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Tuesday, March 22nd, 2011 11:23 pm
Title: Here I Am, Here You Are
Fandom: Hawaii Five-0
Pairing: Chin/Steve
Rating: PG
Word count: 1938
Summary: Three conversations Chin wouldn't have had if he hadn't started sleeping with Steve McGarrett (post-1.12 Hana 'a'a Makehewa)



Here I Am, Here You Are

Steve, in Chin's limited experience with the man, doesn't sleep through anything. Even if all he does is stir enough to make sure it's okay, he wakes up at everything, and he's about three times as bad when they stay at Chin's place, because they don't do it often enough for Steve to be used to the different noises there.

The reason Chin knows this? He's never been able to sleep through someone in bed with him waking up.

The night after the bomb is no different, except that this time it's not Steve stirring because the boiler rumbled, it's Steve jerking upright, gasping. Chin's only half-awake, drained by the day, and then the family evening with the team and Grace, so it takes him a moment to roll over. When he does, Steve's eyes are bright in the streetlight, his body twisted toward Chin.

"I'm right here," Chin says, reaching for Steve, feeling him trembling. It's a guess, but Chin is a good detective, so it's probably the right guess. "I'm right here."

Steve grips Chin's wrist, hard and tight, his head dropping forward as he takes a slow, deep breath. Chin sits up, just letting Steve hold onto him and not touching. He learned that lesson already. "Bad dreams?"

Steve nods, jerky, without looking up. "I was – the phone call, but it wasn't my dad."

Chin can still close his eyes and hear Steve's voice, on the recording of a sat-phone call between him and Danny, right after Jack's murder: He asked if his brother was dead. He knew. He shot my father – I heard the shot. His voice is raw and he sounds numb – shock, probably. It fires up every protective instinct Chin has, which is ironic, because Steve won't let anyone protect him, not even from this.

"That's not going to happen to me," he says.

Steve shakes his head. "You don't know that. You can't know that. Victor Hesse is still – you said, don't take your foot off, but he's in jail. He's going to break out, he's going to – because of this."

"We'll be ready for him." Chin appreciates, sort of, the inherent weirdness in him being the one providing comfort, when he was the one who nearly got blown up that afternoon. On the other hand, he finds it plenty comforting having Steve there in the night, but Steve's never really learned how to find comfort in someone being there. Chin's not actually sure Steve knows how to be comforted – reassured, yes, but not comforted. "He's not going to get the drop on me again."

"He killed my father because of me," Steve says, and it's like listening to that recording all over again.

"That's not true." Chin shifts until he can hold Steve's face between his hands and force Steve to look at him. He looks so young, like the son Jack McGarrett doted on and didn't speak to, and a part of Chin wishes that he'd never known Steve's father like that, because that makes this part of Steve something he'll never really have. "Victor Hesse killed your father because he thought it would get him what he wanted, because he made that choice. Would you really wish that on someone else?"

"No," Steve says softly. "I just wish..."

"I know." And Chin does. Kono doesn't talk much about their family, but she can't keep it completely out of her conversation, and Chin knows the ache of missing someone who's been taken from you, whether it's with a bullet or with an accusation that you couldn't beat.

He wonders, some days, if it's the reason they ended up in bed together. It's better than some of the other reasons though, so he tries not to wonder too hard.

"Get some more sleep." He uses the hand Steve's still gripping to pull him back down, and they settle, Steve on his stomach with his arms clasped around the pillow, Chin on his back, his head turned to Steve, who's watching him. "I'll be here when you wake up," Chin promises.

Steve nods, still tense, but there's a flicker of relaxation around his eyes as he closes them. Chin will take what he can get.

*

They didn't exactly plan, the four of them, for Christmas Day at Steve's; well, that's not true. Chin and Kono and Danny planned it, because Mary's spending Christmas with friends on the mainland, and pretty much everyone agrees that Steve spending Christmas alone in the house where his father was killed is a bad idea.

And it's not like either Danny or Chin has anywhere else to go, which Chin, when he hinted the idea to Steve, let Steve think was the reason for it.

The point is, they order pizza and sprawl in the sand to chat about cases and doze in the sunshine, and Kono and Steve spend most of their time in the water, because it's not as though anyone can really keep them out of it, or wants to.

"So," Danny says, dropping into the chair next to Chin's as the day starts to fade, his eyes firmly on Kono and Steve, dark shapes against the setting sun. "Merry Christmas."

"Mele kaliki maka" Chin says, then, when Danny glares, "Steve's house, Steve's rules."

Danny makes a disgruntled face, but sips at his beer instead of arguing. Chin braces himself for whatever Danny's taken all day to decide to say.

"I guess Kono's already given Steve this speech," Danny says eventually, still not looking at Chin. "But he's my partner, and the idiot's probably my best friend, at least on this island, so, um –" He squints at Chin, serious and intent, "Don't hurt him, okay? Because he hasn't – I don't think he'd cope with being hurt by any more members of his family."

Chin remembers Steve in his dress uniform, looking like it was all that was holding him together; he remembers the shock on Steve's face when Chin told him about Jack McGarrett and the football games, and the way Steve paced for hours after Chin said his mother had been murdered, agitated and helpless. "I won't," he promises. "Even if it ends, I'll do everything not to hurt him."

He thinks about Malia, all the ways he hurt her while trying not to. At least he can try to do better with Steve.

"Okay," Danny says. "Okay, good. Because you're a good friend, and I'd hate to have to shoot you in the foot."

"You won't have to." Chin squints into the setting sun at Steve and Kono bobbing on the waves, close enough together that they're probably just talking. He knows he doesn't feel the same wash of protectiveness towards Steve that Danny does – that Steve doesn't want that from him and he doesn't want to give it. He also knows that it doesn't matter; he cares about Steve, and he knows how it feels to be wounded by your family.

"I know." Danny claps Chin on the shoulder as he stands up. "Let's get the water babies in for dinner, before they decide what this day really needs is some night surfing."

*

"Hey," Kono says softly.

Chin stirs out of his light doze in Steve's hammock, turning his head to look at Kono. She's leaning back against one of the trees the hammock is hung between, looking at Steve's house across the grass. "What?"

"Doesn't it bother you?"

Chin rubs his eyes, trying to wake up for real, but it's late and he's relaxed, well fed, and maybe a little drunk. It's not likely to happen. "Need a bit more context there, Cuz."

She tilts her chin towards the house, and Chin squints, picks out Steve and Danny sitting on the lanai, heads tipped close together. "Kakea asked me what was going on between them the other day, you know."

Chin can imagine what Kono probably said to Steve about him, from the protective glint in her eyes, and it makes him feel warm at the same time as he wants to laugh. "There's no worry of either of them wanting to start dating each other."

"I know that." Kono turns an exasperated glare on him. "It's just – he probably spends more time with Danny than with you, even though you're his... whatever you're calling yourselves this week."

"Steve and Danny aren't like Steve and me." Kono opens her mouth as though she's planning to protest more, then closes it when Chin holds up one hand for her to wait. He needs a minute to sort out what it's okay to tell of what he's figured out about Steve. "Steve lost his father in a really horrific way, gave up the Navy, moved back home, found out his mom was murdered, all in a few months. He needs someone to look out for him, someone he feels okay having do that."

"Isn't that you? Outside of work?"

Chin shakes his head, frustrated that he's too sleep-fogged to do a better job of explaining. "I knew his dad, back when Steve didn't know him at all." Neither he nor Steve say that Chin was, back then, a kind of surrogate son for Jack McGarrett; someone he could care for and mentor without the fear he felt for Steve and Mary. That they don't speak about it doesn't make it less true. "Danny's still new here. That makes it easier."

Kono frowns at him for a moment, then looks away to frown at Steve and Danny, even though they're too far away to see her in the dark. "That doesn't make any sense," she says finally.

Chin's not entirely sure she isn't right. "Most things don't," he says. "You'll get used to it."

*

Kono leaves at a little past eleven, citing family commitments in the morning – her side, not Chin's – and Chin should probably go as well, but he'd rather stay in the hammock, listening to the ocean, and so he does.

He doesn't register Danny leaving, only that Steve is making his way across the beach to Chin, his feet near silent in the sand, but his gaze tangible. Chin pries his eyes open and watches Steve close the rest of the distance. He's back in a dark t-shirt, in deference to the breeze that started after the sun set, and his hair is clumped oddly from being in and out of the water all day. He doesn't exactly look relaxed, but he looks better than he did yesterday, or even that morning.

"You staying?" he asks softly.

"You kicking me out?" Steve shakes his head. "Then yeah, I'm staying."

Steve nods, looking hesitant for a moment, before he shrugs and climbs into the hammock with Chin. It sways alarmingly as they both adjust, until Steve's curled half over Chin, and Chin has his arms around Steve, keeping him from falling out. Steve rests his head on Chin's shoulder and sighs softly. He sounds exhausted, worn through.

"Can we sleep out here tonight?" he asks.

Chin thinks about Jack McGarrett's blood spattered across the walls of this house, and how Steve saw it; about how Steve pretty much disappeared from the island when he turned eighteen, and how little it took, really, to get him to stay again. "Sure," he says.

"Thanks," Steve says, heartfelt and honest.

Chin wonders what Danny would think, seeing them like this; if he'd still wonder whether Steve will end up getting hurt by their relationship. What Kono would think, and if they'd make more sense to her like this.

"Any time," he says quietly.