darth_stitch: (Adorkable Steve)
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Apparently, I am a glutton for punishment or my Muses have my number and aren't afraid to drunk-dial it.

If y'all are interested, The First Part Was Here.


Love Only Knows: The Remix
By Darth Stitch
SUMMARY: Stories extending the 20 Random Facts of the McGarrett-Williams Family
DISCLAIMER: As seen in the first post.

The Closing Act

Steve McGarrett is no stranger to arriving at the proverbial closing act.

Most often, it happens on the battlefield, when he comes across dead bodies and smoking ruins and there's really nothing else that he can do, other than make sure the wounded are attended to and the dead can at least be returned to their grieving families. Now, in leading Five-0, it's different – it's usually when their job begins, putting clues together and figuring out the culprits and bringing them to justice.

Steve never expected that he'd be doing this for Catherine though.

It had been an epic case of sheer bad luck and being in the wrong place at the wrong time – a Marine going amok after a dishonorable discharge, shooting up a mall full of people and their children. Cat had been there with her best friend, a forensic scientist from NCIS – a perky Goth girl who reminded Steve of Spooky.

NCIS did a fantastic job in bringing Catherine's killer to justice. There wasn't else for Steve to do at this point – no case to solve, no bad guy that he could go after to avenge her death. The incident didn't happen on Hawaii – it happened on the mainland, in fact. Everything that he might have done together with Five-0 was already covered by an eminently competent investigative team. Even Steve had heard of Leroy Jethro Gibbs and his NCIS team and Gibbs was still a legend among the Marines.

All that was left was for Steve to pick up the pieces of Catherine's life.

Cat died protecting her baby.

And Steve happened to be that baby's father.

Abby had taken charge of the child until Steve arrived. She and Cat were good friends and had been shopping for clothes and toys for Michael when the shooting started. Ordinarily, Child Services should have taken custody of the child but the NCIS Goth girl – Abby – was having none of that, Gibbs had backed her up and it was ridiculous to have the child taken away when his father had already been identified and informed.

"He's such a cute little guy," Abby said in full-on babble mode, apparently. "And you know, I kept nagging Cat to finally nut up and tell you the truth and she meant to call you once we got back from the mall but…" Abby gulped and Steve found himself comforting her, in much the same way he's learned to do for the victims in all the other cases he's handled.

"You smile exactly the same way Mikey does too," Abby said then.

Catherine was – and God, he never expected to think of her in the past tense – a good friend and yes, they dated and slept together on occasion. With Cat, things were simple and uncomplicated and they both liked it that way. The sexual part of their relationship ended in pretty much the same way and this had happened shortly after the whole mess with Governor Jameson's murder had been sorted out.

Steve remembers the last time he'd spoken to her and it was on the phone of all things. It had been an odd conversation – her calling to say hello and asking how he was and he'd sheepishly admitted to her that she was right on the money, having caught him out on his real feelings for Danny. He understands now that she had called to tell him something else entirely but had gotten cold feet at the last minute.

He understands that she would've told him, eventually.

Neither of them was careless – a baby, much less a more serious relationship, had never been something they planned for. But accidental pregnancies happened and Steve hoped she knew, God, he hoped she understood that he wouldn't have left her high and dry, that he would have been there for her as a friend and as a father for their baby.

This is a different sort of investigation that he's doing now, putting some closure on the last few months of her life. Cat's parents were divorced and he knew that her relationship with them was strained. She had no siblings. And Abby, who was Cat's closest friend here, had been the one to provide some insight during Cat's pregnancy and a few letters that Cat had begun but had never sent to Steve.

I'm not expecting anything…

You're Michael's father and I thought you should know…

I'm sorry I didn't tell you about this before…

I know you love Danny and really, I don't want to cause trouble for you two. I'm happy you found him. I'm happy for you both.

The letters are obvious drafts, with lines crossed out and some crumpled up in obvious frustration and then smoothed over. But the thoughts are clear and they're a comfort, in many ways.

Abby had said, "Cat told me that knowing you, you'd probably be on the next flight out once you found out about Michael."

And he would have, because this is his child, his son and he wouldn't have left a child of his behind, would have begged to be a part of his boy's life. It was a given, a statement of fact, just like his relationship with Danny was a given.

Michael John Rollins McGarrett – he was just a few months old but to Steve's eyes, far more alert and aware than he expected babies would be. His first meeting with his son would probably induce giggles among the females of his ohana. Abby had dressed Michael in a tiny black rocker's shirt and had teased the soft curly wisps of dark hair up into a reasonable imitation of a Mohawk. Abby had simply taken one look at Steve and said, "You have got to be Michael's Daddy – he looks so much like you!"

And it was true – Steve could see a lot of his own features in the little boy – the same wavy dark hair, the same changeable hazel eyes. Evidently, little Michael had managed to charm the entire NCIS team – even the good Gunnery Sergeant Gibbs had defrosted enough to smile when Abby held Michael up to him and said, "Say bye-bye to Uncle Jethro, Michael!"

Also, Steve was amused to see Gibbs slap Agent DiNozzo upside the head when the latter apparently tried to use the combination of "Man Plus Cute Baby" to score some points with women. Well, at least one woman in particular, if Steve didn't miss his guess. The ex-Mossad Ziva David wasn't having any of DiNozzo's antics.

Steve's always thought that his shot at fatherhood would be limited to Grace and even now, he's still humbled and awed at the fact that Danny, who had resented "Step-Stan" so bitterly, allowed Steve to stand as Grace's parent too. More children was something they thought of happening maybe in the far future or maybe even never, given the dangers they faced on a daily basis and the demands of their jobs. But this was an unexpected blessing and Steve finds himself marveling at how well little Michael fits in the cradle of his arms, how easy it was to work his way around baby drool and sticky fingers and thankfully, managing to muddle through diaper-changing and bottle-feeding with a lot of help from Abby.

Apparently, nobody in NCIS expected Abby Sciuto to be a skilled babysitter. The perky Goth girl had rolled their eyes at them and said, "What? I like babies, okay? And they like me back!"

Abby has an open invitation to come and visit them in Hawaii. Steve just knows that putting her, Kono, Spooky and Gracie in range of each other, not to mention the motley crew of Club Denial, was just asking for trouble. He's not going to have it any other way.

He and Danny call each other every day. They'd had The Talk about this and Danny understands, on an intellectual level, that Cat's not a threat and never would have been. Instinct and feeling are another matter and Steve knows this all too well, having been on the other side himself. If Rachel's pregnancy hadn't been a hoax aimed at getting Danny out of harm's way and out of Hawaii, Steve knows he would have kept his silence on his feelings, not ever wanting Danny to choose between him and his family. And he knows that Danny's keeping his own silence on the matter but Steve can spot the shadows of it in those expressive blue eyes, sense the hurt and the insecurities hiding beneath the support Danny has been giving him.

Steve gets it. He's been through all of that. It occupies his thoughts, even as he gets acquainted with his son, sorts through Catherine's funeral arrangements, contacts her remaining family, gets all the little things done so that Michael bears his name and is in his custody. He also wishes that things could have been different, that he and Cat and Danny would have found a way to work things out, that their son would have grown up knowing his mother. He wishes that he'll have more to share with Michael when he's older about Catherine, other than the fact that they were friends and that he was loved and that Cat died to save his life.

But now, Steve will go home, with his son, where he'll meet his other father and his sister and his doting aunts and uncles.



The Conversation


The conversation between Steve and Danny went this way:

"You realize that I'm not in love with Cat and it was never like that between us, right?"

"Stop. You shouldn't have to say that. I know it already, okay?"

And Danny does. He gets it – God, he's been right there and heaven only knew why Steve's somehow gotten the idea that Danny was Father of the Year. Danny knows he isn't but he tries, because he can't fail Grace, won't screw this up the way he'd managed to screw up being Rachel's husband. There's this sane, sensible Voice of Reason in the back of his head that tells him that the screwing up was mutual but it's hard to get rid of the guilt anyway.

And then, there's this thing he now has with Steve, with his boatload of issues and his crazy need to be this fucking hero, All-American G.I. Joe. Steve with his beautiful face and sweet, goofy smile and that fragile, precious heart that Danny will die to protect – he can't screw this up with Steve, can't fail him.

This time, Danny knows it'll kill him if he does.

And of course, Steve's gotten crazy good at reading Danny's mind, the way Danny's done it to Steve a thousand times, because he is, as he is fond of saying, a damn good detective. So Danny should have been prepared, really, for his goofball of a partner to give him that Look, the one that never fails to turn Danny right into mush and to tell him:

"But you needed to hear it."

Danny doesn't really have the words to describe that Particular Look and he's half afraid to try. And then, most of the words he's got fly straight out of his mind when he gets Steve wrapped around him and Danny can soak in Steve's scent of sun and ocean and gets easy access to the curve of that perfect jawline. And all Danny's left with is a quiet: "Yeah, babe, I guess I did."

So here's Danny at the airport, with the rest of the ohana, waiting for Steve to come home with the newest member of their family. And there's a part of him, of course, that aches for Catherine Rollins and the child she left behind. He doesn't know her well but he's not devoid of human compassion and decency. In a strange way, he understands her silence about the pregnancy and the child even as he wishes she'd set both her pride and fears aside and told Steve earlier.

Maybe he's been living with Steve for too long but Danny's sure that they might have worked things out between the three of them, as crazy and as fucked up as this potentially could have been.

Hell, he, Steve and Rachel had managed it for Grace, didn't they?

Grace is already pretty excited to meet her new baby "brother" and if it hadn't been a school day, she would've been with them at the airport. As it stood, Danny would be picking her up after school so she could have dinner at Steve's...well, their house now, and meet little Michael. Danny's just thankful that Grace apparently wasn't showing any signs of jealousy that might have been expected from being the only child and the main center of attention for so long.

Then again, Grace had been hinting at getting a sibling from either Rachel or Danny – Rachel was still working on that one with Stan.

She did explain to Steve why she was looking forward to getting another sibling. His idiot goofball of a partner and husband had yet to tell Danny exactly what she said, because Steve kept dissolving into laughter every time Danny brought the subject up.

Of course, Steve's easy to spot, what with the fact that he's a freakin' giant and that he's in his Navy dress blues. Danny doesn't miss the interested and adoring glances Steve's getting – who wasn't going to end up looking at the handsome Navy officer with the equally cute little baby in his arms? Kono and Spooky have already exchanged eloquent looks and are unsuccessfully repressing their giggle-fits and Chin sums it up quite nicely by saying:

"Houston, we have a problem."

But Danny tunes it out now – he's only got eyes for Steve, who's homing in on Danny with that Particular Look again. And Danny gets to meet little Michael, who is unmistakably his father's son and Danny finds himself grinning at the touch of soft, chubby fingers on his face and the delighted squeal when he playfully nibbles at them. Michael smiles exactly like his father and Danny knows he's already doomed from the very moment he gets graced with that sweet, sunshiny expression.

And of course, while Michael is too young to talk, he's got a very clear opinion about Danny's ties. The first thing Michael does when Danny takes him into his arms is grab his tie and try to chew on it -Steve's never going to let Danny live this down, ever.

Danny won't have it any other way.

-tbc-



AUTHOR'S NOTES:


I'll try to extend as many of the "Random Facts" as I possibly can and maybe throw in new ones as I go along. Each chapter's meant to be a finished short story and I'll do my best to write as many of these as the Muses and inspiration strike.

Date: 2011-09-06 12:46 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kitmerlot1213.livejournal.com
I liked getting Danny's thought processes on his own feelings of insecurity and his mourning of Catherine's untimely death.

Great work on this :)

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