Word Count: 2737
Summary: Grace is spending Christmas with Danny this year, and Mary wants to come home; set vaguely between 2.10 and the latest episode
Home For Christmas
"What's this?" Steve asks, picking up the sheet of paper Danny just dropped on the edge of his desk.
Danny, halfway back out of the office already, stops and sighs. "I know paperwork is an unfamiliar sight to you Steven –"
Steve waves one hand in a gesture that he intends to indicate don't start a Danno-rant at me and instead indicates ouch, fuck, yeah, maybe you had a point about not coming back to work quite yet after the North Korea thing. Ignoring the pain, he says, "I know it's a vacation request. I want to know why you're asking for three days off over Christmas."
"Because I worked all of last Christmas, and this year I want to actually –" Danny stops. "Rachel's dad turns fifty in February, she wants to take Grace to England for a couple of weeks to see her family there, before the baby comes. We agreed that I'd get Grace over Christmas in exchange."
"Right." Steve looks down at the form. They'd spent last Christmas together at Steve's place, drinking too much to forget the people who weren't with them. He'd been sort of looking forward to a repeat, only minus the angst-ridden drinking and plus the sex they've been having since Danny finally drew a line under his relationship with Rachel. "You're taking Grace back to Jersey?"
"Yes, because I plan to spend most of my three days' leave on a plane, no thank you. Actually, I was hoping maybe we could spend it at your place. Grace doesn't so much like hotels."
Steve's totally going to say something easy and cool in response to that, instead of any of the happy-goofy thoughts in his head.
Until he thinks of something, though, he adds his signature to the form and hands it back to Danny with a grin.
Danny doesn't usually answer the phone at Steve's place, not even when he was staying there, before they agreed that actually the whole sex-with-my-partner thing was a little too new to stand up to living together, even if they didn't share a bed. Wednesday morning, though, it rings until the line cuts out, then starts again almost immediately. Danny can hear the shower going upstairs, which he doesn't want to interrupt. Steve's still in more pain from what Wo Fat did to him than he'll admit, but the hot water seems to help some, and Danny's not pointing it out and giving Steve an excuse to stop.
The phone cuts off then starts ringing again, and Danny can't actually take it any longer, grabs the handset on the kitchen wall. "McGarrett residence, Detective Williams speaking."
"Detective –" a female voice starts, sounding alarmed, then there's a sigh and she says, "Thanks, Danny, way to make me think something terrible happened."
"Miss Mary," Danny says, even knowing the look that'll be on Mary's face at the nickname – what can he say, she makes him think of his younger sisters. "Your brother's in the shower."
"I've been calling for four minutes, did he drown?"
Danny laughs, because, yeah, but before he can add anything, Mary's going on. "Listen, I don't have a lot of time, but could you let him know I'm heading back for Christmas, and I don't care what he says about it being too dangerous, he's an idiot and I want to spend Christmas with my family."
"Can I get the idiot part in writing?" Danny asks. "You know he's going to try to talk you out of it, don't you?"
"Yeah, but." Mary sighs, a defeated crackle down the line. "He told me about trying to help his friend in Korea, it sounds..."
"Bad," Danny offers. He checks in on the shower again – still going.
"Yeah," Mary agrees. "And prison and just – I don't know, I want to see him. It's Christmas, you know? I want a hug from my big brother."
Danny gets that. He's got a week scheduled in March to go back to Jersey, but he misses his family, even more so right now. "Can I make a suggestion?" Mary hmms assent. "That I not tell him you're coming until you're actually here. Unless you really want to listen to the many and varied arguments he'll no doubt make for why you shouldn't come out here."
"Detective Williams," Mary says admiringly. "You are a devious man, and I see why my brother likes you."
"For you," Danny'd said, handing over his cell when Steve had gotten into the Camaro, and Steve had taken it because – instinct? Because it was Danny? The point was, Grace had been on the other end of the line, and there'd been Uncle Steve and please? and sad little voices that he knew were being used to manipulate him and had still worked.
Which explains, sort of, why he's sitting across from Grace outside Kamekona's old shave ice stand, a pile of Christmas packages on the table beside them as they both make their way through pineapple shave ices.
"Is Kono going to come over on Christmas?" Grace asks.
"I think she's spending it with her family," Steve says carefully. Grace seems pretty happy about Christmas with her Danno, but Steve's wary of talking about her family. Danny hasn't said much about how his and Rachel's near reconciliation affected Grace, but Steve can't imagine it did anything good for her.
Grace nods. "Mommy and Stan and I are having Christmas the day before I come to stay with Danno, so I can have Christmas with all my families."
"That's a good idea." Steve rubs the plastic pink bag containing Mary's gift between his fingers. He has no idea how he's going to send it to her without it getting broken, but Grace had insisted that she'd love it, and Steve has no clue how to say no to Grace. He'll figure it out. "Did you get their presents already?"
Grace nods. "And for Mr Hoppy as well, but I wanted to buy Danno's with you."
Steve's not sure what to say to that. He goes for, "I'm sure he'll love it," and concentrates on finishing his shave ice.
On not thinking about Jenna, walking into Kamekona's back room with a cherry shave ice in her hand, saying it was her cover. She emailed last week, said she was hoping to come back to Hawaii in January, after the CIA finishes with her. Steve's not sure how he's going to talk the governor into letting her rejoin 5-0, but he is sure it's going to happen.
"Uncle Steve?" Grace says, pulling him out of his thoughts. She's frowning a little, watching him. "Can I tell you something and you not tell Daddy?"
"That depends on what it is. If you're in trouble, or something bad happened –"
Grace shakes her head furiously. She fiddles with her spoon for a moment, then puts it down and comes to sit next to Steve, leaning in close. He puts his arm round her, ducks his head a little to listen better. "I'm glad we're not spending Christmas at Danno's hotel. Even though it's nicer than some of the others. I like your house better."
"Thank you," Steve says, hating the way he sounds a little choked up. "I like it when you come to my house as well."
"No smoking on the plane," Danny tells Mary firmly over the phone. "No, I don't know, chatting up the Air Marshall or smuggling knitting needles in your socks."
"But then how will I finish the scarf I'm knitting you?" Mary asks sweetly. "I promise not to get arrested on the flight, jeez, you sound like Steve."
Danny claps a hand to his chest, even though she can't see him. "Bite your tongue."
Mary laughs, not even a bit sarcastic, but the long pause that follows doesn't bode quite so well. "Steve's not going to be mad that I came, right?"
"Honestly? Probably for a little bit, but only because he's worried about you, and he doesn't exactly have the usual range of human emotions to use to express that with his words. But he's going to be so happy to see you."
Danny doesn't have to fake the conviction in that even a little bit. He's not sure if Steve was as bad last year, or if Danny's just noticing better this year, as Christmas gets closer, Steve's getting increasingly – not withdrawn exactly. Just not quite present the way he usually is, and Danny's caught him, more than once, staring vacantly at some trinket that obviously means more than it looks like it should.
And really, not that Danny objects to distracting the guy with sex, but there's only so many times that can work.
"Right," Mary says firmly. Then, sounding much more like herself, "If he freaks out, though, you're talking him down."
"Hey," Steve says, cocking one hip against the door-frame. "I already made up a room for Grace."
Danny finishes folding a blanket at the foot of the bed and straightens up. "Thanks for that, by the way."
"Welcome." Their dad turned his and Mary's old rooms into generic spare rooms at some point, but Steve found Mary's old bedding back when Danny got exposed to sarrin, and he likes having it in use. "So, I'm asking again, why are you making up another room?"
"Actually, you're not asking again. The first time you were making a statement. I know, because questions end on a rising tone, like this, you see?"
"Thanks for the grammar lesson." And the attempt at distraction, Steve's pretty sure. He may not know what from, but he can read the attempt in Danny's body language. "Out with it, whatever it is?"
"Whatever what is?"
"Whatever it is you've done that means we need another –" Steve stops, feeling like an idiot as realization hits. Danny's daughter is coming to stay; of course Danny isn't going to sleep in Steve's bed, even if Grace does know that they're 'dating,' as Danny put it to her. "Never mind."
"Hey, whoa, no." Danny's in front of Steve suddenly, a hand on his arm to keep him from moving away. Not that Steve couldn't break Danny's light hold, if he wanted. "Whatever you think you just figured out, I guarantee you're wrong. There's no way I'm planning anything that justifies that face coming out to play."
"I don't have a face."
"Everyone has a face, babe. You just have – I don't know, faces. Instead of words like normal people. And that is a bad face, the kind of face that should not be showing up the day before your wonderful, patient partner and his amazing daughter come to spend Christmas with you."
"My wonderful partner who's planning on sleeping in the spare room?" Steve hates himself for asking – hates himself for the way his voice sounds when he does so – but he hates the thought more.
"I'm not –" Danny groans, shaking his head at Steve in apparent despair. "You remember me staying on your couch, right? With the waves and the TV and the not sleeping followed by the dead body?"
Steve nods, and doesn't point out that Danny's slept in Steve's bed on more than one occasion before and since.
"So think if this as a precautionary measure. Because, trust me, Grace will be awake at four in the morning if she can, and you do not want to be facing that on no sleep because the waves were crashing and I can't sleep to that without a round of stupefying sex to knock me out first. Which, for the record, we will not be engaging in while my daughter is under the same roof as us, whether she's asleep or not."
Steve blinks, picking through what felt like twelve sentences smushed into three. He's not sure he gets all of it, but he gets the important part – Danny's not planning on abandoning him any time soon.
Christmas Eve, early evening, Steve, Danny and Grace are sitting on the floor (not as comfortable as it looks, sadly) playing junior scrabble when the sound of a car slowing outside the house makes Grace and Steve look up at the exact same moment.
It only takes Grace a second to realize what that means. She looks over at Danny, grinning with their shared secret, then back to Steve, who's getting to his feet, a frown on his face. "Do you think it's someone come to see you, Uncle Steve?" Grace asks guilelessly – God, sometimes Danny dreads the teenage years, he really does – as she scrambles to her feet.
Danny doesn't miss the shadow of sadness that passes over Steve's face at Grace's question, or the way it eases when Danny steps in with a hand in the small of Steve's back. "Why don't we go find out? Maybe it's Santa."
"Santa doesn't drive a car, Danno." Grace frowns at him. "Anyway, it's too early for Santa."
"My mistake," Danny says dryly.
Steve, of course, gets to the door first, shielding Grace and by extension Danny from whatever's out there for a moment as he checks. "Cab," he reports in the same tone other people use to say unexploded ordinance or a crazed sniper on that there roof.
"Come on, Danno." Grace pulls away from Danny, slipping through the door as Steve steps out of the house, and Danny can't do anything but follow.
Mary's just stepping out of the cab as Danny steps into view, standing beside Steve. Grace, completely over any shyness after she and Mary hung out at HQ one afternoon decorating journals with stick-on jewels, throws herself full-tilt towards Mary.
Mary goes down on her knees to hug Grace. "Hey, Gracie-bear. Howzit?"
Steve still hasn't moved, and when Danny checks, he's watching Mary and Grace, his expression stunned. Danny's not afraid of Steve, never has been, but for a moment he's afraid to reach out. Afraid he'll break whatever fragile hold Steve has on things in this moment.
Mary says something in Grace's ear, too quiet for Danny to hear. Grace nods, stepping back from Mary's hug and letting Mary stand up. For a moment, Grace hovers near her; then she ducks past Mary and comes over to lean into Danny's side. He lets his hand drop to her shoulder; feels grateful that, even if he doesn't get to see her near enough, he's on the same island as her.
"Happy Christmas, big brother." Mary only has to raise her voice a little to catch Steve's attention, but he starts anyway. Mary looks away, then back, and takes a step towards him. "Surprised to see me?" Another step.
Next to Danny, Steve's practically vibrating with tension. Don't yell, Danny thinks, like that's going to do any good. Don't screw this up, Steve, please.
"You can thank these two for the surprise," Mary continues, taking another step. Steve shudders and, oh, Danny is not kidding about a therapist for Steve, being this freaked by your sister's presence is not healthy. Danny's completely not expecting Steve to move, slow and uncertain, towards Mary.
Neither is Mary, by the surprise that crosses her face. It's followed by a big grin, though, one that makes her look years younger, happy, relaxed. "Mele Kalikimaka," she says, and steps into Steve's arms, lets him fold her into a hug, her own arms wrapped around him.
Grace reaches up to tangle her fingers with Danny's, and when he looks down, she's looking solemnly back at him. "We did a good thing, right?"
Danny's pretty sure that Steve's going to argue, later, because he really is worried about Mary's safety, and he really does express worry by arguing, as a rule. And Mary's probably going to yell back, and Danny will have to separate them, and also, none of them can cook all that well, so they'll probably end up having pizza for Christmas dinner. And Kono's threatening to drop by and visit with Mary when she gets done with her own family, which is just a recipe for chaos and explosions if Danny ever heard one, especially when Chin's out of the country with Malia on their honeymoon. Even more so if Kono brings Lori.
And none of it matters, because Danny has his daughter with him for Christmas, and his best friend/partner/favorite pain in the ass is looking happy for the first time in a long time, hugging his sister, both of them pretending like they're not sniffling a little.
"Yeah, Monkey," Danny says, hugging Grace a little tighter. "We did a good thing."