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[personal profile] melissas_corner
Title: The Road Not Taken
Author: [personal profile] logans_girl2001
Fandom: Hawaii Five-0
Pairing: Steve/Danni
Rating: R (for suggestive language)
Category: Het
Status: Complete
Archive: My website
Feedback: Yes, please.
Disclaimers: I do not own or any of the characters.
Author's Notes: I hated making Stan the bad guy (even if he isn't the Stan we see on the show) in This So Called Life but I had to explain why Danni didn't have custody of Grace. Because of that my muse wanted to show that he really isn't a bad guy, just a stubborn one who refuses to admit when he's wrong. I wanted to include this in the main story but my beta felt it would just clunk up the narrative (and I happen to agree). So when the challenge on 1/6/15 for The Snowflake Challenge was to create something I felt this was my chance to show that Stan isn't such a bad guy after all.
Sequel/Series: This So Called Life (definitely need to read first)
Summary: When Stan attends his ex-girlfriend's wedding he realizes that he missed his chance in a big way.
Warnings: None
Spoilers: None
Beta: [personal profile] jetpack_angel

Stan's POV:

I can remember the day I first saw Daniel Williams like it was yesterday.

We were both at the courthouse for various reasons; me to try and get an injunction lifted and her (as I found out later) to testify against some punk she had arrested a couple of months previous.

When I first saw her impatiently waiting for the elevator, her foot tapping like that'll make the car arrive faster, I didn't know she was a police officer because she was dressed in a pencil skirt and matching blazer. I thought she might be a lawyer or court reporter or even a judge. Although to be honest I discarded that last one rather quickly once I saw her face; she was much too young to be a judge. But the point is: I didn't think she was there to take the witness stand.

We rode the elevator together and she gave me a tight smile that clearly said she was only smiling back because it is the polite thing to do.

Once I got to the courtroom for my case, I forgot about her. Until she entered the courthouse cafeteria.

It seemed as if everyone and their dog was at the courthouse that morning and there was nowhere for her to sit. I offered to let her join me. By unspoken agreement we didn't ask why the other was at the courthouse; choosing instead to make polite small talk.

I did learn a few things about her that day: she's the youngest (and only girl) of four, her parents are still happily married, she's fairly close to her family, considers her brothers' wives to be her sisters and (except for college) has lived within a ten-mile radius of her parents' house.

I wish I could say she learned as much about me but I enjoyed listening to her soft New Jersey accent so much that I deflected most questions. If this bothered her, she never said.

When it was time for us to go back to our respective courtrooms, I asked for her number; only slightly surprised when she gave it without batting an eye. Don't get me wrong, it's not that I expected her to laugh in my face (I know I'm a good looking guy), it's just that I expected her to at least hesitate. I mean, I was a complete stranger at that point. I could have been on trial for assault or something for all she knew. Turns out that she was trusting her 'detective instincts' about me.

Wish I could say that I spent the rest of our lives proving them right. But then we wouldn't be here, now would we?

No, I would not be here, at her house, watching her marry another man. A man who is everything I wasn't. A man who makes her whole body light up with joy just at the sound of his voice. A man who isn't me.

Danni and I dated for a few months before I even tried to have sex with her. She is the type of woman that you don't want to step out of line with and I wanted to make sure that she was feeling the same things as me before we got naked for the first time.

Normally when I take a woman to bed for the first time I plan it out; make sure it is a perfect night of romance. But Danni is different and our first time happened before I had even really decided it was time. And that just made it even more prefect. The sex was amazing. She woke me up more than once to go another round.

After that all our dates ended with sex. For several we didn't even make it out the door. The woman was damn near insatiable. But then again, so was I. Danni is not like any other woman I've ever dated. She is definitely a blue collar, down to earth, tell it like it is person. So much so that I worried about her fitting in with my friends.

But I shouldn't have worried. Danni is nothing if not adaptable. The first time I took her to a black tie affair I had my assistant take her shopping. Which just pissed her off. She couldn't believe that I thought she didn't have a dress suitable for such an event. I asked if she was planning on wearing her prom dress. She flushed and then slapped me. I took that as a yes; especially since she spun on her heel and marched from the room, calling for my assistant to join her.

We ended up being late because I just had to have her when I saw her in the form-fitting black sheath. She complained for the rest of the night that I messed up her hair and make-up. But the small smile and light blush across her cheeks told me that she wasn't really upset about it.

We were happy for just four short months. The night before it all changed, I took her to dinner and dancing in Manhattan and then we spent the night in my penthouse. I had planned on proposing but something held me back. I wish I had just done it.

The next day she had a doctor's appointment in the morning, then we planned to meet for lunch. When I arrived at the restaurant she was already there. I kissed her hello and sat down next to her. She blurted out that she was pregnant. The people around us started applauding; several of the men congratulated me. The maître d' even brought over some sparkling grape juice.

I didn't react well at all. I jumped up and dragged her out of the restaurant, calling her every name I could think of. To give her credit she didn't struggle with me in order to lessen the scene I was causing. Seeing her tear stained face made me feel guilty but I hardened my heart against her.

She got herself pregnant in order to trap me but I'll be damned if I let her get her grubby little hands on my money; or so I thought based on a friend who was being sued for paternity by a one-night stand.

I let the experience of a friend cloud my judgment of Danni. Deep down I knew she didn't get pregnant on purpose; that she didn't want my money. But once I had set myself on that path I couldn't turn from it. I had to keep going even after my anger had cooled.

Because of that I forced my way into all her appointments. Even once the doctor started checking to see if she was dilating yet. I know I was just piling on the stress but I couldn't seem to make myself stop. I was determined that she wasn't getting a single dime of my money and that's why I sued for custody. I never expected her to settle by offering me custody in exchange for a few things.

She surprised me by asking for Grace to carry the Williams name. My lawyer had explained that she could ask for it since she'd be paying child support. I had no issues with that. It was easy to explain why Grace didn't carry my name and most people accepted it.

But the amount of visitation she wanted was something I knew I could use to control her and so I did. If she angered me even slightly, I'd take away days, weeks, months. And while we lived in Jersey she never fought back. She'd plead with me at the moment I made the pronouncement but after that she wouldn't say a thing until the time was up.

But then I got an offer to head up the Honolulu office.

I knew she would be furious that I was moving so far away but I didn't care. In fact I saw it as my way of controlling her even more. If she had to save to fly out to visit Grace, or to have Grace go to her, then I could have a major say in when she got time with Grace.

Imagine my surprise when my lawyer told me that her lawyer filed an injunction to keep me in Jersey until a hearing could be held.

Danni's lawyer said that we have joint legal custody which means that I cannot make legal decisions for Grace (such as moving across the country) without Danni's approval. And of course she was dead set against my moving. Well, my moving with Grace. She asked the judge to give her custody so that I wouldn't miss out on the opportunity being offered to me. My lawyer countered with the fact that Grace had lived her whole life in my house and it would be a shock for her to suddenly be moved into her mother's two-bedroom apartment.

The judge agreed and let me move with Grace since it would mean a better life for her.

To say that Danni was beyond pissed would be a major understatement. If she could have killed me right then and there and gotten away with it, I'm sure she would have. As it was her eyes were shooting daggers at my head. She stopped speaking to me unless absolutely necessary and when the time came for us to leave her mother had to pry Grace from her arms.

Knowing how Danni feels about Jersey, I never in a million years expected her to move to Hawai'i but I should have. Grace became her whole world; especially after I took custody. But I let her presence on the island stoke the anger that had started to abate and I used not only her visitation but also her job to control her.

Until she met Lieutenant Commander Steve McGarrett, that is.

Something about him had her becoming the woman I fell in love with again. There was even the one instance where he used the Governor to get me to treat Danni fairly. I should have known he wouldn't let me get away with revoking her visitation over something that was not her fault. But I didn't know he loved her at that point. He probably didn't know it himself.

But it quickly became obvious that they were falling in love. And being in love looks good on Danni. She's a beautiful woman who deserves to be loved. I can only regret that it's not me loving her.

The ceremony is in Steve's backyard. His beach front property makes the setting just perfect for Danni. I can't imagine myself getting married outside but it fits with her and Steve.

She says her vows to Steve with their son strapped to her chest and our daughter beaming up at her from Steve's side where she's holding his hand. They're a family: my daughter, the woman I love, the man she loves and their son. I know that Grace considers me to be part of their family - or as the Hawaiians call it, ohana - but I doubt Steve and Danni do. I feel like an outsider standing here watching as she pledges her life to this man who is everything I can never be.

Once they've said their vows and exchanged their rings, the party begins. There is more food than I've ever seen before but I don't doubt for one minute that it'll all be gone by the time the party winds down.

I stay on the opposite side of the yard from Danni's family for most of the evening. But I eventually realize that I need to tell her a few things and so I begin searching for her.

I find her tucked into a corner of the lanai gently rocking back and forth on a glider while she hums to her son while feeding him. The beautiful picture she makes has a lump forming in my throat because I took that from her with Grace. She didn't have any time to enjoy being a mother because she was worried about when I'd take Grace away. But she has no such fear with this child. His father loves her and has married her so she will be able to mother her child and care for him in a way she wasn't able to with Grace.

"Danni?" I step up onto the lanai and lean against one of the pillars with my hands in my pockets. "Can we talk?"

She looks up and I see the old fear in her eyes; fear that I'm going to take Grace away again. "What can I do for you, Stan?"

"May I?" I indicate one of the chairs placed at a ninety degree angle to where she's sitting. When she nods, I sit down and clasp my hands between my knees. "First, let me say that you look beautiful today. Being in love really agrees with you."

She flashes me one of her gorgeous smiles and removes her son from her nipple, tucking her breast back into her dress and lifting him to her shoulder so she can burp him. "Thank you."

"I just want to tell you that you are a great mother and I am so sorry for everything I did to you. I have no excuse for my treatment of you. You're my daughter's mother and as such you deserve the utmost respect. I won't hold it against you if you hate me for the rest of our lives."

She chuckles softly. "Oh, Stanley. You don't get it, do you? I haven't hated you for a long time now. I was just hurt over the way you treated me for something I had no control over."

"And Steve?"

Her eyebrows climb her forehead. "I can't speak for my husband but he takes his cues from me when it comes to dealing with you."

I nod. "The ceremony was lovely. Thank you for letting me attend."

"You're welcome. Grace wanted our whole ohana here."

"You consider me part of your ohana?"

She scoots closer and places one hand on my arm. "Of course I do. You are Grace's father, Stan. No one can take that from you."

"Thank you." My throat is tight, making it difficult to get the words out. "You should know that I never stopped loving you and I had been thinking of proposing before you told me you were pregnant."

That obviously surprises her. "I still love you, too. Just not the same way. And why didn't you propose?"

I shake my head. "I don't know. I was thrown when you told me." I lift my hands and shrug. "I kinda wish I had. Only I feel like if I had we'd be getting divorced now and you'd still be here, with Steve."

"You think?" She rubs the back of her son's head and kisses it.

I nod. "I do, yeah. You and I… We aren't for each other. You and Steve…" I look out over the crowd gathered and find Steve standing a few feet away, laughing with some people I don't know. "You're perfect for each other." I look back at her. "And I couldn't be happier for you. If you can't be happy with me than I'm glad it's with him."

(no subject)

Date: 2015-02-25 09:37 pm (UTC)
simplyn2deep: (me! 07-13-13)
From: [personal profile] simplyn2deep
He may have come off as a bad guy, but at the end, he sort of redeemed himself with his apology. I was sort of expecting him to go the "if I can't have you, no one can!" route, and that didn't happen.

(no subject)

Date: 2015-02-25 11:10 pm (UTC)
logans_girl2001: (Default)
From: [personal profile] logans_girl2001
I have always liked Stan and didn't like that he had to be such a bad guy in this series.

Thank you for reading.

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