Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea (Hawaii Five-0 story)

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Title: Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea
Author(s): JoeLawson
Date(s): 29 July 2011
Length: 39,606 words
Genre: slash fanfiction, Mermaid AU
Fandom: Hawaii Five-0
External Links: Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea (AO3)
title graphic by jaguarcaine

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Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea is a Steve/Danny story by JoeLawson. It won the 2012 Hawaii Five-0 Ohana Favorite Awards in the categories "Favorite Steve/Danny - Genre: First Time" and "Favorite Steve/Danny - Genre: Alternate Universe".[1]

Summary: Detective Danny Williams is not what Steve expected.

Flyingthesky podficced this story.[2][3]

Recs and Reviews

Merman!Danny manip by deedo2313: "Look at that! McDanno!! :D It’s been a while. I actually just wanted to fix a tiny little thing that had been bothering me in the original merman!Danno manip, but it kinda turned into re-doing it from scratch… oops. This is easily my favourite McDanno fic. It’s just sooo awesome!!! Go read it!"
Why You Should Read This: In a world where shifters that come out of the sea are common place, Danny Williams is a Homo pisces—a merman from a Northern clan living in Hawaii. He struggles to fit in as both an mainlainder as a different breed of fish than the local mer people (who descend from dolphins while he descended from sharks). Couple his culture shock with custody issues over Grace AND Super Navy Seal, Steve McGarrett invading his life and Danny has a whole lot going on. Steve is by turns charming and foolish and adorable in this fic as he maneuvers himself into a life with Danny despite their obvious differences. Fantastic fic! Highly Recommended.[4]
Awesome! This is great, the universe really thought out and detailed. I liked the cultural conflicts between the different groups of merfolk. The meeting with the King was great! As always, wonderfully written, great characterization, and nicely plotted.[5]
I was a little skeptical about reading a mermaid AU, but this was awesome. The tribal conflicts between the different mers and between mers and humans really rang true, and made it easy to go with the premise. And I love bonding stories in any context, so that was great. In short, this was a wonderful story and I very much look forward to reading anything else you write in this 'verse.[6]
This was amazing. Truly. Probably one of my favorite H5O stories ever. I do have a terrible mating kink and maybe mer kink as well now. Seriously. Just wonderful. I do hope you find more of this. Until then I'll just read it once, twice, twenty-seven more times. Thanks so much for sharing![7]
I really loved this story. A well plotted and written tale that kept me entertained and held my attention throughout. You hit the ground running and stayed there; something a lot of writers struggle with. I adore anything with a mythological base and blending it with H50 just made my day complete. I do hope you write a sequel, but I understand that your 'original' fiction has to come first. Although... writing fanfic is an excellent way of breaking a block *wink*.[8]
So I normally wouldn't read a mermaid story, but it came highly recommended so I decided to give it a try and I'm so glad I did! What a great story. You kept everybody in character and your merfolk universe was very well-realized. You must have thought a lot about this and it shows. I love how the different mers have different characteristics. Kudos and beyond! Oh, and btw, fish dick is my new favorite insult![9]
Just awesome! Your previous were-shark Danny Jaws is still my very favorite story in H50 fandom, but this story is climbing the rankings. I adore your worldbuilding, the whole sense that there is a larger world out there beyond your story. International inter-species treaties! Different mer-clans with different biologies and languages! Mer-physiologies and mating habits! Clan symbols on nests! Halfbreed merfolk! Children's rhyming songs to aid in remembering what body parts to shift! Loved every damn detail you so carefully wrought in the story. And, of course, because you mentioned it several times and Danny's obviously already contemplating it subconsciously, no matter how loudly his conscious mind thinks it's a bad idea, we already know what any possible sequel is likely to entail....[10]
This story is amazing!! It took my breath away in several scenes, especially the fight in the water--I was gripping my keyboard and getting Jaws flashbacks ^_^ Your ideas for this universe are truly unique and it created an appetite for more of the fascinating dynamic between the merfolk & ‘lung breathers.’ I loved every second of Danny’s imprinting on Steve and of course the very hot sex at the end :D I must also say that your descriptions of the transformations, movements, and instincts for Danny and all the merfolk were truly eerie and beautiful. I really hope you do more in this universe![11]
Sorry if someone else asked this but I just do not have the patience to get through all the comments.

How did the Mer evolved? Not in your head but in this world. It can't be parallel evolution unless Grace & Kono are sterile, also, how the hell would several Aqua-Hominids develop simultaneously from two very different sources(Dolphins & Sharks, for instance.) and still be so similar. Is the reason they are so few because you nead at least one copy of the full Mer genome so any kid of Grece (unless it's with a pure mer) will likely be human. Is it possible to tell from looking at them that Kono and Grace are half-blood? Like still having legs in Mer-form, they're just weird looking and ending in fins?

In the Back story I got in my head it was because of an old virus that made their ancestors sensitive to non human DNA and repeated exposure to aquatic DNA in food and the fight to survive had eventually made them what they are, those that survived said disease but were not exposed to such DNA remained the same.

I've said this for two reasons:

1)I want more and hope that an outsiders view will give you inspiration will love to see something that has nothing to do with what I wrote.
2) I want to know the REAL back-story for the Mer.[12]
Hmmm. I just read this twice in one day. I kind of want to go read it a third time. One thing that really caught me this time was Steve's scar. He get's that sympathetic tingle. Could it have any other effects? I love how he acts like a territorial mer and bares his teeth... and then wishes he had teeth like Danno. There's just so much here. The different societies, the types of Mer, the nursery song (Do you have a full version?), and the clan sigils. Steve attempting to hang the fish bones was adorable. Rachel and her sabotaging was, well, laughable. Steve give up Danno? Heh. He's as obsessive as Danno. Once he knew he had a chance, there was no way in hell he was giving it up. They suit each other perfectly[13]
The reason why I want a sequel to this fuckawesome story? FISH-BABIES. I WANT THERE TO BE FISH-BABIES, and I want there to be some special thing that makes it so that if a mer is doing the carrying, multiples is more likely because Steve would be the most hilariously overprotective father EVER and Kono would be a bitchin' auntie. I want Kono/Grace interaction, on the basis that they're both halfies and have a lot of (AWESOME) in common. This was freaking sweet and I loved it. A lot. SO MUCH OH MY.[14]
Why we love it: We love a good AU around here and this definitely qualifies. The world building in this Mer-people AU is solid and well rounded. The characterizations are still what we expect from the show, just within the context of a world were Mer-folk are a part of the norm. The writing is sharp and we were invested in the outcome in the best possible way. An excellent long read.[15]
There are so many reasons why I enjoy this fic, not the least of which is the fact that Danny is a mermaid – okay, merman – in it. Sounds crazy, I know, but the world that Joe builds around that one simple fact is amazing and makes me wish that there was more to the story, if only to sate my curiosity about mer-society. That it’s Danny, the self-proclaimed beach-hater, who’s a mermaid and not Steve, who seems to be the go-to guy for all things out-of-the-norm, just makes it that much more engrossing and definitely wins points for originality in my book. Though there are a few grammatical hiccups in the story, they really are minor in comparison to the wonderful characterization and matter-of-fact way the author has turned the universe on its head; making the presence of mer-people a well-known but vaguely documented fact of life. Even more enjoyable is that the author doesn’t try to downplay the idea of mer-people being anything other than what they are: creatures from the deep who, though able to pass for human, aren’t. They’re their own people, with their own set of rules, and that doesn’t always mesh with what humans (or Steve, rather) believe is right or easy.[16]
I'm not a big fan of crack fic so when I saw this one pop up today, I gave it a pass at first. I mean, Danny as a merman? Oh, please. But then I saw a couple of people whose taste in fic seems to be similar to mine reccing it so I decided to give it a try. I literally just finished reading it, left feedback for the author, and ran over here to rec it.

This story follows canon from the first episode on pretty closely, but with one difference: Merfolk are commonplace and Danny is a merman. The author obviously spent a lot of time thinking about the mer universe and it's fascinating. Mer have different characteristics and looks depending on what stock they're from. For instance, Hawaiian mer evolved from dolphins and Scandinavian mer (Danny's tribe) evolved from sharks. This makes it difficult for Danny to fit in among the ali'i kai and he has a rough time adjusting to the islands where he has moved to follow his human ex-wife and their half-mer daughter. All that changes when Steve bulldozes his way into Danny's life and Danny finds himself bonding with Steve, a thought that scares him because it didn't work out well with Rachel, who was unable to handle the intensity of a mer-human relationship.

This is a well-realized AU that is fascinating from start to finish.[17]
(AU, eventual slash): In which Danny’s a merman. Not that it makes living in Hawaii any more bearable. The story is really well written, complete with romance and a case. The only thing I didn’t quite like is that Danny and Steve started falling for each other so quickly, but that’s just because I’m a fan of friends-to-lovers stories, where the romantic connection takes a little while to develop.[18]

Podfic Notes

podfic cover
First thing's first: this podfic would not be a thing without [personal profile] regsi_ruka winning the hell out of my 10k to 40k podfic auction for scarleteenfans. She's rad, I didn't even ask permission to record this fic, that was all her.

Anyway, about the actual podfic! Fun fact about me: my family is from Hawai'i after they're from Japan, although I am (sadly) a mainlander. I also have seen precisely one episode of the sexy Hawaii 5-0. [...]

Wow. I'm getting really off-topic here! Okay. I actually super love this fic and the world it builds, and I think you don't have to know anything about Hawaii 5-0 to enjoy it because it's just that awesome. I feel like it helps if you really love mermaids, though.

Random tangents aside, the point is that the pronunciation of some stuff may be off. I am sorry if it is, but I did my best! Which, I mean. Your best is sometimes not good enough but I hope it suffices in this instance. Maybe.

It's worth noting that this is, currently, my longest podfic. (The, um. The already edited portion of my podficbigbang exceeds it, and that's not even the full podfic.) And I didn't know why someone would want to listen to me talk for an hour and a half, so I really don't know why you'd want to listen to me talk for almost three.

The music used in this podfic is as follows (listed in the order you'll hear them):

  1. Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea [cover by George Harrison]
  2. Smooth Day [Jason Paul Bonilla & Leonard Ian Dalseme]
  3. Mermaid [Francois-Paul Aiche and H. Scott Salinas]
  4. Girls Go Shopping [Alan Menken]
  5. Night Terror [Laura Marling]
  6. Ghost of a Shark [Tom McRae]
  7. Cold Cold Water [Mirah]
  8. Pirates [Francois-Paul Aiche and H. Scott Salinas]

(So yes, Danny's music is called "Smooth Day" and Steve's music is called "Mermaid." This is probably much funnier to me than is actually warranted.)

Okay, what else . . . Oh! So okay, I made an mb4 file. This is my first time doing that and I don't know what they are or why they're useful, as every music player I regularly plug my 130$ headphones into is from circa 20071, but I made one. If it doesn't work, tell me down in the comments and I'll curse Apple and their proprietary formats while I try to fix it.

And because I just want you to know that I'm not magical and the magic of editing makes me as awesome as I am, have eight minutes of bloopers: Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea Bloopers.

I think that's it, but one last thing: I hope you enjoy! ♥[2][3]


  1. ^ "Ohana Favorite Awards 2012 - WINNERS". Retrieved 16 May 2016.
  2. ^ a b kisforkurama. also not an essay due monday. are we sensing a theme here?, 29 April 2012. (Accessed 15 May 2016)
  3. ^ a b flyingthesky. also not an essay due monday. are we sensing a theme here?, 29 April 2012. (Accessed 15 May 2016)
  4. ^ Keira Marcos in: Slash World. Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea by JoeLawson, 08 September 2011. (Accessed 22 May 2016)
  5. ^ history_doc. Comment, 29 July 2011. (Accessed 15 May 2016)
  6. ^ Kalliste. Comment, 29 July 2011. (Accessed 15 May 2016)
  7. ^ Shadyladysadiesal. Comment, 29 July 2011. (Accessed 15 May 2016)
  8. ^ secret_writer. Comment, 29 July 2011. (Accessed 15 May 2016)
  9. ^ Rosalita. Comment, 29 July 2016. (Accessed 15 May 2016)
  10. ^ springwoof. Comment, 30 July 2011. (Accessed 15 May 2016)
  11. ^ hinokumo. Comment, 02 August 2011. (Accessed 15 May 2016)
  12. ^ Omry. Comment, 09 September 2011. (Accessed 15 May 2016)
  13. ^ SaharraShadow. Comment, 01 October 2011. (Accessed 15 May 2016)
  14. ^ amusewithaview. Comment, 27 November 2011. (Accessed 15 May 2016)
  15. ^ shinysylver in: h50-rec-room. Themed Thursday (9/15/11) - Long!Fic Part 2. (Accessed 16 May 2016)
  16. ^ slyprentice in: epic_recs. Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea by Joe Lawson (NC-17), 09 September 2011. (Accessed 01 June 2016)
  17. ^ iamrosalita in: crack_van. Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea (Explicit), 29 July 2011. (Accessed 08 June 2016)
  18. ^ berry_muffin. Fanfic Recommendations, 18 March 2012. (Accessed 01 August 2016)