patch_tails: (Steve/Danny -- Destiny)
[personal profile] patch_tails
Title: Hold Me Tight, Let Me Go
Collection: Surfboards and Pineapple Pizza
Rating: G
Content of Note: Major Character Death (Nothing explicit, but...She’s at a graveside, y’all. Take it from there.)
Written for: [livejournal.com profile] hawaii50_land
Characters/Pairings: Steve/Danny referenced, Grace
Word Count: 1,061
Notes: This piece was written for a [livejournal.com profile] hawaii50_land challenge. This time around, we were given a character to focus on. That character was Grace. This is what hit me.
Also, this has not been beta’ed so if you see something wonky (something misspelled, a paragraph that makes no sense), please let me know. Con-crit is always welcome.


Hold Me Tight, Let Me Go

Grace made her was slowly through the monuments and headstones, heading for one in particular. It didn’t take long for her to find it. After all, she’d been here countless times before, although circumstances had kept her away for the last few months. Kneeling before the marker, she spared a quick glance to the plot right next door, where workmen were busy erecting a tent and preparing for another burial.

“Hey, Uncle Steve,” she said softly, smoothing the skirt of her dress over her knees. “It’s been a while, hasn’t it? I’m really sorry I’ve been away for so long. It wasn’t right or fair to you, but I’m here now.”

It had been three years since Steve McGarrett was taken from them. A stray bullet from a low-level street punk, and the lives of everyone around her had changed. No one more so than her father.

Danny was never the same after Steve died. The bright spark that had always glowed from the Jersey detective had faded to a distant memory until he was almost unrecognizable as the same man. It had broken Grace’s heart to see it, and no amount of comfort or caring or distraction had changed it

Grace had always known that the job her father and his partner did was dangerous. She’d seen some of that firsthand over the years Danny and Steve had been together. But nothing had brought it home harder than the days after. She’d lost her father then just as surely as she had Steve.

“Do you remember when we thought we’d lost Danno? That was probably some of the worst days of my life, not knowing whether he’d ever come home again. You were such a rock for me, even though it had to be hurting you just as much. And me being a 13-year-old brat who just wanted her Daddy and wouldn’t let anyone comfort her.” Grace wiped at the tears on her cheeks. “God, I wish you were here like that now.”

Steve had found her on the beach behind the house, legs drawn up and head buried in her knees, sobbing and shaking and so very afraid. It was one of the few times she’d ever seen Steve break down and cry himself, and it was the sharing of misery that helped her get through all of the uncertainty. Danny had woken up the next day and come home shortly thereafter, but from that moment on, Steve was just as much of a father to Grace as Danny was.

“We really became a family after that. You filled in all of the spaces that Danno couldn’t. Like when I decided I wanted to stay in Hawaii with you and Danno but didn’t know how to tell Mom without hurting her. Or couldn’t decide who to go with to prom, Tommy or Kali.” She grinned at the memory. Danny had been so out of his element over all of it, but Steve took it all in stride. Well, okay. The whole debacle with Rachel had been more like a military op and less like a family discussion, but it had all worked out in the end.

“All Danno could do was flip out and go on about his baby growing up and what was he going to do now, but you…” Grace smiled and wiped a stray tear from her cheek. “You were right there to calm him down.”

And really, that was how it had always been. They complemented and completed each other, filling in the blanks and offering support to each other at all times. It had been an amazing environment to grow up in.

Oh, they had their differences, that was for sure -- “Did he ever admit he was wrong about the dog? I don’t think he did, and we had that mutt for years!” -- but woven through all of it had been love and warmth and laughter. Grace had always felt like the luckiest girl on the islands. Not only did she have a mother and step-father who loved her dearly, she had two fathers who would do anything to make sure she was happy.

Grace wasn’t sure how long she sat there and reminisced about the good times. It must have been a while, though. Her legs were a bit numb from kneeling, and there was a small crowd gathering at the site next to her. One of the mourners detached himself from the group and made his way over to her.

“I’m so sorry you missed my wedding, Uncle Steve. You would have loved it. Right on the beach, and Danno didn’t complain once about the sand. Everything was so beautiful.” Her smile was a little watery. It truly had been beautiful; one of the best days of her life, marred only by the empty chair beside her father.

A hand on her shoulder shook her out of the bittersweet memories. “It’s time,” her husband’s voice said softly. “They’re waiting for you.”

Grace drew a shaky breath and leaned forward to place her hand on the headstone. "I miss you, Uncle Steve. Danno -- Danno did, too. He -- he was never the same after…” Grace drew a shaky breath and squeezed her eyes shut tight. Everything was going to be so different now. How was she going to cope, without the strongest shoulder in her life?

A gentle hand on her own shoulder reminded her that there were others who could help her now. Maybe not as steadfast and strong, maybe not the father she had never thought to lose; but there and willing to offer as much comfort and support.

“I didn’t -- didn’t tell you why I’m here, did I? But, then, I suppose you already know, don’t you? Take care of him for me, Uncle Steve. Just like you always have, okay?”

She rose slowly from the ground, resting her hand briefly on the sun-warmed stone. Dusting off her skirt, she made her way to the gathered group and stopped at the head of the casket there. Raising a shaking hand to her face, she wiped at the tears that refused to stop.

Tightening her grip on the flowers she had picked up from a nearby bucket, Grace bowed her head and spoke softly as she laid them on the casket. "Goodbye, Danno. Remember, Gracie loves you."
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