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Title: Still Learning to Love
Fandom: Hawaii Five-0
Pairing: Steve/girl!Danny
Rating: NC-17
Author's Notes: So I thought This So Called Life was finished but then this came to me almost fully formed. It did go through several versions before becoming what you see here. And this only came about because of Say Something by A Great Big World. I've always wanted to do a story like this one but there are so many that show it from the woman's point of view so I decided to do it from the man's. How Danni reacts after the delivery is based on the ER episode Midnight where John Carter's girlfriend has to give birth to a stillborn baby.
Sequel/Series: This So Called Life
Summary: Steve and Danni have been happily married for the past six years when yet another dose of unexpected reality threatens to rip them apart.
Warnings: In case you haven't figured it out this story deals with a second trimester miscarriage. If this bothers you, please don't feel obligated to read it.


Steve's POV:

It's been a hell of a week.

We thought we had closed our last case but our suspect ended up being guilty of something else entirely. So we had to go over all our evidence again. It meant long hours bent over our desks and standing around the computer table. Tempers became short as patience began wearing thin. Danni and I had more than one argument that ended with her punching me in the face. I have got to learn how to fucking duck!

Due to our last argument taking place in an extremely public place (a crime scene) I sent her home and told her to take a long weekend.

When I got home last night she was curled up in bed with Fallon, both sound asleep. I decided to not disturb our daughter just to sleep in the same bed as my wife. It was the first time since she moved in back when she was pregnant with John that we didn't sleep in the same bed.

And now I'm forcing myself to go home before I give in to temptation and punch someone on my team (Grover) in the fucking face.

I pull into the drive and climb from the cab of my truck tired beyond my years. "I'm getting too old for this shit," I mutter, walking across the toy littered front lawn. Looks like John and Fallon will be spending their Saturday picking up their toys.

Inside the house I find the two of them curled up fast asleep on the couch while SpongeBob Square Pants drones on in the background. They sure are cute. When they're sleeping.

With a world weary sigh, I force myself to put one foot in front of the other and climb the stairs, knowing that my loving wife is more than likely waiting for me in our bedroom. Hopefully she'll put me on my knees for a few hours tonight and relieve some of the tension in my shoulders.

Danni is indeed waiting in our room but she doesn't look like she's in the mood to do anything other than cry.

"D?" I approach where she's perched on the foot of the bed, clutching a box. "Is everything okay?"

She shakes her head. "Not really."

I sit next to her and put one arm around her shoulders. "What's wrong?"

"The kids were just horrible today. All they did was fight. And now… and now…" She holds up the box for me to see.

"Fuck," I murmur. A pregnancy test. Not that I'm not thrilled she might be pregnant again; now just isn't the time for it.

"Yeah." She wipes the tear that escapes with an angry swipe of her hand. "After Fallon I had decided I was done." She slashes one hand through the air. "I lucked out with not having any complications with both John and Fallon and didn't want to risk it again. Plus, I'm forty-two."

"What does age have to do with anything?"

"Being pregnant and over thirty-five carries a higher risk of issues with the pregnancy. Birth defects being the most common. Being over forty increases that even more."

I bite my lips and nod my head. "I'm going to say something I regretted saying back when you were pregnant with John but it bears repeating: whatever you decide, I'll support you."

"You still don't know me at all, do you?"

"I know that you're distressed about the possibility of being pregnant. Abortion is an option. And that's all I'm saying."

She tilts her head back to blink up at the ceiling. "Do you know why it insults me to have you suggest that to me?"

"Obviously not."

"Obviously." She pulls her hair over one shoulder and begins braiding and unbraiding it. "While I am very much pro-choice, I don't think abortion should ever be used as birth control. Condoms and other forms are readily available and if you can't get those, then you shouldn't be having sex."

"So you feel that a woman has the right to choose for herself but that she shouldn't use it as birth control?"

"Yes. We have two examples of how birth control isn't one hundred percent reliable but even so, there are other options as well. That's not to say that I would picket a clinic or try to convince a woman she shouldn't get one. Just that for me-" She shrugs. "-it isn't an option unless there's a medical reason for it."

"Okay. Have you taken it?" I point at the box in her hands.

"Not yet."

"Why not?"

"You weren't present for the others; figured you should be here for this one."

I kiss her forehead and then her lips. "So go take it."

She gives me a watery smile and goes into the bathroom to pee on the little stick. A few minutes later she comes back out and sits next to me, rubbing her hands on her jeans nervously. "Well?"

"It takes a few minutes, Steve."

"Oh." I start to reach for her hand but something tells me she's not in a receptive mood. But when she begins tapping a nervous beat on her jeans clad knees, I ignore the part of me telling me to stop and slide my fingers along her palm until they're entwined with hers.

She takes, and holds, a deep breath at the first touch of my fingers and releases it once we're clasping each other's hand. She curls her fingers tightly against mine as if I'm her lifeline.

"What kind of woman am I, Steve, that I don't want this baby?" She swipes at another tear. "What kind of mother?"

"The kind that knows her limitations and doesn't want a child to suffer for them."

She shakes her head and leans into my side. "I should have decided on sterilization after Fallon."

"Why didn't you?"

She shrugs. "I was afraid I'd change my mind." She shifts until we're face to face. "But I haven't changed my mind. I may not want to be pregnant but if I am, this child will never know it was unwanted."

"By the time it's born, it won't be unwanted." I lean forward to kiss her just as her phone beeps that time's up.

"Well, here goes." She wipes her hands again on her jeans, stands and walks slowly into the bathroom.

When a minute passes and she doesn't come back out, I stand and take a step toward the bathroom. She appears at the door before I can take more than a couple. The stricken look on her face tells me everything I need to know. We're going to have another baby. I want to jump for joy and shout in excitement but I hold back in deference to her distress.

"How shall we proceed?" I approach where she's standing and rub my hands up and down her upper arms.

"I'll call Monday to get an appointment. We'll see what the doctor says before making any further decisions."

I nod. "Okay. So business as usual around the kids, yeah?"

She nods back. "Yeah. I doubt I'll be able to fool Grace but John and Fallon most likely won't notice anything's wrong."

"I have an idea." I take her hand and lead her from the room and back downstairs. "How about I go get snipped?"

"Why? I'm already pregnant again."

"I know. But this way we won't have to worry about it after. It's a real simple procedure for me."

"I have nonsurgical options, too, ya know. Besides, a vasectomy is not one hundred percent guaranteed to work."

"And yours are?"

"I've been doing some research and there is one. But I can't have it done until after I've healed from the delivery."

"And in the meantime…"

She just smiles and shakes her head, gently waking John and Fallon. When they grumble about their nap being cut short she appeases them with promises of Kame's shrimp and shave ice for dessert.

Monday morning she calls her doctor but he's booked solid until Wednesday afternoon. I, personally, don't want to wait that long to have it confirmed but she's rather picky about whom she will allow to examine her. Not that I blame her; it is a rather personal area after all.

Unfortunately, the only available appointment is last thing Wednesday which means I have to pretend there's nothing wrong for three extra days. But it also gives me some time to think. And do some research of my own.

The procedure she's talking about is most likely the one that involves the doctor inserting a micro coil into her fallopian tube which will cause it to scar enough to prevent sperm from reaching an egg. But it takes two to three months to complete and during that time other methods must be used. I still think my getting snipped is an excellent option. We are currently using condoms and she is on The Pill (although a different one than before) but like she said, two of our children (I guess that's three now) have been conceived while using contraception.

I decide to mention the vasectomy while at the doctor's, just to get his opinion. If he doesn't think it's a good idea, or rather if he thinks it is unnecessary then I won't get it. But I'd still like to leave the option on the table.

Finally, Wednesday afternoon arrives and Danni and I head for the doctor's office. I know the rest of the team can tell that something's up but they've learned (Kono) over the years that we'll inform them of anything they need to know in our own time and rushing it can spoil the surprise.

When we arrive at the doctor's the waiting room has four women in various stages of pregnancy in it. I mentally curse the good doctor for not being able to stick to his schedule. Danni pulls out her phone and texts Cath, asking her to pick John and Fallon up from daycare and then texts Grace to let her know she'll be in charge of dinner for the three of them until we get home.

"You don't have to stay. I mean if you'd rather Cath not pick the kids up or Grace to have to feed them." Danni plops down in a chair in the corner, just barely hiding her annoyance at having to wait.

"I have yet to miss a first prenatal and I'm not about to start."

She rubs her hands over her face. "I don't want to be here, Steve."

"I know, Danno," I lean over to whisper against her hair.

"We were being so careful. How could this happen?"

"I don't know."

She curls her feet under her and rests her head on my shoulder. The past five days have been stressful waiting for this appointment. Only thing to make it bearable for me is that we didn't pull a case so we were all able to get caught up on paperwork. But that can be just as stressful as chasing leads and hunting down suspects.

We've been waiting about ten minutes when the door to the inner office opens and Margo steps out. "Danni?"

With a huge sigh, Danni gets up and follows Margo back through the door with me trailing behind. Just before the door closes I turn to frown at the four women still sitting in the waiting room. "Um, not that I'm glad we're gonna be out of here sooner rather than later, but shouldn't those four women be seen first?"

"Dr. Costas isn't the only doctor in this office." Margo answers my question while notating Danni's current weight.

"I knew that."

"Sure ya did, Babe. That's why you asked." Danni pats my arm.

Margo just smiles at me and leads the way into a room where she checks Danni's vitals. "The doctor will be right in." And with that, she leaves us alone in the room.

Danni removes her pants and underwear before sitting back down on the end of the table with a paper blanket draped over her knees. I can tell by how she's wringing her hands that she's getting nervous again.

"This isn't anything we haven't been through before, D." I tuck a strand of hair behind her ear.

She sighs. "I know. I'm torn between wanting it to be a false positive and wanting to have another baby." She turns enough to face me without having to twist her upper body. "I loved being pregnant each time; well, until the end with John. I'm starting to want to go through that again; to feel new life forming within me. But I am over forty and the risks are increased. Not to mention my job isn't any easier. If anything, I think it's getting more dangerous the more criminals we put away."

She chews her lower lip and looks away for a moment. "Do we have the right to bring another child into our crazy lives?" She searches my face before dropping her gaze to where she has her hands knotted together in her lap. "Should we do this?"

Cupping her face gently in my hands, I tilt it up until I can press a kiss to her lips. "I fully support whatever you chose to do. If you want to go through with this pregnancy then we'll happily add a fourth child to our family. If you don't, I will hold your hand while you terminate it or give it over to another family that will love it just as much as we do."

My words don't seem to reassure her; if anything I think I've just distressed her further, if the tears that are gathering in the corners of her eyes are any indication.

"I cannot terminate this pregnancy nor can I carry this child and then just hand it over to some other woman to raise. I am already emotionally attached. I just don't think this is the right time for me to be pregnant."

"Yeah, well, life's what happen while you're busy making plans." She laughs and buries her face in my chest just as the door opens to reveal Dr. Costas.

"Here, now, Commander. What have you been doing to my patient?"

I shrug. "Knocking her up?"

Danni laughs again and punches my arm. "We were so careful."

"Of course you were." Costas washes his hands and slips them into gloves. "Let's take a look under the hood, shall we?"

I open my mouth to ask that he not refer to my wife like she's a car but Danni's hand on my arm stops me. Leaning down, I kiss her forehead and whisper that I love her. She cups my cheek with one hand and rubs her thumb over my bottom lip. "When we get home," she whispers and I don't need her to elaborate; I know exactly what she means.

"Whelp-" Costas pulls his gloves off with a snap. "-you are definitely pregnant. You'd think after three pregnancies you'd know how that keeps happening."

Danni sits up. "But that's the thing." She points at me. "Condom." Then at herself. "Pill."

"And according to your file two of your other three children were conceived the same way." He leans back against the counter with his arms and legs crossed. "The only two ways one hundred percent guaranteed to not result in pregnancy is no penis in vagina and having the uterus removed."

"Having my tubes ties won't work?"

"What about me getting snipped?" I ask before he even opens his mouth to answer Danni's question.

He shakes his head. "Tubal ligation is ninety-nine point nine-nine-nine percent but there are still children running around whose mothers went that route. Same with a vasectomy."

"What about that procedure we discussed at my last appointment?"

"The Essure?" Danni nods. I know from my research earlier this week that that is the procedure she mentioned on Friday. "Same as tubal ligation only with more risks."

"Risks?" Panic flares in my chest that Danni thought about something that could put her health in danger.

"Yeah. They've been known to cause abdominal pain. Only way to stop it is to remove the fallopian tubes which is major abdominal surgery."

"Isn't a tubal ligation major abdominal surgery?"

"Not these days. We go in through the navel laparoscopically. Less invasive."

"Quicker healing time, too, I bet." Danni chews her lip. "I guess we can discuss our options after I've delivered."

"Exactly. Let's concentrate on delivering a healthy baby and then once you've healed we can revisit the topic." He steps closer to put one hand on Danni's shoulder. "I am one hundred percent in your corner on this, Danni. If you've decided you're done having children, then it's my job to find the best method to prevent that from happening."

"Well, you failed at your job."

He chuckles. "I think that's more to do with your hormones than that your birth control failed. You do know that you're more fertile at certain times of the month. All it takes is for you to have sex a few days before that really fertile period and one, just one, of his little guys getting out for you to conceive. Female biology one-oh-one."

"Yeah, yeah, yeah." Danni waves one hand as if shooing away a fly. "Tell me something I don't know."

"Well, this pregnancy is considered high risk due to your age. That means you will be visiting with me more often and we'll be taking multiple sonograms to make sure everything's developing as it should."

"I said tell me something I don't know."

Costas laughs and pats her shoulder. "Since it's so late do you mind if we skip the sonogram and prenatal swag tonight? You can come back in the morning for that and your first round of blood work."

"You mean your vampires aren't chomping at the bit to get a hold of me?"

"It's been a long day for everyone." He washes his hands again and steps to the door. "Take your file when you go and don't forget to schedule your next appointment. Two weeks instead of four." He points at her and exits the room.

On the drive home I can't help but compare the atmosphere in the car this time to that of the other two times, specifically the drive home from finding out she was pregnant with John. Just like those other two times, I can't stop glancing over at her while trying to gauge her mood.

Just like with Fallon, she rubs her belly often and has a thoughtful look on her face. But I know that doesn't mean she's accepted the fact that she's pregnant again.

"What are you thinking?" Six years of marriage have taught me to ask her talk to me instead of trying to figure out her mood on my own.

"If it's a girl I'd like to name her Mallory Quinn."

A smile crosses my face because if she's thinking about names then she's well on her way to being in love with this baby. "Mallory. I like it." I reach over and slide my fingers down her palm until I can lace our fingers together. "If it's a boy, how about Meka Quinn?"

She squeezes my fingers and I bring her hand to my lips so I can brush a kiss to her knuckles. "I like that. And I love you." She leans over as far as she can with the seatbelt to press a kiss to my cheek.

"So I don't need to stop so you can slug me?" I indicate the spot where we stopped after that first appointment when she was pregnant with John where we finally got over a major hurdle.

She shakes her hand loose so she can lightly run her fingertips along my right cheek bone while chuckling softly. "No. I don't feel the urge to throw a punch. Wield a paddle, on the other hand…"

My dick likes the thought of her bending me over the bed and blistering my ass and I have to shift a bit in my seat until I'm more comfortable. "As you wish, Mistress."

"Damn straight." She picks up my hand and slips it into her pants. "Here. Play with this for a bit." My eyes cross for a second and my foot presses harder on the gas pedal when she pushes my fingers into her, moaning low in her throat.

I know just how to get her off quickly and since we aren't that far from home, I hit every one of her buttons until I feel her nails dig deeper into the skin of my wrist and hear her breath catch in the back of her throat. Pulling my fingers from her pants, she licks them clean. "Such a good dog." She pats my erection, making me groan with the need to come. "Soon, Dog. Soon."

Cath's blue Corvette is still in the driveway when we arrive home. Danni makes an inquiring noise in the back of her throat and gets out of the car, headed for the front door. The second she steps foot inside, she's assaulted by both John and Fallon launching themselves at her head from the back of the couch while screaming 'Danno!' at the top of their lungs.

"Inside voices," she reminds them, setting them on their feet. "Auntie Cath bathed you, I see."

"Yeah." Cath stands from where she was sitting on the couch. "They needed it after playing on the beach."

"Thanks, Cath." Danni hugs her before herding our two youngest up the stairs.

"Thanks again, Cath." I follow her out onto the porch. "You didn't have to stay."

"Grace asked me to; said something about a test tomorrow." She shrugs. "I didn't mind. I didn't have to cook so it's all good."

I chuckle. Cath loves being single even if she sometimes acts like she doesn't. "What'd Grace make you?"

"Cheeseburger Mac. And boy can she cook!"

"Yep. Learned from her mother."

"Steve?" Danni's call puts an end to any further conversation.

"Be right there!" I turn to yell back into the house. "Well, 'night." I kiss Cath's cheek and wait until she's backing down the drive before closing the door and making my way up the stairs.

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