as his partner sat pondering the screen of his laptop. Steve looked up with a knuckle to his lips, eyes lazy from just being dragged off his focus. He sat back on the sofa and crossed his arms over his chest, lips doing that little pucker-pout thing which Danny finds annoyingly endearing. “Friend’s daughter made us a website.”
“A website,” Danny repeated, running all the possibilities of that word through his head as he sat beside Steve with his coffee. “A web—” Little sister. Uh oh. “Like a fan site?”
Steve shrugged. “I dunno yet, I just typed it in. Here, look.”
Danny set his mug down on the coffee table and leaned forward, forearms on his knees. It was a very simple, beginner layout, with the words “Hawaii Five-O” written at the top in big block-calligraphy letters that looked like they were spraypainted with stencils. A very odd combination of styles.
“Look, it’s so organized,” said Steve, pointing at the little icons across the top. “Pictures, biographies, all this…”
“What’s this number?” asked Danny, pointing at a five-digit number on the home page.
“That,” Steve replied with the slight hint of a proud grin, “is the number of hits this page has got.”
Danny’s eyes widened and he pulled the laptop closer. “Are you serious? Wait, do we have fans? Do we have actual fans?”
“Yeah, who knew Five-O would even gain popularity? Not so sure that’s a great thing…”
“Yeah, I dunno,” Danny idly replied, not all that worried. Until he saw the last icon across the top of the page. Fanfiction.
Shock, fear, disgust, or worry, Danny wasn’t sure which had shown up on his face, but it must have because Steve leaned forward with a “What is it?” and followed Danny’s eyes. “What’s fanfiction?”
“You don’t want to do that.”
“Why not?” Steve reached for the track pad, cursor hovering over the link.
“NOOO no no, trust me,” said Danny, sliding the computer toward himself and so receiving a warning glare from his partner. “Look. Fanfiction is the work of the devil, a’right?” He sat straight, pressing his hands and fingertips together like a person in prayer and gestured them toward Steve, eyebrows raised like he was scolding a child. “It is a place you never want to go, and the worst way to go there is to stumble upon it by mistake. Trust me on this.”
“Oh yeah? What makes you such an expert?”
“Okay. You know that new Avengers movie that came out?”
“A’right.” Danny paused here, giving Steve that you-had-better-trust-me-on-this look. “Big fan of Marvel. As a kid. Not something I…often brag about. M’kay? So anyway I go and see Avengers when it comes out. It was exciting, it really was, but it wasn’t enough, just the movie. So I went on the internet, I decided, ‘Why not discuss the movie with some fellow fans?’ I Google the word ‘Avengers,’ and what pops up? Fanfiction. ‘Oh, what is fanfiction?’ I so innocently ask myself. You know what fanfiction is, Steve? It’s…honest to God, I never wanted to see anything like this…” The look of absolute disgust on his face was a bit over the top. “Fanfiction…is Captain America taking it in the ass from Iron Man. Okay?Thatis what fanfiction is, Steve. So you don’t want to click that thing.”
He was met by Steve’s expressionless SEAL face. A very subtle cross of the arms (still processing), a flicker of his brown eyes to the screen and then back to Danny (not sure if Danny’s exaggerating), a slow, contemplative nod (pretty sure he’s exaggerating), a slight nostril flare (I’ll put these words to the test), and then finally an assured, “Okay.” He brought the computer back to himself.
“What ‘okay,’ Steve?” asked Danny, well aware of what exactly that ‘okay’ had meant. “Steve, I mean it, you don’t wanna look at that, and and you should tell your friend to tell his daughter to do something about this webs—did I not just tell you youdon’twant to look at that? Annnnd you’re scrolling. Okay, a’right…” Danny sighed in exasperation, leaning forward with his elbows on his knees and pinching the bridge of his nose with his index and middle fingers, eyes squeezed shut. Before he said another thing, he looked at Steve and then straight ahead, huffing through his nose and tugging his fingers through his slicked back blond hair. Finally he threw his hands back in defeat. “A’right. Don’t say that I didn’t warn you.” With that, he picked up his coffee and left the room.
Danny opened the fridge door for the third time in ten minutes when the light in the kitchen shifted. He looked up and saw Steve in the doorway, and stood up straight, closing the fridge door.
Anyone who didn’t know Steve would have counted his expression unreadable, but Danny noticed the very slight tinge of color in his cheeks, and the slight wideness of his eyes. He was also very very silent as he busied himself with getting a cup of coffee.
Danny folded his arms, watching smugly as this continued all the way through Steve’s second sip.
“Never again,” Steve replied simply.
“See? I told you. It’s terrible.”
Steve looked down into his cup. “Well…the subject matter was…” He pressed his lips together and huffed through his nose, taking a sip. “But the writing itself was pretty good.”
Danny’s eyebrows furrowed. “Excuse me, what? Are you telling me you actually read more than the first hormone-fueled paragraph?”
“I thought I’d give the author’s work a fair shot.”
“Are you serious with me right now?” Alright, no. No. Danny begged God “why” for a moment. “It’s porn, Steve, fanfiction is porn. Did you actually…I can’t believe you actually read it all the…there is something so horribly wrong with you.”
Patient and quiet for a long moment as he took another drink of his coffee, Steve finally looked up with his playful brown eyes, a teasing smile tugging on the corner of his lips. “Not what you said in the fiction.”