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The first time he realized they weren’t going to be able to keep business and pleasure separate he had an errant deliveryman to blame.
They’d ordered the couch on a Friday, picking a nice large and fluffy black leather three-seater. They were told it would be three to six weeks for it to be delivered, and here they were five weeks later sans the couch. They’d been keeping the two-week old burgeoning relationship to themselves up until now, and the one person outside of the two of them who knew was Jeremy, because… well… let’s face it… Jeremy’s a perceptive type fella.
They’d done a damn fine job of keeping it under wraps till the couch was actually delivered too. They’d deposited it in Dana’s office by mistake, and it was up to them to move it to its rightful place in their office. Dana stood there like a flight controller directing them to pick it up “not that way, this way... with your knees.” Natalie stood to her side, ever the faithful assistant, nodding along with Dana’s apparently sage-like advice.
It was when they lifted the couch that it dawned on him that he never was an actor anyway. They lifted on one, two, three… and he knew right then there was a reason for that.
He was taller than Danny anyway, and his legs were longer, and when they lifted the brunt of the weight tilted and fell on Danny’s half. He was fine with that, laughing, trying to jostle the weight around, make Danny be as tortured as he could stand it. He liked to annoy Danny and he was almost as good at it as Danny was at annoying him. It wasn’t until Danny spoke that it hit him.
It was a heavy couch, and Danny was out of breath before they even had it lifted fully. Danny’s breath came out in ragged little huffs as he glared at him to stop his horsing around. The instant he spoke though Casey’s smile faded and his face began to look stricken. That’s the moment Danny’s smile returned. Danny always had been able to read his mind, anyway.
It was two words, really. Three if you were persnickety. “God, Casey… God” really was such an innocent sentence. All it literally meant was god, Casey, stop fucking with me. The thing is, depending on the context, it really can mean so many more things. I can mean God, Casey, God you’re annoying… it can mean God Casey, God you’re pissing me off… Most prevalent in Casey’s mind at that moment however was the version he’d heard not two nights before.
God, Casey… God that feels good.
He didn’t mean to drop his end of the couch, he really didn’t. He most certainly didn’t mean to let out the half-squeak half-apology he muttered after. He didn’t mean for Natalie to have to rush forward and catch Danny as he almost plummeted straight into Dana’s desk and for Dana to have to rush to help Danny hold up the end of the couch that was still sticking up in the air.
He caught Danny’s eyes and saw the glimmer in them and knew that this clandestine little relationship they’d been having had to come to an end. Whether “end” meant to completely stop or if it meant to change the dichotomy of it really wasn’t a question.
If he had been an actor maybe he could have pretended to get a splinter, but he’d been the third choir boy for a reason in highschool. If he’d been better at lying he could have laughed it off and picked the couch back up without having to stumble over a litany of words that he wasn’t even aware he was rattling off.
When they walked into their office ten minutes later, gaffes carrying the couch ten steps behind them, he tried to avoid Danny’s amused gaze. When the gaffes left he knew it was pointless but he tried to talk to Danny about the Mets and how well they weren’t doing this season.
“It amazes me continuously,” Danny had said, smirking at him from his position on the newly situated couch.
“No, seriously, Case… it amazes me continuously how supremely smooth you are,” he said, his grin widening.
“Shut up, Danny, I have to write this scrip…”
“I mean, it’s not as if I said anything untoward, Case,” Danny said, leaning forward, the evil in his eyes amplified by the wicked grin now in full effect. “I mean… I know how much it gets to you when I say fu…”
“Danny, God Damnit,” he said then in a hushed whisper. “Will you leave me alone!”
“Just imagine,” Danny continued, settling back into the couch and having a nice little conversation with himself. “Imagine if I had cursed… I wonder if it would have turned him on if I’d been trapped underneath the couch…” He turned a questioning gaze towards Casey then, cocking an eyebrow. “Would you like for me to be the damsel in distress, Casey? Is that something you’d find sex…”
“Danny, I swear to Christ, if you don’t just…”
“Oh, Casey,” Danny drawled out, flinging himself onto the couch in a helpless way. “Oh, saaaaave me Casey…”
“Your Southern drawl is pathetic and hackneyed, Danny,” Casey said, trying hard as he could to not laugh.
“Why, I do declare, Mr. McCall…”
He couldn’t help it anymore suddenly and he laughed at that. “Fuck off.”
“You never were an actor were you,” Danny said, laughing and sitting back up. “Cause if I were you, I’d keep my day job.”
“I never was,” Casey said, finally grinning at him.
“I’m gonna have to save that in my ‘things that turn Casey on’ file… invoking the name of the Lord… Might even top the list, Case.” Danny frowned for a moment, biting his lip. “Little blasphemous though…”
Casey couldn’t help but let out a guffaw that that. “Yeah, of the myriad things we do Danny, I really don’t think invoking the name of the Lord is gonna be the one to get us into hell.”
Danny’s grin was as enticing as it was contagious. “True.”
Casey sighed, shaking his head. “I don’t think we can do this much longer, Danny.”
“I know,” he said, once again lying back on the couch. “It’s hard enough to wait till we’re off the air, much less make it the whole day.”
“Besides,” Casey said, smiling as he watched Danny trace circles on the just windexed window. “Jeremy’s going insane with the whole not being able to tell anyone thing.”
Danny frowned for a moment, nodding his head. “It’ll be alright.”
“Yeah,” Casey said, nodding and staring blankly at the blinking cursor on his screen.
“I mean… it’ll be fine.”
Danny looked at him, a frown etching across his face. “It’ll be alright, don’t you think?”
“Ya know what, Danny,” Casey said, pushing back his chair and facing Danny head on. “I don’t know if it’ll be alright, or if it’ll be fine. All I know is that I don’t want to have to hide it.”
Danny regarded him for a minute before turning his attention back to the cool glass where his hand rested. “Makes me feel like… like I’m 13 again and my parents can’t catch me smoking cause they’ll paddle me.”
“They paddled you?!”
Danny laughed, casting Casey a quick glance. “Metaphor, Case.”
“Right,” Casey said, nodding. “It makes me feel like I’m hiding it cause I’m ashamed of it,” he said, smiling and looking at Danny. “Except… the last thing I feel when I’m with you is ashamed.”
Danny smiled slowly, still tracing circles on the windowpanes. “Back atcha partner.”
“So then… we’ll tell,” Casey said, nodding. “Tonight…”
Danny bit his lip, resting his hands on his stomach and turning his face to look at Casey. “Tonight?”
“Yeah,” Casey said, nodding. “At Tony Anthony’s.”
Danny tried to bite back the grin but was unsuccessful. “You’re already planning the speech, aren’t you?”
“I’m not… and there is no speech…”
“There is a speech, my friend,” Danny said, sitting up and settling his feet on the ground. “And you’re planning it out in your head right now. Complete with if-then clauses.”
Casey laughed, shaking his head. “So I like to plan ahead…”
“Casey the eternal boy-scout,” Danny said, laughing and standing up. “Just let it come to you, Case. You rehearse too much and it’ll come out sounded bottled.”
“Prepackaged,” Danny said, sitting down in front of his computer. “Like you lifted it from some movie…”
“So then I suppose Casablanca is out of the question,” Casey said, the only thing hinting at his sarcasm being the twinkle in his eyes.
“Humphrey Bogart you are not, my friend.”
“Nah,” Casey said, smiling and turning back to his computer. “That’s you.”
“Thanks shweet-hart,” Danny deadpanned at him, pulling up a new document on the laptop. “We’ll deal with it how it comes.”
“Okay,” Casey said, looking at the notes he’d scribbled down at the noon rundown. Just as he was about to start typing something clicked in his mind and he looked at Danny, who was already steady typing. “Hey, Danny?”
“Yeah,” he barked out, still zoned into his script.
“Do you really have a file for ‘things that turn Casey on’?”
Danny laughed, turning to look at him. “Dude.”
“Right,” Casey said, nodding and hoping his blush wasn’t too obvious. “Metaphor.”
There were a few moments of silence before Danny spoke again. “I do though,” he said, still staring at his screen as his fingers steadily typed.
“Have a file,” he said, casting a quick glance at Casey. “Just…. not a physical one.”
“Ah,” Casey said, smiling and nodding. “A cerebral one then.”
He watched Danny continue to type, marveling at just how fast those fingers actually worked. “Me too.”