Featuring: pre-Steve/Danny, Grace
Word Count: 910
Summary: Danny finds his daughter and a Grace-sitting Steve in a pillow fort.
Note: An answer to sheafrotherdon's call for "BLANKET FORTS!" Minor spoilers for 2x01. Also, no holding Danny to the standards of applicability of military slang.
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There was no one to greet him when he came home. Sadly, this was by no means unusual, but today there should have been. "Steve? Monkey? Where are you?" Danny called out in a whisper as he rid himself of his keys and shoes. It was well past Gracie's bedtime, so he didn't want to shout, even though he doubted that Steve had managed to put her to sleep.
The kitchen was empty. So was the living room.
There are too many rooms, Danny thought, counting the numerous doors in his apartment - the new apartment the team had pressured him into getting once it had become clear that the new and somewhat more law-abiding Five-0 came with a raise.
Gracie's room was empty. There were no sounds from the bathroom.
Danny didn't want to get nervous, because Grace had been with Steve and that meant she was safe, and the apartment might be new but he would've recognized signs of forced entry. Steve's car was outside. Two pairs of shoes were lined up in the corridor.
He opened the door to his bedroom.
He didn't see them at first. For one horrible second before the detective in him suppressed his irrational parental instincts, he thought the apartment really was empty. But there, on his bed, was a mountain of pillows and blankets.
The thin white cotton he usually slept under was barely visible under the rest of it. Danny was pretty sure that the camouflage-colored wool blanket normally resided in the back of Steve's car. He could spot the Disney princesses from the comforter that had been missing from Gracie's bed. It seemed Steve had also found Danny's own spare that had turned a pale shade of pink in a washing accident. The quilt his grandma had made for him. And the pillows. He knew, in the same sense that he knew the new governor was a man and that Kono loved surfing, that he hadn't owned this many pillows when he'd left for Rachel's this afternoon.
There was no doubt the Steve-shaped lump he could maybe see if he squinted hard enough knew that Danny was home. Danny was not that stealthy; even if he'd been asleep Steve would have woken up the second the front door keys turned. Danny almost expected an arm to shoot out in his direction, but the fort Grace and Steve had built didn't move at all, its two occupants fast asleep.
He couldn't entirely deny the thoughts of September in Hawai'i and heat stroke, but he'd just spent three hours discussing whether Grace's becoming Step-Stan's baby's big sister should have an impact on the custody agreement. He was tired. Steve had grown up on the island, and if he deemed these sleeping arrangements harmless, that had to be enough.
It took an effort to tip-toe to the bathroom to brush his teeth and shuck his jeans. He went to the kitchen and grabbed three bottles of water. Better safe than sorry. He locked the front door and made sure there were no guns within reach of a nine-year-old kid. He turned off the lights. Then he couldn't think of anything else he should do as a responsible adult.
"I'm coming in," he murmured. If Gracie had been awake, this would have been the moment she would have giggled, or the blankets would have moved from her effort to keep quiet. Apparently, Steve really had succeeded.
Now if only he could figure out how to get in between them without bringing the whole thing down.
Grandma's quilt shifted. Two fingers peeked outside and made a space just big enough for him to slip in. Danny was pretty sure he kneed Steve somewhere in the process, but he heard no complaints. He didn't jostle Grace, which was far more important.
Surprisingly enough - or not that surprisingly, if he thought about it - while the temperature was well above normal even by Hawai'i standards, there was more than enough air. It smelled of Steve and Grace without being stuffy. His partner and his daughter. Safe.
The arm slipping around him was hesitant, but pulled him closer when Danny traced the short sleeve of Steve's shirt. Danny thought of saying something - Thank you or Did you used to do this with Mary or This was a good idea - but Grace was asleep, and all would be better if they could keep it like that. He settled on leaning into Steve's chest and trusting that this particular situation needed no words.
He knew where Grace was. He could feel where Steve was. The two people he worried about the most were both closer than within arms reach.
Intellectually, he also knew where Rachel was. With Gracie curling into him, safe and his for as many hours a week as she had been, it didn't hurt half as much.
"Sleep," Steve whispered into his ear. Danny would have thought it was too warm for a shiver. He patted Steve's arm in mute agreement.
They would all be soaked through in the morning. He and Steve would argue who'd get to use the shower first and Grace would lock the door in their surprised faces. They would make coffee and cocoa and only eat one (large) pancake each and keep the rest until after they drove to Steve's beach for a swim.
For now, they were safe and warm. Danny was asleep within the minute.
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