could come along if you want."
A part of Kono kind of does – Kalea's not kidding about her new friend being hot – but, much as she loves cheering Kalea on, there's something about hanging out with the first and second placers in this afternoon's surf competition that makes her heart ache. Just a little, for what her life could have been like, the traumas and tragedies that she could have missed out on. "I would, but, you know, a girl's got to have her space sometimes."
Kalea laughs again. "Her space to... pick up a pretty young surfer boy? Or girl?"
"Something like that," Kono agrees. She tagged along to California with Kalea as much because they usually end up falling into bed together as because she wanted to see Kalea win. She's managed part two, but she's not quite ready to give up on part one yet. "You going back to her place?"
"She's got a van on the beach. Hotel room's your's."
"At least I won't be worrying about the local police interrupting when they see the van rocking." Kono looks up, trying to spot the bartender. Instead, she sees a woman, maybe a little older than her, tan, dark hair, watching her from the other end of the bar. When their eyes meet, the other woman gives her a little smile. Kono doesn't even think before returning it. "Gotta go, my evening just got a lot more interesting."
"Get her picture, baby, we'll compare notes in the morning," Kalea says, and hangs up before Kono can argue.
"You get stood up?" the woman asks when Kono makes her way, faux-casually, to her side of the bar.
"Something like that," Kono agrees. "You?"
"Just looking," the woman says. She eyes Kono for another minute, then holds out a hand. "Catherine."
"Kono," Kono says, and takes it.
Catherine, it turns out, isn't a cuddler, which is just fine by Kono, who likes her space. Still, it's nice to lie beside her, fingers linked, night air cool on over-heated skin, just being with someone.
"So what do you do, when you're not picking up girls in bars?" Catherine asks.
"I'm a cop."
Pretty much the last thing Kono's expecting is for Catherine to laugh, then twist so she's looking at Kono. "Not with Hawaii PD?"
"No," Kono says, uncertain whether Catherine's asking or just checking. "I work for the Governor's Task Force."
Catherine laughs again, her face scrunched up in wry amusement. "You work for Steve McGarrett," she says. "He and I were in naval intelligence together."
And this, this is why Kono should really check out the details of the people she picks up a little better. It's not even like she doesn't know this; Catherine's far from the first person she and Steve have both slept with, unknowingly. She just didn't think she needed to be so careful, this far from home. "Catherine Rollins, lieutenant," she says. "The one who does him favors and never gets dinner."
Catherine considers for a moment. "He did take me out a couple of times in Mumbai."
Kono laughs, startled into it. "I guess that counts for something."
"It doesn't bother you?" Catherine asks. "Me and Steve?"
Actually, Kono suspects it will be providing her with some rather detailed fantasy material, when the memories of their own night together have been rubbed smooth (pun intended) by use. She suspects she doesn't keep that thought of her face too well, judging by the knowing quirk of Catherin's eyebrow.
"It bother you if I tell him?" Kono asks.
"Only if you fail to get video of the look on his face," Catherine assures her.
"Hey, Boss," Kono calls as she strides into Five-O HQ on Monday morning. "Chin, Danny. Lori," she adds, reaching across the desk to fist-bump the other woman.
"Good vacation?" Lori asks.
"The best," Kono agrees. She cuts a quick glance to the guys – Danny, in particular, is looking like he wouldn't be averse to details. "Drinks tonight, assuming we're not being blown up?"
"First round's on me."
"What is this, girls' night out?" Danny asks, hands flicking between the two of them. "What happened to team, huh, what happened to bonding?"
"Hey, brah, if you want to hear about my sordid exploits with attractive women and hot surfer boys, be my guest."
"He doesn't," Chin says firmly. Danny doesn't even get as far as opening his mouth before Chin turns a glare on him.
"Apparently I don't," Danny agrees.
"Actually." Kono turns to Steve. "I met someone you know." Steve's face drops into resigned and vaguely stoic, and Kono suspects he knows more or less what she's about to say. "Catherine Rollins?"
"She's in California?" Steve asks, while Danny's blinking, making inarticulate, confused noises, and Lori's laughing neatly behind her hand. "I thought she was still in the Baltic somewhere."
"She said to give you her love, and would you pencil in dinner for November," Kono says, grinning.
"Nah, but the rest isn't suitable for public consumption."
"So, if anyone's interested, we've just got a hit on the photos from that robbery last week," Chin says cheerfully, and to her team's credit, everyone snaps their attention to the screen, Steve's and Kono's sex lives at least momentarily forgotten.
"Explain something to me," Danny says. When Steve turns his head to look at Danny, Danny's watching him carefully from the passenger seat of the Camaro. That's almost never a good sign.
"If it's about the difference between the Army and the Navy..."
"Oddly enough, it's not." Danny's intent gaze doesn't waver. "You and Catherine."
Steve cuts an incredulous look to Danny, who rolls his eyes and keeps going before Steve can say anything. "I get it. Well, I sort of get it, you're friends, you sleep together when you're in the same zip code... And now she's getting it on with Kono in California, and the two of you just-" His hands wave in a gesture that Steve can't really interpret. "Like it's something funny that happened to Kono on vacation."
"It's pretty funny," Steve points out. "The odds of Catherine and Kono even managing to run into each other must be fairly small."
"Do not get distracted by the mathematics," Danny warns. "I mean – it doesn't bother you that Catherine's sleeping with other people?"
"I'm sleeping with other people." Steve checks the street sign they're passing, but there really isn't a quicker route to their witness' place than the one they're on. Absent a sudden unexpected shoot-out, Steve's basically stuck in this conversation. "Including other people Kono's sleeping with."
"Yes, I vividly remember being in the bar with the two of you when it turned out you'd both slept with, what was his name? Jim, Jack?"
"Jonas," Steve says firmly. He makes it a rule never to sleep with anyone who shares a name with someone he's related to. "What's your point?"
"My point is, you and Catherine have known each other for, what, six years, seven? And you've got this whole favors and dinner and, I don't know, sex on the beach or whatever, thing going on. Don't you ever feel like it's time you settled down?"
"With Catherine?" Steve winces at the incredulous note he can't keep out of his voice.
"It's been years," Danny repeats, like that clarifies anything at all.
"We're not – like that." Steve finds himself making a hand gesture that reflects Danny's, and firmly puts his hand back on the wheel. "Catherine and I, we're friends, good friends, but that's it." He's pretty sure that'll be it for most of the rest of their lives; neither one of them are the settle down in a long-term relationship types, and what they've got works great for them.
"That doesn't make sense to me," Danny says frankly. "How can you not – want more?"
Steve shakes his head, unable to explain in a way that will make sense to Danny, who wants a wife and a family more than he wants anything but Grace's health and happiness.
"I mean, she makes you happy, and given the number of favors she does for you, you make her pretty happy."
"And this way, she gets to make people like Kono happy as well," Steve says, offering Danny his best smug grin.
"Huh," Danny says quietly. Then, after a moment of thoughtful silence, "You have any pictures of her?"
Steve feels completely justified in taking a sharp turn that throws Danny against the side of the car.
Catherine's not particularly surprised when her cell rings the day Kono was due back at work. She's a little surprised when the screen shows a picture of Kono, hair spread out against the pillow of her hotel room, instead of Steve. "Howzit," she says, ducking her head to hide her smile.
"You sound like a local," Kono teases, laughter in her voice. "Can I say 'hello, sailor'?"
"Not when I'm in public."
Kono laughs out loud at that. "So, I told Steve about us. He was annoyingly chilled about it."
"He usually is," Catherine agrees. Not that she's not looking forward to calling Steve and listening to him squirm. "Good day back otherwise?"
"Wishing I was still in California," Kono says, her voice dropping low and sultry. Catherine shivers, despite the heat. "You're really not back in Hawaii before November?"
"Doesn't look like it."
Kono groans. "That's months away."
"You trying to tell me you can't pick up another girl in a bar? I thought surfer girls all ran around in bikinis."
"We do. Means there's more competition."
"I'm pretty sure you could take the competition and then some."
"Rather take you."
"I could make a suggestion," Catherine offers. Kono makes a small, curious sound. "Well, I'm stuck on a ship, but you're in Hawaii, and Steve's in Hawaii..."
"You're suggesting that I start an affair with my boss, just because you're not around for me to sleep with?" Kono definitely doesn't sound as affronted as her words suggest. If anything, she sounds like she's giving it some serious consideration.
"I can provide him with a reference, if that would help."
"Hmm. What exactly would this reference cover?" Kono asks. "Reliability, time-keeping, team-work?"
"All of the above," Catherine agrees. "Rhythm, ingenuity."
"What about when you're back in town? Would it be pistols at dawn to see who gets you, or are we going to have to draw up some kind of time-share agreement?"
"Oh, I don't know." Catherine smiles, picturing Kono, smiling at her from the mussed covers of a hotel bed; picturing Steve grinning over her on the beach behind his house. "I can think of a couple of ideas."