Summary: In which Steve gets a much-needed vacation, and prison totally isn't as bad as they make it look on TV.
Pairing: Steve/Danny (or Steve&Danny)
Content: parody/crack, spoilers for 1x24, allusions to violence and other prison-y things
Word count: ~1300
Notes: What the fuck is this. Maybe shes_gone knows since she read it and gave it her seal of approval. Basically, all of the angsty prison fics made me sad and I decided to write something
Danny visits Steve the day after he gets arrested, but with everything going on with Kono and Rachel and Steve's case, it's another three weeks before Danny can get to the prison to see him again. He steels himself for the worst, for Steve to look thin and pale and be begging Danny to get him out, but he's surprised when Steve walks into the visiting room looking fantastic - tan and well-rested, like he just got back from vacation.
"Oh, hey!" Steve says, as if he was expecting someone else. He picks up the phone and has a seat in the chair on the other side of the glass panel. "How's it goin'?"
"Just swell," says Danny, looking him over. "You, uh...you look better than I expected. They treating you okay in here? I heard you got thrown into general population. I tried to stop them, but I think the warden hates you because he was not budging. I think it pissed off the wrong people, what with you not-murdering the governor and all."
"It's cool," says Steve, waving him off. "I don't expect any special treatment. Plus, it's better than being alone all the time. I get to go outside, play a little b-ball, chill with the guys." He shrugs.
"Okay..." Danny glances down at Steve's arm, which is covered in a dark blue tattoo that looks like the graffiti spray-painted on the door to the washroom in his apartment complex. "What is that?"
"Sweet, huh?" says Steve, glancing down at it. "Been a while since I got ink for free. Well, it wasn't entirely free, I had to--oh, hey! Before I forget - tell your mom thanks for the care package. The guys loved the trail mix, and those brownies were amazing. Everyone's jealous of that washcloth she embroidered with my initials. One guy even tried to shank me for it, can you believe that? I was like, 'It is totally unlikely that your initials are SJM, so just back off, dude.'" Steve shakes his head. "It's so crazy in here sometimes."
Danny blinks. "Do they have you on some sort of medication? Do you have a concussion?"
Steve gives him a funny look. "How would I get a concussion?"
Danny opens his mouth to reply but then a very large man comes up from behind Steve and claps him soundly on the back before taking a seat in the booth next to him.
"You, uh, you know that guy?" says Danny.
"That's my boy Kaito. Wassup, K-Dawg?" Steve calls out, and the guy flashes him a scary-looking hand gesture.
"That was really sweet," says Danny. "What's he in for?"
"Drug trafficking," says Steve. "But he didn't do it. Those assholes at HPD totally had it out for him. He knows who really did it, but he ain't no snitch."
"That sounds...entirely plausible." Danny clears his throat. "Um, listen, I talked to Chin, and we've been combing through the evidence for your trial. The fact that there was no gunshot residue on your hands--what? What is that look?"
Steve is frowning, brow furrowed. "I've been meaning to talk to you about that. You guys don't need to worry about that so much."
"Worry about what? The gunshot residue? I think that's the key to--"
"No, not just the gunshot residue," says Steve. "Any of it. I mean, you guys have other work to do. Chin's got a great new job. You've got family responsibilities. I don't want to put you out."
Danny just looks at him. "You don't want to 'put us out'? Steve, we're trying to get you out of prison. Chin took that 'great new job' to work the inside and help you."
Steve shifts uncomfortably in his seat and looks away.
"Oh my god," says Danny. "You like it here."
"Well, I mean, it's--"
"No, you like it here!" says Danny. "You want to stay."
Steve is actually blushing now. "It's not how it sounds."
"Then please explain it to me so I get it exactly right!"
"It's just..." Steve sighs. "You know, running the task force, it was great, I love you guys, but there was always this pressure, you know? This pressure to abide by the rules and not shoot people unless they're armed. And here, there are no expectations! If someone disrespects you, you just beat the shit out of them and they never touch you again, you know? There's a kind of freedom in that. I also really enjoy the mashed potatoes."
"The mashed potatoes," Danny echoes. "Are you fucking kidding me."
"They're kind of golden and flaky and just..." Steve's eyes glaze over. "I can't even describe 'em, man."
"That's what this is about?" says Danny. "Mashed potatoes? Steve, I will make you mashed potatoes when you get out. I will make you mashed potatoes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner until you have had your fill of mashed potatoes and literally cannot look at them without wanting to vomit."
"Yeah, but these are special mashed potatoes, Danny. They have garlic or something, you won't be able to--"
"What the fuck, Steve!"
Steve has the decency to look thoroughly ashamed. "I'm sorry, I know you guys have been working on my case a little and stuff--"
"Working on your case a little?"
"And I really appreciate it!" Steve exclaims. "I do, Danny, I really do. It's just that it's been a long time since I've had a break and got to get out and meet new people, and who knows when I'll have this opportunity again?"
"In about four seconds," Danny says quietly, "I am going to smash through this glass window and break your skull open with a tie clip."
Steve frowns. "You're wearing tie clips now?"
Danny looks down at the phone cord and counts to ten. When he looks up again, Steve is watching him with a pathetic expression on his face, like a puppy who just tinkled on the floor and is waiting for his punishment.
"Steve," Danny says, choosing his words carefully, "I am happy you've been enjoying prison so much. I am overjoyed that you're making new friends. But maybe you can treat this a little bit like summer camp, okay? It's a nice little vacation, but it doesn't last forever. At the end of the summer, you write down all your new best friends' addresses in a little notebook and you go home."
"They don't let us have pens," Steve says sadly. "Not after what happened last week. Which was awesome, by the way--"
"You know what," says Danny, motioning to one of the guards. "I'll come back when I no longer want to run you over with my car."
"No, Danny!" says Steve, desperate. "You can get me out! Okay? You can get me out. Just...can you wait until next month? Our book club is meeting at the beginning of July, and I really want to know how everyone interpreted Amir's last words to Sohrab at the end of The Kite Runner."
"Okay," says Danny, standing up from his chair. "You have fun with your new friends and your garlic mashed potatoes."
"Wait!" says Steve, and Danny looks up at him. "Francisco wants to know if your mom does special orders for the embroidery. He wants a shirt that says, 'Property of T-Bone' in green thread. He'll pay her!" Steve shouts when Danny hangs up the phone. "It doesn't even have to be green. Yeah, okay, I'll see you later, man."