Mistletoe

Disclaimer: I don't own em.

Spoilers: Nothing really, but Chin and Malia are engaged but not yet married

Summary: Four tales of tradition as a result of this parasitic plant. Featuring: Danny and Grace, Max and Lori, Chin and Malia, Steve and Kono. Aside from fatherly love, the last three feature a bit of romance.

A/N: Happy Christmas! Mid month, I thought I survived the season, after sending out and finishing a 500 person Holiday Gala. Ha! Ha! I say – not a chance – still have Christmas Brunch to provide for 600 people. So, no, I have yet to survive the season. Meh. Anyway, this is dedicated to my readers, who like my stories, added me as their fave author and to their alerts. Mele Kalikimaka!

According to ancient Christmas custom, a man and woman who meet under a hanging of mistletoe were obliged to kiss. - via Wikipedia

Mistletoe: Four tales of tradition

# # #

Danny and Grace

Danny William's Apartment
Honolulu

Danny had another Christmas tradition with Grace other than dressing up as Santa Claus.

When she was little – er – and just discovering the wonder of Christmas, she was also just learning to speak. And like any child learning their first words, mispronunciation was common and adorable.

Grace would say 'Rubolb' instead of 'Rudolph' and 'Mewwy Kissmass' instead of 'Merry Christmas.'

The latter, Danny liked a lot, because at the time he was still married and very much in love with Rachel and that always led to lots of making out in front of the Christmas tree after Grace had gone to bed.

Danny's favorite of Grace's mispronunciations though, still choked him up when he thought about it. Because, now as he looked at his nine year old daughter and watched as she helped him to wrap his Christmas gifts for his Five-0 team mates, he feared that she was outgrowing their yearly yuletide antics.

It didn't help that there was no snow. Hell, it wasn't even cold here.

Instead, there were palm trees and pineapples. And Santa, was more prone to wearing board shorts, an Aloha shirt and flip-flops. In fact, Old St. Nick and the Missus even sported matching tans.

But really – after having spent several Christmas' in Hawaii, you would think that Danny was used to it by now. He caught his daughter's eye as she finished sticking on a pre-made bow and masked his sudden melancholy mood as quick as possible.

But Grace caught on. "Dad?"

Danny smirked – busted. "Yes, Monkey?"

"Are you okay?'

"Oh. Of course, Monkey. Why wouldn't I be?" Danny said as he squatted down next to her to re-roll the unused gift wrapping paper.

Grace looked up at Danny and shook her head. "Dad," she said, drawing out the 'a' and admonishing her father with a look.

"Yes, Monkey?" Danny asked innocently.

Grace rolled her eyes. "Daddy, don't be sad, I got you something."

"You did? Should we put it under the tree?" Danny said, glancing towards the skinny pine tree that Steve helped him bring home earlier.

"No," Gracie answered as she got up to retrieve her backpack. She knelt down next to her dad who had turned himself around so that he could lean his back against the sofa and stretch his legs out in front of him. He watched with a tender smile as Grace unzipped her backpack to pull out a small sprig of green oval shaped leaves with white berries.

Danny's soft smile, brightened. "What's that, Gracie?" He asked, pleased that his daughter apparently hadn't outgrown their tradition after all. He took the little bundle of green and held it up before them before setting it down on the end-table next to him.

Grace smiled back, her eyes equally bright. "You know, Dad."

"I do," Danny said as he pulled Grace close for a hug. "It's – what did you call it again, Monkey? Miss – miss -"

"'Miss-your-nose'?" she asked, starting to giggle as she pulled away, but not before reaching out to squeeze his nose.

Danny grinned. "No, that's not it," he said starting to tickle her sides. Grace laughed and hugged Danny around the neck.

"Dad, stop," she said between huffs of light laughter.

"Missy-ten-toes?" Danny asked next, pulling Grace back in to hold her tight and continuing to tickle her as she twisted around. He let her flop down onto the floor and laughed some more. Danny grabbed her feet. "I got it!" he exclaimed. "Miss-your-toes!" he said excitedly as he tickled her feet and grabbed playfully at her toes. Grace squealed with delight as Danny showered every part of his daughter's face with kisses, still holding her tight and eventually laughing along with her.

When they finally settled down, they collapsed together against the sofa. He thought back to when Grace was younger, when all of them, Rachel included, would end up in a heap on the living room floor, breathing hard from all the horseplay. It was different now, especially with him and Rachel. And he knew that Grace knew this as well.

But, as he looked down at her, he realized that it wasn't so bad, because some things, like mistletoe and Grace would always be the same. "Thank you for the mistletoe, Gracie," Danny said.

"You're welcome, Daddy," Gracie said, sighing contentedly as she turned and rested her head against his lap. "Merry Christmas, Dad."

"Merry Christmas, Monkey."

"I love you, Danno."

Danny ran his hand through her long hair. "I love you too, Gracie."

# # #

Max and Lori

Honolulu Medical Examiner's Office
Oahu

Max Bergman seemed a tiny bit flustered.

He had been waiting for quite some time, for someone to show up from Five-0 so that he could pass on the information that he gleaned from the John Doe they found earlier in the day at Ala Moana Beach Park.

But, as Bing Crosby's version of It's Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas played on the radio in the background, he realized his waiting, wasn't what flustered him.

Actually, it became apparent that it was the petite blonde woman standing before him that did it.

Max had been working at the examining table when she entered and he involuntarily fidgeted, pushing his falling glasses back up his nose before nodding a less than adequate greeting.

"You got something for us, Max?" Lori asked as she leaned against the door-frame leading into the exam room.

Of course, Max surmised that it didn't help that she was wearing a rather revealing Santa Claus costume. The distinctly – female – version, with a short skirt, low neck-line and hat that was cutely tilted to the side.

Max gulped and fish-mouthed, suddenly finding himself at a loss for words.

"Max?" Lori asked again.

Max pointed at her.

"Five-0 Christmas party, remember?" Lori said, suddenly straightening and appearing a little defensive. "Besides, I thought you were coming and dressing as an elf?"

"Uhm," was all he managed to mumble in response. Then, "yes. Yes, of course."

Lori nodded and studied him, finally throwing her hands out in frustration. "Max, did you have any info on the John Doe or not? Because I still have to make a beer run, apparently," she explained as she gestured towards the door.

The Assistant ME shook his head vigorously. "Apologies. I uh – apologize Officer Weston, it's just that, uh. Hm," Max shifted again. He pulled the off his latex gloves and nervously looked back at Lori.

"Max? Seriously?" Lori asked again, prodding him to speak by waving a hand towards him.

Max smiled sheepishly. "Hm? Yes, yes. Information on the John Doe. Sadly, I've identified him as Miguel Pastor. He suffered from Alzheimer's and his family reported him missing three days ago," he began to explain. "There were no signs of foul play."

"Oh. That's it? I mean, you could have called right?" Lori asked, perplexed.

He nodded his head from side to side. "Yes."

Lori's jaw dropped slightly. "But you didn't," she stated, shifting her weight to one foot and placing a hand on her hip.

Max shook his head then. "No."

"Because?"

Max smiled again, less nervous than before.

"Because why, Max?" Lori asked once more.

Max, suddenly emboldened, pointed.

Upwards.

Lori inclined her head as she stared at him. And then she let her eyes roam upwards to see the sprig of mistletoe suspended above her head. She smirked and brought her eyes back to Max who had stealthily moved closer.

"Uhm. Huh," Lori said. She snorted softly and shook her head. Her smirk turned into a soft smile.

Max smiled back.

Lori giggled. "Mistletoe, huh?"

"I believe it is the custom, Officer Weston," Max reasoned, moving another step closer.

"If you're going to kiss a girl, Max, the least you could do is call her by her first name," Lori said.

Max nodded and pushed out his bottom lip. "Okay. Lori," he said smiling, again. And then he puckered his lips.

Lori laughed this time and shook her head. She stared at Max's comically pursed lips, his closed eyes, but expectant expression and leaned forward and kissed him.

After Max pulled away, he all out beamed. "Merry Christmas, Lori," he said, quite pleased with himself.

Lori looked back at Max in wonder. "Merry Christmas, Max," she said as she cleared her throat to step towards the door. She couldn't help but chuckle a little, appearing bewildered. "Uhm, I have a question though, Max."

"Yes?"

"How did you know it would be me?" Lori asked.

"Ah. I didn't," Max answered, shrugging and then smiling as he shuffled back to the John Doe. "But, after calculating my odds, which weren't very good, I decided to gamble," he said with a shrug.

"Huh."

"I'm glad I did," Max said, nodding at the blonde as she reached for the door.

Lori paused to smile at Max once more. "Me too. You'll get me the info on the John Doe, so I can inform the family?"

Max nodded and Lori slipped out the door.

# # #

Chin and Malia

Miss Lee's Garage
Makiki, Honolulu

"Ho, Dr. Waincroft, again?" Reggie-boy asked.

Malia smiled fondly at the young man in blue coveralls as he unhinged her car from the back of the tow truck rig. She shook her head. "Hi Reggie. Yes – again," she said laughing as she shut the door to the truck that gave her a lift in to the garage.

"You're fiance is getting you a new one? I hope," he said as he came around to stand before her.

"I'll be sure to remind him," Malia said, shaking her head. "Here he is now," she said, gesturing towards the man on the Harley, turning into the parking lot where they stood.

They watched as Chin pulled to a stop and parked. "Everything okay?" Chin asked, as he walked towards them.

"It's fine. Just the car," Malia answered, waving a hand towards the offending vehicle.

Chin shook his head, snorting softly. "Again?"

Reggie-boy laughed as he watched Malia blush slightly.

"Yes, Chin. Again," she replied. She admonished the young man with a look that softened instantly into a smile. Malia turned her attention back to Chin's handsome grin. "What?"

Chin's eyes crinkled. "We'll work on getting you a new car, once we're married. But only after the new year. Okay?" he asked, a knowing and supportive look upon his face.

Malia seemed to visibly melt. "Okay," she agreed, gazing at Chin.

Reggie-boy suddenly cleared his throat, calling Chin and Malia's attention back to him. During the couple's talking, the young man had raised the rig once more. He stood there quietly smiling at Chin and Malia.

"Reggie?" Malia asked. "Something the matter?"

Reggie-boy grinned this time and pointed towards the top of the rig, in particular, to the part that hung above Chin and Malia, where a little bundle of mistletoe hung from a red ribbon.

Chin chuckled and wrapped his arms around Malia who smiled shyly at Reggie-boy. "Your Auntie teach you that trick?" she asked.

"Yeah, Doc," he responded, laughing. He looked away as Chin leaned in to kiss Malia. He fiddled with his pockets and pulled out a business card and handed it to Chin. "Give us a call tomorrow, Detective Kelly," Reggie-boy said to Chin as he handed him the card. "Auntie should have an estimate ready for you by then."

Chin took the card and glanced at it before doing a double take.

"What is it?" Malia asked as she turned in his arms to look a the card. Chin held the card for her to read and then chuckled.

"Miss Lee Tows?" Malia asked, her eyes dancing even more as she took in the design on the card as well. It was of a cartoon version of Miss Lee, in a bright patterned muumuu dangling what looked like mistletoe.

Reggie-boy laughed. "Yeah. Auntie, she's so funny – she says this is her 'holiday card'."

Chin snorted and shook his head. "Miss Lee Tows," Chin repeated under his breath. He looked at Reggie-boy and pointed at the mistletoe tied to the rig and chuckled.

# # #

Steve and Kono

Five-0 Headquarters
Honolulu

"You've got to be kidding me," Steve grunted as he stood in front of his office door, looking perplexed.

"Geez boss, way to make a girl feel good about herself," Kono chided as she stood next to him.

Suddenly abashed, Steve said, "that's – I didn't mean – Kono, I wasn't referring to kissing -"

"Me? Whatever," she said interrupting him. "Besides, boss, what did you eat for lunch?" she asked, scrunching up her face.

"What?"

"Ho brah – your breath's kind of smelly," Kono said, waving a hand in front of her face to shoo away whatever it was she was claiming to smell.

Steve cracked a smile, liking that Kono was deflecting the immediate awkwardness of the situation. "Excuse me?" he asked Kono back. "You should talk – you just ate a whole bag of kakimochi earlier," he said accusingly, pointing at her and chuckling.

Kono smiled back, warm and bright, her eyes crinkling cutely. "Yeah, but everyone knows that you brush you teeth after eating that stuff, otherwise your breath stinks for hours," she quipped.

Their bickering was suddenly interrupted by a sharp whistle from Danny who had been watching the two since they found themselves in their present situation. He looked from Steve to Kono and chuckled, shaking his head.

"Yo 'stud'," Danny said to Steve, smirking. "Here you go, try not to kill the girl," Danny said, gesturing towards Kono and then tossing a pack of gum towards Steve. "I told you, didn't I? I told you to hold the onions on your teriyaki chicken burger."

"Wait, did you plan this?" Kono suddenly asked, tilting her head towards Danny.

"So what if I did?" Danny asked back, laughing. He watched gleefully as Kono motioned to get a piece of gum from Steve. "Besides, what are you guys? Twelve? It's just mistletoe," Danny added. "Consider this my Christmas present. And it's just a kiss," he said, throwing his hands out in front of him for emphasis.

Kono rolled her eyes and threw the gum pack back to Danny before turning back to Steve."Right, it's just a kiss," she agreed, chewing on her gum vigorously.

Steve studied Kono. "Okay," he said, grinning. "It's just a kiss."

Kono glanced up a the giant ball of mistletoe and then down towards Steve's sparkling eyes and smirked. "Oh, so now you're all into it?" she asked Steve.

Danny chuckled. No. Chortled. The detective was apparently enjoying his team-mate's predicament too much.

Steve's grin got impossibly bigger as he continued to gaze at Kono. He shrugged."Only because you suddenly seem so nervous," he answered as he pulled out a wrapper to spit out his gum on. He quickly balled it up and stuck it in his pocket.

"Nervous?" Kono scoffed. "Psssh – please – bring it, boss," she said, challenging him.

"Oh, ho, ho!" Danny interjected. He laughed out loud and rubbed his hands together, eagerly. There was a reason why he got the biggest 'kissing ball' of mistletoe he could find.

Steve arched a brow, took a step closer to Kono, quickly wrapped an arm around her and drew her in to kiss her thoroughly on the mouth.

Danny's jaw dropped.

Kono wound her hands up behind Steve's head and pulled him closer, deepening the kiss slightly before remembering where she was.

They broke apart for air.

"Huh," Kono said, stepping back. "Meh."

Once more, Steve arched a brow. "Nothing, huh?"

Kono shrugged. "Nothing."

"What? You two are serious?" Danny asked, incredulous. "Nothing?" He threw his hands up in the air. "Nothing – can I – can I just point out one thing?"

"Knock yourself out, Danno," Steve said, rolling his eyes.

Kono crossed her arms across her front. "Like we could ever stop you, Danny."

"Cute. Funny," Danny said, pointing first to Steve and then Kono. "Alright, just humor me okay? Just – okay – explain to me this thing between you two," he said, waving a hand from Steve to Kono.

"What 'thing'?" Kono asked.

"The 'thing', the tension I sometimes get between you guys – oh, you've got to be kidding me," Danny said, huffing in exasperation at the blank expressions of his colleagues. He looked at the both of them quizzically.

"What thing, Danny? There is no 'thing', no tension, no whatever," Steve said.

"No? You're sure? I coulda sworn I keep seeing something," Danny said as he studied Steve first then Kono. He pointed at her. "You felt nothing, when you kissed him?" he asked her.

Kono shook her head. "No, nothing."

Danny looked at Steve, huffing a little, he crossed his arms across his chest. "Nothing? Seriously? I mean Kono, she's a beautiful girl, kind of scary sometimes -"

"Hey!" Kono interjected. She shook her head.

Steve laughed, he knew Danny better than he thought he did. "I hate to break it to you Danno, but you're wrong. Nice try with the mistletoe, though," he said.

Danny shrugged, a little defeated. "Huh. Not that you need it, but really, I was just trying to help a friend out," Danny said, grinning as he looked at Kono but gestured at Steve. Kono giggled and shook her head as she headed back to her office.

"Uh, thanks, Danny," Steve said, smirking and then rolling his eyes. "Get back to work."

"Work – schmork. I'm heading out to pick Gracie up, I'll see you two later at the Christmas Party," Danny said as he waved and exited HQ.

Steve watched Danny head out before turning and heading into Kono's office. He leaned against her door-frame and smiled, waggling his eyebrows suggestively. "You, uh, want your gum back?" he asked as he started chewing out of nowhere.

Kono grinned. "Nah. You mind holding on to it? I'm pretty sure I'm going to call you when I need it later tonight."

"Okay, then. You let me know, now," he said, grinning back.

Kono's brown pools sparkled with merriment. "Oh, I will."

End.

# # #

A/N: I hope you all liked it!

Kakimochi (pronounced: kah-kee-mo-chee) is a Japanese, baked, rice cracker snack, most times it's glazed with soy-sauce first before being baked. Some varieties feature a coating of dried seaweed as well. In Hawaii, this popular snack is sometimes offered in movie theaters so that you can toss it with your popcorn.