Fear, Not Love
Disclaimer: I do not own H50.
Spoilers: Ko'olauloa, S1:Ep6 – to know who Kawika is; Ho'ohuli Na'au, S1:Ep22 – to know who Charlie Fong and Kelly Hsu are.
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: I got nothing really. Except sincerest apologies and that if you're still following this story after MONTHS of inactivity, then you dear reader should be commended. Thank you.
Sometimes, You Act Like A Neanderthal
# # #
Kono Kalakaua's House
"Tell me you don't think this was a bad idea," Kono prods Steve as she's pulling at her sheets and tidying up her bed. Sure she's pretty certain how she feels about him, but that doesn't mean she still won't second guess herself like crazy, she did after all sleep with Steve.
She's got jeans and a tank-top on and her hair's still damp from her in-record-time shower that would put most military personnel he's worked with, as well as himself to shame. He's on the other side of the mattress helping, freshly showered too with a t-shirt and trademark cargo pants on, gathering the pillows, laying them side by side then pulling the comforter over them.
"I can do more than that," Steve says, giving one last tug on the blankets and making his way around the bed to stand before her. "I can tell you, for a fact, that it was a great idea – about damn time too." He senses something different in the normally confident and strong woman before him and can't help but worry. "Hey, I don't regret any of it. You got me?" he asks because he wants to reassure her.
Kono's admittedly a little skeptical and crosses her arms across her front to study him and the expression in his impossibly blue eyes as they focus on her. "You're sure?" This moment she fears is nearing the it's not you, it's me zone and she's surprised at herself. Didn't she just come to the conclusion that she was in love with him?
Steve snorts because this conversation can go either of two ways – she's an open book and is clearly giving him an out. But, maybe he doesn't want it. If he says 'it was a mistake', she could move on, hold her head high with the memory of a one night stand with her boss that ended amicably. But, if he says that 'it was worth it', that 'he wanted it', 'wants to be with her', then the ball would be in her court and she would be able to feel in control of whatever it was between them.
He moves closer and rests his hands on her hips. Steve's truthfully a little surprised at Kono. The smart, strong, self assured woman that he's come to know appears doubtful. Not nervous or guilty or repentant. Just slightly – doubtful. His feelings aren't hurt, he's just concerned, because he gets why she's suddenly second guessing fucking him.
But Steve meant what he said and hopes that Kono gets it. Especially because he doesn't regret a single moment. He would never. The smell of her, the taste of her mouth and her skin, the feel of her pressed up against him, moving below him and around him, the sound of her breathing in the throes of her orgasm and the way her voice breaks into a moan when she finally plummets off of that peak – he would be a fool to give any of that up, much less regret ever experiencing it. So, yes. Emphatically, yes. "I'm sure," he says, with conviction.
Kono is still eyeballing Steve as his hands momentarily tighten on her hips and she grins at him. "Okay," she says finally.
"Yeah?" he asks, secretly happy that he was able to convince her so easily.
Kono nods and moves away from him to exit her bedroom. "Yeah, because if it's time to face the music, I ain't planning on going it alone," she says.
Steve chuckles as he follows her out. "Yeah, you're right. But just so I know – how big is your family exactly?" he asks as he quickly picks up his things.
Kono just laughs, her eyes lighting up as she nods at him. The unspoken agreement is that they'd drive in to work separately and as they finally make their way out her front door, Steve realizes that he's still got Kono's phone. He's about to hand it to her when it starts to ring for maybe the third – shit, maybe fifth time that morning. Charlie Fong's name appears on the screen and a completely irrational surge of jealously shoots through him, catching him off guard. He almost doesn't hand it over to her. But she's already pushing him out of the door and prying the phone out of his hands when they discover that Chin's on her front lawn scrutinizing the both of them.
And funny enough, the first thing out of Steve and Kono's mouths are, "we can explain."
Chin can't help his surprise and arches his brows, his gaze jumping from Kono to Steve and then back to his younger cousin because he's not there on her front lawn for the reason they think he is.
But that conversation can of course wait till later.
Kono's phone continues to ring and she looks from the display, seeing Charlie's name, to Chin's face and the worried expression he seems to be wearing. "Cuz?" she asks.
Chin can see the gears working in Kono's head, he knows that she's starting to put something together in her mind and so he says, "it's Kelly. There was a B and E at her place," he says somberly.
Steve's scanning his memory and recalls Kelly, as in Charlie's cousin, Kelly. As in Kono's childhood friend, Kelly. As in Kelly who made Kono and Charlie play seven minutes in heaven, Kelly. That, Kelly.
But that's all the explanation Kono needs, she slams her front door shut and runs with Chin back to his car as they make to head over to her friend's home. She knows, she doesn't need to say a word to Steve, and the look he gives her is enough to know that he's right behind her. She can see him hitting his speed dial for Danny and she answers her phone as well, finally acknowledging Charlie's phone-call.
"We're on our way Charlie," is all that she says as she hops into Chin's car.
# # #
Upon arriving at Kelly's house, Steve doesn't bother to hide his discomfort at finding Kono and Charlie embracing. He knows that she's just reaching out to Charlie, in a way reassuring him and maybe partly, herself. It's that second part where Steve finds himself instantly on edge and it's probably the second time in one day – one morning, that he feels that unwanted, ridiculous surge of jealousy coursing through him.
It's totally uncalled-for because, yeah, childhood friends, remember?
Whatever. Steve doesn't like it and he doesn't exactly know if he makes it so obvious so he focuses on the house instead and Kelly.
He's being an asshole, he knows.
Especially because Kelly's now on a gurney and being wheeled towards an awaiting ambulance. Charlie breaks away and follows Chin to walk alongside Kelly as does Kono. Chin's gently asking questions as Charlie holds Kelly's hand on the one side and Kono is on the other. Charlie's doing his best and offers what support he can because despite the fact that Kelly fought off her attacker, the bastard apparently still got some hits in. Kelly's barely able to talk, her left eye is swollen shut. The girl's got a bloody lip and multiple abrasions all over her face and who knows where else along her body. But it appears, lucky for Kelly, her attacker never finished the job. And truthfully, even more lucky for her, Charlie checked on her because they usually commute into town together – and when his cousin never answered his call, he stopped by anyway.
Charlie climbs into the bus with Kelly, and Kono and Chin help close the doors so that the ambulance can make it's way towards Waimanalo Health Center. It's the closest, but Chin's going to call Malia anyway at Honolulu Medical Center, for Kono's peace of mind and maybe a bit of his own.
Danny and Lori are already in Kelly's house, going over with the responding unit what went down and Steve tries to focus on the task at hand but finds it worrisome that he has no idea where Kono disappeared to.
He finds her a few minutes later, in the back garden, studying a broken screen at Kelly's back door with a technician. Steve doesn't want to alarm her but what he finds in the house is disconcerting. He knows, he's come home to house ripped into a shambles. To think that someone on his team experienced something so violating angers him and he honestly can't begin to imagine what Kono's feeling.
It's certainly not the first time that Steve feels helpless. It's the worse feeling in the world. And a glimpse of Kono's face tells him that maybe she thinks that too.
Steve tries to reach for her, ignoring the fact that the technician is still there. It doesn't surprise him really, when she stalks away angrily from his initial attempt to touch her and ease her distress. His soft calling of her name, falls on deaf ears.
But Steve follows her anyway, towards the side of the small home. He gets why she's angry, she blames herself for not being there sooner for something she had no control over. God knows he's done the same. Steve walks up behind Kono and does the only thing he can think of at the moment to soothe her. He slips a hand onto her hip on the inside of her gun holster, his thumb sliding easily under the hem of her blouse to feel her warm, silky skin. Leaning in, he whispers into her hair, "it'll be okay, we'll get him."
And by some miracle, Kono believes him. She relaxes a little, her shoulders dropping slightly as some of the tension and stress of wanting justice and to find Kelly's attacker, eases. But her body reacts entirely differently to Steve's breath on her hair and his proximity. She can't help the shiver and apparently Steve notices, but his only acknowledgment is a gentle squeeze on her hip and then he's gone.
As he's walking back to check with Danny and Lori, Steve doesn't think twice about the intimate gesture he just shared with Kono and frankly he doesn't really care if anyone has seen it. But his eyes find Chin watching him curiously from the back of the house before heading over to his cousin to offer her some kind of support or advice.
# # #
Waimanalo Health Center
That's three times in one day that Steve finds himself succumbing to that stupid green-eyed monster. Fuck. What the hell is wrong with him?
This is beyond wrong, but all he can focus on is the fact that another man – not Charlie – has his arms wrapped around Kono. Of all things to zero in on and of all the times to feel insecure. Steve's not dumb, he knows they're all friends. Kawika is offering and receiving support and comfort for what just happened to his ex-girlfriend, Kelly. Who knew? Steve's even met and worked with Kawika before. This is not a big deal.
And yet, it is.
First it was Charlie. Now, it's Kawika.
These people, these men are her friends. He gets that Kono's known them for some time, before him. Since childhood in one case, so there is absolutely no reason for his unnecessary thoughts of jealousy. Kono after all did choose him – in a way. If you call inviting him in and fucking him silly as a way of marking a person's territory then, yeah – consider him branded. Besides he chose her too. He would have chosen her the first day he met her, had he still not been seeing Catherine.
Seriously? What? Suddenly he's questioning his manhood, his sense of self because he slept with Kono? Fuck it all, it's more than just sleeping with her. Who was he kidding?
It's clearly so much more.
Huh – how about that?
Steve's thoughts are interrupted by a loud clearing of a throat and he notices that Danny's eyeballing him big time. The little guy looks kind of crazy, actually.
"What?" Steve asks, not bothering to hide how irritable he's feeling.
"What?" Danny asks back as if it's obvious why. "Un-fucking-believable. How about you tell me what is with the aneurysm face?"
Steve just rolls his eyes and tears his gaze away from Kono and Kawika to finally pin Danny with a look of his own. "Fuck Danny, how many times? How many times do I have to tell you that I don't have an aneurysm face, huh?!" he exclaims, purposefully snapping at his partner.
Danny of course doesn't back down, or flinch for that matter. "You do and you know it," the shorter man replies just as aggressively. Then as if finally getting it, his eyes turn towards Kono and Kawika, who have now stepped apart. "Wait, hang on just one second," he says, glancing away from the pair to contemplate Steve. "Did you sleep with her?"
"Did. You. Sleep. With. Kono?" Danny asks, stepping into Steve's line of sight, effectively blocking his view of Kono and Kawika. "It's not my place or business, but I seem to recall warning you against this, this very thing. Do you remember that?" Danny asks, though he's got a sinking feeling in the pit of his stomach. No wonder Steve hadn't answered his phone all morning.
Steve's succinct answer is more telling for Danny than anything. The blonde man drops his head and can't help but pinch the bridge of his nose, a clear display of his method for dealing with stress. "You didn't listen, did you?" Danny asks, already knowing the answer, looking at Steve once more.
Steve doesn't really reply because something's shifted behind Danny. His gaze snaps away from his partner to focus on Charlie emerging from Kelly's room. And oddly enough, seeing Charlie bristle at Kawika's presence comforts him, if only briefly because suddenly all hell breaks loose.
Steve always thought of Charlie as so easy-going, but suddenly Charlie is pulling Kono away and a whole lot of shouting erupts between the two men. Kono gets between them and Steve and Danny finally spring into action. There's more yelling and shoving and Steve's letting his frustration at seeing Kono getting held by men other than himself dictate his actions. A fist swings out, there's a connection to the side of someone's head, more yelling ensues, as well as repeated shoving, a tackle is thrown in and then a sharp whistle pierces the air and everyone freezes.
Kono's the only one standing erect at this point, her fingers still poised between her lips. Charlie and Danny are in the middle of pulling Steve off of Kawika, and if the whole situation weren't so sad and pathetic, it would actually be comical. But it isn't. Kono drops her hand and her chest is heaving as she's shaking from so much anger that she doesn't know what to do with herself.
"Do you all honestly think, that this is what Kelly needs right now?" she asks, her voice low, trembling with rage.
"Kono -" Charlie and Kawika start simultaneously but she's over it. She spins on her heel and stalks off down the hospital corridor. Kawika's still on the floor with a bloody nose and Danny and Charlie get pushed to the side as Steve rushes to catch up with her.
Steve reaches her in four full strides and grabs her arm, intending to embrace her but he's caught off guard by the force with which she yanks herself free. "What the fuck?!" Kono asks as she steps back, well out of reach.
"Hold up. Are you okay?" Steve's got that she's pissed. In the year and a half that he's worked with Kono, she's hardly ever been angry. But you definitely knew when she was. And this time, Kono was downright livid.
"Am I okay? Am I? What about Kelly? What the hell is with you guys?" Kono asks Steve desperately, she's flailing her arm about, clearly indicating that she was referencing all of them.
Charlie's pulled up Kawika and they shrug like chastised little boys. Danny's got his hands on his hips and looks at the two men next to him before turning his gaze back to Kono, sighing heavily. But she's glaring at Steve and so Danny holds a hand out in front of the two men, indicating that they should back off, for the time being. The make themselves scarce, Charlie goes back into Kelly's room and Danny and Kawika disappear down the hall, seeking help for the latter's bloody and possibly broken nose.
Steve watches them all drop out of sight before focusing on the woman before him. And what he sees when his eyes settle on hers causes his chest to clench. Kono's not just angry, she's remorseful. And sad. And the next words out of her mouth catch him by surprise.
"Maybe it – us – was a mistake after all," she says, simply.
His knee-jerk reaction is to argue in response. But, he can see how much what happened to her friend weighs so much on her. Kono's hurting and angry and frustrated at what happened just moments ago down the hallway and his behavior hasn't helped any.
When he doesn't say anything, Kono says, "don't think I missed the stink-eyes you were throwing at Charlie and Kawika. I saw all of it. You picked a hell of a time to be overprotective and jealous."
Steve wants to hug her so badly he does, forgetting how she pushed him away just minutes ago. He folds her into his embrace and whispers into her hair, "I'm sorry for being such an asshole."
Kono lets herself be comforted and clings to the front of his t-shirt and mumbles something unintelligible.
When he pulls away and looks down into her gloomy expression, he's unable to shake the unease that's immediately come over him. "What?" he asks.
"I said – maybe it was a bad idea," Kono reiterates, gulping, her gaze upon him unwavering.
He feels as if the world's suddenly stopped spinning, slipping off of it's axis.
Kono sees Steve's face fall but doesn't let it deter her. "Us," she continues. "Because, I don't need all this drama. Not right now. Not with Kelly being attacked like that."
Steve takes a step back and places his hands on his hips. "Is that what you really want?" he asks.
She gulps again, feeling her throat dry out like the West-side of Oahu, in the middle of summer. "Yeah. Yes."
He clears his throat, working his jaw and decides to drag his gaze away to study the tiles on the floor. "Because I overreacted?"
Kono shakes her head. "It's not just that. What happens when Danny and Chin find out?"
Steve's head pops up and he looks at her, his brows furrowed. "I thought we were going to 'face the music together'?" he asks, echoing her words from the morning. Then, "besides, Danny already knows."
Kono arches a brow. "Yeah? How'd that go?" She didn't miss the heated conversation the partners had in the hallway before the drama began either.
He tilts his head, conceding. "Not so good," he confesses.
At this, Kono can't hold in a derisive snort. "Well, I can guarantee that it'll pretty much be the same with Chin and the rest of the family, then," she says.
Steve exhales heavily. "You know this for a fact? What? You don't even want to try? That's not like you."
"I just – Danny's right about you sometimes. You acted like a neanderthal," Kono says, hating the way she sounds so defensive. But, that seems to do the trick.
Steve straightens and quickly masks his sudden anger and hurt. "Look, I'm not going to argue with you about this, not now, not like this. You want the space. Fine," he says.
She looks surprised because she expected more of a fight from him. Maybe it was all too much to deal with – Waipahu and thinking they lost Steve, Danny and Grace's abduction, and now Kelly? Fuck. "Fine. Good," Kono says, unconvincingly. She was never so unsure of anything in her life.
# # #
A/N: I've been away from this for so long, I'm not sure I'm on the right track – especially because I'm making Steve and Kono work for their relationship. Again. Ha. Anyway, let me know what you all think.