hawaii five-0 steve is ridic
ariadne83 ariadne83 wrote in queer_fest
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Queer fest 2011: Hawaii Five-0
Title: Work In Progress
Authorariadne83 
Fandom: Hawaii Five-0
Pairing/characters: Danny Williams, Matt Williams, Rachel; Danny/Rachel; mention of Danny/OMC
Rating: M
Wordcount: ~7000
Disclaimer: I don’t write for the show; if I did there would be canon queer characters
Prompt: Is it easier or harder to come out (as any queer identity) to your parents once your sibling has already come out to them (as the same identity or a different one)?
Summary: Danny has spent a good long time in a glass closet, but after his marriage ends he starts to want something different.
Warnings: Brief (non-graphic) reference to 9/11
Author's notes: I could not have done this without lunabee34  and dancinbutterfly , who are always there to be my audience and push me to write better!

Concrit is welcome, especially if I've missed off a warning.

Work in Progress

After Danny and Rachel got married it became a running joke in his family that he was the token straight guy. Never mind that Ruth was fourteen, and still figuring things out; Danny was the only one with “the trappings of heteronormativity” (fucking Angela and her psychobabble; it gave Danny a headache). And yeah, compared to Matt, who went through guys like nobody’s business, and Angie, who came storming out of the closet at sixteen, Danny’s quiet experimentation - more than the proverbial college try, less than bringing a string of boyfriends to family dinners - had gone unnoticed. When he went to gay bars with Matt he was the cool older brother, the ally, Mr. ‘here, have a cookie for not being a homophobic asshole’ Outsider. And OK, fine; he was taken, not looking to hook up anyway, so what did it matter? But half the time Danny went home feeling itchy under the skin, keyed up and worn out at the same time.

It really didn’t help that Matt thought it was hilarious to bring Danny along as his plus-one, whether it was his firm’s holiday party – “This is my brother. No really. I know we look nothing alike, but Mom tells me we have the same father and everything” – or a fundraiser for Lambda Legal.

“Seriously, what is up with you? Have you pissed off the entire gay community of Manhattan that you can’t get a real date? What am I saying? It’s you. I wouldn’t put anything past you, kid.” But then Matthew would give him the puppy eyes of “You know you want to support your baby brother,” and Danny would find himself spending one of his rare nights off drinking cheap champagne and avoiding small talk at all costs.


Rachel thought it was sweet, was the thing. She wasn't close like that with her own brother (not since his spectacular over-reaction to the male stripper Matt'd hired for Danny's bachelor party: she'd disinvited Freddy to the wedding after he called Danny a "shirtlifter," especially indignant because she knew it was true that Danny swung both ways and it didn't make a damn bit of difference to her and, "Who bloody well says that anymore?") so she was kind of... invested in the Williams clan. And she laughed along with Matty when he told his Epic Tales of Danny out in NYC society.

She either didn’t notice or didn’t care whenever Danny went along to one of her many, many work dos and a subsection of her crowd overlapped with Matty’s, and Danny spent a good couple hours catching people in his peripheral vision giving him the fish-eye. Which, hello; how was that fair? It wasn't; Danny hadn't done a damn thing wrong. He wasn't cheating on Rachel, he never "forgot" to wear his wedding ring, he didn't lie about who he was; what gave a bunch of strangers the right to judge him by the company he kept? Nothing, that's what.


Danny begged off early from those parties, because it was either that or drink until he didn't care anymore what those assholes thought. Rachel would give him a Look, wrap up her schmoozing and call a cab, pressing her nails into the back of Danny's hand to keep him grounded until she got him home and pegged the hell out of him. And that, right there, was why he loved her so much. Danny needed to be hers, and he needed to know that she knew it, and Rachel was pretty damn happy to oblige.

~~~

That first year flew by, just like all the clichés said it would, and they splurged big time on a weekend in Paris for their anniversary, justifying the gaping hole in Rachel’s credit card by scheduling a week with her folks, too.

They were in London when they found out Rachel was pregnant. It took a couple of hours for the shock to wear off, and a half hour more for Rachel to stop crying and decide she wanted the baby more than she wanted her next promotion. Danny could hardly breathe through his relief, because holy shit, they were going to have a baby.

Then the towers fell and everything changed. By the time Danny and Rachel finally got a flight back to the US they both agreed that New York couldn’t be their home anymore. Danny felt like the worst kind of traitor when he submitted his request for transfer but that night Rachel curled tight around him, like she thought he was going to vanish into thin air, and Christ, he'd do anything for her.


By Christmas they were settled into their own place, in Newark, and Danny was working the same shitty hours as all the other patrolmen but sometimes he felt eyes on the back of his neck. Watching him like he was a freaking boot, maybe because he was the new hire or maybe because he hadn’t been here in the thick of things when everybody else went through hell. Danny just tried to keep his head down, breathe through the thick cloud of guilt, and get on with the job. But sometimes it felt like coming home to his wife and his baby-girl-to-be was the only thing keeping him sane.

It helped that Rachel was a rockstar at multitasking, even six months pregnant. Adjusting to the suburbs hadn't been easy on her, Danny knew that. Her accent made her stand out a mile, and her wardrobe wasn’t exactly Jersey chic, and her job didn’t leave her a lot of time to make nice with the neighbors. Not to mention, the flexibility of her hours after Grace was born – while The Powers That Be were still debating the structural integrity of the building Rachel she used to work in – meant she did more than her fair share of baby-wrangling. She was too damn tired for bake sales, or hosting barbecues, or whatever.

But she made her mark in her own ways; Rachel could organize a fundraiser and bully sponsors into participating with ruthless efficiency.

~~~


Rachel always tried to keep her game-face on when Danny came home with bruises and scrapes, muscle strain, twisted ankles and aching joints, but there was no mistaking how giddy with relief she was when he passed the detective’s exam, thrilled he’d be off the frontlines. Danny almost didn’t have the heart to tell her he’d been assigned to Vice.


The days and weeks and months became a blur of too much work and not enough sleep and Gracie becoming her own person right in front of his eyes. Danny only realized they'd been in Newark two and a half years when Ruth asked Rachel to take her out shopping for a prom dress.

The whole family got together for The Big Night, Ma turning it into an embarrassing spectacle just like she had for Angie, Danny, and Matt in turn. Every single stage of getting ready was painstakingly documented: Ruth at the salon, Rachel doing Ruth’s makeup, Ruth strapping on her shoes, everything. And Danny wasn’t surprised when she snuck away and hid, because Ma was still only about halfway through her photo-checklist.

He found her on the back porch, sitting on the bench with her arms crossed tight against the cool spring air. Danny flopped down next to her and slung an arm around her shoulders.

“You know, you’re just postponing the inevitable.”

“God, why?”

Danny snorted. “Right of passage? Trial by fire? Just trust me, you want to get back in there and get the worst over with before Casey gets here; Williams family portraits wait for no man.”

“Great.”

“Hey, if you’re out here, and Mom gets to your girlfriend first…”

“Friend.”

“Whatever. It’ll be ugly.”


Ruth said nothing for a while, just leaned into Danny’s side and fidgeted with her skirt. Kid could never keep her hands still when she was thinking.

“OK, what? What is it?”


"I'm pretty sure I'm straight," Ruth said, dropping her voice to a hoarse whisper like she was divulging a state secret.

Danny wanted to wrap both arms around her and squeeze her like the big goofy kid she obviously still was, but no way was he messing with her ensemble on prom night; he valued his life. "You've just gotta be unique, huh babe?"

Ruth's eyes widened and her smoky grey eyeshadow made her look a little like a startled owl. "I guess," she said reluctantly, staring at him for some...

Oh. Whoops.

"Y'know. Because I'm bi," Danny said quickly, like ripping off a bandaid. "Rachel knows. I told her a long time ago," he added; the last thing he wanted was for his baby sister to think he was a lying, cheating sack of shit.

Ruth smiled, soft and warm, and there was something about her in that moment that Danny couldn’t pinpoint. She looked... lighter. Her shoulders were back, her chin was up, and Danny was socked in the chest by the realization that the tiny little baby he’d held in his arms when he was ten years old had grown up into this amazing, independent person. Wasn’t that just something?

“I like Rachel,” Ruth said, and bumped shoulders with him. “She’s way better for you than Brett ever was.”


“Brent,” Danny corrected automatically, and Jesus, when was he going to get control over his own mouth? “Wait, wait, wait; hold up. You beaned him in the nuts on purpose, didn’t you?”

“I was ten.”

“When Angie was ten she shaved my head. Us Williamses are precocious at ticking people off.”

Ruth rolled her eyes. “I was ten and he talked in front of me like I’m deaf. He was an asshole.”

“True,” Danny conceded, and then shook his head. “I should’ve known. Taught you how to toss a pigskin myself, and your aim is never that bad.”

“Let that be a lesson to you: underestimate me at your peril.” Ruth pecked him on the cheek, leaving sticky lipstick residue, and shoved herself up to her feet. “Let’s get this party started.”


~~~

Summer dragged by through a nauseating heat wave that seemed to bring out the crazies. Danny spent way too much time literally chasing down suspects and then icing his poor overworked knee, which royally sucked because it hadn’t given him this much trouble in years, and it made Rachel nervous, and it meant he couldn’t be as active with Grace as he wanted to be.

But those twinges were nothing compared to the pain that set in once the weather broke for autumn. Danny tried to tough it out and just be more vigilant with the exercises the physical therapist was always banging on about, but when the day came that he couldn’t get out of bed… Well, to say that Rachel was pissed would be a pretty massive understatement. She called them both in sick, dropped Grace off with Ma, and strong-armed him into going to the ER. A terrifying amount of money and a specialist’s consult later Danny was referred for surgery, with the result that he spent Christmas in a drugged-out haze, trying not to think about what strings Rachel must’ve pulled to get him through the system that fast.

Then it was six weeks at home, recuperating and trying not to go stir-crazy. Trying not to think about what was going on at the station without him, because he wasn’t allowed anywhere near any case files until he dialed back on the good drugs. And trying to focus enough to take care of Grace, because she’d thrown epic tantrums all week when they tried to get her to go with the sitter and leave her Daddy at home with an “owie.” Danny couldn’t blame her for being freaked – it was the first time Gracie remembered seeing him in the hospital – and he knew caving in would probably bite him in the ass later, but she was his little girl.

It wasn’t easy, and Danny and Rachel had to rely on his family stopping by to help on pretty much a daily basis, but they were making it work. Until the day Danny came out of the bathroom and found Grace standing at the front door talking to some random guy. He hobbled over on his crutches as fast as he could and slammed the door in the guy’s face; Grace was so startled she sat down and cried.


Danny was kind of tempted to do the same, because Jesus, what if? It’d been on his mind since the day Grace was born, and the fear had only intensified since he transferred to homicide. But this was something else, and Danny had to fix it right the fuck now. If he couldn’t watch over his daughter 24/7 he’d teach her to watch out for herself.

“What exactly does that entail?” Rachel said when Danny called to tell her he’d deadbolted the door.

“Just trust me on this. Please?”

Danny spent the rest of the afternoon running Grace through a crash course on stranger danger, what to do if she was ever separated from the family, and how to ID herself. By the time Rachel got home he felt like they were making pretty good headway.

“Come check this out,” he bragged, letting Rachel in and dragging her into the living room.

“What’s your name, baby?”

“Grace W’yums.”

“Who’s your Mom and Dad?”

“Rachel and Danno.”

Rachel bit back a smile. “Very impressive.”

“Daniel, monkey. Can you say Daniel?”

Grace scrunched up her face and tried again. “Danno.”

“Good enough. The L’s need a little work but other than that you’re a rock star.”

“Can we play Barbies now?”

“Can we…? What do I look like, the Grinch? Of course we can play Barbies.”

Grace shot to her feet and took off for her room, leaving Danny to face the music.

“So?”

Rachel took his hand and squeezed lightly. “It’s very sweet, but you do remember she’s barely three years old.”

Danny shrugged. “I figure if she’s smart enough to remember she’s smart enough to know what to say in the first place.”

“That is fairly unassailable logic. Danno.” Rachel kept her tone light and teasing, but Danny could see the tension in her face and in the set of her shoulders.

It wouldn’t be the last time they disagreed over how much of Danny’s world to expose Grace to, how much they wanted to puncture her illusion of safety. Because that was the thing: it was an illusion. Danny saw every day how cheap life could be, and how easy it was to get knocked sideways by random happenstance. Rachel could bury her head in the sand, and say she didn’t want to hear about this shit, but that didn’t change the way the world worked.

Anyway, Danny wasn’t that bad. OK, so he had Grace’s fingerprints and a lock of her hair. Yeah, he took a picture of her every morning so he’d remember what she was wearing, just in case. But it wasn’t like he had a vial of her blood in the freezer. And teaching Grace how to pick out the weirdo in the crowd was just smart, making her a more difficult target for opportunistic whack jobs.

part two

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