Disclaimer: I do not own any rights to the TV series, Hawaii Five-0.
Happy Valentine's Day!
N. J. Borba
"Adam woke me up this morning with breakfast in bed, and a dozen red roses in a vase on the tray," Kono revealed.
"That's… wow…" Catherine sat across from her friend, wearing a slightly reserved smile, "Very nice."
Catherine thought about the morning she and Steve had shared. He'd roused her out of bed at 0530, though not for anything romantic, just their usual morning run along the beach. She'd been hoping to stop somewhere along the way, watch the sunrise or even just share a brief kiss, some sort of tender moment. Maybe even discover that he'd left a bunch of flowers for her along their usual jogging route. But there'd been none of that, just running. And afterwards they'd even showered separately.
"He's taking me to Maui tonight," Kono added, glancing at her watch. "Actually, I should really get going."
"Maui?" Catherine tried not to sound jealous.
"We're spending the whole weekend at one of his hotels," Kono smiled as she stood, "Room service and massages… two days together with no work."
"That sounds…" Catherine couldn't help be happy for her friend, "Wonderful."
Kono grabbed her purse, "I'll see you Monday."
"Yep," she nodded as Kono exited her office with an actual spring in her step. Catherine sighed, snatched up her bag and looped it over her shoulder. She was half way down the hall when Chin emerged from his office. Catherine whistled an appreciative cat-call as she noticed the black suit he was wearing, and bold red tie. "Watch out ladies," she smiled as he stopped and stood to face her, "Heartbreaker on the loose," Catherine teased.
Chin grinned, "Only one heart I'm interested in tonight, and I'd rather not break it."
She noticed how he blushed when speaking about Leilani. Catherine found that extremely endearing, "Hang on a sec, your tie is listing to port," she stepped forward and straightened the satiny red tie. "Just make sure she treats you right," Catherine winked, dusting a small piece of lint off his right shoulder.
He nodded, "I will," Chin assured as he headed for the door.
Catherine remained rooted in the hallway as she watched him go.
Danny's office door swung open and he nearly toppled her over, "Whoa! Sorry, I didn't see you there," he apologized.
Her gaze quickly shifted to the detective, "Your door is glass," Catherine pointed out, curious why he hadn't seen her standing in the hallway. When she finally took a second to size him up, Catherine noticed that he seemed rather nervous. "You okay? I think you might actually be sweating," she reached in her bag and pulled out a tissue to hand him.
He took the tissue but shrugged off her concern, "I'm not nervous," he responded.
"Didn't say you were," Catherine grinned.
"I'm taking Amber out to dinner," he blurted out, "Why did I ask her out tonight, of all nights, for a first date?" Danny contemplated, "What was I thinking?"
She tried not to laugh at how nervous he sounded, "Just pretend like it's any other Friday night," Catherine did her best to calm him down, "She agreed to go out with you, didn't she? So that's a huge first step. She obviously likes you enough to see where things could lead."
Danny nodded, "You're right. Thanks, Cath," he kissed her cheek before leaving her alone in the hallway again.
Catherine chuckled softly, feeling somewhat like a mother hen after seeing all of her chicks off. She walked to Steve's office and stood outside his door for a moment, noticing that he was still hunched over an open file on his desk. Taking a deep breath, she pushed the door open and walked in, "Any chance you'll be ready to leave soon?"
His head lifted, eyes level with hers, "What time is it?" Steve asked.
"Almost seven," she replied, "I'm done for the night," Catherine let him know, "But if that's important," she waved a hand at his file, "I can wait for you," Catherine watched his brow furrow, seemingly confused by her comment, "Because we rode together this morning…"
"That's right, your car is in the shop until Monday," Steve remembered. He flipped the file closed, "This can wait until next week," he stood and rounded his desk. One hand rested against her waist as he gave her a peck on the lips, "Sorry, you know how I get tunnel vision with work stuff sometimes."
"I do," Catherine whispered, taking his hand.
They locked up the office and walked out to his truck. Catherine was a little miffed that he hadn't mentioned what day it was at all, treating it like any ordinary Friday. They'd worked separately most of the day, mainly on paperwork that the whole office was still catching up on. They rode in silence for a few minutes, and she still hoped that maybe he had something planned. But as he steered the blue Chevy pick-up down the same familiar roads, her heart sank.
"We're headed home?" Catherine asked.
"Yeah, it's been a long week," he replied, "I'm looking forward to kicking back with a beer, just relax."
"Oh," she sighed, "So you didn't notice how everyone was talking about going out tonight?"
"I was in my office, were they?" Steve shrugged, "Its Friday, I'm not surprised. A lot of people go out on Friday night."
"That's it?" Catherine prodded, "Just another Friday night?"
"Are you okay?" he asked.
Another sigh escaped, "I'm fine."
"We can watch the Olympics," Steve suggested, reaching over with his right hand to gently squeeze her thigh, "Isn't there more men's figure skating stuff tonight? I'm willing to set aside my male pride and watch with you."
"We've watched Olympic coverage for the last six nights in a row," she pointed out.
He nodded, "Guess we could watch a movie then. I'll even let you pick out one of those chick flicks you like so much," Steve actually shuddered a little at the thought of it.
"You'll let me?" her patients with him were finally starting to wear out.
"Did I say something wrong?" Steve moved his hand away from her and grabbed his phone when it vibrated.
She watched him glance at a message and then respond, "Are you texting while driving?"
"Yeah, I just…" he put the phone back down, "Duke texted me about that Aaron Brown case, but I told him I was done for the weekend," Steve turned to flash her a smile before refocusing on the road in front of them.
"What about dinner?" she couldn't quite let it go, "We could stop somewhere and eat, or pick up some take-out."
"We have plenty food at the house."
"But I don't feel like cooking."
"I'll whip something up for us," he offered, "How about a McGarrett omelet special?"
"A big pile of eggs and cheese for dinner?" her stomach churned a little.
"You always like my omelet special," Steve replied.
"Yeah, sure… why not," Catherine didn't want to completely piss him off since he was offering to cook.
When they arrived home he held the front door for her and flicked on a light. "You seem a little tired, why don't you go upstairs and get changed," Steve suggested, "Maybe take a nice shower and relax a little. I'll get dinner started and let you know when it's ready."
Catherine smiled as he kissed her, knowing he was doing the best he could for not being much of a romantic. She dropped her purse by the door, kicked off her flats and walked up the stairs, still thinking about what it might be like if Steve was slightly more spontaneous or romantic. Catherine's thoughts had drifted to a foxhole fantasy they always teased each other about when she stepped on something soft.
She looked down and spotted red flower petals scattered in the hall in front of the bedroom door. There was also one red rose lying there atop the petals. Catherine bent over to pick up the rose, wondering for a moment if she was still stuck in her daydream.
It felt like a real rose, and when she brought it to her nose it also smelt like the real thing. Her lips curled into a smile as she pushed the bedroom door open. Catherine noticed the trail of rose petals continued and her heart jumped into her throat for a moment, feeling horrible for doubting that he had any inkling it was Valentine's Day. "There are a few surprises left in you," she grinned, following the petal trail as it led into their bathroom.
The bathroom was filled with at least a dozen votive candles, all of them lit. The soft flicker of light reflected off the water in the full tub.
She squatted to brush her fingertips against the water's surface. "Hot," Catherine smiled again, wondering how he'd managed that. Rose petals floated across the surface and she could smell a hint of lavender in the water. Her head debated between running downstairs and hugging him, or staying to enjoy the bath. Without too much further debate she opted for the bath, not wanting it to get cold. Her eyes closed the instant she sunk her body into the hot water.
A half hour later she emerged from the bathroom and found one of her black dresses laid out atop their bed.
Catherine descended the stairs a few minutes later in her dress and bare feet, not sure if they were actually going out or not.
"Steve?" she called out, but didn't find him in the kitchen. And there was no evidence of an omelet meal being prepared.
Instinct sent her toward the back of the house and she found the doors hanging open.
The lanai was lit with strings of white lights draped beneath the overhang. A round table was set out there, white tablecloth and real cloth napkins. Two plates covered with silver lids, candles lit and even champagne chilling in a bucket. But the best sight of all was Steve standing beside the table in a tuxedo, lopsided grin in place as he took her hand. He kissed the back of her hand and looked into her eyes, "Happy Valentine's Day."
"Don't you think you're a little overdressed for an evening in, eating omelets?" she teased. "I thought maybe you'd forgotten," Catherine admitted.
"Then I obviously kept the secret well," he beamed proudly as he kissed her properly, "You look beautiful tonight," Steve whispered. "I know telling you that tonight might make it seem forced," he shrugged, "But you always look beautiful," Steve assured her, their lips brushing gently against one another again. He pulled a chair out and waited for her to sit before taking his seat. "Did you enjoy your bath?"
She placed a napkin across her lap. "It was heavenly… just one problem."
"What?" he was worried he'd forgotten something.
"You weren't in it with me," Catherine grinned.
"Ah, well…" Steve released a sigh of relief, "We might need to fix that later."
Catherine smiled at that prospect, "How'd you get the water so hot?" she asked, "We were at the office."
"I had some help with all of this," Steve revealed as he pulled the champagne bottle free and carefully popped the cork. "That text I sent to Duke about a case was actually a text to Kamekona letting him know we were almost home," he explained while pouring champagne into each of their glasses.
"Remind me to give Kami a big kiss the next time I see him," Catherine chuckled softly.
"Oh, he gets a kiss does he? And what do I get for arranging all this for you?" Steve wondered.
She shrugged, "Not sure yet," Catherine pulled the lid off her plate. "Shrimp scampi and linguini?" her eyes widened, "Kamekona made this?"
"Yes, he helped with dinner as well."
Her growling stomach immediately made it known how hungry she was. Catherine twirled pasta around her fork and savored the first bite, "This is my favorite thing he makes."
Steve watched her take a second and then third bite, content just to admire her, "I know things about you."
Catherine looked up with a grateful smile, "Yes, you do," she acknowledged.
"Are you ready to play the game of love?" he asked.
A squeak of laughter escaped her lips as she sat on their bed, legs dangling over the end. Steve stood before her, his tuxedo jacket and shoes shed. He was still wearing the pants and white button-up shirt, though several buttons had been undone. She couldn't help focus on the patch of chest those undone buttons revealed, "Did you actually just say that with a straight face?" Catherine laughed again until she noticed he was holding a deck of cards in his left hand. "What is that?"
Steve read the cover, still with a serious look, "Unity: The Card Game of Love."
Her laughter spilled forth again as she leaned forward, snatched the deck from him and read the slightly smaller print, "Unity: the card game that doesn't end until love wins," Catherine chuckled, "You weren't kidding," she finally recovered, opening the deck. "Okay, sailor, I've got to know where the heck you picked up this game. Did you seriously walk into a store and intentionally seek this out?"
"Danny gave it to me," he replied.
"Oh, really?" Catherine's eyebrows shot up her forehead, "Something else you want to tell me?"
He smiled, shaking his head at her. "Grace was with some friends last week and they dared her to buy the cards. I don't think they're X-rated in any way, they sell them at the grocery store," Steve shrugged, "But you know how Danny is when it comes to his little girl, he completely flipped out when he found them in her room."
"I remember when my dad found one of my Teen Beat magazines under my pillow," Catherine recalled, "I'd drawn hearts all over Kirk Cameron's face and I thought daddy was going to have a coronary right there in my bedroom," she chuckled at the memory.
Steve eyed her, "Teen Beat? Kirk Cameron? Really?"
She shrugged, "I was thirteen, and it was the early nineties," Catherine defended as she scooted backwards, curling up in the center of the bed.
He kicked back beside her and took the deck. Steve shuffled the cards and dealt five to each of them. "According to the rules, you're supposed to leave them face down and flip them over one at a time," he read the box, "When you play a card you just have to do what it says. Pretty simple," Steve turned over his first card and read it, "Hold the other players hand for exactly one minute, don't stop or the game ends," he smiled, spinning the card around to show her.
"I like how there's an exclamation point at the end," Catherine smiled, taking his hand, "Wouldn't want the game to end before it gets good." She could see Steve glancing down at his watch to time their five minutes, "It is going to get good, isn't it? Not that I don't find hand holding very roman…"
Her breath hitched when his lips pressed against her wrist and slowly burned a trail of desire along her bare arm.
"Um," she watched him, her breathing evening out, "Is that allowed?"
Steve looked up, still stroking her hand, "It said to hold hands… didn't say we weren't allowed to do other things at the same time," he concentrated his soft caresses along her neck and shoulder blade for the last few seconds until his time was up. "Your turn," he pressed one last tender kiss against her palm before letting go of her hand.
Catherine was still trying to catch her breath, thinking she'd rather continue what he'd started. But she played along, "Take an article of clothing off and put it on your partner," she read her first card, eyes widening.
"You're wearing a dress," he stated the obvious.
She nodded while silently reaching behind her back and unhooking her bra. Catherine skillfully removed it through one arm hole of her dress and held it out to him.
"No way," Steve shook his head, admiring the black lacy object but not wanting to wear it, "That's a bra, not clothing."
"A bra is part of my wardrobe every day," she pointed out, "And this game was your idea," Catherine challenged. She watched him grimace a little, but there was a sign of defeat which she took as a signal to position the bra over his tuxedo shirt.
"You're gonna stretch it out," he further tried to thwart her efforts.
Catherine rolled her eyes at him, unable to hook it, "Your other choices are dress or panties?" she offered alternatives.
"I'm good," he quickly replied. "Just promise me there won't be pictures."
She grinned, sitting back to enjoy the view, "Promise. I'll just take a picture in my mind that I plan to never forget."
"What was I thinking?" Steve lamented, flipping over his second card. "Comb or brush your partner's hair for three minutes." He glanced around the room nervously, "Can I make sure the front door is locked first?" he asked as Catherine jumped up to retrieve her hairbrush from the bathroom, "If anyone walked in on me brushing your hair while wearing your bra…"
"I guess we'd have a great story to tell our grandkids someday…" she trailed off, realizing what she'd just said.
He smiled, repositioning his self behind her, "You're right," was all he said as he began to brush her hair.
Catherine draped his left arm over her shoulder so she could keep an eye on his watch to time their three minute session. Her eyes closed for a while, though, relaxing as he gently brushed her hair, "I could get used to this."
Steve leaned forward and kissed the top of her head.
"Keep brushing, mister," she playfully scolded.
When his was time up, Catherine reached out to remove her bra from his muscled torso, "I think you've been a good enough sport on that one," she concluded, tossing the bra across the room and grabbing another card from her stack, "Make a date for dinner with the other player. Set the date now or the game stops," she read the instructions as well as the warning, "Great, game over."
He eyed her, "Why?"
"Steve, we both know you're horrible at making dinner plans," Catherine replied.
"I can make plans," he protested, "I just can't help that things sometimes come up forcing me to break those plans." Steve stood and walked toward the door, "Wait here," he disappeared downstairs, but reemerged a few minutes later with his cell phone in hand, "Okay, dinner date for… how about March 1st?" he offered, "That's two weeks from now, a Saturday. I'll take you to a real restaurant. Sound good?"
She nodded, "I'm free that weekend."
"Done," he tossed his cell phone onto the bed and grabbed the next card on his dwindling stack, "Tell the other player what you miss most about them when you're not together." Steve settled himself back on the bed, sitting across from her again. "When you were on reserve duty a while back I hated coming home to such a quiet house. I missed hearing you, not just your voice… not that I think you're loud, far from it," Steve tried to explain, "I missed hearing you rummage around in the kitchen or the way you hum in the shower, the sound of the TV when you watch those old Bob Ross painting re-runs."
Catherine melted to hear him say such sweet things, "Ask the other player to kiss you anywhere you want," she read her next card. Silence filled the small bit of distance between them and she ran her right index finger down the front of her torso until it rested between the V of cleavage her dress revealed.
Steve shifted forward, hands on her hips as he lightly drew his lips along her skin there, using his tongue to caress a little further down.
Heat pooled in her belly and lower as she pulled back, her chest heaving, "Are we still playing?"
He nodded and reached past her, fingertips teasingly brushing along the hem of her dress as he picked up another card, "Being only one inch apart, do not smile for two minutes."
Again she grabbed his wrist in order to time the round. They leaned in to one another, "Is this an inch?" she asked, their knees touching but not their faces.
"Close enough," he agreed.
"You look like you only have one eye this close up," she noticed, having to look down after a few seconds.
"Does that mean you lose?" Steve asked.
"No smiling," Catherine reminded him, "It's not a staring contest, I can look away," she eyed him again, but her nose twitched and her mouth quirked.
"What was that?" he asked, "You just smiled?"
Her head shook, "No, trying to fend off an itch," Catherine finally reached up and scratched her nose, "How sexy."
"Very," he replied without cracking a smile, "I don't think I told you this," Steve tried to think of something that might make her smile, "But the other day Danny and I were in Max's lab because he was going over Diana Bolton's autopsy results with us," he reminded her, "So we're talking about the drugs in her system when all of a sudden a rat shot across the floor. I'm talking a big, fat brown one."
Her nose scrunched again, though not due to an itch, "That's not funny. It's disgusting."
"No, the funny part was Danny jumping about ten feet into the air and screeching like a little girl," Steve revealed. "I thought he was seriously going to land in Max's arms."
She had to bite the inside of her cheek to keep from smiling, even though she felt kind of bad being amused at Danny's expense.
"Time's up," Steve declared, bummed that she'd toughed it out.
"Whisper in the other player's ear, until they smile," Catherine liked her new card, "Too easy," she boasted, moving her lips to the left side of his head, "I can't wait until this game is over so you can use your tongue to lick my…" she pulled back to see the anticipation on his face, "Toes."
His smile was immediate.
"Lightweight," she shook her head.
"You don't play fair. At this point I'd lick just about any place on you…" Steve pouted as he obediently took his next card, "Whisper sweet nothings for three minutes." Setting the card aside, he asked, "What exactly are sweet nothings?"
"Declarations of affection," Catherine replied.
"Like… dirty talk?"
She chuckled, "I guess you could go that route. But I like to think of them as being more romantic. Complimentary sayings like, you look beautiful."
"I already used that one on you tonight," he winked, gently tackling her against the mattress so they were laying side-by-side, "Romantic sayings, huh?" Steve caressed her arm, "How does that old poem go… roses are red, my truck is blue, and nothing says romance quite like spending time with you in an interrogation room."
"You officially suck at sweet nothings, and that didn't even rhyme," she couldn't help laugh. "I think you just lost the game."
"Hang on a sec, give me a second chance," Steve kept a tight hold on her, one hand wandering to her hip, "Roses are red, your car is blue, without you in my life I wouldn't know what to do," he whispered seriously, trying to keep the poem rhyming, "And… even though it often goes unsaid," Steve grinned, "I hope you know how much…" he searched for the right words, "I enjoy waking up with you lying next to me in bed."
She grinned, touched by the first verse, amused by the second, "Roses are red, violets are blue," she stressed the proper poem beginning, "And whatever lies ahead…" she looked him in the eye, "I'll always be there for you." Catherine initiated their next kiss, her lips suckling the warmth of his body as he pressed his torso against hers, "There's still one more card," she whispered, picking it up, "Kiss your partner for two minutes, in the shower."
"You made that up," Steve accused, reaching out to take the card away from her. He read it and frowned, "Probably a good thing we confiscated these from Grace."
Catherine nodded, extracting herself from his hold. She stood and beckoned him, "Shall we take that shower?"
He jumped up and eagerly followed her.
She turned on the shower and steam began to fog up the room. Catherine unbuttoned the rest of his shirt and tossed it aside. When she lifted her arms, Steve easily drew her dress up and over her head, pleased to recall that they'd already discarded the bra. He moved in for a kiss, but she blocked him with her palms pressed against his chest. Her hands trailed downward until she reached his waistband. Catherine quickly freed him from the burden of his pants and boxer briefs. Steve wasted little time helping her shimmy out of her panties.
They stepped beneath the spray, hot water running in rivulets over their shoulders and down their backs.
Catherine licked her lips in anticipation, one hand behind his head as she drew him toward her. Her feet arched, standing on tip-toes as she kissed softly along his brow. She worked her way down, running her tongue along his jaw line and then diverted to his ear. Catherine suckled his earlobe briefly before continuing her descent. She blazed a feather light path across his chest and brushed her lips further south to his hip-pelvic junction.
The card's two minute kiss directive took her on an explorative journey that elicited an animalistic moan to escape his lips.
But when her time was up, Catherine took a step backward leaving him wanting more.
"Where're you going?" he groped at her waist, his breathing labored.
"The card said a two minute kiss," she reminded him.
Steve pouted, glancing downward with sad puppy-dog eyes, "You gonna break that news to Mr. Happy or should I?"
Trying to remain aloof, Catherine bit her lip, "I wouldn't mind watching you break that news to him… having to let him down… gently."
"Uhn," he groaned desirously, backing her against the shower wall as the water split-splatted against the tile, "You're a mean, mean, torturous woman," Steve playfully accused as his lips descended upon her neck. His muscular arms lifted her, holding her steady.
She closed her eyes while he suckled her neck, her pulse racing against his lips as his body finally pressed into hers in perfect unity.
Steve stood in the bedroom doorway with nothing but his black boxer briefs on, his hair still slightly damp.
Catherine smiled from her reclined position on their bed. Her hair was also a bit damp and she'd changed into one of his large cotton T-shirts to sleep in. As he crossed the room and crawled atop their bed toward her, she finally noticed the ceramic bowl he was holding with one hand. "Are those chocolate-dipped strawberries?" her eyes lit up upon further inspection, "Okay, who are you and what have you done with my Navy SEAL? Bath drawn, dinner, a silly game and… you've been way too good to me tonight."
"Old smooth dogs can learn new tricks," he flashed a lop-sided grin and plopped down beside her. Steve noticed how she grimaced a little when the bed shifted. "You okay?"
"Kinda sore," she admitted, gingerly moving into a sitting position and propping several pillows behind her back, "Why does shower sex always seem so much racier in the movies than in real life practical application?" Catherine wondered, "Because that tile wall is just not comfy."
"We weren't even in the shower very long, Cath," he presented the largest, juiciest looking strawberry to her and smiled and as she leaned toward him and took a bite, "But it coulda been the door jamb, or the linen closet shelf… maybe the floor," Steve mused as she finished off the strawberry in his hand, licking some residual chocolate from his fingers, "It's also very possibly it was the countertop or even the mirror."
"All worth it," she grinned as those recent memories filled her head, "I'll be fine after a little rest."
His brow arched, "Good to know," he fished another berry out of the bowl and offered it to her. "Can I ask you something," Steve handed the strawberry over and then rolled onto his back, stretching one arm above his head. He turned his head to face her again, "Being completely seriousness?"
"Sure," she was curious about his question as she nibbled the second berry.
"Why does it always seem like it's the man's responsibility in a relationship to make the big romantic gesture on Valentine's Day?" he asked. "I'm not saying I didn't enjoy our evening, but think about it… if a guy forgets the holiday he gets sent to sleep on the sofa, right? But I don't think I've ever heard about a woman being kicked to the sofa by her husband or boyfriend for not bringing him flowers. You didn't buy any special lingerie to wear for me tonight, did you?"
Catherine's head shook, "Nope."
"And did you get me any chocolates or flowers?" Steve questioned.
"Sorry, that would be another no," her face scrunched a little, feeling a bit bad as he made his point.
He nodded slowly, "And if I'd done nothing for you tonight?"
"I probably would've brooded and been upset with you for several days," Catherine admitted.
"You see," Steve sighed, "All the responsibility fell to me."
She chuckled softly, moving the bowl onto his chest so she could snuggle up beside him, "You might have a point," Catherine agreed, "I guess it's because traditionally the woman's role in a relationship has been passive, and men are meant to put on a show in order to woo their lady," she cringed even as the words came out of her mouth, "And that just sounded completely Neanderthal," she realized. "You're right. You should send me downstairs to sleep on the sofa because I didn't buy you any roses."
"I think I'll let it slide this time," he offered her a reprieve, "But next year…"
"Maybe we should alternate," she suggested.
"Explain," Steve said before biting into a strawberry.
Catherine chuckled, "I was just thinking I could do something special for you next year, and the following year it would be your turn again… and so on."
He sat the bowl on his nightstand and turned onto his side toward her, "That idea of yours sounds a lot like you're planning for the future," Steve pointed out. He watched her bite her lip, clearly nervous about how he felt about spending that future with her, "I like it," Steve let her know.
She smiled contentedly.