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title: that football field out there tonight, that's our universe
fandom: Hawaii five-0
pairing: Chin Ho Kelly/Steve McGarrett
rating: PG-13
summary: Jack McGarrett takes Chin to see his son play. Chin lives every moment of the game as though he were the one playing as starting quarterback, not McGarrett's son.
spoilers/notes: Written for the outside your pairing zone challenge. Spoilers up to 1x03 and inspired by the revelation that Chin went to Steve's state championship game and Steve never knew about it. Second person POV. 758 words.


You are 22 years old and your training officer invites you to go watch his son's game. You played football in high school and, if what your training officer says is true, his son's almost as good a player as you were.

You remember what it felt like to be a god on the football field. You remember the pulse of the whole crowd and how it flooded your ears like the endorphins flooded your veins.

In the car to the state championship game, your training officer tells you about Steve. Steve is the starting quarterback. (You were the starting quarterback.) "You should see him make a play. He's unbelievable." You're about to see him. You're about to agree with Jack McGarrett about how unbelievable the kid is.

You take your seat in the stadium and you watch the teams line up. Jack McGarrett points out his son to you, says "his jersey says five-oh because of this family thing we have, about not being from Hawaii" but you aren't listening anymore. You're looking down at the boy in the 50 jersey.

When the horn sounds for the start of play, it steals your breath with it. The boy in the 50 jersey has the ball. He's running with it. He shouldn't be running with it. He should pass. You can feel everything. You know what it's like to be that boy.

You spend the whole game feeling every pass, every tackle. Jack McGarrett sat beside you the whole time, yelling at every call the referee makes (and all the ones he doesn't make) but you're down there, on the field. You're alive with the game.

At half-time, the boy, Steve, the starting quarterback, the one in the 50 jersey, looks up at you (no, at his father). He takes out his gum-shield, smiles, raises a hand and Jack McGarrett's saying "that's my son" but you're not listening. You can't get a good look at his face from where you're sat, up in the stands, but you still look all you can. You don't smile. He probably has no idea who you are.

The boy breaks your record for most tries in a single half that game. When he makes the try which secures the victory, it feels like there's something wrong with your lungs or your throat or just-- It's phenomenal. You aren't jealous or resentful or hurt; you're just amazed. You never let your eyes leave the boy.

When the game ends, Jack McGarrett is talking to you about what a good game it was and you find it difficult to form words. You say things like "yeah" and "your son played well" and you generally sound like some shy rookie who doesn't quite know what to say to his boss - which you are, in a way.

You never get to see the boy up close and you never have a chance to meet him. You get into the car with Jack McGarrett, hoping all the time that the team will appear, heading for the bus, and that the quarterback will spot his father and come over. It doesn't happen. Maybe it's a good thing. Maybe it would break the spell.

It's years before you see him up close. He's on the dock at Pearl Harbour, talking to the governor of Hawaii. You know him by the set of his shoulders even though it's been more than ten years. (You don't want to count how many years it's really been.) He knows your face from the trophy cabinets of Kukui High School. You know the way he moves from that one high school game and you can just about match the face to the one in the photograph that Jack McGarrett kept on his desk.

You were once a quarterback and now you work security down on the marina. He was once a quarterback and now he's a decorated Naval officer. You've never spoken to him before but somehow you can't stop yourself. You call out to him across the marina. Speaking to Steve McGarrett will change your life. He isn't a quarterback anymore and you aren't a quarterback anymore but he shakes your hand and he smiles like he means it.

Together you will be like gods again. Together you will feel the strum of every electric moment: lives which could be undone in seconds, the split-second decision which has to be made.

You wonder if he can see the want in your eyes.

Soon he will make you an offer you cannot refuse.


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