Okay so what if Steve isn’t this self-destructive, hell bent on destroying the world like Tyler Durden alter ego? What if, after being unpartnered with Meka and getting divorced from Rachel, Danny creates the perfect partner for himself, both work and romantically?
And Steve is this huge badass who Danny doesn’t realize he’s pretending to be, but also that he’s head over heels in love with. And Steve gets Danny to do dangerous shit to get the bad guys and takes him half way across the world to go after Steve or kill the man would murdered Danny’s brother. And eventually Kono and Chin sit down with Danny and are like, “Bruh, you know we have your back 100%, but we need to know why you’re doing all this. And please for the love of God, tell us who this Steve McGarrett person is.” And Danny is so confused because how do they not know Steve? The four of them just had beers together the other night. This is some joke right? But Kono and Chin are serious and Danny’s stomach sinks and he’s like, “I need to go. I have to find Steve.”
And he bails and heads to Steve’s house, except when he gets there, for the very first time, he realizes how much of a shithole it is. It’s never looked like that before and he’s been living here for months. But he goes in anyways and finds Steve in the kitchen, and he just goes, “How come Chin and Kono don’t remember you?”
Steve smiles sadly a says, because they’ve never met me, not like you think they have.“
“What does that mean?”
“Think about it, Danny. Think about all the times we’ve been together with them. How many times have they actually looked at me during those times?”
And Danny replays all their get togethers in his head and it’s like a punch to his chest, because not once has anyone but Danny ever looked at Steve. Not once.
“You’re not real,” Danny says and it feels like razors shredding his tongue. He half expects blood to start pouring out his mouth and onto the tile.
“Not now, at least, but I used to be,” Steve says.
“You didn’t create me out of thin air, Danny. I was a real person once.”
“You mean like a ghost? My imaginary friend is a ghost?”
Steve shakes his head and laughs quietly. “No, not like that,” he says, “you still made me up in your head, but the real Steve McGarrett actually existed.”
“What?” Danny says again.
“Think about it. Try and remember where you heard my name or saw my face.” Steve rests his hand on Danny’s shoulder and it’s like the floodgates opened inside Danny’s mind. Photographs and news articles flash in front of his eyes and a military funeral that no one but Danny had attended. His brain settles on the event that started all of this and then Danny is running into the old Study and ripping open the desk drawers until he finds exactly what he’s looking for.
“Steven J. McGarrett, killed in action,” Danny reads from the paper in his hands. Attached is a photo of Steve in his dress blues with all his medals, looking as serious as Danny’s Steve is looking at him now. Shit, this can’t be right; Danny didn’t steal a dead man’s name and face for his own sick purposes. He can’t be that desperate.
“I don’t think it was desperation,” Steve says, like he’s inside Danny’s head. And fuck it if that isn’t the second most messed up thought Danny’s had today.
“Yeah, then what was it? Because let me tell you, nothing about this – us – is okay. What I did is – is –”
“Wrong!” Danny yells.
Steve flinches at the word and looks down at his shoes. “I didn’t think it was all that bad,” Steve practically whispers.
“You aren’t real, Steve! I made you up! I stole a dead man’s dead son and pretended he was still alive. You don’t get a vote here!”
Steve stares at Danny with watery eyes and sets his jaw. He nods slowly, then turns around and walks away. Danny doesn’t have to follow him to know that he’s gone; Danny feels the emptiness of the house like he feels his own heartbeat.