blue flamingos

Childhood Memories

Fandom: Hawaii Five-O

Category/Rated: Gen/PG

Year/Length: 2011/1207 words

Disclaimer: No, I don't own them, for which I should think they're profoundly grateful.

Summary: she's never had a friend who didn't know before Danny

Author's Notes: written for kanata's Transfest

Feedback: Yes please. Even if it's bad. Especially if it's bad.

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When Kono gets to work on Monday morning – a little late after dropping Chin at the airport, because he's actually taking a vacation - Danny and Steve are both staring at the big screen.

"What are we looking at?" she asks, leaning a hip against the computer table. She gets the answer to her own question a moment later: she's looking at Grace dressed up as a fairy, complete with wings and a little wand, and she can't be more than four or five. "She was a cutie."

"She's still a cutie." Danny clicks over to the next picture, grinning the way he only does for Grace. "My mom sent me these, she was – going through some of Matty's things at the house." The pause is barely noticeable, but both Kono and Steve reach for him, and Danny shakes his head at them, smiling. "There's a great one somewhere of her dressed up like an egg, I plan to keep it for embarrassing her in front of future dates."

"When she's thirty, right? And you let her start dating," Steve says, grinning.

Danny shrugs. "Only in my parental fantasies, sadly." The next picture is of Grace dressed like a –

"What is she even supposed to be?" Kono asks, tilting her head like that will make it any clearer.

"That was the year Rachel decided to make Grace's costume for the school play, before she remembered that she's about as good at sewing as I am." He makes a face when Kono laughs. "She's supposed to be a witch, what, are there no pictures of you as a little girl in some God-awful costume?"

Kono opens her mouth to answer and freezes, suddenly unsure what to say. She glances over at Steve, sees him watching her cautiously. Danny looks between the two of them. "What? I just trigger some traumatic childhood memory or something?"

For a moment, Kono really wishes Chin was here; he'd know how to get them off this topic smoothly in a way that Steve probably doesn't.

"Speaking of God-awful costumes," Steve says, a little abruptly. "I bet there are pictures of you on this thing." He grabs for the controller, Danny trying to pull back from his grip just a little too slowly, Steve's hand closing on his wrist, and Kono takes back the wishing for Chin, because apparently Steve does know how to get them off the topic.

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"Thank you," she says to him much later, after Danny's left to pick Grace up for his night with her.

Steve, actually sitting behind his desk for once, shrugs. "No problem. Don't get to rescue you very often."

"Don't get used to it," Kono says, grinning.

Steve smiles back for a moment, then sobers. "You know you can tell him. He won't care."

Kono remembers Steve, their first day working together after the Hesse thing, catching her alone in her office and saying, "We met before, right? When we were kids?" She'd expected him to ask questions, or say, "When you were a boy," but he didn't, just said, "I thought so," like he was pleased to have his own memory confirmed, when she nodded.

"I know," she says.

"He was, you know, he was good. When I – with me." Steve shrugs a little, looking vaguely amused at his own inability to put together a sentence like, "When I came out as bisexual to him."

"I know," she says again, because she's sure Danny would be fine – aside from his tendency towards dismissiveness with anything connected to Hawaiian life, he's a tolerant person. "It's just – I've never done this before."

"Told people?"

Kono sighs and throws herself onto Steve's couch. "I told my parents. Everyone else was there while I was transitioning, I never *had* to tell them. Everyone always knew."

"Huh," Steve says, unhelpfully. Then, "You don't have to tell him, if you don't want to."

"I know," Kono says, annoyed that she keeps saying that. There's a big part of her that thinks this isn't something she needs to tell people, not when she's female in every way that matters now. On the other hand, there's the part of her that thinks Danny is one of her closest friends, and she's not ashamed, this isn't something secret about her, not really. She kind of wants him to know.

When she looks at Steve, he's grinning like he knows just what she's thinking. "I know," he says.

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Kono knows a lot of people like her don't keep pictures of them from before, when their bodies weren't right, but, until she hit puberty, she didn't actually look that much like a boy. She wore her hair long, ran around in jeans and t-shirts that covered up her body, or wetsuits when she was in the water. It's just her face, really.

She goes through all the photos Cousin Kamea scanned and emailed everyone a few years ago. It doesn't take long before she finds a couple of pictures of herself with her surfboard, wetsuit zipped to her neck, grinning with her arms around her friends, and one with a trophy in her hand. She dumps them on a memory stick, trying to ignore the way nerves churn her stomach. It's an unpleasant reminder of how it felt to sit down with her parents and explain who she was, what she wanted their permission to do.

She keeps the stick in her pocket until Chin's back from vacation with tacky souvenirs for all of them and the stressed out lines around his eyes all eased out. Then she plugs it into the computer table and says, "Hey, Danny? Want to see some pictures of me when I was Grace's age?"

"Depends. Do they come with embarrassing costumes?" Danny wanders out of his office, coffee mug in one hand, and Steve comes to lean in the doorway of his. Chin's already standing close to Kono – she hasn't talked to him about this, but he's not stupid, he'll know.

"I didn't go in for costumes," Kono says, wincing slightly at the unintended double meaning of it, the way in which it's sort of a lie and sort of the truth. She figures, get it over with, and pulls up the first photo.

There's a pause, then Danny shakes his head. "Should have known you were a surfer from the minute you could walk," he says. He looks at her, his expression softening and says, "Thanks for letting me see these," gentle the way he is when Steve talks about his family, or Chin about his days with HPD, before they threw him out.

"Welcome," she says, her own voice softened with relief: that he knows, now, that he gets what she's telling him, that Steve was right and he's not going to be weird or make a big deal of it. "You disappointed there's none of me as a princess?"

"Oh, no," Danny says. "I've been reliably informed there are photos to be found of your college party days."

"Traitor," she says to Chin, who shrugs, unrepentant, laughing, and it's good, it's so good, having this family, these people who know her and love her and belong with her.


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