Fear, Not Love
Disclaimer: I do not own H50.
Spoilers: Me Ke Kahakai, S1:E20 – to know who Uncle Keako and Auntie Mele are; Ua Lawe Wale, S2:E2 – minor reference to Fryer; Mea Makamae, S2:E4 – Steve and Catherine on the outs; Mai Ka Wa Kahiko, S2:E15
Summary: Steve's "apparent death" elicits certain feelings: some strong, some not so much, some slow burning. Steve/Kono at the heart of it, but some Danny moments thrown in for good measure, as well as Lori and Chin.
A/N: Mostly Steve, Kono and Lori in this chapter. Apologies for taking so long and erhm...yeah – smut ahead. Rated M folks!
I Don't Usually Wear Anything to Bed
# # #
Kono Kalakaua's House
Kono arrives home from surfing and finds a busy Steve on her porch. He's got her front door open and is finishing up installing what looks like two new door locks. She slows and parks her bicycle to remove her surfboard and sees him closing the door and testing the locks with a set of keys that he promptly hands over as she climbs the stairs, her board still casually tucked under her arm.
"I've changed the locks on the backdoor too," he says as he smirks at her. No 'good morning' or 'hi, hello', whatever, because he's kind of nervous, but at the same time he's trying not to show it.
Kono studies him and notes a seriousness to him and nods. "Thanks, boss." She can't help but smirk back. She's not all that surprised at his mood because when is Steve not intense?
Steve grins, clearly relieved that there's no real awkwardness left from his entering her home, uninvited, in the middle of the night. He regrets it now of course, and doesn't even know what he was trying to prove other than the obvious one of wanting to get laid.
Because yeah. That's exactly what it was.
He feels like an asshole for thinking about her in that manner. Especially because Kono doesn't deserve to be thought of that way, and because she's very different from the women he's known and been with. Steve knows that he's pretty lucky that she won't turn him in for sexual harassment, or call in her relatives to kick his ass, or better yet, beat the shit out of him herself.
But then again, they way Kono looked last night, in her bed, with her clothes riding up and exposing more of her than he's seen when she's just worn a bikini. He recalls the smooth expanses of her tan skin, her athletic curves, her long, lean and toned limbs and finds himself gulping slightly at the thought of her wrapping her legs around him. He has to mentally stop himself because other than it being wholly inappropriate, Kono's already told him the reason why she's not interested in anything with him. Despite her obvious attraction to him and vice versa.
"Earth to Steve?" Kono asks, waving her hands before his face, trying to claim his attention once again. She's wondering where he zoned off to.
Steve looks embarrassed at being busted for daydreaming, so he clears his throat. "Yeah. Sorry. Long night," he says, his grin sheepish and appearing bigger than before. Lame.
Kono snorts and shakes her head. "I'm not inviting you in, you know that, right?" she asks pointedly, arching a brow. After hours of surfing and trying to clear her head to really think about what transpired last night, she wonders if there's something wrong with her. Because although Steve's stalker-like behavior was in fact a little creepy and inappropriate as hell, she still doesn't find it all that bad.
Any fool could see why that is, though.
Kono kind of wants him.
Fuck it. Too bad she's so nice and considering Lori's feelings before her own. That kind of self-sacrificing bullshit definitely runs in her family. Fucking, Chin – setting examples like that, what the fuck?
Steve is chuckling. "Yeah. Yeah, I wouldn't invite me in either," he says as he shakes his head too. "I uh, I've got plans, anyway," he says, smiling lopsidedly.
Kono turns from leaning her board against the wall and rolls her eyes amicably. "Good," she says smiling, really meaning it. "Thanks again for this," she adds as she shakes the keys in her hand for emphasis, she doesn't say anything about how cheesy the 'I heart the Navy' key chain is, but she kind of likes it.
After she blurted out to Steve how Lori was in love with him last night, he just turned and left her house without another word and she figured she wouldn't really see him till Monday. She should have known – that Steve would be by to try and fix things. She guesses she's never going to tell him about the time she came home to find Lt. Fryer in her living room, who knows what kind of additional security he would install then.
"Not a problem, it's the least I could do," Steve responds. "I'm really sorry about breaking in last night," he adds as he makes his way back to his truck. "And don't worry. You've got all the copies, okay?" He's feeling better because it seems that she's letting him off the hook.
Kono nods and smiles again. Steve seems genuinely remorseful and she believes him."So – do your 'plans' have something to do with Lori?" she asks, pretty curious about what Steve's going to do about the petite blonde and her feelings for him.
He's about to go, takes a few steps down the stairs when he turns and says, "yeah, they do actually. What you said last night – about Lori."
Kono leans her hip onto her porch railing and shifts her weight to one foot. "Yeah?" she asks.
"It's true isn't it?" he asks back. "I mean, after I left – on my drive home, it all kind of made sense." The more he thought about what Kono told him last night, the more he saw the signs.
Kono is studying Steve once more, her eyes bright because she's finding how clueless he is, fairly cute.
"It kind of explains what happened in North Korea," Steve says, nodding slightly and remembering how confused he was about Lori jumping out of that chopper and hugging him.
"And then Waipahu," Kono adds, watching as Steve nods again. That day kind of sucked, she remembers.
"And some other stuff." He's thinking back to the multiple times he's found Lori staring at him.
Kono arches a brow once more, obviously intrigued. "'Other stuff'?" Kono asks.
Steve snorts softly and shakes his head, not answering her and turns to walk back to his truck when Kono says, "you're talking about how she looks at you right? And the way she tries to partner up with you?" The smug grin on Steve's face says it all and it's Kono this time that's shaking her head. She snorts again and watches as Steve gets into his truck and says, "you got this McGarrett?"
"Oh yeah," he says, smiling as he starts his engine and drives off.
# # #
Koko Head Stairs
Steve is genuinely making an attempt here.
He acknowledges of course that Lori is an attractive woman. He and Danny even had a conversation about this very fact when Lori was first assigned to the team. She's feisty, sassy and smart. She's also dedicated to her job, her career and she just so happens to be pretty damn good at it too. And, for added measure, she's a team player and proven more than once, her loyalty to Five-0. In all honesty, there is nothing Steve can't not like about Lori.
So he invited her for a run, up the Koko Head Stairs to test the waters and see if it could lead to something and perhaps serve as an opening to something more. They started out the morning great, lightly trash talking and joking with each other. There was an ease to their interaction that Steve found he liked, more so than when she was reacting to something that was happening to him. And the way Lori first challenged him and then cheated her way halfway up the stairs was admittedly more fun than annoying. He actually liked how competitive she was.
But then she sprained her ankle and he really felt bad about it. So much so that he couldn't help insisting that she go to the hospital because her ankle looked pretty bad. But because Steve couldn't possibly leave her sitting there, he carried her down the mountain, eating his threat from earlier in the morning. It was the least he could do and despite how he could tell she would be nervous about being in close contact with him, Steve picked her up easily and carefully made his way down.
So Kono believed Lori was in love with him and of course he felt a little flattered. And today, he saw something in Lori. In the way she happily met him at the door to her apartment, eager and bright-eyed. Then the teasing way she goaded him and then tricked him, saying his shoelace was untied and then tripping him. Plus the awkward way she acquiesced to being carried and her sharp in-take of breath when he lifted her. He finally saw it all and he felt a little like an asshole for not noticing sooner.
But he couldn't say for certain he felt anything in return.
No, scratch that. He knew for a fact – sadly – that he didn't.
Why was it that he felt nothing more for Lori than camaraderie? After Catherine left, he wasn't sure how soon he would be willing to start dating because Catherine did mean something to him. But last week in Waipahu happened and witnessing people's reactions to your death does something to you – makes you think of the people you care about, your worth and your current station in life. It's enough to cause someone to want to change, to live their life differently and act on the things that they may have held back on.
Steve's eyes are trained on the precise way the paramedic is wrapping Lori's ankle and he can clearly hear her protests. Huh – she's vocal, that's for sure. And pretty funny too, he muses, as they finish up. The EMTs get ready to haul Lori into the ambulance so he tells them feel free to sedate her if needed and he has to grin. He made the effort today, to see if he would enjoy and want to spend more time with her outside of work. And frankly, Lori is cool. But his mind wouldn't allow him to focus just on her. He wanted to be elsewhere with someone else. And he wasn't talking about Catherine.
His phone's ringing now and something tells him he really needs to answer it.
# # #
Kono arrives back at HQ to find all the office lights still on. Lori must still be around, but for now, she knows she needs to decompress. Seeing Danny act so desperately, scared the fuck out of her. But, it was Grace. Grace who was abducted. Kono is pretty sure Danny wouldn't have acted differently if it were Rachel or any of them, because that's the kind of guy Danny is. It causes her to choke up a little and remember how it took all of her focus to not loose it and break down at the Public Storage lot where they found the little girl. She's glad Steve and Chin volunteer to help get Stan from the hospital and offer to drive everyone home or wherever, in case Grace needs to get checked out or something.
Her desk is a mess of papers and she doesn't even register that some of them have fallen to the floor as she takes a seat and drops her head, heavily into her hands. Kono is not burnt out, she's not stressed and she's not tired. Not physically anyway. What she is, and she knows this fairly well, is that she is emotionally exhausted.
In Waipahu, she barely let herself register the thought that Steve was dead. Unlike Lori or Danny who both assumed the worst. Or like Chin, who seemed to require proof first. It kind of bugs her that she was slow to react, to believe in either case, because she was just plain scared. Terrified actually – at the thought of losing Steve. And then today with Grace and seeing Danny frantic and despondent.
When she was on the pro-circuit and competed in surf meets all over the world; feelings, friendships, fears, injuries had to be put aside in order to maintain focus. And the only way to survive was to compartmentalize. Kono believed she was pretty good at it too. But maybe she lost practice. Maybe, she let herself go and maybe things were hitting too close to her heart. Maybe she was being scared into doing something, reacting finally.
Kono hears a light clearing of a throat and looks up to see that Lori's hanging around her office door, looking a little concerned.
"Hey, Lori," Kono says, putting forth a brave effort and trying to appear calm.
Lori shifts, looking as if she's finally got used to the crutches. "Hey. How's Danny? And Grace?" Lori asks.
"They're good. They're fine. They uh, Steve and Chin are taking them to the hospital to meet up and check on Stan," Kono explains, then "how's the foot?" She suddenly remembers that her other intention was to check up on Lori and maybe offer her a ride home.
Lori grunts softly and rolls her eyes. "Further proof about how much of an idiot I am, right?" she says.
Kono laughs quietly. She stands and steps forward to squeeze Lori's shoulder. "It's okay girl," she says. "I've been through a fair amount of injuries myself," she adds, hoping to comfort her. She doesn't quite get why she feels responsible for her, but she does. Maybe it's because she realizes how nice it is to have another woman around Five-0.
"It's been a long day, hasn't it?" Lori asks, her smile warm as she leans against the door frame.
Kono takes a deep breath and nods in response. "Yeah and aside from Danny's day, I'd say you had a pretty frustrating one as well. Are you waiting for Steve to give you a lift home? Otherwise, I could," Kono offers, she doesn't know why she just threw Steve's name in there.
Lori suddenly straightens and arches a brow. "Steve? Why would you ask that?"
Kono shrugs. Yeah, way to go. "I just thought, you know you guys went for a run this morning," she says, gesturing towards Lori's foot. "And I thought maybe -"
"I uh, huh," Lori says, interrupting Kono. She shakes her head and snorts once again. "You know, for as good a profiler as I am – or been told – I feel pretty ridiculous for not seeing the signs sooner."
Now Kono's confused and does nothing to hide it. She arches a brow at Lori.
Lori is shaking her head again and looking down at the tips of her crutches. "He's not into me at all," she says simply, a bit defeated.
Kono grunts softly and crosses her arms across her front. "How do you know?" she asks, a part of her screaming inside.
Lori's gaze meets hers. "Even before you guys notified him of the body found on the airplane?" she asks, causing Kono to think back to the very start of their day. "He never offered to come with me in the ambulance. Or to meet me at the hospital."
The tall brunette is rolling her eyes. "He carried you down the mountain," Kono says, hoping to justify the time Steve spent with Lori, though she doesn't know why. "Plus it's just a sprain, right?" she asks, because she's surprised at Lori's lack of confidence.
"Doesn't matter does it?" Lori asks back, hobbling over to seat herself in one of Kono's office chairs. "If he cared," Lori starts, shifting her crutches to lean against the other chair. "If he felt anything like I – I feel for him, he would have followed in his truck, don't you think?" She sounds hopeful, as if she'll hear something in Kono's response that will make her feel better about her giant crush on Five-0's team leader.
Kono gulps. She can't lie, she never really could. Not about things like this. Sneaking out in the middle of the night when she was younger to meet up with friends – she could weave a tale that would have your head spinning. But this, she won't lie. "I'm the wrong person to ask."
The petite blonde settles back into her chair and eyes Kono with a knowing look. Of course. "Because you have feelings for him too?" Lori asks, not really expecting an answer, because really? It's Steve she's talking about here.
Kono shrugs again. "I'm not dead, Lori." She's trying to play it cool because that's just how Kono is. But yeah. She does have feelings for Steve, she was just too slow to realize them because it isn't just infatuation, is it?
Lori nods and is chewing on a portion of her lip. "Yeah and you've worked with him longer."
Kono's now leaning against her desk and studying Lori. "Meaning what? He has a girlfriend." She doesn't get Lori's point because Catherine has been in Steve's life longer than the both of them, combined.
Lori clears her throat and smiles sadly, maybe more for herself than Kono. "Had," she says, correcting the taller woman, not missing the way Kono's eyes go wide at her statement. It seems, she figures, that Kono forgot about that little fact too.
# # #
Kono Kalakaua's House
Kono arrives home from driving Lori to her apartment and finds Steve on her porch.
And that same stupid thrill she felt when she found him in her home the other night makes its way from her belly to her chest at lightning speed. He looks tired and on edge, but happy to see her.
"Steve?" she asks as she approaches and climbs the steps.
Steve doesn't say anything but nods slightly. He's looking at her, hovering just inches away from her as she pulls out her keys to unlock her front door. He notices that Kono's hands are shaking and he has to grin. He feels like he's in for something long overdue.
Kono clears her throat at having finally getting her door open and steps through the threshold, flipping on the living room light and turning back to look at him. "So that's it? With Lori?" she asks, although she knows. She's figured that's why he's here and opens her door a little wider as a kind of gesture.
He doesn't step through though and feels silly for standing on her porch waiting for her to vocally invite him in. But it's what he needs to do, because he can't just walk into her home like he did the other night. He nods again in answer to her question but remains standing where he is.
Kono tilts her head, assessing him. So her boss isn't feeling particularly loquacious tonight, but when has he ever? She shifts her weight to one foot and crosses her arms in front of her and says, "it may not matter after tonight, but the other night when you broke in?"
Steve still hasn't moved from her porch but he gives her a questioning look in response. He's still not talking either.
"Don't do that. You caught me on an off night," she states. No one ever said she wasn't mischievous growing up.
"Yeah?" Steve asks gruffly and it sounds more like a grunt if anything. It feels like Kono is teasing him and he kind of likes it and his core fills with heat in some kind of anticipation.
"Yeah. I don't usually wear anything to bed," Kono says plainly. Her left hand hovers over the fly of her jeans and her gaze darkens as she wantonly looks at Steve.
He fucking hates himself because Steve feels how his body surges and twitches at the thought of Kono naked and he knows – he's doomed. He moves forward because that's all the invitation he needs and steps into her home. Kono's already got her jeans off and is working on her top when he turns, closes and locks her front door behind him.
When Kono was younger and spent a lot of time at her Uncle Keako and Auntie Mele's house, she always played in their backyard. Rarely was she and her other cousins allowed to play indoors. And with good reason, her Auntie and Uncle were the caretakers of the family antique furniture collection. When Auntie Mele died last year, Uncle Keako figured it was time to start distributing the furniture that had been passed down through the generations. As it turns out, Kono inherited a two drawer dresser made of Koa wood and despite it's rather European styling, the fairly innocuous piece of furniture has up until today been used for storing extra board wax, miscellaneous junk – like pens, bullets, extra rounds and maybe condoms.
Good thing for that last one, because of course, Steve decides it's the perfect place to fuck her on. Maybe it was something he decided when he was in her place before. Either way, Steve walks up to Kono and lifts her easily onto the dresser, kisses her deeply with a finality that says – this was meant to happen all along.
She's naked by now, groping every inch of his still clothed body and sneaking her hands up his front to run them across his pecks. Somehow Steve manages to pull his shirt off and he drags her hands from his chest to place them on the top button of his cargo pants, as if he's giving her an option here. Seriously? She's fucking naked on a piece of furniture that's like one hundred years old with her legs spread and wrapped around him and he's giving her a choice? Wow. Could Steve be anymore awesome?
She doesn't think about it. She wants him, wants this – no needs it. There's no more thinking at this point anyway and she can't imagine how he's still managing to, but Kono doesn't really care. She pulls at the buttons and they come undone. She doesn't know how, but she manages to pull a condom out from the top drawer below her. Kono reaches into his pants and pulls him out and she can hear the way Steve gasps at her touch.
He's impatient and takes over, growling slightly and finishing the task because if she keeps caressing him in that way, he's not sure how much more control he would have. Steve is wild with want and it almost borders on desperate. It's as if he can't get enough of her, kissing her roughly and pulling her close, pulling at her arms and thighs, wrapping himself in her. He grabs her hips to steady them and pushes in to her and it feels like something's already burst within him, but Kono's throaty groan brings him back. She's bracing herself on his shoulders, her thin fingers moving down to grasp at his shoulder-blades and encouraging him to move. He readily does, breaking the kiss because it feels like he's sinking into something soft, wet, and electric, and he thinks he might run out of air.
Kono feels too good right now to be embarrassed at her urgent mewing and moaning as he starts to push. Steve's heavy grunting and groaning in her ear is just making her more aroused and she grips him tighter as he keeps pushing and thrusting. He lifts her legs higher to go deeper. A part of her mind registers how the dresser they're on keeps thumping against the wall and she finds the rhythm to be so deliciously primal. She pushes his cargo pants completely off of his ass and grabs onto him and this seems to spur him on, quickening his pace. Somewhere within her, she's dancing along a precipice, balancing herself. But then, she's moving faster along the edge, running practically – and shit, fuck. Fuck. "Oh, God."
When Steve joins her, seconds later, he doesn't moan in response, or groan for that matter. He simply freezes, his mouth in the form of an 'oh' as his hands move to her hips and he crushes her closer. And then he finally allows himself to breathe, his labored panting matching Kono's. He leans back slightly to look at her and takes in the afterglow of fucking on her features and he thinks that she's never looked more beautiful. Because that's what Kono is, aside from many other things.
# # #
Thank you everyone who's reviewed/commented, added faves and alerts. Your encouragement and support is as always, astounding. Many, many thanks.
A/N: So yeaaaah. Let me know how you all liked this one. Once again, many, many apologies for taking so long to update. I was traveling, went back home to Hawaii of all things and oddly enough wasn't too inspired to write. But the recent episodes got me going again (read - Lori's gone?! Uhm, yay?).
Koa – Hawaiian acacia tree. The wood, red or golden-brown is often used for furniture and characterized by multiple knots that create a unique pattern in the wood.