Steve/Danny | Daycare AU | crack/fluff | no spoilers | PG | ~850 words
"I should fire you."
Steve actually has the nerve to look hurt at this. "Why?"
"Because you are completely useless," says Danny. "You can't change diapers. You can't clean up vomit. I ask you to clean the bathroom and find you twenty minutes later, giving finger painting lessons to the four-and-unders. The only thing you're good for is acting like a human jungle gym for the kids to crawl on."
"I do other things," Steve says defensively. "Like--"
"Like what?" says Danny, crossing his arms over his chest.
"Like," says Steve, "taking care of the kids. Watching them to make sure they don't get hurt."
Danny remembers yesterday when one of the kids - an eight-year-old named Hector - tripped and skinned his knee during a kickball game. Steve had heard the crying from the other side of the playground came flying in from out of nowhere like it was Desert Storm and he had a man down. Steve had spent twenty minutes performing first aid before he was satisfied that Hector was well enough to return to the playground.
"Yeah, speaking of," says Danny, "ease up on the band-aids, okay? Our budget is tight enough as it is without you going through a month's supply every forty-eight hours."
That afternoon, Kamekona stops by with his portable shave ice stand and offers all of the kids free samples if they tell their moms and dads how good it was and what a great investment opportunity it would be for them if they wanted to get in on the ground floor of an exciting new enterprise.
"Mr. Steve, what is your favorite flavor?" asks one of the kids, and everyone goes silent waiting for his answer.
Within five minutes, Kamekona is completely out of guava-flavored syrup.
"I didn't know that one was going to be so popular or I would have brought more," he says, glaring, and Steve shrugs.
Emily, one of the five-year-olds, taps Steve on the knee, and he kneels down next to her. She cups both hands around his ear and whispers, "What's your second favorite flavor?"
"Pineapple," he whispers back, and by the time all of the kids have gone through the line, Kamekona is out of pineapple, kiwi, and mango syrup, in that order.
"I like grape," says Danny, to no one in particular, and Steve looks over at him. "Or cherry. Orange is good. Maybe a little lemon-lime? That's refreshing."
Steve crosses his arms over his chest. "You're jealous."
"Of you? Don't be ridiculous."
"It's okay to be jealous."
"I'm not--I'm not jealous!" says Danny. "It's shave ice and syrup. Exactly what am I supposed to be jealous of in this situation?"
Steve looks up at Kamekona and smiles. "Two extra-large grape-cherry-orange-lemon-lime rainbows for me and my friend here."
After lunch, the kids break into smaller groups for free time. Danny sweeps the floor and takes out the trash, and when he comes back inside he finds Steve sitting on the floor surrounded by building blocks, with G.I. Joes tucked into the corners and lined up along the sides. Two little girls are sitting next to him, staring up at him with wide eyes.
"...if they enter from the north side, they'll face heavy losses, maybe half of the team. However, if they enter from the west, they have the element of surprise on their side. They can sneak up on the enemy from behind and slit their throats before they even know what hit them."
"What is going on here?"
Steve looks up to see Danny standing over him, arms crossed over his chest. "Oh, hey, we were just--"
"Can I talk to you for a second?" says Danny, and yanks Steve up from the floor by the collar of his shirt.
"Yeah, sure," says Steve, brow furrowed. "Is everything okay?"
"No, everything is not okay," says Danny. "What are you saying to them?"
"Oh." Steve glances down at the girls then back up at Danny. "I was just explaining to them that if you have the opportunity to ambush an enemy from behind, you should always take it."
"Oh, good," says Danny, pinching the bridge of his nose, because now he's having flashbacks to the time Sendhil told Steve that his teddy bear was sick and Steve ripped it open and performed lung surgery with pick-up sticks and they almost got sued by Sendhil's parents for causing psychological damage to their seven-year-old son. Danny doesn't think he can take another week like that.
"What's the problem?"
"The problem," says Danny, "is that children don't need to hear about stuff like this. Why don't you go play tea-time in the corner? You'd like that, wouldn't you, girls?"
Rebecca shakes her head. "I don't wanna play tea time."
"I wanna talk more about Roman infantry tactics," says Lani.
Danny smiles up at Steve. "I'm going to kill you in your sleep."
Steve claps Danny on the shoulder. "See, I think we've all learned something today."