When marathoning Hawaii Five-0 episodes back-to-back (and back again), it's difficult to miss the way one Steve McGarrett stares at one Danny Williams—and vice versa. Now, this could be because I've shipped these two for years, but quite frankly, I think that has little to do with anything at all. In fact, it probably has more to do with the adoration these two feel towards each other.
Obviously, when you're partners and best friends, there's bound to be some love. In Steve and Danno's case, the love seems just a wee bit (who am I kidding, a lot) stronger than platonic. Yes, I'm implying romance here, non-shippers, and justifiably so.
"Wow, look at that face. Dear God, Steve is one fine-looking dude." Yes, Danny, I completely agree with you. Steve is, to say the least, dreamy. Ironically, dreamy is the only way I can describe how you're staring at him. Some could say, "But that's only one cap. How can you imply romantic feelings with just one cap?" I assure you, there are dozens of caps and maybe more of just Danny staring at Steve alone. McDanno shippers can back me on this, am I right?
You read right, by the way. Danny isn't the only one capable of staring, which is pretty much given by, "the way one Steve McGarrett stares at one Danny Williams." I swear, it's like staring at one another is a hobby for these two. Actually, I wouldn't be surprised if it is. They do it often enough to be considered a pass time.
"Isn't he swell? Gosh, Danno, you're so swell." I don't know about you, but I think that would be a perfectly appropriate caption for this particular cap. (A favorite of mine, might I add.) This photo not only properly captures the fact that Steve loves Danny, but also encapsulates just how deeply these feelings run. When I look at Steve, all I can see is a man gazing fondly at the object of his affection.
To emphasize my point, I sent this screencap to friends who don't watch the show and inquired what they thought the context was. One asked, "Are those two married? Am I missing out on a show with a gay lead couple?" Another friend even compared the two to Molly and I. Molly, my wife of eight months and partner of three years, happens to sail the S.S. McWilliams. After learning of the comparison, she laughed, delighted, and said, "Even people in real life think they're married."
Here's a quick background on me and Molly: We started dating in December of 2010, halfway through our senior year of high school, and later agreed to get married after college at the time of our graduation in May of 2011. After getting formally engaged February of 2012, we decided to marry on Valentine's Day earlier this year, exactly one year after 'official' marriage proposals were exchanged.
Molly and I have always had a habit of staring lovingly at one another, with hearts in our eyes and the dopey smile to accompany it. It's funny (to us, anyway) that our friend would liken their relationship to ours, because we're married and the very picture of domesticity. Meanwhile, Steve and Danny have never claimed to be non-heterosexual, are currently nothing more than friends and partners, have never made advances towards one another, and are.
Still, I am able to compile a list of all the aspects of romance they've mastered:
Check: The use of pet names and/or nicknames. (See: 'babe' and 'Danno'.)
Check: Staring at each other for prolonged periods of time in a way that can only be described as "fond" by others. (I certainly hope this post is qualified to be a reliable example.)
Check: Bickering like a couple about both little and big things. (See: carguments.)
Check: Phone conversations about Person A missing Person B. (More than once, folks.)
Check: Sharing personal belongings. (See: the fact that Steve drives Danny's Camaro regularly.)
Check: Parenting, together, as one unit. (See: just about every scene they've shared with Grace.)
Check: Let's be real, they've even mastered the art of dating, whether they know it or not.
Look at those faces. Just look. For a good, solid minute, if it's needed. If that isn't love, I don't know what is, folks. Honestly. Is it really any wonder why people—fictional or non fictional—always assume they're a married couple? I think not. These two idiots are so in love, it's highly unlikely I'll ever be convinced otherwise. (Chin even agrees with me; don't you, Chin?)
Bonus: The Gracie Factor
We all know Danny loves Grace more than life itself. Why wouldn't he? Grace is his little girl; his monkey, if you will. Grace and her Danno have an incredibly special father-daughter relationship that's hard to rival. Where his daughter goes, Danny goes. His move to Hawaii is only proof of that. (Thanks for that, Rachel and Stan. I owe you guys one for the copious amounts of warm, fuzzy feelings Steve and Danny make me feel. There wouldn't be a McDanno without your marriage and Rachel's move.)
Grace doesn't have only one dad, though. And no, she doesn't have two, either. From my perspective, Steve is essentially a third dad to Grace. Just like Danny would travel to the ends of the universe and back for Gracie, Steve would more or less do the same—both for her sake and for Danno's sake. If the way he looks at her or acts around her is anything to go by, Steve loves Grace as if she were his own.
Bonus: Life Partners
Would taking the next step really be such a stretch? Not really. The beautiful thing about the McDanno dynamic is that it doesn't stop at work. Essentially, Steve and Danny are life partners, in every sense of the phrase. On top of that, I'd like to again emphasize that they've nailed just about the most fundamental facets of a romantic relationship. All that really needs to happen is a partners-to-lovers storyline.
I've read enough fics—from over 20,000 words of slow burn to a simple 1,000 word story about a blind date—to know how that can go down. "This feels oddly similar to a date," Danny might say. "Maybe it is, Danno," Steve could respond. At this point, I couldn't care less how it happened. I just want it to happen, you know? The chances are slim, I'll admit, but if all else fails, my imagination is more than willing to make up for the disappointment with head canon and fanfiction.
And thus concludes my attempt to summarize one (which ended up being a few) of the many reasons I enjoy the Steve and Danny dynamic in a romantic light... not to mention my attempt to get more people on board this highly attractive, 'may as well be married' ship. I like to call it: So, Here's Why You Should Ship McDanno feat. (Poorly Attempted) Texturized Caps. Alternatively named: Word Vomit and A Dash of Feels.
EDIT: It's been brought to my attention that I've forgotten one very important aspect of the Gracie Factor. "You even forgot to mention that Danny moved all the way to a rock in the ocean for Grace, but fought tooth and nail to have her stay with him on that rock, after he'd made Steve his home." You know the saying about how home is where the heart is? It fits Steve and Danny to a tee, because Steve has Danny's heart; therefore, Steve will always be Danny's home. Their loves is deep.