blue flamingos

Building Family

Fandom: Hawaii 5-O (2010)

Category/Rated: Slash, PG-13

Year/Length: 2011/3960 words

Pairing: Chin/Steve, Kono/Jenna

Spoilers: Season2, Ep1

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

Summary: Steve's coming home, and Jenna and Kono are making their own home

Series: touches on Light At The End Of The Tunnel backstory

Author's Notes: Written after I'd only seen episode 1 of season 2, so it doesn't touch on any season 2 canon (hence why there's no Lori, despite me loving her). Written for h50_exchange for thehighwaywoman

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

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"You're pacing," Danny said when he walked into the office. "Chin, why is she pacing? She doesn't – you don't pace."

"I'm not pacing," Kono said, turning on her heel to walk back down the office to the two men. "I'm stretching."

"Babe, I've seen you stretching, and trust me, this is not that." He was a couple of steps ahead of Chin, couldn't possibly have seen the death glare Chin aimed at him, but apparently Chin's death glares transcended the need to be seen. "Do not give me that look, Chin Ho Kelly, I've seen the way you look at McGarrett in his dress uniform."

"Steve isn't your cousin and sleeping with a CIA agent," Chin said mildly, stepping around Danny to fire up the computer table.

"The man makes a good point," Danny told the air. "Which brings us back to: why are you pacing?"

"Jenna's bringing Tiffy over to meet Rags this evening." Kono made one last circle of the room and settled, leaning on her hands, at the edge of the computer table. Next to her, Chin nudged her shoulder and smiled.

"I understand most of those words on their own, but put together?" Danny's hands waved in what Kono was pretty sure was meant to be a visual representation of how little sense he thought she was making.

"Tiffy's Jenna's cat, her sister brought her with when she came to visit last month."

"And Rags is your cat," Danny finished. "One eye, couple of inches of his tail missing, right?"

Kono nodded. She'd found Rags in the dumpster behind her apartment block and smuggled him into the place. She was pretty sure her landlord knew she was violating her tenancy by keeping him, but it had been eight months, she wasn't too worried.

"Ah. Now it makes sense – this is one of the pre-moving in together steps."

"Not that quick, for a detective." Chin flicked two mug shots onto the middle screen, not meeting anyone's eyes. Kono returned his earlier nudge, adding in a be nice frown, one of the low level ones; it wasn't like she'd be any more patient if Jenna'd been off in a country she couldn't name for the better part of three months.

"But persistent," Danny said, apparently not taking too much offence. "What happens if the cats don't get along?"

Kono chewed on her thumb nail for a moment, until she could make herself stop. It was crazy to be this nervous, after seven months with Jenna. Especially since those seven months had included the week they spent thinking Jenna was working with Wo Fat, and the three weeks Jenna spent back in Washington, debriefing the CIA on her triple-agent gig.

And yet.

"I'm sure they'll be fine," Chin said. "You can always get a bigger place together so they can avoid each other."

"Have you seen what a rookie police officer and a low-level CIA analyst on secondment make?" Kono asked. "Trust me, we'll be lucky not to end up living next door to Danny."

"Do it," Danny said, over-bright. "Two cats might actually help deal with the rat problem."

"Hate to break it to you, brah, but Tiffy's a pedigree Siamese, and Rags is pretty much blind."

"And that," Danny said firmly, "Is why I continue to say no to Grace on the whole pet thing."

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All things being equal, Steve probably would have chosen a more private place than the hospital corridor for his call. That said, all things being equal, he'd have been walking onto the plane back to the US on his own two feet, so it wasn't like the journey home was really going right in any way.

He had to squint to make the names in his phone contacts stop blurring, but he was pretty sure he was listening to Chin's phone ring on the other end of the line. Under the watchful eye of the marine nurse who'd be flying home with him, he wasn't likely to get a second chance.

"Lieutenant Kelly." Chin sounded suspicious, like he wasn't sure the phone's display was telling the truth about who was calling, but Steve didn't care. Chin sounded like Hawaii and home, making every tense, painful part of Steve's body relax.

"It's me." Steve thought he sounded fairly close to normal; the stupid smile he could feel on his face probably helped.

"Steve. Wait, hold on." Steve heard the muffled sounds of Chin calling the others, then the slight echo that meant he was on speaker.

"Hey, guys."

"Boss man! You done playing ninja in the woods?"

"More likely, he decided hanging one handed from a cliff was a good time to check in on what we've been up to without him to lead us into temptation."

"Good to speak to you, too." Steve shifted slightly and couldn't quite keep in the sound of pain. "I take it the island's still in one piece?"

"What's wrong?" Chin asked.

"What's – what, do you have a sixth sense for the guy or something? Psychic link you've never previously mentioned?"

"I'm about to get on a plane for the US," Steve said, before Danny could get going, or Chin could ask too many questions he didn't want to answer. He closed his eyes, picturing the three of them leaning over the computer table. His team. "I should be in Hawaii in a couple of days."

That got him a glare from his less-than-friendly nurse, which Steve matched easily. Broken leg or not, once he was back on American soil, he'd climb out the window and hitch-hike to Hawaii if that was what it took, and to hell with the serious concussion and two black eyes he was currently enjoying. He'd walked out of a Korean forest literally blind once, he could get across the US, even if he didn't have Catherine to guide him this time.

"I thought you were going to be gone six months." Kono sounded curious, mixed with a healthy dose of suspicion. "You finish up early?"

"Sort of," Steve hedged. "They're swapping me out for someone else."

"Sending in the sub," said Danny, who'd picked up way too much soccer vernacular since Rachel introduced Grace to English soccer while she was home nursing baby Jacob. "Do they do that in the army?"

"Navy," Kono and Steve said at the same time, and Chin added, "No, they don't. What did you do?"

"There was a minor SNAFU." Steve half-raised a hand to add a Danny-style gesture, even if none of them could see it, then remembered he'd had to relocate his own shoulder on that side, and really shouldn't be moving it. "I got a bit banged up, but the mission's time-critical, so they're releasing me back to the Reserves early."

"A little banged up like Gracie when she's spent the afternoon chasing Mr Hoppy around Step-Stan's mansion, or a little banged up like the first time Victor Hesse shot you?"

"He only ever shot me once. The second time he stabbed me."

"So the latter, then."

"Are you all right?"

"I will be," Steve promised, and knew the team would hear, once I get home at the end even if he didn't say it.

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"Did you hear?" Jenna demanded when Kono opened her apartment door. "McGarrett's coming home."

"How did you hear?"

"Mary called me." Jenna shrugged, eliciting a startled meow from the carrier in her right hand.

"Of course she did." Kono liked Mary well enough, but she and Jenna had bonded big time when Mary came for a visit after the drama around the governor's death died down. "So much for my big surprise."

Jenna put the carrier down and wrapped her arms around Kono, kissing her deeply when Kono ducked her head slightly. "We can celebrate instead."

"You want to celebrate my cousin's partner, the man who both of us work for, coming home injured by having sex?"

Jenna shrugged again. "Really, I just want to have sex with you, but McGarrett's a good excuse."

"I knew I was with you for a reason." Kono stepped back. "Bring Tiggy in."

Rags jumped down from his typical seat on top of Kono's bookcase and came over to headbutt Jenna's ankle, same as always. A moment before his head made contact, he registered Tiggy's presence and froze. Inside her carrier, Tiggy rose from her relaxed curl, her back arching, her tail going up.

Kono looked at Jenna over the two cats. Jenna had a very familiar super-determined look on her face. Right then.

"Rags, come here." It never worked, but that didn't stop Kono from trying; at least it gave Rags a bit of warning before she picked him up and let him settle with his front paws on her shoulder. "You want to let Tiggy out?"

Jenna was already crouching down to open the carrier. Tiggy took a couple of dainty steps out onto Kono's favourite blue rug and stopped, sniffing at the air. Jenna rubbed Tiggy's head between her ears, getting her familiar rumbling purr in response. "That's right," Jenna said softly. "You remember Kono, don't you?"

Tucked in Kono's arms, Rags twisted slightly at the sound of Jenna's voice. Kono knew he couldn't see well enough to pick out the new arrival from that height, but he could clearly smell her. Kono stroked under his chin, feeling his tiny heart beat against her skin.

"You want to try?" Jenna asked, one hand resting lightly on Tiggy's back.

Kono nodded, crouching down. She half-expected Rags to make a break for it, but he twisted, resettled so he was on all fours on her knees, claws tucked in. Under Jenna's hand, Tiggy gave Rags the kind of haughty look only a Siamese could manage.

"So far, so good," Jenna said softly.

She'd barely finished the sentence when Tiggy's paw flashed out, batting Rags in the head. He tried to jerk away, over-balanced himself, and fell off Kono before she could do more than twitch in alarm.

"Tiggy," Jenna said sharply as Kono reached for Rags.

Tiggy batted at Kono's wrist before she could get to Rags, who was half-curled on his back, eyeing Tiggy but making no move to get away. To Kono's mild surprise, Tiggy didn't have her claws out either. She bent her head to sniff at Rags once, then patted him gently in the head again.

"Stop that," Jenna said.

Either Tiggy was listening this time, or what she wanted to do coincided with Jenna's instruction. Whichever it was, she flopped down on her belly, half over Rags, who purred loudly, rubbing his cheek against Tiggy.

Kono watched them for a minute, stunned by how easy that had been. It had taken Rags longer than that to warm up to her, and she'd been feeding him. "That's that, then."

When she looked at Jenna, her girlfriend was watching her with a shy smile. "So I guess we won't have a problem with the cats living together. Um..."

Kono let herself drop out of her crouch so she could press herself closer to Jenna. "You know what's next on the list?" She felt Jenna shake her head. "Call my friend Akela and ask her to help us find a place."

Jenna snuggled into Kono's body, all angles and short hair. "You still want to?"

"Clearly our cats are having a love at first sight moment." Kono shrugged. "Doesn't seem fair to separate them now." She kissed the top of Jenna's head. "And I don't want to be separated from you, so it's good for everyone."

She felt Jenna's smile pressed against her shoulder. "Yeah."

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"I need a favor."

"And good day to you too, Daniel," Rachel said. "Yes, thank you, I'm quite well, so good of you to ask."

Danny sighed, resisting the urge to beat his head against the nearest wall only because he was on the steps of the Palace and would get weird looks from the tourists taking pictures. "Hello, Rachel, how are you this fine Hawaiian day, I need a favor."

Rachel sighed, but it sounded more tolerant than annoyed, and Danny was taking his wins where he could get them. "I suppose that's the best I can hope for. What's the favor?"

"Steve's on his way home, he lands here tomorrow morning. The team's going out to meet him at the hospital –"

"Is it serious?" Rachel asked, all of her tolerant amusement dropping away. It made the part of Danny that had really believed they'd work this time ache a little, though mostly it was more like the shadow of an ache than a real ache. They'd ended a lot more amicably this time, and were almost back to being friends.

"Who knows with McGarrett? He could be bleeding to death and he'd still say it was just a papercut. But no, it doesn't sound too major – they're just keeping him overnight at the hospital as a precaution, mainly."

"I'm glad to hear that," Rachel said warmly. "Give him my best wishes for his recovery."

"Right, that's what I was hoping to ask. I know it's not my weekend with Grace, but she keeps asking about him, so I was hoping maybe I could swing by and get her for a couple of hours, just to take her out to see Steve."

"Of course." Rachel sounded faintly insulted that Danny had asked, even if she'd been the one to push for limiting his access to his own daughter. "Why don't you pick her up for breakfast, and you can bring her back after lunch?"

Even allowing for their better co-parent relationship these days, that was too easy. "What do you want in return?"

"You're a very suspicious man, Daniel Williams, has anyone ever told you that?"

"Many people, it's why I'm a good detective. So, again, what do you want in return?"

"Honestly? Jacob's started sleeping till almost eight in the mornings, and if Grace isn't there needing to be entertained, Stan and I can have a couple of extra hours of much needed sleep."

Danny choked for a moment, torn between the idea that their daughter was someone who caused any kind of inconvenience, even knowing Rachel didn't mean it that way, and remembering what he and Rachel had meant when they'd said sleep after Grace was born. The thing was, though, Rachel had granted the favor easily, and it meant he got a whole extra half day with Gracie. Polite acceptance seemed to be the best way out.

"Deal," Danny said, before either of them could change their minds. "I'll pick her up at seven thirty."

"Don't take this the wrong way, but I hope not to see you until you drop her back," Rachel said, and hung up.

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"I want to sign myself out," Steve said, not for the first time, when Dr Ross came to check on him.

"Imagine my surprise, Commander." She looked up from his notes. "Yes, I know who you are; it's part of initial orientation, along with where the coffee machine is, and who to call if the elevator breaks down."

In a way, it was kind of flattering, though Steve was pretty sure Danny wouldn't see it that way. "So I can go?"

"No. The wound in your side is showing signs of being infected, and your notes seem to indicate that you take less than stellar care of any infections requiring a course of antibiotics. I'm going to keep you in overnight so we can blast it into something like submission, then you can go out and sneer at antibiotics all you like."

"Ex-military?" Steve guessed, a little impressed, though still less than inclined to drop the subject.

"Ten years with the air force until I got a medical discharge. And before you say anything, no, I won't be caving because sailors are tougher than airmen, or whatever argument you were planning to make."

"I can sign myself out AMA."

"You can, but it's gone midnight, you'll be lucky to pick up a cab from here, and according to the marine who's been glaring at all of our staff, you don't have your house keys." She came over to the bed and patted his good shoulder, the gesture turning into a firm grip. "So why don't you be a good little commander and sleep here. If you promise not to pester the nurses, I'll even think about letting you loose before lunch."

"Yes, ma'am," Steve said reflexively, and only groaned when she promised to hold him to that.

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"Aunty Kono!" Grace broke away from Danny before he had chance to grab for her, flinging herself into Kono's arms. "Hey, Aunty Jenna," she added, a little more shyly.

Kono returned the hug with enthusiasm, while Jenna gave Kono the same awkward wave she'd given Danny when he got out of the hospital.

"Chin go in already?" Danny asked, jerking his chin down the hospital corridor lined with private rooms.

"He just called, he got a flat, but he's on his way." Kono finally looked up from Grace. "Why do you look so happy?"

"I can't be happy at the prospect of having McGarrett home safe?"

"Sure," Kono said slowly. "But I'm guessing that's not why."

Danny made a quick check of Grace – sitting next to Jenna, both of them fiddling with something on Jenna's phone – then stepped a little closer to Kono. "Rachel's talking about reviewing my visitation time with Grace. Subject to, you know, work craziness, but she was saying maybe an extra two days a week."

Kono's pleased grin said everything Danny needed to hear on that one, for all that he kept telling himself not to get his hopes up. He'd been so sure their brief affair would destroy their slowly developing friendship, but in a bizarre way, it seemed to have strengthened things, made them better to each other.

He didn't get a chance to say anything else, cut off by Chin appearing, looking only slightly frazzled, though for Chin, that was the equivalent of majorly stressed out in a regular person.

"Can't even be on time for your boss?" Kono teased lightly.

"It won't kill him to learn some patience," Chin said, but there was a weird look in his eyes, almost like hunger, the way Danny was pretty sure he'd looked in the last few days before Grace was born.

Apparently Kono caught it too. "He's down here," she said, already leading the way.

Grace scrambled to take Danny's hand, frowning slightly. "Uncle Steve's okay, isn't he, Danno?"

"Okay's probably stretching it," Danny admitted. "But he will be. And he'll feel better for seeing you, I'm sure."

Steve did, in fact, look less than okay, with the cast on his leg, the sling on his arm, the bruises on his face, the shaved patch of hair that showed off a neat line of stitches, not to mention the injuries that were probably covered by the unflattering gown he was wearing. Despite all that, his face lit up in a huge grin when he caught sight of the five of them.

For a moment, it didn't even matter that Steve had gotten himself badly hurt, no doubt doing something foolish and risky for the greater good, because he was back in Hawaii, with 5-O, where he belonged.

"What are you all doing here?" Well, there went the moment.

"Oh, you know, we were just passing through, making the most of the truly amazing mashed potatoes they serve here – we came to see you, what do you think we're doing? Now say hello properly."

Steve raised his good arm in a wave. "Hey, guys."

Grace, showing absolutely no shyness despite not having seen Steve for months, clambered onto the side of the bed. "I made this for you."

Steve turned the picture the right way up. "Thank you, Grace, it's great. I'll put it on my fridge as soon as I get home."

"Which will be after the doctor releases you, not before."

Steve waved that away, the same way he did all of Danny's attempts at logic and good sense. Kono and Jenna both offered careful hugs, and Danny got a weird half-handshake half-hug.

Chin was still standing at the foot of the bed, hands on the railing. Danny took a step back, in case he wanted to get a little closer, but he and Steve just looked at each other for a long moment, before Steve nodded, his face gone soft and maybe a little bit sorry, and Chin nodded back, like it didn't matter any more.

It was probably the most evidence of their relationship Danny had ever seen the two of them show in public, even 5-O public, which really didn't count.

"You're sure you're okay?" Chin asked.

"I would have been out yesterday," Steve said confidently, "But the doctor threatened me."

"You got threatened by a doctor?" Jenna asked.

"And obeyed the threat?" Kono added. Danny blinked, double-checked – no, the two of them were holding hands. Apparently the meeting of the felines had been successful.

"I have to meet this person," he said. "Actually, can we get – him? Her? – on staff permanently? If she can keep you in bed –"

Steve laughed, wincing slightly. "Maybe don't finish that sentence."

"Why not?" Grace asked curiously.

"Yeah, he's right, let's just leave that one there."

"I'm right? Can someone get that in writing, please?"

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Steve looked ready to fall back asleep, whatever he'd said in goodbye to the others about being home that evening. Maybe the painkillers kicking in, or the mild infection the doctor had mentioned when Danny had pressed for details and Steve had nodded permission to give them.

Still, he was fighting it pretty hard, and it wasn't like Chin wasn't happy to have the excuse to hang out with him a bit longer, especially now it was just the two of them. He took Grace's recently vacated patch of bed, just close enough for Steve to be able to feel their hips touching.

It took Steve a minute to get his eyes open and focussed, his smile dopey but happy. "Still here."

"I thought it would be better than the risk of you climbing down the drainpipe to escape."

"No drainpipe close enough, I checked."

"Of course you did," Chin said, a little alarmed to hear the note of pure affection that crept into his voice.

Not that Steve seemed to mind. Actually, if the way Steve's eyes crinkled meant anything, Steve liked it, which wasn't a huge surprise. Chin had looked up to Jack McGarrett like a father, but the man had made a real mess of his relationships with both his children, and none of Chin's memories of how he'd tried not to could help with that.

"'M glad you're here," Steve said, the words trailing slightly. "Missed you."

Chin hesitated, then decided what the hell, it wasn't like anyone they didn't trust was going to barge into Steve's hospital room unannounced, and covered Steve's free hand with his own. Steve had a little trouble turning his hand into it, but eventually he managed to curl their hands together. Chin squeezed gently, mindful of any damage he couldn't see.

"I missed you too," he said softly.

Steve blinked, his eyes staying closed for a long moment, before cracking open just enough for Chin to see Steve watching him. "You'll be here when I wake up, right?"

"Of course," Chin promised. "Go to sleep. I'll catch you up on all the news when you're awake enough to remember it."

"Tell me now," Steve said, his eyes closing again. "Bedtime story."

"Sure," Chin said, and Steve blinked once more, and closed his eyes, slept.


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