stellarmeadow: (stevedannycamarosunset301)
[personal profile] stellarmeadow
Title: Claustrophobia
Pairing: Steve/Danny
Fandom: Hawaii Five-0
Rating: PG (for language)
Word Count: 882
Summary: Contemplating life and the ocean behind Steve's house.
Notes: A tag to 3.01 inspired by, and written at, Diamond Head Crater. Though it doesn't take place there, the view of the ocean triggered a line in the fic, and it was all downhill from there. Literally, as I basically wrote it in my head running back down the crater.



Danny watched as Steve stared out at the vast blue nothingness of the ocean as if it were something other than a bunch of water that got darker more deadly looking until it dropped off the end of the world. Steve moved occasionally to take a drink of his beer, but his eyes never left the ocean.

Danny didn't need his McGarrett translator to know what Steve was contemplating. He'd barely said anything on the way back from the airport, and he hadn't even bothered to try to drive. He'd just sat in the passenger seat and stared out the window.

So they weren't talking about it, okay, Danny got that. He hadn't really expected Steve to just blurt out his feelings. Steve was still Steve, even when his mother was back from the dead and he'd accidentally outed her to her would be executioner who hadn't even bothered to fire at her when he found her.

No, Steve was Steve, and Danny would have to wait until his SuperSEAL 'I have no feelings' guard was down and he was distracted by exhaustion or driving (anyone who drove like Steve had better be paying enough attention to be distracted by it) before he might actually talk. And Danny wasn't sure there was enough distraction or exhaustion in the world for the dam to burst on this one, because it was fucking epic on the feelings scale.

Still, Steve had invited him in for a beer, so he must not want silence. If Mom was off the table as a subject, then Danny would ask something he'd often wondered. "What do you see when you look out there?" he asked, nodding at the sea.

Steve tilted his head in Danny's direction just enough to see him out of the corner of his eye. "Freedom," he answered quickly. "Escape, adventure, possibilities." His head twisted just a little further, both eyes on Danny. "What do you see?"

Danny looked out at the horizon for a few seconds before meeting Steve's eyes again. "A suffocating, drowning black death behind every wave."

That got him a laugh, though a small one, which still counted as a victory given the week they'd had. "We've got to get you over your fear of the ocean, Danno."

"I'm not afraid of it," Danny said. "I just have a healthy respect for its ability to kill me. Easily."

"Unlike the people we regularly have shooting at us."

"That's different," Danny said. "I can defend myself against the guns. I can't do a damn thing if the ocean swallows me up. Can't defend myself against its ability to take me or people I care about if it wants them."

Danny winced inwardly at the double meaning in his words, holding his breath as Steve gave him an odd look before turning back to the ocean again. "We're going out there," he said, and Danny knew that tone. That was a patented McGarrett 'you aren't getting out of it' tone. "Soon. I'll show you how to defend yourself against her."

"Her?"

"The ocean is definitely a lady," Steve said, eyes on Danny again.

"Fickle, evil and inflicts pain and death?" Danny replied. "I can see that."

Steve shook his head. "Soft, gentle, and willing to take care of you," he said quietly, eyes going back out to the sea.

Like a mother, Danny realized. Figures. He wondered where Catherine was, then decided not to ask. Steve had invited him in. If he needed a woman's touch to soothe whatever the last few days had done to him, he was perfectly capable of calling Catherine.

Not that Danny wouldn't jump at the chance to soothe Steve in every way he would turn to Catherine for, but that wasn't on the table either. And Danny sure as hell wasn't mentioning it. He took great care not to give Steve clues to that little secret. If it sometimes left him feeling as helpless and trapped as he did in his nightmares about drowning, no one else needed to know.

Steve's phone rang, the buzzing loud against the sound of the waves. Danny listened as Steve answered, his tone instantly making it clear it was Catherine. When Steve hung up, he said, "Cath wanted to meet up with me for dinner. Unless you wanted to stay...."

The last bit held more tentativeness in Steve's tone than Danny was used to hearing. "You should go," Danny said. "I need to get home anyway."

"You sure?" Steve asked. "I could call her back and tell her I'll catch her tomorrow instead."

"No, it's fine." Danny pushed himself out of the chair. "I'll see you tomorrow."

"Okay."

That tentativeness was there again, and Danny wanted to be as far away from it as possible. He didn't know what it meant, and his instincts said it wasn't good. "Have fun," he said, in all seriousness, because he wanted Steve happy, or at least distracted from thoughts of his mother and of escaping on the ocean. Catherine could have him, but the Navy wasn't allowed to take him away now, not after Danny had gone and made a home here.

"Thanks."

Danny managed a smile and a nod before turning his back on Steve and the sea and heading through the house to his car.

---------------
END

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