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Notes and disclaimer in part one.
part two
part three
part four
part five
part six
part seven
part eight

Steve's POV:

I've just started my second lap of the cove when I think I hear my name being called. I stop and tread water, turning slowly toward the shore to see if maybe Danni's standing there calling me. In the dim pre-dawn light I can just barely tell that the beach is empty. Just as I've decided I've imagined it, I hear it again and it is most definitely my name being screamed from the direction of the house.

Panic spikes through me; Danni's two weeks late delivering our child. I didn't want to leave her, not even for the twenty minutes I take to swim laps in the cove, but she said I was totally getting on her nerves and that I needed to go for a swim before she killed me. She reminded me that as a detective she knows how to hide a body. So I took to the water for her sanity and my life.

But now, now she's screaming for me and I strike out for shore as fast as I can. When I can stand, I run, well, I attempt to in the waist high water, up the yard and into the house, not even bothering to stop and dry off.

I come skidding into the living room and hit the floor on my knees behind where she's kneeling between the couch and the coffee table.

"Danni?" I reach out for her and she grabs hold of my right hand, squeezing so hard I'm afraid she's going to dislocate my thumb. "Ow, babe. Maybe don't squeeze so hard, hm?"

She glares at me over her shoulder. "I'm delivering your child sans an epidural and you're complaining about a little pain in your hand!?"

"What?" She can't possible mean what I think she means. Can she?

"Your kid hates me."

"Bug does not hate you." The banter is familiar, in the early days of her pregnancy she would say Bug hates her every time she threw up, which was often.

"Of course he does. Why else would he come before I can get to the hospital?"

"Wait, you're serious about delivering without medicine?"

"Yes!" She grunts and grits her teeth, the veins on her neck standing out in sharp relief.

"Danni…" I'm momentarily unable to think. But then she squeezes my hand extra hard and I'm brought back to the situation at hand. "Let me call 9-1-1."

"No time!"

"What do you mean no time?"

"I mean he's coming now!" That's when I notice that her panties have been kicked under the side table.

I lift the back of the nightgown she's wearing and see hair where there shouldn't be hair. "Danni, please let me-" I'm cut off by a scream. I've never heard her scream like this before; not even in pleasure.

She manages to shift from her knees to her feet, still holding onto my hand and the edge of the couch cushions. "You have to let go of my hand."

"Why?" And now she sounds scared. I never thought there'd be anything in this world that could scare her to this extent.

"I have to catch the baby."

"Catch-" Her voice catches in her throat but she nods and lets go.

I put her hand on my shoulder and she digs her nails into my flesh. I grit my teeth at the sting but use it to ground me. She gives a forceful grunt and Bug slips from her body and into my hands.

"Oh." She slumps back against the couch and ends up sitting on her bottom.

"Why isn't he breathing?" I look up at her. "Danni?"

"His airway." She clears her throat. "Clear his airway."

"How?" I ask, even as I'm scooping gunk out of his mouth and nose with my fingers.

"Like that." She begins to shake and when I look, her eyes are dilated. Coming down off the adrenaline high of the delivery, I guess.

It's not like in the movies where the baby enters the world already crying at the top of its lungs. When my son begins to cry it's rather pitiful, more like the mewling of a kitten.

"Give." She holds out her hands the instant he begins to cry.

I hand him over, belatedly realizing she called Bug 'him' before he was actually born. "You knew?"

"Oh, hi. I am so very glad to finally meet you," she murmurs, putting him to her breast. He latches right on and begins sucking. "Hm?" She looks up at me, a dreamy smile on her face. "Oh, yeah. Um, about that." Her smile turns sheepish. "I looked in my file during one of the appointments you couldn't attend."

I chuckle softly. "Of course you did." I lean forward and kiss her nose. "And now, I'm calling 9-1-1."

"Yeah, that'd be good." I shift on my knees to reach the phone.

"Before you do that, though, get a towel." I frown at her. "To wrap him in. He needs to stay warm."

"Right, of course." I jog into the laundry room and snag a towel out of the dryer. Back in the living room, I help her wrap it around his body before running one finger over his tiny little ear.

"Steve, babe." She pushes on my shoulder with her free hand. "9-1-1."

I shake my head. "Right." I chuckle. "Sorry."

"No worries. Just, ya know." She indicates the phone with a nod of her head.

I dial 9-1-1 and sit down on the floor, running one hand through my damp hair, absently noticing that it's shaking.

"9-1-1, what's your emergency?"

"This is Lieutenant Commander Steve McGarrett. My girlfriend just delivered our child at our house."

"Why didn't you call earlier, Commander?" I recognize the censure in the voice. I've spoken to this operator on numerous occasions over the years.

"Because I didn't have time, Nora. It would appear that once my son decides something he goes for it."

She chuckles. "Well, now you have one hell of a birth story for the little guy."

"That we do."

I can hear the clicking of her keys. "I have a bus headed your way, Commander. Congratulations to you and Detective Williams. Shall I connect you to the rest of Five-Oh?"

"Thanks, Nora. No, that won't be necessary."

"Very well. Do not attempt to cut the cord. You do need to tie it off with something; preferably some sterile gauze."

"Got it. Thanks." I hit the end button with my thumb and get up to get the first aid kit and some gauze.

When I come back Danni has switched Bug to her other breast and is talking on the phone to Grace. "Yeah, he's just perfect." She smiles lovingly down at him (maybe now we can decide on a name) sucking greedily at her breast. "Oh, no. It's too early for that. You have Daddy bring you to the hospital around 10, okay?" She chuckles. "Okay. Danno loves you."

I drop to my knees at her side just as she ends the call. "You woke Grace?"

"She would have never forgiven me if I hadn't."

"True. But Stan might not forgive you for waking her."

She shrugs. "Too fucking bad."

I scoot around in front of her and open the towel enough for me to get to the umbilical cord where I make quick work of tying it off. "There, now." I tuck the towel back around the tiny body, caressing his head affectionately.

Watching the woman I love feeding our child from her body has something warm and soft unfurling deep in my belly and I lean down to kiss first his head and then her breast. She runs the fingers of her free hand through my hair. "Thank you," she whispers, tugging me up so she can press her lips to mine.

"Thank you."

Before I have a chance to settle around my family, the sound of tires on the gravel drive is heard followed by the slamming of two heavy doors. "Guess our ride's here."

"Guess so." I get up to let the EMTs in.

"Commander!" Jack Brown, one of the many EMTs that have treated all the members of my team at one time or another over the past two years, is first in the door. "I was surprised that we got the call to a live home birth." He turns to look at where Danni's sitting, cradling Bug in her arms. "Coulda sworn the birth plan involved a hospital and some of the good drugs."

"It did. But Bug, here,-" She indicates our son with a nod of her head. "-had other plans."

"Aw, he just wanted to ride in an ambulance!" Sherri Atwater, Jack's partner, chuckles as she joins him in the living room, pushing a stretcher before her.

"How long has he been nursing?" Jack asks, reaching to take Bug from Danni's arms.

"Within a couple minutes of being born." Danni hands him over and keeps an eagle eye on everything Jack does.

"How's his suck?"

"Strong. He latched right on, no issues."

"Good." Jack unwraps the towel and begins checking Bug over. "What was his APGAR at birth?"


"Excellent." Sherri kneels down next to Danni and begins examining her.

Jack lays Bug down on the towel and runs his hands over his little body. "Appearance: two. Pulse:-" He places a stethoscope on Bug's chest. "-two. Grimace:-" Bug screams when Jack squeezes his foot. "-wish there was a score higher than two." He shakes his head at the volume with which my son expresses his displeasure. "Activity:-" He tries to straighten one of Bug's arms. "-two. And respiration: two." Jack smiles at Danni. "You got yourself one healthy baby, here, Danni."

Danni smiles at me and I smile back. She looks ready to drop but I know she won't; not until she knows Bug's safe and sound and that won't be until he's been examined by a doctor at the hospital.

As Sherri and Jack do their thing with Bug and Danni I shift from foot to foot feeling totally useless. As one of the nurses at Danni's OB/GYN said: my part's been over for a while now. Once conception takes place it's all about the mother and baby and the father tends to get pushed to the side. At least until everyone's satisfied that the mother and baby are healthy.

"Alrighty, then. Everyone coming to the hospital?" Jack rolls into a crouch before handing Bug, now wrapped in a blanket, back to Danni so he can pick her up and set her on the stretcher.

"Uh, not just yet." I want to step in closer so I can touch my family but I'm afraid I'll just get in the way.

Jack looks over at me and seems to notice for the first time that I'm dripping sea water on the floor and that I'm still wearing my board shorts. "Okay, so after you change?"

I shake my head, sending water flying. "I have to go get Danni's parents from the airport. It's why we're up this early."

"Oh!" Sherri rubs Danni's shoulder. "I thought she had woken up with contractions and y'all didn't quite make it to the car."

"No. My parents are due in a couple of hours and the Commander here insists on being super early. Only we got up too early and I was about to commit justified homicide so instead of raising Bug without his father I sent him out to swim off my bad mood."

"So, no contractions before that?"

"Not a one. Not that I'd know what they were. I didn't go through labor with Grace."

"Okay, well, we'll take good care of her on the trip to Kapi'olani and I'm sure they'll take excellent care of her until you can arrive." Jack slaps my shoulder. "Good luck with the in-laws." I follow them out the door and watch them load my family into the back of the ambulance while trying to ignore something deep down inside that is urging me to get into the ambulance with them.

I stand in the yard until I can no longer see the ambulance, then give myself a hard shake and head inside to take a shower and get dressed. I've never actually met Danni's parents but I have talked to them both on the phone and Skype. Danni has her father's stocky build but her mother's features. And while her parents are quick to laugh and joke I can tell they're not happy that they've yet again been given a grandchild out of wedlock, not that that's necessary these days.

During a conversation I had with Danni's mother to get advice for keeping the peace in my house while Danni's emotions were running high during her pregnancy, I was told that the whole family had (still has actually) the same fear that I'll turn tail and run. She told me that until Danni told her that I had proposed she was afraid I'd react the same way Stan did. That man really fucked up that family but I'm determined to remove the bad memories of that whole affair.

I, of course, arrive at the airport early; their plane isn't due to land for nearly an hour. It gives me time to calm my nerves, somewhat. I haven't met a girl's parents since high school and then only once. And if I remember correctly it didn't go so well; her dad caught us making out in her room about an hour after dinner. I never did see her again.

The monitors say that their plane is on time but that can change especially when flying over an ocean. I keep one eye on the arrivals board while pacing back and forth just past security. I could meet them at the gate, my badge gets me entrance to places like that, but I don't want to. Besides, they don't need me more or less hovering while going through security.

As I wait I find myself wondering if I'd feel this nervous meeting Danni's parents if I hadn't gotten her pregnant first. I don't really know her dad but I get the feeling he's not real happy that I knocked up his only daughter. Of course it's possible that he'd treat me the same if we were meeting before a wedding. Like I said, I don't really know him.

Finally, the arrivals board says their plane has landed. About five minutes later passengers begin filing out past the security gate and head toward baggage claim. I search the face of each person to pass me but don't see any familiar features.

I'm starting to worry they missed their connection in LA when I hear my name being called. Going up on my toes a bit to see over the majority of the crowd I see a delicate hand waving. "Steve!" Danni's mother finally manages to push her way through the throng of people. She clutches me to her in a bone crushing hug.

I have to bend over more than with Danni even with Mrs. Williams standing on her toes. "It's nice to finally meet you, Mrs. Williams." My mother would be proud of me for remembering my manners.

She leans back and swats my arm; just like Danni does. "I've told you to call me 'Ma'. You're one of mine, now."

I smile down at her but before I can respond, Danni's father comes bustling up behind her. "Lizzie! I told you not to take off. There's way too many people here."

"But I saw Steve, Andrew." She turns to take one of the bags he's carrying and I instantly reach out to take it from her; only to have her smack my hand. "I'm perfectly capable of carrying my own carry-on, thank you very much." She waves one hand over her shoulder. "But you two big strong men can get all our checked luggage."

"Yes, ma'am." I nod my head and head in that direction while telling my libido that this is not Mistress; it's her mother. It doesn't work. Mistress has conditioned me to respond to that tone of voice.

Ma winds her left arm through my right while we're waiting for the luggage. "Danni not feeling up to a drive to the airport?"

"Oh, um, I figured she might have texted. Guess not." They both turn to stare at me. "She, uh, she delivered-" I glance at my watch. "-two and a half hours ago."

"What!?" Ma looks hurts. Tears even form in her eyes. "I was looking forward to being in the delivery room this time. Since she had a C-section with Grace only her sperm donor was allowed in."

"Yeah, well, it was unexpected. She delivered at home." They share a look then turn back to me. "I actually delivered the baby."

Ma's eyes narrow on my face and Mr. Williams turns to start scanning for their luggage. "Why aren't you using pronouns?"

"Danni wants to tell you. And no, you won't be told the name either. Not until Grace is present."

"Speaking of-" Uh-oh. I know that tone. It's the one Danni uses when I've said something she thinks is incredibly stupid. "-just where is my granddaughter?"

"Steve?" Mr. Williams bumps my elbow with the back of his hand. "If you'll grab that yellow case. And that purple one."

I grab the two bags he indicated. "Grace is still at Stan's."

"Danni said he signed over custody."

"And he did."

"So why isn't she here?"

"Lizzie, Danni told you that Grace will be moving in this summer. Probably after we head back home. We're gonna be here for several weeks and it'll be a bit much what with the new baby and all."

Until he said it I had forgotten that since Danni has agreed to marry me in a few weeks her parents are just going to stay until after the wedding. "That and she's trying to be the bigger person here and allowing Stan to spend extra time with Grace."

When Mr. Williams indicates that we have all their bags, I lead the way out of the terminal and toward where I parked the truck. Mr. Williams and I get the bags stowed in the bed and I assist Ma into climbing up into the passenger seat before walking around to the driver's side.

"You're taking us straight to the hospital, right?"

"I had thought to drop your bags at the house; maybe let you freshen up first."

Ma waves one hand in the air and I see Danni in the gesture. "This is my daughter we're talking about here, Commander. I want to see her and my newest grandchild. Now."

Again I have to fight to not react to that tone. I twist my neck in an effort to stay level but it doesn't work completely. Hopefully I can get Danni to do something to get me out of my head. "Yes, ma'am."

I turn toward the hospital and do my best to stay at the speed limit.

"Oh, it's so beautiful here." Ma's head is on a swivel as she tries to see it all as we drive along. "Danni said your house is on the beach?"

"Yeah. It's been in my family since the '40s. Beach front property wasn't so expensive then."

"Danni doesn't really like the ocean."

"So she told me. Although I think she's starting to tolerate it."

"Well, she'd better since she lives so close to it!"

"And Bug seems to really like it, too."


I look over and find Ma frowning at me. "Yeah. It's what we call the baby. Danni didn't want to know the gender beforehand and we got tired of saying 'it'." I shrug.

"Of course. Just like with Grace. Does she still call her 'Monkey'?"

"Sometimes. I think Grace feels she's getting too old for that nickname, though."

"So, Steve." Again with that authoritative tone. I twist my neck again, harder, and just barely manage to stay level. "Tell me your version of how you met my daughter."

I clear my throat. I'm not sure what Danni told her parents about that encounter in the garage but I bet I didn't come out on the good end of it. "Well, I came home because I know who killed my father and I was determined to capture him and put him in the ground.

"I've spent years in Naval Intelligence and in fact was tracking him in Korea. After my father's funeral I went to his house to search for clues. Danni was the detective investigating it and she came into the garage where I was looking at some clues Dad had left for me.

"We each pulled our weapons and after confirming identity, she ordered me to leave." I shrug. "So I did. With the evidence and the case."

"Just like that-" Mr. Williams snaps his fingers. "-you took her case away?" He whistles. "No wonder she hated you."

I can't help the smirk at that. It's no secret that Danni despised me for running roughshod over her that day and then for conscripting her as my partner the next. "The Governor had offered me a job as head of an elite task force. I had originally turned her down. When I realized that Danni didn't know who she was dealing with I took the job.

"Victor Hesse was a very dangerous man who didn't deserve to breathe free air for a number of reasons, least of them being the murder of my father. I knew I could solve the case quicker than she could." Ma and Mr. Williams share a look and I roll my eyes. "I admit I went about it all wrong but I've been in the military my entire adult life. All the women I've encountered for the past several years have also been military. Danni surprised me. And when I'm surprised, I don't react well." I glance over my shoulder before moving over a lane. "I did apologize later," I say when I see the raised eyebrow on Mr. Williams' face.

"Oh, do you consider giving her and Grace three days at a fancy hotel an apology?"

I take and release a deep breath. "That's not… I actually said the words." I glance over at where Ma's sitting, looking at me just like Danni when I've been stupid. "What?" Why do I feel like I have to defend myself here? "Danni forgave me." And I'm immensely grateful she did. I would have died without her dominance.

"Well, obviously. She wouldn't have had your kid if she hadn't."

"So, you forgive me, too, right? I mean, I am the father of your newest grandchild and soon to be your son-in-law."

"Not son-in-law." Mr. Williams speaks for the first time in several minutes. "Just son. We don't need those distinctions."

A lump forms in my throat that these people who barely know me consider me as one of their own. And not just a member of the family - or as we say here: ohana - but one of their sons. I've been on my own for so long. It feels good to be part of a big noisy family like the Williams clan.

I pull into the lot of Kapi'olani and find a parking spot. Mr. Williams and I put the luggage in the cab, then we head inside and up to the maternity ward.

"You seem to know your way around." Ma has latched onto one of my arms again.

"Well, we did take a tour a couple months back as part of the child birth class we took."

"I thought it might be because you're here so often with injuries."

I blink down at her, not sure if I should take her statement seriously or not. "This isn't the hospital we go to for injuries. This is the women's hospital."

"Oh. Well, let me just say that if you ever put my daughter in the hospital for anything other than to deliver your child…" She shrugs. "Let's just say that Danni has taught me a thing or two about hiding bodies."

I glance over my shoulder at Mr. Williams and judging by his evil grin my fear must show plainly on my face. "And our whole family will assist."

"You do realize that Danni has a dangerous job, right? And there's no guarantee that she won't ever be seriously injured. I mean, right?" Ma just grins up at me and I know she's extremely serious about the bodily harm that'll befall me should Danni ever be injured on the job.

Luckily the doors to the elevator open at that point and we step out into the entrance to the maternity ward. There are four nurses milling around the desk directly opposite the elevator and they all look up as we exit the elevator.

"Morning. Visiting hours don't start for another hour," one of the nurses says.

"I'm the father," I say. I'm very tempted to flash my badge but don't think that'll go over well with the nurses and Danni's parents.

"Doesn't matter. Visiting hours-" The same one as before - his nametag says his name's Kai - starts but Ma talks over him. "Does Danni Williams have a roommate?"

He frowns. "Doesn't matter. The rules-"

"Don't apply, here." Ma steps up to the desk.

Mr. Williams bumps my arm with his hand like he did at the airport. "Now you'll get to see where Danni gets it." He nods to where Ma's intimidating this man who is nearly a foot taller than her. I would feel sorry for him if he wasn't keeping me from my family. With a smirk, I cross my arms over my chest and settle back on my heels to watch the show.

Ma's talking too softly for me to hear her words but I can hear the tone she's using and it's enough to justify the look of horror on Kai's face. At one point he looks up at me with a pleading look in his eyes. I have no desire to assist him so I just shrug my shoulders.

Mr. Williams laughs. "Serves him right; keeping you from your woman."

Everything Danni has ever told me about her parents in general and her father in particular has led me to believe he is all about equality but that statement says otherwise. "Didn't take you for a misogynist, Sir."

He turns to frown at me. "What? Oh, because I called Danni your woman?" He waves a hand. "She refers to herself as such, doesn't she?"


He nods. "Is my daughter a misogynist?"

"Not that I'm aware of."

"Okay, so is it misogynist when I, a man, say it but not when a woman says it about herself?"

"Hm. Never thought of it that way before, Sir."

He smiles at me. "And the name's Andrew."

"Yes, Sir - I mean, Andrew." We share a laugh.

"Ma?" Danni sounds so scared. Even more so than when she was delivering Bug.

"Oh, my baby!" Ma bustles over to where Danni's standing in a doorway to our right and folds her into a tight embrace. "It's okay. Ma's here now."

"Daniel," Andrew says, a catch in his voice, while walking over to join his wife and daughter. "Where's my grandchild?"

"They took him." Danni peeks out from under her mother's hair and locks eyes with me. "They took him when we arrived and I haven't seen him since."

A quick glance at my watch shows that she's been here for nearly three hours now. "Did something happen? Is he alright?"

"Wait. Hold up." Andrew holds up his hands, palms out. "You had a boy?" Danni nods, fresh tears sliding down her cheeks. "I have a grandson." He turns to slap me on the shoulder. "Thank you, Steve."

I nod absently at him; all my attention on removing the distressed look from Danni's face. "Why did they take him?"

Danni shakes her head. "Something about checking him over. But they could have done that in the room I was in, in the ER."

Anger flows through me. I should have asked Chin or Kono to meet Danni's parents so I could come to the hospital with my family. "Where is he?"

"The nursery, most likely."

"Come." Ma pats Danni's back and starts moving her back into the room. "Let's get you back in bed while your man fetches your son."

I spin on my heels, my orders clear, and find Andrew staring at me with one brow raised. "Is my wife a misandrist for calling you Danni's man?"

I roll my eyes. "I'm sorry, okay?" He just grins at me and I know I'm going to have a huge learning curve when it comes to fitting into this family.

Stepping up to the nurse's desk I ask, "Is the nursery that way?" I point to the hall that leads past the elevator bank.

"Visiting hours…" Kai starts before sighing and nodding.

"Thank you." Andrew and I start walking in the direction of the nursery.

Andrew sighs. "I remember the day Danni was born."

"Oh, yeah?"

"Yeah." He nods. "I had just started my shift at the firehouse when Aramis, he's our oldest, called to say that Lizzie's water broke. Luckily one of the guys that were supposed to be getting off didn't mind pulling a double." He rubs his face with both hands. "I walked into the room in time to hear her cry for the first time."

"Ya know, I've always wondered by you named her 'Daniel'."

He chuckles. "It was supposed to be Danielle but the last two letters got left off somehow." He shrugs. "We decided to just leave it. She was to be the only one with a common name so we figured that was the universe's way of making it as unusual as her brothers'."

"Yeah?" I come to a stop at a wall of windows covered by closed blinds. A sign on the wall tells us that the closed blinds mean the babies are being examined by the doctors and nurses and asks us to not ring the bell until the blinds are opened. "Guess that explains why Bug hasn't been brought to D's room," I say, indicating the sign.

Andrew nods his agreement, continuing on around the corner and when I follow I see the bell mentioned in the sign next to a Dutch door. "Yeah. Aramis, Billings and Canyon."

"Interesting names.

"Just be glad I managed to talk Lizzie out of naming all four of them after the Musketeers."

Before I can respond the blinds covering the window on the door are raised and a nurse smiles at us. "May I help you?" she asks when she opens the top half of the door.

"Yeah, we're looking for Baby Boy Williams-McGarrett."

"Oh, he's a doll! We're all already in love with him." She shuts the door.

Andrew and I side step to our right to look in the large window next to the door. The nurse picks up a bundle and carries it over to the window, holding it up for us to see my son's face. I know I have a proud grin on my face but I can't help it. That's my baby and I'm damn proud of him.

The nurse points at the door and I step back over as she opens it. "Is the mother asking for him?"

"Yeah, she is."

She nods. "Thought so. She didn't want to let us take him when they first arrived. First time mothers can be quite possessive."

"She's not a first time mother. He has an older sister."

The nurse blinks. "Oh, the way she was acting…"

"She has her reasons," I say, my tone harsher than necessary. "Can I take him? I'm the father."

"I just need to see your band."

"I didn't come in with them so I don't have one."

"Then I'll have to take him and get confirmation from the mother." She shuts the door and I watch her place my son in a bed before grabbing something off a counter and exiting the nursery.

"She's gonna breastfeed. You have that marked somewhere, right?"

"Yes, sir. There's a card on the isolet that says no bottles or pacifier."


Andrew and I follow her back up the hall and into Danni's room where we find Danni sitting on the side of the bed with her arms around her mother's waist and her face pressed to her middle. Ma is rubbing her back and I can hear her murmuring softly; the sound instantly calms me. I make my way around the nurse and over to Danni's side.

"Hey, D. I'm here." Danni reaches out blindly and snags a fistful of my shirt, tugging until she can bury her head in my stomach.

Andrew chuckles. "I just love that you call her 'D'." I frown over my shoulder at him, not sure why that's such a big deal.

"There's someone here who'd like to meet you," the nurse speaks for the first time. "Mrs. Williams-McGarrett, is this man the father of your baby?"

Danni finally looks up. "Yes. And it's Detective Williams. For now." That's the first Danni's ever hinted that she'll take my name after we marry. I personally don't care one way or the other and I've told her that it's entirely up to her. But even so hearing that she's leaning that way has something primitive deep inside howling at the knowledge that the world will know this woman is mine.

"Excellent. Sir? If you'll hold out your hand…" She holds up what appears to be a couple of wristbands like what you get when going to a concert.

She attaches them both to my left wrist. "Why are there two of them?" I spin them around and see that Danni's name is on one and 'Baby Boy Williams-McGarrett' is on the other.

"They signify that you are associated with two patients: Detective Williams and your son." She turns back and picks my son up and hands him over to me. "I'll be back later to help you fill out his birth certificate." And with that she exits the room.

I haven't held a baby since Mary and I don't really remember what it was like. The fact that I'm now holding my son has a lump forming in my throat and I'm stunned motionless. A gentle tugging on my arm has me sitting on the side of the bed. "He's beautiful." He opens his eyes and blinks up at me, his little face crinkling like he's about to cry. "Sh, Bug," I whisper, gently rocking from side to side. "Daddy's here."

"That has a nice ring to it, 'Daddy'." Danni nuzzles my right temple before softly kissing it. "I wouldn't do that if I were you," she says while lightly slapping my hand when I reach for the little cap on Bug's head.

"What? Why?" I once again reach for the cap and she once again lightly smacks my hand.

"Remember those pamphlets I told you not to look at?" I nod. "Same thing. Only it's his head."

Panic spikes through me. "Why? What's wrong with his head? You said he was healthy."

I can tell that Danni's trying to not laugh at me. "There's nothing wrong, Babe. Trust me." She trails one finger down Bug's left cheek and he turns his head in that direction. "If you take the cap off you'll see that he resembles a Conehead from passing through the birth canal."

"What's a Conehead?" I pull the cap off before Danni can stop me and stare down at the nearly pointed head of my son. "Tell me it won't stay that way?"

"Do you even pay attention to the shape of people's heads?" And now she does laugh at me. "His skull isn't fully formed yet for this very reason." She puts the cap back on. "It'll round out within a day or two and then he'll have a perfectly round head."

"Is that my brother?" Grace comes skipping into the room and climbs up on the bed on my other side. I lower my left arm enough for her to see his face. "He's so cute! What's his name, Danno?"

"Yeah, Danno, what's his name?" I bump her with my shoulder. We kinda discussed names but never actually agreed on one.

Danni smiles at me and cups Bug's head in her hand. "Steve, Ma, Pop, Gracie,-" She clears her throat. "-I'd like you all to meet John Andrew Williams McGarrett; no hyphen."

"D…" My throat closes over a huge lump.

"Idiot," Danni says in a soft voice. "Like I'd give your son any other name."

"You're sure?" She nods. "I love you." I press a kiss to her forehead.

"Gracie? Did you father just drop you off?" Ma runs one hand down Grace's hair.

"No." Stan steps into the room. "I didn't want to intrude. It's good to see you, Andrew, Elizabeth."

"Stanley." Andrew's tone is cold enough to freeze and I can't help the smirk that crosses my face at this proof that Danni's family doesn't like Grace's sperm donor.

"Congratulations, Danni, Steve." Stan raises one hand in a slight wave and I give him a nod in return. "Grace, just call when you're ready to come home."

"But I will be home. Right, Danno?"

"Grace, now's not the time for this." Danni takes John from my arms. "Steve, get me a diaper from the isolet, please."


Danni presses her lips into a thin line while she changes John's diaper. "Your father and I decided that you won't move in until school is out."

"But why!?"

"Because they're going to be busy with the baby and getting ready for the wedding, that's why." Stan manages to surprise us all by taking our side.

"Actually, I just wanted to give you more time with her."

"Thank you, Daniel." He clears his throat. "Just call when I should come get her."

"I think since my parents are here she could stay until Monday. If that's alright with you."

"Yeah, sure. You got a uniform at your place?"

"I do."

Stan nods. "Good. Okay." He steps up to where Grace is sitting on the bed and kisses her head. "Love you, Grace. I'll pick you up at school on Monday."

"Okay, Daddy." She reaches up to hug him.

He nods one more time and then exits the room.

"What's the importance of the name 'John'?" Andrew asks, turning his back when Danni lowers her gown to offer her breast to John.

"It's Uncle Steve's Daddy's name." Grace sits on the end of the bed and all but vibrates in place while she waits not so patiently for her turn to hold John.

"That's very sweet," Ma says as she bustles around the room, rearranging things proving she's just as anxious to hold John as Grace is.

When John finishes his breakfast, Danni passes him to Ma, who sits down on the bed and begins cooing at the bundle in her arms. Chin and Kono arrive and John gets passed around between everyone so that he can get to know his ohana. It's a very enjoyable day; probably the only one I've ever had in a hospital. It comes to an end when Danni drifts off mid-word. A nurse comes to get John to return him to the nursery so everyone leaves and I drive Grace, Ma, and Andrew to the house.

When I return to the hospital I find Danni still asleep. I drop her bag on the sink counter, then lean over to press a kiss to her forehead. She must be beyond exhausted because she doesn't even stir at the brief touch of my lips to her skin.

It has been quite a day and I suddenly find myself fighting to stay awake. A nurse came in while I was gone and turned the chair into a bed. Looking at it I can see I'm in for a very uncomfortable night but don't care. I can't climb into the bed with Danni and I need sleep.

When the nurse brings John in for a feeding it feels like I've just laid down but a look at my watch tells me it's been nearly two hours. Danni wakes up just enough to put John to her breast before falling asleep again. Luckily the nurse is still in the room taking her vitals because I have no clue what to do. But with her help I manage to get John fed and changed.

"Can he stay for a while? I haven't spent any time alone with him yet."

The nurse, whose nametag says her name is Julie, looks undecided for several seconds. "I can give you twenty minutes."

"Thank you." I pick John up and cradle him in my arms. His eyes are wide open and I swear he's staring at me with Danni's ocean blue eyes but all the books I read say he can't see that well yet. "Hey, little guy," I whisper, bending my head to rub my nose against his while walking over to the window. "If the sun was up you'd be able to see this beautiful place you're gonna call home. You'll love it here. That is my promise to you. Along with the promise to be a much more loving father than mine was."

A lump forms at the thought of Dad and how he'd love not only Danni and Grace but his beautiful grandson who carries his name. "Oh, don't get me wrong. He did love us, in his own way. He just didn't know how to show it; especially once Mom died. You're named for him, by the way." John yawns and closes his eyes. "Am I boring you?" I chuckle at that because really, can babies even be bored? "I love you so much, Son. And you will never doubt that. Ever. Your Danno has taught me that love is not something to be afraid of and the easiest thing in the word to express."

"Kinda wish I had a camera." I turn on my heel to find Danni lying on her left side, smiling fondly at us. "You look good with that baby in your arms, McGarrett."

"Do I?"

"Mmhm." Her lashes flutter and it's apparent that she's still fighting her exhaustion. "Does he need to feed?"

"He's already fed."

Her forehead crinkles. "When?"

"About twenty minutes ago," Julie says, entering the room. "Time's up, Commander."

I reluctantly hand him to the nurse who lays him gently in the isolet before pushing it out of the room, closing the door behind her. The soft click of the latch has Danni waking enough to look around the room questioningly. "Where's Bug?" Terror is starting to creep into her tone.

"He's in the nursery."

"What? No." She starts to get up and I push her back against the pillows.

"He's never going to be any safer outside your uterus than he is right now. Ya know, behind a locked door and bullet proof glass."

She frowns up at me. "Oh, now you call it bullet proof glass? Figures." Well, at least I know her brain is still functioning correctly if she can make a joke about a case from our early days.

I shrug. "What can I say? I've learned the virtue of using as few words as possible to get my point across."

"I wanna go home," she mumbles, her eyes drifting shut.

"Maybe later today." I brush a kiss to her forehead and she sighs before slipping into a deeper slumber.

John is brought back four hours later and this time we're allowed to keep him for most of the day (he does still have to go back to the nursery every time there's a shift change). At one point I'm kicked out so Meegs can examine her, not sure why since I was in the room when he stuck his hand up her vagina to check her uterus during her prenatal appointments. He declares her fit to go home the next day and I can see her visibly relax at the knowledge that she'll soon be back where she feels safest.

I don't realize it until morning but the nurses don't bring John to us that night. Danni questions it when they bring him for his breakfast and they give some bullshit answer about giving us one last night to sleep. Danni doesn't believe them anymore than I do.

After she feeds him, she goes to take a shower, leaving me alone with him for the first time since early yesterday morning. I change his diaper and dress him in the little sailor outfit Ma bought for him to wear home. And he sure does look super cute, if I do say so myself.

"Maybe one day you'll follow my footsteps and join the Navy, huh? Not that it matters. Whatever you do, I'll support you. Just so long as it's legal and makes you happy."

"When did you become such an enlightened man?" Danni steps out of the bathroom wearing a pair of jeans, a t-shirt and slippers. "Oh, he looks adorable in the outfit Mémé bought him." I fully expect Danni to take him from me but she doesn't. She just caresses his head and kisses his forehead before leaning up and kissing my cheek.

"Oh, since I found the love of a good woman."

"Oh, yeah?" I nod. "Lucky woman."

I scoff. "I like to think I'm the lucky one." And looking at how happy she is, and knowing how happy she makes me, I think I am the luckiest guy in the world. "Think he'll go into the Navy? It is a family tradition."

"Anything's possible. But like you said, we're not going to push him in any one direction."

"No, of course not." I look down into the beautiful face of my peacefully sleeping son and find my thoughts full of things I want for him; things I'd love to see him accomplish like following my footsteps and joining not just the Navy but the SEALs, too. "I remember Dad telling me to not be a cop when I was younger. He said that I could be anything I wanted, just not that. What about you?" I look up at where she's packing her bag.

"Pop wanted me to be a firefighter but I knew that wasn't for me. And not because I'm female but because I'm scared of fire. I'm terrified that I'll get trapped. What good is a firefighter who has a panic attack before stepping into a burning building? And not just a panic attack, but one that leaves them unable to move." She shakes her head. "No. Not for me. I knew I wanted to do something involving the law."

She comes back over to where I'm standing, holding John next to the window. "I went to Rutgers to study law but I wasn't positive I wanted to be a lawyer so I was only taking a few intro to law classes. I knew after just a few days that I would never be a lawyer."

"Why not?" I lean down and kiss the tip of her nose. She wrinkles it but doesn't object so I do it again and this time she gives me the same look she gives me when I tell her to 'book 'em, Danno'.

"All that legalese. It didn't make sense to me at first and then when it did, I realized it was just a bunch of double talk. And that's way too close to lying for me." She shakes her head again. "I decided to study criminal justice. I thought I'd be a crime lab specialist like Fong but my junior year a friend was assaulted and the officers that assisted were very nice and understanding so I decided to go to the academy."

"Huh. And to think if you hadn't done that we'd never have meet."

"I'd never have met Stan either. So we have my inability to use double talk to thank for the existence of both Grace and John." She's right. Her job as a police officer is how she met Stan. They were both at the courthouse and had to share a table in the café. "Did you get the car seat installed?" She turns away to finish packing her bag.

"Yep. Had to go to the precinct to make sure it was in correctly, though."

She laughs. "Yeah, they can be tricky."

"Detective? Ready to go?" An orderly enters the room pushing a wheelchair.

"Was ready yesterday."

He laughs. "I shall be your ride to the front door." He looks up at me. "Do you need to bring your car around?"

"No. I used the valet last night when I returned after going out for food." While Danni was given free food, I had to buy from either the cafeteria or go out. I chose to go out with the rest of the family and give Danni some time by herself with Bug.

"Excellent. Detective?" He giggles the chair a bit.

Danni sits down and instantly reaches for Bug. "You can't carry him and all my stuff."

True. I have to carry her bag as well as the balloons that were delivered by Kame late Saturday, not to mention the stuffed seals. Apparently several members of our ohana thought it was an original and hilarious idea to give my son a stuffed baby seal or, as in the case of Kono, a nearly life sized one.

It's quick work getting my family settled into the cab of the truck and then we're on our way home. Danni is quiet during the drive and when I look over I find she has her eyes closed.

"You okay?" I reach over and twine my fingers with hers.

"Hm? Oh, yeah. Just tired."

"Is that normal?"

"Wouldn't know. I had a C-section with Grace so I was doped up for nearly a full day after."

"But Bug was born Saturday morning. Surely you shouldn't still be this tired."

"It's hard work pushing a human being out of your body, Steve. Not to mention feeding said person. Breast feeding burns several hundred calories in just thirty minutes."

"Huh. So what if you get pregnant again before you've weaned Bug?"

"Depending on how old Bug is, and by that I mean how close I am to weaning him, when I get pregnant, if it happens, I may be able to finish nursing him."

"I don't understand."

She shifts in her seat. "I plan on nursing for at least a year, even once I've gone back to work. If I get pregnant within a few months of his first birthday, I'll be able to wean him for those last couple of months and will have made my goal of a year.

"Likewise, if I get pregnant within the next six months, I won't be able to nurse for even half that."

A quick glance shows her looking over the back of the seat at Bug in his car seat. "So, back to condoms?"


I nod my understanding of that. "Will you go back on The Pill?"

"Probably not. At least not right away."


I see her shrug from the corner of my eye. "I've been on birth control since I was sixteen, not counting when I was pregnant with Grace. I think I want to give my body some time to control its own hormones."

"Fair enough. Just don't go blaming me if you get pregnant before you go back on birth control. Even I know that condoms are only ninety-five to ninety-eight percent effective by themselves."

"I didn't blame you this time." She jiggles my hand. "I was scared of your reaction to the news. I know it's not solely the man's fault when a woman gets pregnant."

"Good to know. I just don't want to find myself in a scene from a sit-com or movie where a woman screams at her partner that it's all his fault while delivering."

"Actually, very few women react that way during delivery. That's just used for laughs or dramatic effect."

I look over at her and can see just how tired she is. She really does have a difficult time resting when not in her own space. Although she never had that issue at my place. And just like that I get hit upside the head by a 4X4 and realize just how long she's been in love with me. She has always felt comfortable enough in my space to treat it as her own and someone like her wouldn't feel that way without the presence of a strong emotion such as love. It's a good thing she has her eyes closed because I can't keep the smug grin off my face.

The closer we get to the house the more I expect her to relax but the opposite is true: the closer we get the more tense she gets.

"D?" I stroke my thumb over her knuckles.

"I'll be fine." I know she's trying to reassure me but it sounds like she's talking to herself. "It's just three weeks. I can do this."

"Is she really that bad?"

I can feel the glare she aims my way. "Is she…? Seriously? You ask me that? Now of all times?"

"What? What did I say that's so bad? You're acting like she's the evil step-mother."

"You just don't get it, Steven, so don't even try."

I turn into the drive and park the truck next to the Camaro. Turning off the engine, I turn to face her, putting a hand on hers when she goes to unbuckle her seat belt. "Talk to me, D. Why are you so tense? I thought you had a good relationship with your mother."

"Oh, yeah, I do. In fact, it's perfect. Just so long as I let her have her way in everything." She unbuckles her seat belt but makes no move to exit the truck. "After Grace was born the doctor put me on some restrictions, I had just had major abdominal surgery after all, so I moved in with my parents until I was allowed to take care of her on my own. The whole two weeks I wasn't allowed, per my mother's orders, to so much as pick Grace up. She wouldn't let me care for my own child! And then when I moved back into my apartment, she either called or stopped by daily to make sure I was doing things her way! Sometimes she did both! One day she showed up unannounced in the early hours of the morning, I had just finished nursing Grace and was trying to go back to sleep when she rang the bell. She stayed for six hours! And every time Grace made any kind of noise Ma was on her like stink on shit. And then she called me just seconds after she left! And stayed on the phone for over an hour!" Her outburst leaves her winded and she slumps back against the door. "Now, you tell me: is she that bad?"

"This situation is different. This is your house. Tell her she can't dictate to you here. Unless you want me to."

Danni takes and releases a deep breath. "I think I should do it. If it doesn't work, I'll get Pop involved."

"Okay. Just remember: I support you."

"Thanks, Babe." She leans over and kisses me. "We should get inside before she sends out a search party."

"Need help?" She shakes her head and slips from the cab but isn't able to completely hide the grimace of pain the movement causes. "D," I say, opening the back door so I can start carrying everything into the house.

"I'm fine, Steve." She opens the other back door and climbs inside to unbuckle Bug from his car seat.

"How can you say that when I just saw you grimace in pain?"

"Because of the reason for the pain." She lifts Bug out and coos at him. "I pushed a human being out of my vagina seventy-two hours ago, Steven. That hurts."

"But it's been three days. How much longer is it gonna hurt?"

"Don't know. Shouldn't be much longer."

"Maybe you should have stayed at the hospital a few more days. Just to be sure."

She smiles at me. "There's no reason for us to still be there. Your son and I are both healthy. It's just a little pain. I can handle it."

I chew my lip, my brow wrinkled in concern. "I don't know, D. I don't like it."

"I know you don't but it's all part of the miracle of birth. Having a little difficulty sitting for a few days is a rather small price to pay for this adorable creature. Wouldn't you agree?"

How can I not? Our son is beyond adorable. Other than his eye color I don't see much of Danni in him, though. "He is really adorable. Just wish he looked more like you. But I guess I can't complain since he has your eye color."

She smiles at that and climbs down from the truck, John tucked securely in the crook of one arm. "He may not ever look like me and his eyes might change."

"What?" I slam the door closed and follow my family around the corner of the house.

"He may always look like you; Grace looks more like Stan than me. And all Caucasian babies are born with blue eyes. If his eyes are still this color at six weeks, then they won't change."

"There you are!" Ma is standing on the stoop, obviously waiting for us. When she reaches for Bug, Danni turns her back and steps around her. "I want to hold my grandson."

"No." Danni turns to me and hands him over. "You and I need to talk. In private." Danni stands at the foot of the stairs until Ma throws her nose in the air and marches past her.

"D?" I tug her back with one hand on her sleeve. "Keep calm." She smiles at me and leans in for a kiss, then turns and follows her mother up the stairs.

"Might want to alert the neighbors so they don't call your co-workers."

"Our neighbors know when to ignore screaming from this house." The instant the words leave my mouth I know how Andrew will take them. And if his smirk is any indication, he took them exactly that way. "Because D loves to yell at the TV during games."

"If you say so."

"I said sit!" Danni is obviously letting her mother get to her and I want nothing more than to go up there and calm her down.

"Maybe we'd better take him outside so they don't wake him."

"Yeah, I suppose we should." I follow Andrew through the dining room and out onto the lanai. "You want?" I hold Bug out.

Andrew takes him from my arms and John opens his eyes to squint up at the person holding him. "Hey, there. I'm your Pop-Pop." John yawns, closes his eyes and farts. "Well, guess he told me." Andrew laughs. "What are they talking about, do you know?"

"Yeah. D's decided to lay down the law with Ma."

"It still gets me that you call her 'D'." He shakes his head.

"Why is that such a big deal?"

"It's what her brothers call her. In fact, all of them tend to get called by their initial. Lizzie and I did name them the way we did for a reason."

"So, what, you were planning on having twenty-six kids?"

Andrew shifts Bug to rest on his chest. "No. Just wanted it to be obvious who was born when."


"No. But it sounds good, right?" I shake my head, letting my gaze wander out over the sand to the gently rolling waves. "You want to be out there, don't you?"

I turn my head to blink at Andrew. "What?"

"Danni told me that you all but live in the water. You haven't been for a swim since John was born, have you?" I shake my head. "Then go. I got John and who knows how long Danni and Lizzie will be hashing out the rules for the next three weeks."

"My trunks are in my room."

"You wearing boxers?"


"Then just shuck your clothes and go. What are swim trunks, really? Just a pair of boxers that you can get away with wearing in public. Unless they're white. They're not white, are they, Son?"

"No, they're not white."

"Then go." He flicks his head in the direction of the water. "I got him. Go."

Standing, I pull my shirt off over my head. "If you're sure?"

"Absolutely." Andrew tilts his head while examining my torso. "No wonder Danni's head over heels for you. She always did go for the muscled guys."

I have no idea how to respond to that so I just lean down and take John from Andrew's arms, lifting him close enough that I can press a kiss to his round little cheek. "Oh, how I'd love to take you in the water with me but your Danno would kill me if I did. She'd say you're not old enough yet. But one day. Soon." With another kiss, I hand John back.

"You know it's not just Danni's aversion to the ocean that would have her telling you he's not ready to go in the water, right?"


"He can't have his lower body submerged in water until his umbilical cord falls off."

The first thing that comes to mind is to question his statement but I know it has to fall off otherwise everyone in the world would still have a piece of umbilical cord attached to their abdomen. "Right. I remember that from the parenting class Danni made me take." With a gentle caress to my son's head, I slip off my slippers and step out of my jeans.

Andrew snorts with laughter when he sees my boxers. "Oh, man. She's got you good!"

I look down at the New York Jets logo that covers the material and shrug. "She bought them so I figured I should wear them. And not because she'd get upset if I didn't."

"Oh, sure. Keep telling yourself that."

John farts again and I can already tell by the look on his face that he's pooping. "You're gonna need to change his diaper soon."

Andrew just nods his head. "I know. You're lucky that babies that are breast fed don't have stinky poop. Just wait until he goes on formula or solid food." The face he makes at the memory has me fearing for the day when that happens.

"Can she nurse him for more than a year?"

"Sure. But at one year they kinda insist on being introduced to solid food. Not to mention it's not healthy for them to live solely on breast milk past one year of age."

"Well, I'm a SEAL. I've been to war. I think I can handle a stinky diaper."

"You think that now." Andrew shakes his head and presses his lips closed in what I've come to refer to as the Williams Stubborn Face and I know from dealing with it from Danni that nothing I say or do will get him to continue that train of thought.

"Okay. I'm gonna-" I point out at the ocean. Andrew nods and takes my place on the love seat, stretching out a bit to give Bug more of his chest to curl up on.

Looking at my son lying on his grandfather's chest I find it difficult to believe that just three days ago he was inside my future wife. The next three weeks are going to drag something fierce as I wait for the day I can call her my wife; something I've wanted to call her for nearly three years now.

Turning toward the ocean, I wonder what Dad would think of Danni and our son and her family. I already know that Mary loves Danni and that she's excited about being an aunt. Likewise I'm sure Mom would adore them both. And Danni would probably get along well with both Mom and Dad.

Once Danni realized just who I was she told me that she had met Dad once. He had stopped by the precinct one day to speak with her captain and she got introduced; seems that being the only female homicide detective in the state is a rather big deal. She told me that she did like Dad, what little she got to see of him, and that he was talked about with respect until a few weeks before his murder. She's not sure what happened but something changed the department's opinion of him and that's why she was assigned to work his case alone.

I wade into the warm water, diving beneath the waves once it's deep enough to do so safely. I swim about half as far as I usually do before turning back. I can see Andrew standing at the edge of the lanai, holding John so he can 'see' me and waving his little arm. Danni and Ma must still be hashing out the rules so I turn over onto my back and float for a while.

I'm sure I doze off because I startle when I hear my name being called sharply from the direction of the beach. Standing upright, I turn and see my mother standing at the edge of the water, calling my name, her hands firmly planted on her hips. I blink and the image of my mother morphs into Danni who isn't nearly as annoyed as my mother usually was.

"You gonna sleep out here?"

"Was thinking about it." I walk up to where she's standing and wrap my arms around her waist, pulling her in tight. She manages to surprise me by not objecting to a full body hug while I'm dripping wet. In fact, she goes up on tip-toe, wraps her arms around my neck and kisses me.

"Hey, now! There are parents present," Andrew calls out.

Danni pulls back and giggles. "As if that'll stop me."

I haven't seen her this happy in a while; by the end of her pregnancy she was miserable from how heavy John was sitting on her. "Well, maybe it should. Just when they can see us, though."

"Scared of my father?"

"Who, me? Mister Big, Bad SEAL? Afraid of a father? Pfft," I scoff. "Now, your mother, on the other hand-" I over exaggerate a shudder. "-she could put the fear of God into Wo Fat."

"And now you know where I get it from."

"I miss you." I don't have to elaborate because I know she knows what I mean.

"I know. I miss you, too. Maybe we can send my parents out in a day or two and I can give you that spanking you've been begging for."

I sigh deeply at the thought of bending over for her to tan my ass. "Yes, please. The sooner the better."

She cups one cheek in her hand. "I'll do what I can." When she steps back she lightly taps my cheek; it's enough and yet not nearly enough. "Come." She spins on her heel and I have to adjust my growing erection before I can follow.

It's nearly a week later before Danni convinces her father to take her mother shopping at The International Marketplace. I don't know what she said but I can guess based on the look and pat on the back he gives me on his way out the door.

Since Danni and her mother have been having non-argument-arguments, I fully expect her to take the brunt of her frustration out on my ass. And she doesn't disappoint. By the time her parents return I can't sit without wincing and walking is fairly difficult as well. I'm positive we're not fooling either of them. At all. Not that I care. I am not ashamed of what we do behind closed doors.

Two weeks after John was born, and one week before I make Danni my wife, the rest of our family is scheduled to arrive. We managed to get her brothers and their families and Mary on the same flight out of LA which makes it easier to get them from the airport. And since there are so many people, I rented each of her brothers an SUV for them to use during their stay. Mary will have use of the Camaro since it's not practical with John's car seat.

We arrive at baggage claim nearly an hour before their plane is scheduled to arrive. Danni immediately sits down and begins nursing John. He seems to want to eat a lot more lately than he did in the first days after his birth. "Sit down. You're making me nervous and that's making John not want to nurse." Danni tugs on my arm when I pace back in front of her for the umpteenth time.

I flop down in the chair to her right. "He seems to be hungrier lately." I lean over and run one finger around his tiny ear.

"I think he's going through a growth spurt. It happens."

"But this soon? He's only a couple of weeks old."

"And he weighed nearly nine pounds." She laughs and brushes a kiss to my jaw. "You heard the doctor this morning. He's in the ninety-fifth percentile. There is nothing wrong."

"He just doesn't seem to ever be full. Did Grace go through this?"

"Not in the first two months, no." I can feel the sadness wash over her at the reminder that her daughter was taken from her.

"D, I'm sorry. I didn't mean-" She hushes me with a hand on my leg.

"I know you didn't. It's fine." She kisses me again and switches John to her other breast. "I could use some water or juice. Do you mind?"

"Not at all." I kiss her temple before getting up and heading for the nearest snack bar.

By the time I return to the bench she's sitting on with a cup of orange juice, it's nearly time for our family's plane to land. "Here ya go." I hand the cup over and sit down, taking John from her. As usual he's sound asleep. I know that babies need lots of sleep, it's how their little brains grow, but I'll be glad when he's old enough to do more than eat, sleep, and poop.

Danni rests her head on my shoulder and is soon dozing. I'm still slightly worried about how much she's sleeping even after being told by Ma that it is perfectly normal for a new mother to be this tired, especially when she's nursing.

Finally the arrivals board shows that the plane has landed, right on time. I nudge Danni awake and she takes Bug back, tucking him into the sling she has wrapped around her torso. After several minutes, people begin streaming in to the baggage area from the terminals. I figure that her brothers and their families will be the last off the plane due to how many children they have to herd along the way. It isn't until most of the other passengers have gone to cluster around the baggage carousel that I see Mary heading our way with three couples and several children following her.

"Hey, Big Brother!" Mary calls when she's close enough to not have to yell.

I stand and hug her tight. "Hey, yourself. How was the flight?"

"Fine." She leans around me when I set her back on her feet. "Is that my nephew?"

"No, it's some stranger's baby. Did Steve not tell you that I was pretending to be pregnant this whole time?" I can only thank God that Danni and Mary like each other. "Yeah, this is him." Danni's voice takes on that thoroughly content with the world tone that I associate with mothers. Danni hands John over to Mary who instantly begins to coo at him while gently rocking back and forth.

"Hey, D-" one of the men begins to say but is interrupted by Danni. "If you call me anything other than Danni, Daniel, or Danno I will castrate you. Am I clear?" She waves her finger back and forth between all three of the men. They all gulp loudly and nod.

"Good. Now come give me a hug." She stands up and lets them engulf her in a huge group hug. After a few minutes, Danni pushes out of the hug. "Okay, now since there are so many of you I figured we'd save introductions until we get to the house. We've got the three of you rental cars and, Mary, you'll be given access to the Camaro."

"Awesome." Mary does a little fist pump.

"Aw, Danni, I wanted to drive the Camaro," one of her brothers whines.

"Well, tough. You got to drive the Mustang."

"Oh, yeah. To the airport where some worker drove it onto a plane."

Danni shrugs. "You still got to drive it."

"But it's not as cool as the Camaro! You know that's my dream car."

The grin that spreads over her face can only be described as pure evil. "Yes, I know." And now I know why she didn't rip me a new one when I crashed the Mustang.

"You are an evil, evil woman." I lean down to whisper in her ear.

"And you wouldn't have me any other way." She slaps me on the ass before heading toward the carousel where only a few pieces of luggage remain. Of course she's right. If she wasn't so deliciously evil then I wouldn't be so content on my knees at her feet.

It's decided that Danni will ride in the shuttle to the rental car place and then with one of her brothers to where I parked the truck while Mary will ride with me and John. From there everyone will follow me to the house. Since there is very little room at the house Danni and I have been discussing asking everyone to stay at a hotel but have yet to come to a consensus. I think Mary should be allowed to stay with us, we do have the room until Grace comes for the wedding; but Danni thinks Mary should stay at a hotel, too.

We finally agreed to bring it up to everyone and see what they think.

Mary and I spend the walk to the truck catching up. I find out that she's currently single, or rather is still single, and hasn't even been dating. She has decided to concentrate on getting her life together. She wants what I have: someone to share her life with and children. I tell her I'm proud of her and that I'm sure Mom and Dad are too.

When Danni and her brothers arrive, Danni climbs into the back seat letting Mary have the front if she wants. Mary surprises us both by climbing into the back on the other side of John's car seat. The two of them then spend the drive to the house discussing all manner of female things. Danni has never seemed all that interested in 'girl things' like hair, make-up and pretty clothes. But something seems to have changed since she gave birth. When they start talking about female bodily functions, I tune them out. There are a few things a man does not need to know about the female body.

At the house it's controlled (barely) chaos as Danni's brothers and their families spill from the SUVs and file into the house where her mother has been busy cooking lunch. A couple of the older girls spy the beach out the back windows and keep trying to sneak out. Danni gets them all to stand still long enough for introductions with a shrill whistle.

"Steve, I'd like to introduce you to my brothers." She touches the shoulder of the one that complained about not getting to drive the Camaro. "This is Aramis, his wife Teresa and their girls: Abby, Denise, Heather and Jolene." She steps to the next one. "This is Billings, his wife Tracy and their girls: Bailey, Erica and Irene." And the last one. "And this is Canyon, his wife Thea and their girls: Courtney and Faith."

"And Karen is due in about four months," Thea rubs her belly and beams.

"Another girl!?" Andrew comes up and gapes at her. "Are you sure?"

"Had the amnio just last week, Pop." Canyon rubs his wife's shoulders. "I don't see what the big deal is. D-anni-" Canyon stumbles over the name when Danni glares at him. "-gave you a grandson. I love my girls and wouldn't trade them for anything."

"You know I love my granddaughters but I'd like to take a boy fishing or to a game. Sure I can do that with a girl but it's awkward when they're of an age where they need assistance in the bathroom. That's all I'm saying."

John starts fussing in his carrier. "I think someone needs to lie down and stretch." Danni takes the carrier from me and heads up the stairs to our bedroom, leaving me alone with her family. Well, not totally alone, I do still have Mary.

"I'm with her." Mary, the traitor, points after Danni's retreating back and then follows her.

"Yeah, me too!" And one by one all the women head upstairs.

"I don't think Danni will appreciate having all of them in there while she's trying to put him down." I chew my lip while watching all those bodies disappear into my bedroom.

"Aw, don't worry about it, Babe." Aramis pats me on the shoulder as he passes on his way through the dining room to the lanai. "Little bugger's a Williams; he was born with the ability to sleep through anything."

"Still not sure I like my son around all that estrogen."

Danni's brothers laugh. "You got no say. They out number us and you'd be a fool to try and keep them away."

Andrew follows his sons and grabs my arm on his way past. "He'll be fine, Steve. He's the little prince right now. You'll have him all to yourself again in a week."

I'm so out of my depth here that I don't notice that Danni's father and brothers have surrounded me on the lanai until Billings says, "If you hadn't knocked our sister up would you have proposed?"

"Billings!" Andrew chides, slapping Billings on the arm.

"What? We're all thinking it."

I look around and see that all of them are wondering if I had any intention of marrying Danni if she hadn't gotten pregnant. "Before I met your sister I had never thought of marriage and family. My childhood was far from ideal and I didn't want to risk repeating my parents' mistakes. But Danni and Grace convinced me to take that risk." I lick my lips and look each of them in the eye. "Would I have proposed when I did if she hadn't gotten pregnant? Probably not. I hadn't even told her I love her yet. Hell, she didn't tell me until a couple of days before I found out she was pregnant."

I scratch at one eyebrow with my thumb nail. "Within a few hours of finding out I was going to be a father I decided to propose. I didn't know when or how I'd do it but I knew I wanted to." They all share a look and I can tell they don't really believe me. "Surely the fact that I proposed two days after finding out she was pregnant works in my favor. Right?"

"Depends on how you actually did propose, I think," Canyon says and they all nod in agreement.

Of course they're not gonna make this easy for me. "We were in the middle of a shootout when it became clear that I probably wouldn't find a more perfect moment."

They all gape at me. "You're joking, right?" Andrew punches my left shoulder. "Tell me you're joking."

"You seriously think Danni would want something overly romantic? Even I know she's not that much of a girl."

"Sure, but while being shot at by bad guys?"

I shrug. "Okay, maybe I could have waited until after the suspects were in custody but I've learned that when an opportunity presents itself to act on it immediately otherwise you might never get another chance."

Andrew nods. "Fair enough."

We fall silent after that and silence reigns until someone's cell phone buzzes. Aramis pulls his from his pocket and makes a frustrated sound in his throat at the text message. "What's up?" Canyon leans over to try and read the message.

"Teresa says that Jolene is upset at not being the only one with a 'J' name. She wants me to talk to Danni about why she broke the pattern."

"We have a very good reason for the name we chose." I had no idea about the initial pattern in naming the grandkids but it doesn't matter since Bug is named for the grandfather he'll never know.

"Even if they didn't, A,-" Canyon pips up. "-Danni never agreed to it. The only reason she got 'G' is because Grace was born between Faith and Heather."

"And Grace was named for Danni's partner who died on nine eleven."

I frown at Andrew. "I didn't know that."

"Yeah. So apparently she has a thing for naming her kids after people who are important to her but are no longer alive."

"So who's John named for?"

"My dad."

"Wasn't that the case she was working on when you two met?"

"Yeah." Just talking about it makes me miss my dad even more.

"Hey, man, I'm sorry." Canyon leans over and pats my right knee.

"It's fine." I don't like to talk about Dad but just like with Danni I find I can't stop the flow of words. "My dad and I had a difficult relationship. I volunteered for just about every mission to avoid having to come home. His death forced me back to Hawai'i which, of course, lead to me meeting Danni. As much as I regret the wasted opportunities with my dad, I find I'm grateful because I now have my family."

Luckily the subject gets quickly changed and then we're being called in to eat. If I thought a hundred hungry SEALs were messy when eating, they have nothing on the Williams Clan. I don't once hear anyone ask for a specific food item to be passed and yet everyone gets what they want when they want it. And the noise! Everyone talks over each other and appears to carry on multiple conversations at once.

I just sit in my chair between Danni and Grace and let the sounds ebb and flow around me. It's a lot scary but it's even more heartwarming that these people have accepted me into their family.

When it's time for bed I find my way blocked by Ma. "Excuse me," I say, trying to edge around where she's standing in the doorway; something she hasn't done since her first night here.

"Nope, sorry. You'll just have to sleep elsewhere."

"You do realize this is my house, that's my bedroom and, more importantly, that's my family in there."

She settles her weight on one leg and crosses her arms over her chest. "And until you can say 'that's my wife and son' you will be sleeping elsewhere."

"D." I plead for assistance.

"Ma, we talked about this. Not letting Steve sleep with me is like shutting the barn door after the horse has escaped."

"I told you how I feel about this."

"And I told you we're both adults and this is not your house. You don't get to make the rules here."

"So you don't respect me enough to not sleep with him before the wedding?" Ma turns to face where Danni is sitting on the bed wiping John down with a wet wipe.

"Don't even." Danni barely raises her head. "I told you how things were going to be here. You don't like it, you can find a hotel."

Ma spins on her heel and calls out, "Andrew!"

"Don't push it, Lizzie. It's not your house."

Ma puts her finger in my face. "I got my eye on you."

"Ma!" Ma looks back over her shoulder one more time before stepping aside and letting me enter my bedroom. "Jeez. What does she think's gonna happen? I already gave birth to your kid."

"And it's not like you're up for it anyway. Right?" I read somewhere that the six week rule is mostly to make sure the woman has fully healed after delivery but that the couple can resume intercourse whenever the woman feels comfortable with it.

"Actually…" The look she gives me has me instantly hard. "I've wanted for a while now but haven't felt comfortable with my parents here."

"Yeah?" I pick John up and kiss his sweet face before putting him in his crib.

"Yeah." Danni's sigh tells me that I'm not going to be getting laid tonight despite what she just said. "But it's just a few days until the wedding, now, and I think we should wait."

"Are you still bleeding?" That was the biggest surprise for me: that a woman bleeds for several weeks post-delivery.

"Yeah." Danni slips her arms around my waist. "But I'm willing to blow you if you want."

I turn in her arms. "That sounds like something I'd be interested in. Except that I was planning on making a snack of your pussy."

"Well, if you don't mind the blood…"

"Uh, yeah, I kinda do."

"Very well." She goes up on her toes to press her lips to mine.

I pick her up and toss her on the bed. Her giggle is loud and I shush her while fighting a laugh myself. "We have to be quiet," I whisper, climbing on the bed to cover her body with mine.

"Mm," she hums, threading her fingers through my hair. "Get me off, then I'll blow you."

"Yes, Mistress."

I settle my weight on my forearms with my fingers in her hair and begin rocking my hips against hers. Her breath catches in her throat and she tilts her head back. Leaning down, I nibble on her delicious skin, taking care to not leave marks. Danni's hands tighten on my back just before she stiffens.

She is glorious in her climax. I love watching her face in that final moment of surrender. I've often thought of asking if I can photograph her masturbating just so I can have a picture of her face but something has always held me back. And so make sure I can see it and commit it to memory to be taken out whenever I'm allowed to pleasure myself.

Before she has even fully caught her breath, she's pushing me over onto my back so she can fish my erection out of my board shorts. She licks a quick stripe up the side then swallows me whole, her cheeks hollowing as she does her level best to suck my brain out through my dick.

I bury the fingers of my right hand in her hair and wrap my left around the slats of the headboard. Despite not giving head very often she sucks like a pro and soon I'm tugging on her hair to warn her I'm about to come.

Danni pulls off right before I explode and jerks me through my orgasm. When I have the energy to open my eyes again, I find her straddling my hips, my spent cock nestled between her thighs, licking my come off her fingers. The smile she gives when she notices me watching has a shiver skating down my spine.

Placing her left hand next to my head, Danni leans over and offers me the middle finger of her right hand. I can see a glob of come slowly sliding down it. I open my mouth and sick the digit in, swirling my tongue around to get every drop.

Danni has mentioned on more than one occasion that she wishes she was a guy sometimes because she'd love to put me on my knees and fuck my face. She's done it a time or two with a dildo but it's just not the same. She fucks my mouth with her finger, then pulls it out and licks her way into my mouth.

I grab her ass with both hands and grind up against her. I'm still soft but also still incredibly horny. It's been nearly three months since we've had any kind of sex and the past two weeks of watching her nurse my son has pushed me really close to the edge.

She has another orgasm, then pulls out of my arms. And that's when I notice something wet on my chest. A look down reveals that she's begun to leak breast milk. "Damnit!" She climbs out of the bed and tosses her shirt at my head.

I pluck it out of the air and get up to drop it in the hamper. "Is it past his feeding time?"

"No," she says but she's picking him up, waking him and offering him her breast. "Any kind of stimulation causes the let-down of my milk. So he gets to eat a half hour early tonight."

"Hm. Okay. I'm gonna take a shower." She nods absently at me, her entire focus on making sure John latches on properly.

I take the longest solo shower of my adult life and I freely admit (even if only to myself) that I'm using it to hide. Much as I love my soon-to-be wife, staring at her naked breasts while she feeds my son would be too much of a temptation.

When I finally emerge from the bathroom, Danni has returned John to his crib and is curled on her side facing away from the bathroom. I slide under the covers behind her, close but not touching, and she turns to snuggle up against me with her head tucked under my chin. Danni isn't a cuddler but I guess she feels she needs the comfort of my touch.

The next day, the chaos seems to be doubled. Danni sees the panicked look in my eyes and shoos me out of the house. I head to The Palace only to be run off by Kono. At a loss as to what to do or where to go, I just start driving. It is with a lot of surprise that I find myself pulling into the parking lot of The Punchbowl. I haven't visited Dad in a while so I guess my subconscious feels it's long overdue.

Crouching down at the foot of his grave, I start talking. I tell him all about John's birth, how terrified I was (not that I let it show), about meeting Danni's parents and brothers and how intimidating they are. I tell him that I miss him and how I'm starting to understand his reasoning in sending Mary and me away after Mom died.

Since John's birth I've discovered that there isn't anything I won't do to keep him safe; up to and including sending him away for his own safety. So, yeah, I get it now. He sent us away despite knowing that he wouldn't be there for us because it was the best way to keep us safe.

Several hours pass before I run out of words. By the time I stop talking my throat is sore and my voice is cracking. "Well, Dad. I guess that's all for now." I stand up, shaking the feeling back into my feet. "When John's a bit older, Danni and I'll bring him by to meet you. You'd adore them, Dad. Danni is exactly the type of woman you'd want me to marry and John, well, he's still too little to really know yet, but I'm sure you'd love him just the same."

I stand there staring down at my father's grave for several minutes, reading the words etched in the stone, before saying the words I haven't said to him since I was a child, "I love you, Dad." Then I turn and make my way back to the truck.

Those few hours talking to my dad allow me to relax and enjoy the rambunctious Williams Clan especially since they're celebrating me becoming a member of their ohana. But even so, Danni finds time to be alone with me, usually when she's feeding John (much to the annoyance of her mother) but a few times it's just the two of us.

It quickly becomes apparent that they're all used to being crammed into a house that's too small to hold them all; especially the women. Watching Danni, her mother and sisters working in the kitchen all together is like watching a well-choreographed dance. I don't once see anyone end up in someone else's way. It's amazing.

The day before the wedding Danni's brothers and father pile into my truck for the drive to the tux place. More than once I have to yell for the three overgrown children in the back to behave.

We're met at the shop by Chin who smirks the moment he gets a look at my face. "Ever wanted brothers, Steve?"

"If I did, I don't anymore." He laughs and follows us inside.

"Commander McGarrett!" A middle-aged man bustles toward us. "Here for your wedding attire?"

"Yes, we are."

"Dude." Canyon smacks Billings on the arm. "Our sister's marrying a celebrity!"

"I wouldn't call myself a celebrity. Besides, if I am, then so is the rest of the team."

"Oh, please, Commander!" The shop employee interjects. He turns to Danni's brothers and father. "Crime is down across the board since Five-Oh was formed. There isn't a person on this island who doesn't know who Five-Oh are!" He turns to head toward the back of the shop. "But come. Detective Williams was very clear about how long you should be here for."

"Does she have the whole island under her control?" Aramis bumps my shoulder with his.

I shrug. "Most of the male population, probably. Your sister can be quite persuasive when she wants to be."

"Gets that from her mother, she does." Andrew drapes an arm over my shoulders. "I learned quickly that if I just do what she wants my life runs smoother. I bet you've discovered that, too, haven't you?" I'm still trying to form an answer to that when Andrew pulls me away from his sons. "If you just do as you're told you won't ever be walking funny or have difficulty sitting." He pats me on the back and walks away.

I can only blink after him because he just confirmed what I already knew: he is very much aware of the nature of my relationship with his daughter because he has a similar one with her mother. I wonder if Danni knows that her mother's a Domme.

But if Andrew knows that Danni Tops me then shouldn't Ma? And if she knows why is she trying to keep us apart? Surely she knows that a Dominant/submissive relationship is basically a co-dependent one and that we need to be near one another quite often.

"Steve!" Billings grabs my arm and pulls me into the back. "We're waiting for you."


"Oh, I'm Marquis, by the way." The employee finally introduces himself. "I think you'll really like what the Detective has chosen for you to wear." He pulls a sheet off a rack full of Polynesian style sarongs in every color of the rainbow. "She said that the groom-" Marquis points at me. "-is to wear the Navy blue one and everyone else can pick the color they want. Except for 'Pop'." He looks around and when Andrew raises his hand, grabs his arm to drag him from the area. "She also said that you're not to see his attire until tomorrow."

Canyon walks over to the rack and picks one up. "D wants us to wear skirts?"

"They're not skirts. They're Polynesian sarongs; traditional Hawaiian clothes."

"Oh." All four of them grab the color they want and we all strip down to our boxers to learn how to put them on.

Danni's brothers make fun of each other and I hope they're getting it out of their system because I do not want to see Danni upset on our wedding day.

Just over an hour later Marquis leads Andrew out from the back and escorts all of us to the front door. "Please don't hesitate to call should you need anything. And congrats, Commander."

"Mahalo." We shake hands and head back to where I parked the truck, each of us carrying a garment bag slung over one shoulder.

At the house the bags are taken from us and hung up in the downstairs closet since we won't be allowed upstairs in the morning.

I go in search of my bride and find her in our bedroom, feeding our son. "Hey," I say softly, closing the door behind me before kicking off my slippers and climbing up on the bed to lie next to her.

"Hey." She leans over and kisses my nose. "How'd it go?"

"Just fine. Thank you, by the way." She gives a tiny little smile and closes her eyes. "You okay?"

"Mm. Just tired."


Her eyebrows jump up in lieu of her shrugging her shoulders. "It's exhausting creating a whole other person and then feeding said person from your own body. Plus, my family is draining; as well you know."

I press a kiss to her forehead. "I'll guard the door so you can rest."

"Good Dog." And just like that, she's asleep. I stay next to her on the bed until John releases her nipple and then I carry him downstairs where I put him in his baby hammock and rock him back to sleep.

That night, we have the rehearsal dinner. Everyone involved in the ceremony, plus a few extra, pile into my backyard. The actual rehearsal goes rather smoothly and then it's time to eat.

Kame provides shrimp and shave ice and Andrew grills steak and chicken. It quickly becomes a luau, complete with several impromptu hula dances. It also proves to be a great test of John's patience with being passed around. He spends more time in someone's arms than he does in his baby hammock.

At the end of the night after the last person has left, Danni kisses my cheek and tells me she'll see me at the alter tomorrow evening. It's the first night we've not slept in the same bed since John was born and I find I don't like this particular tradition.

Danni's brothers herd me outside where they've stoked the bonfire and refilled the cooler with beer. "You're not planning on getting me drunk, are you?" I eye what appears to be at least three cases floating in the melting ice.

"Nah. No need to drink it all." Aramis slaps me on the back, nearly sending me sprawling into the sand. "Besides, D would kill us if you show up hung over."

"You do recall her asking you to not call her that, right?"

All three laugh. "Sure, but she's not here right now."

"Yeah but if you call her that in private what's to keep you from slipping and calling her that to her face?"

"The fact that she'll punch us in the nuts if we do." I just shake my head.

It's obvious that they love their sister, and she them, but I've never seen a family tease each other the way this one does. It will definitely take some getting used to.

They seem intent on getting all the teasing out of their system which means they leave me alone, for the most part, for most of the evening. Occasionally one or more tries to pull me into it but I just smile and don't let them.

"Ah," Billings says, making a pushing motion in my direction with his hands. "D's got you too well trained." I pause with my beer bottle half-way to my mouth, scared they know about that part of my relationship with their sister (not that there's anything wrong with it, just that it's none of their business). But when the jokes turn to how military men make the best house husbands I know they don't have a clue.

At some point during the night we climb into the hammocks Andrew and I strung up across the lanai. I'm positive I won't sleep a wink but manage to fall asleep fairly quickly.

My name being called along with a small hand gently shaking my shoulder wakes me and it is with some effort that I open my eyes to see Grace standing beside my hammock. "Danno said to give you this." 'This' being a pair of my swim trunks. "She also said to not tire yourself out too much. Just do your normal laps and return to the beach." Grace places a kiss on my cheek. "Oh, and you don't have to shave if you don't want. AND breakfast is in the kitchen." She twirls away, her hair spinning out behind her. My heart clenches at just how much I love that little girl and her mother.

With the ease of having grown up sleeping in hammocks, I get up and head around the corner of the house to the little changing area my dad built years ago. Once in my trunks, I head down the beach to the water. By the time I've completed my first lap my new brothers have woken up and one even tries to join me.

When I finally leave the water, I decided on two extra laps because (if Grace told me Danni's words exactly) I was given an order by Mistress and just the thought that she cares enough to put me in my headspace today (when it's actually all about her) has me fighting an erection, I find Canyon (the brother who tried to swim with me) standing just above the tide line holding a towel.

"How do you do it?" He shakes his head, handing me the towel. "I just don't see how you do that many laps. What was it? Ten?"

"An even dozen today."

"Is that normal for you?"

I shake my head. "No. I usually only do ten but I felt I needed the extra two today."

"You squids sure are crazy."

I smirk at his proper use of the nickname. "Yeah, we are. And this one is crazy for your sister."

He just shakes his head again and we share a laugh on our way up the beach.

Breakfast is mostly whatever can be found in the kitchen. Aramis finds some eggs and bacon. Billings makes French toast and Canyon (much to the displeasure of his brothers) makes oatmeal.

I had thought the teasing from last night would abate on Danni's big day but it hasn't. If anything, it's gotten worse. In fact, I'm afraid they're going to start throwing punches soon. But things calm down when Ma walks into the kitchen looking for something to force feed Danni.

As she leaves the room she makes the 'I'm watching you' motion with her hand. Her sons share a look before nodding and mumbling "Yes, ma'am", their heads lowered.

"Can you teach me how to do that?" I call after her. A very evil chuckle is my only answer. "I'm guessing that's a 'no'?" The four of us burst out in laughter.

Lunch is provided by Kame and is noisier due to many of the guests arriving early. And the party atmosphere from last night is still going strong.

About an hour before sunset Ma appears and informs us it's time for us to start getting dressed. I go first since I'm the groom. When I exit the bathroom, I'm greeted by numerous wolf whistles and someone (Kono) calling out "Sexy!"

Once all five of us are dressed the florist appears, her assistant lost behind a huge white box. "Who's my groom?" I raise my hand. "Should have known!" She waves her hand at my sarong. "These are for you." She reaches into the box and pulls out a flower crown made from Navy blue hibiscus. I bend my head and she places them on my hair. "There." She clasps her hands under her chin when I stand up and she can see what the crown looks like.

Based on the way Danni's brothers have been teasing each other and making snide comments about what she wants us to wear, I fully expect them to object to the crowns. But they manage to surprise me by becoming serious and calmly bowing their heads so the florist can place a crown of flowers in the same color as their sarong upon their hair.

Then Mamo appears, dressed in his own traditional attire since Danni asked him to officiate. "Danni says it's time."

Taking a deep breath I lead my new brothers and Chin out of the house and across the lawn to where our ohana is gathered around the circle of flowers that Danni and I will stand in for the ceremony. Everyone nods and smiles as I pass and I try to smile back but it feels more like a grimace, I'm so nervous.

Once I'm standing next to Mamo, he nods his head and Grace, Kono and Danni's sisters begin walking toward us. They all look very lovely in their traditional Hawaiian dresses, the flowers in their hair the same color as their husbands; except for Kono whose flowers and dress color matches Chin's and Grace who's wearing Navy blue. I wink and smile at Grace and she runs the rest of the way, jumping into my arms.

The strength of my love for her and her mother is threatening to overwhelm me so I hug Grace tight and bury my face in her hair. Before I'm truly ready, Chin taps me on the arm. When I look up to see what he wants, my gaze is snagged by the sight of my beautiful bride standing at the top of the steps leading down from the lanai.

She's poised there with one hand on her father's arm, a circle of Navy blue hibiscus flowers on her head; looking every inch the princess of my dreams which is reinforced by Andrew wearing a traditional Hawaiian chieftain's robes. I fully expected Danni to wear a Navy blue dress like Grace but she's wearing a white one and has Bug strapped to her chest with a white baby wrap. When she sees me looking, her face splits into a huge grin and her father leads her to me.

Once they're close enough I reach out one hand and assist her in stepping into the ring of flowers. "Hi." she beams up at me.

"Hi." I can't seem to stop staring at her. "You're so beautiful."

Her cheeks pinken and she drops her eyes to the ground. "You look very handsome, yourself."

I lean down and kiss her cheek earning myself a stern throat clearing from Mamo. "It's not time for that yet, Steven." Everyone chuckles and Danni's blush deepens. I find it endearing that she can still be this shy while holding our one-month-old son. "Ohana, we come here today to celebrate this kane and this wahine joining their hearts and souls in marriage. If anyone knows why they cannot do so, please speak now." He pauses for a moment but no one speaks up. "Good. Now, who brings them here today?"

Everyone says, "We do!" And now I'm blushing along with Danni.

"Excellent." Mamo turns to me. "Steven, do you come here today of your own free will to join your life with this wahine, to love and protect her, to make a home with her, be a father to her children and help her in all things for all eternity?"

My smile gets bigger. "I do."

"Good." He turns to Danni. "Daniel, do you come here today of your own free will to join your life with this kane, to love and protect him, to make your home with him, be a mother to his children and help him in all things for all eternity?"

"I do."

"Good." He looks out over the people gathered. "Steven and Daniel have prepared their own vows. May I have the rings, please?"

I set Grace down and she extends her right arm, letting Mamo untie the ribbon on the little pillow strapped to her wrist.

Mamo hands me Danni's ring. I'm suddenly extremely nervous and for a long moment I totally blank on what I had planned to say. But then it comes back to me and I clear my throat before starting. "D, as everyone knows words are your strong suit, not mine." Everyone chuckles. "I knew I would need help expressing how I feel about you so I went online to look up romantic quotes or poems but couldn't find any that seemed to fit. And then I remembered that you don't go for that romantic stuff. So I changed my search and found a quote that explains exactly how I feel. I found it on some random website and the person who posted it didn't say who it was credited to so I decided to change it up; put it in my own words." I take a deep breath to calm my nerves and find my center. "I didn't fall in love with you because that implies I didn't have a choice in it. But I did have a choice and I chose to walk into love with you. My eyes were wide open every step of the way because when it comes down to it I'd choose you; in a hundred lifetimes, in a hundred worlds, in any version of reality, I'd find you and I'd choose you." Half way through my vows, Danni's eyes begin to fill with tears and as I say the last words, they spill over her lower lids and course down her cheeks. Taking her left hand in mine, I slip the ring on and give it a slight twist once it's fully seated. "For all eternity, I choose you." I lift her hand and place a kiss to her palm. Her breath hitches in her chest and I give her a wink.

She closes her eyes and shakes her head. "Daniel." Mamo nudges her shoulder and hands her my ring.

She takes the ring in her right hand and slips on my finger. "Wow, Steve. I never knew you had that in you." She takes a deep breath. "Someone should mark this down: I actually have no idea what to say." Everyone laughs and I wink at her again. "But I shall try." She squares her shoulders and clears her throat. "Steve, I love you. Everyone knows I always have the right words. But when I think of you there are no words to adequately express just how I feel about you. But recently I read a line that I think is perfect: I fell in love with you the way you fall asleep; slowly at first then all at once. And I went kicking and screaming, too. I did not want to be in love with my boss. That just causes too many complications.

"But after awhile I realized that I didn't just fall in love with you, I chose you. Your love, your life, your heart, your light, your goodness and now-" She rubs the back of John's head where it's resting over her heart. "-your children. And every day for all eternity I will chose you." She lifts my hand and places a kiss on my palm.

Mamo says, "And now by the power invested in me by the great state of Hawai'i, I now pronounce you pilikua and wahine male." He nods and beams at us. "Oh, go on! Kiss her! You know you want to."

My grin gets bigger; I take her face gently in my hands and begin kissing her softly. She places her hands on my waist and kisses me back. We spend a long moment pressing our lips together until finally her father calls out, "That's enough, now."

We pull apart while everyone laughs. "Well, now. At least we know they really like each other," Mamo says with a chuckle. "Beloved ohana, I am honored to be the first to present to you Commander and Detective Steven and Daniel McGarrett and their children, Grace Williams and John McGarrett."

Part ten


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