Oh, The Places You'll Go

Breathing Space

Notes: Porn Battle started. So I wrote some completely unrelated porn. As you do. Thanks to phoebesmum for her firm grasp on commas. Ooer, missus.


"I heard Casey turned Dan down and that's why it happened," an intern had said, breathless and not-quite-furtive enough.

"Get out!" her companion had replied. "It was the other way around. Casey propositioned Dan and he freaked out and the whole thing was payback."

"No, no, no. Dan wouldn't freak out, he's like a ... like a ... metrosexual kind of deal."

Dan remembered hanging back around the corner, unsure whether the pressure in his chest was telling him to howl with laughter or to punch his fist through the nearest hard surface. He tried to remember if there was a time when his life had been so either/or. He'd grimaced as the interns' whispered bickering over black hat/white hat disappeared away down the corridor. It wasn't that simple, it was never that simple.

The truth was that he rarely turned Casey down, and Casey didn't turn him down much either. Okay, so Dan didn't ask that often, but that was only habit after years of Lisa. And maybe a little self-protection. Maybe.

Fuckbuddies.

That's what they were, that's all they were; best friends and fuckbuddies since way back. Since the first time Dan had found Casey's cock in his mouth, just three nights before Casey (and his cock) walked down the aisle with the supposed love of his life. It wasn't a big thing, it wasn't 'we shall never speak of this again', it wasn't tortured hearts and soul-mates sundered by fate and nineteenth-century attitudes in a twentieth century business, it was what it was. Dan loved Casey and loved fucking him, but he wasn't breaking in two each time Casey tucked himself away and went home to his wife (and then his son and then his empty apartment), because that wasn't the deal.

And Dan liked the status quo, he really did. He got to satisfy his riskier urges with the only person he could trust never to give up his secret (and what kind of world was it where getting off with some consenting guy his own age was considered riskier than his dating some barely-legal actress who couldn't seem to afford clothes big enough to cover up more than the essentials?). He got to date some incredible women, and he got the freedom to fall in love. Everything was working out just fine.

And then came Draft Day, when Dan had blown it and knew he'd be lucky if Casey ever spoke to him again, let alone used his mouth for other, far more stimulating purposes. But then there'd been Passover, a celebration of freedom and the birth of a nation and Casey'd shared it with Dan, a blessing and, perhaps, a new beginning.

Dan wasn't going to push his luck, wasn't going to ask Casey for anything he wasn't ready to give. No, he'd just wait this one out and if it meant that there were no more fringe benefits to their friendship, he'd deal. And if the thought of never seeing Casey naked again caused a sharp, breathless twinge in Dan's chest then it was only because he was never fond of change.

He sighed, turned over, punched the pillow and tried to settle down, letting thoughts of what he needed to do tomorrow meander through his head. He'd just planned in exact detail how he was going to explain to Trager that they didn't need to cover soccer any more and, if Trager's objections were in any way strenuous, why Dan should never, ever, ever have to call the highlights, when he heard the noise of a key in the lock. It took a good couple of seconds for the implications of this to reach his somewhat distracted brain, and by the time he'd managed to scramble to a sitting position, Casey was already in the room and bearing down on him.

Dan opened his mouth to speak, but Casey was too quick for him.

"I can't do this any more, Danny," he said, toeing off his shoes and running a hand through his hair. "I just can't." He shrugged and started removing his jacket.

Dan stared. He had no idea where this was going, but if it was going to lead to Casey with no clothes on then he had to say he was game. Casey stared back expectantly and Dan realized he was supposed to participate.

"Do what?" he asked, always obliging.

Casey made a complicated gesture between them, involving wild waving and random circles. "This," he said. "Us."

"Oh." Dan's heart dropped, but remained hovering somewhere above his figurative boots, because, "And yet you are removing your pants," he said.

Casey blinked and looked down at himself, distracted. "Yes," he said. "Yes, I am, and I'll tell you why." He hopped on one foot, removing a sock.

Dan waited. Casey moved on to the other sock and then began unbuttoning his shirt. Dan felt himself begin to harden as Casey's dark chest hair began to appear from underneath the cotton fabric. It was a total Pavlovian response to Casey, hard-wired into his brain through years of exposure, just one of the many reasons Dan avoided post-racket ball locker room talk ñ he didn't need any guy off the street jumping to (the mostly right) conclusions.

Casey still wasn't saying anything.

"Weren't you going to tell me something, Casey?" Dan enquired, letting his eyes travel down Casey's body as Casey began to shove his boxer shorts over his hips, exposing him completely, half-hard and obviously on his way up. Dan licked his lips.

"Yes." Casey stepped out of his boxers and made for the bed, kneeling in front of Dan, grasping his shoulders and pushing him down.

Dan spread his legs so his inner thighs grazed the outside of Casey's knees. He shivered, fear, anticipation and desire combining. Casey bent to meet him, lips touching his with soft pressure.

"I can't -" said Casey, moving on to kiss the curve of Dan's neck. "- do this thing where -" He moved on again, restless, pressing kisses to the hollow below Dan's Adam's apple. Dan arched a little under him and forced himself to concentrate on Casey's words.

"- I pretend that we're -" Casey's lips slid down Dan's chest, encircling a nipple.

"- doing this for -" Teeth nipped at Dan, sharp pleasure shooting through him.

"- fun. Fuckbuddies. We're not -" Tongue, warm and soft, tip swirling.

"- I'm not. It's not enough -" Then Casey breathed out, slow and steady, cool against wet skin, soothing and electrifying at the same time, drawing Dan's nipple up and tight, skin puckering around it.

"- never been enough. God, Danny, can't you see?" Dan felt the scrape of stubble, raw and alive, words mumbled against his smooth flesh.

"- broke me. So much worse because I thought -" And then Casey's hands and lips and tongue were all on Dan, surrounding his hard cock and it felt so good, so good but he had to think, had to listen, had to keep his head clear. Dan struggled to his elbows.

"- it was just me. I need to know." Casey raised his head from where it lay buried in Dan's dark curls and he looked at Dan with a steady, open gaze.

Dan's heart pounded with the sure knowledge of what was coming and the Damascene realization that this was what he had wanted all along. Hello blind people, meet your non-sighted leader.

"I love you, Danny. And I'm sorry it's taken me twelve years to figure out what that means but you were always smarter than me, right?"

Casey's arms were braced along Dan's sides and he could feel them trembling. Smarter? Not so much. Because now he was looking at Casey and he was exactly the same as he'd been ten seconds ago (down to the fading pimple on his left cheek that had given the make-up girls some hairy moments) but it was as if someone had shot him through to a parallel universe because everything was different. His heart was going to burst into a million pieces if he didnít do something, say something, touch something right now. He reached down and threaded a hand through Casey's hair.

He opened his mouth and his mind went blank.

"Fuck!" he said. Casey's expression went from hopeful to confused and then to devastated as Dan began to laugh. And laugh and laugh. Joy and relief took him by the shoulders and shook him and he couldn't stop even though Casey was starting to look like he wanted to curl into a ball and die right there.

Dan slid his hand further down, cupping Casey's neck and tugged him upwards, pulling him in close and wrapping both his arms around him as he struggled to regain his composure.

"No," he gurgled. "No, it's okay, really. God, I'm such a dork." He pushed Casey away gently and blinked his watery eyes so that Casey swam into focus. "I love you like breathing, McCall," he said. "Only breathing, it's that thing you always do, that thing that's always there and you don't realize just how important it is until you, I don't know, choke on a peanut or something. I think maybe tonight is the peanut."

"Weird peanut," muttered Casey. The tight lines on his face began to smooth out and Dan manfully resisted kissing the small smile that edged Casey's lips.

"I love you like breathing, Casey," Dan repeated and pulled Casey back in and kissed him, soft and steady and slow. It wasn't the first kiss and certainly not the only one like this that they'd had, but it was different and new all the same; the thread of 'lover' hung between them like shining gold.

Dan let his hands roam over Casey's body, familiar and so well-loved. He felt the soft rub of Casey's cock against his belly and pushed up to meet him, needing the contact. Casey moved one hand from Dan's face and Dan felt his weight shift, heard the noise of a drawer being opened and scrabbling as Casey multi-tasked like a veteran. Dan grinned into Casey's mouth and then gasped as Casey's weight shifted again and a cool, wet finger pressed against him, sliding deep into his own warm heat.

They didnít do this often and, as Casey began to move inside him, searching out Dan's pleasure center and Dan spread his legs further apart, begging for more, Dan thought he knew why. Because there was something so intimate about this, so trusting, so open that they would never have been able to hide for so long. But Dan couldn't think about that now, not when Casey was taking him apart so thoroughly, couldn't even kiss Casey back, just take the pleasure that was being offered.

Casey sat up a little, one hand splayed across Dan's heart which pounded against Dan's ribcage as if desperate to be held and stroked by careful, long fingers.

"Wanna watch you come, Danny," said Casey, voice thickened and eyes darkened by the same force that was writhing through Dan, making it impossible for him to stay still. "Do you want me to touch you?" He stroked down with his fingers and pleasure pulsed through Dan and he could feel his cock straining with want.

"Yessssssss," Dan hissed on an outward breath. "Please, god, please."

Casey trailed his hand slowly over Dan's belly, collecting pre-come from the tip of Dan's cock and using it to glide slick over the shaft, fingers curling possessively around it. Dan stared at Casey, mute. Casey smiled a sly smile, as he pushed into Dan with one hand and pulled with the other, setting up a rhythm that was accompanied by a melody in Dan's head and simple lyrics of 'yes yes yes' in his ears.

Casey's eyes did not waver from Dan's face and Dan let him see everything ñ every thought, every need, every pleasure ñ and he could see Casey's eyes growing bigger with the knowledge of it, with the vast change that had been brought about by so few words. It was incredible, the power of it all, the charge that ran between them and when Casey added another finger to the orchestration Dan knew he couldn't last. Pushing up into Casey's hand his mouth reshaped itself from the insistent litany of affirmation and he came with Casey's name on his lips and a choir of angels singing in the air.

"Fuck," said Casey.

"Yes, please," said Dan.

It was amazing what love could do, thought Dan as Casey slid into him. How the sharp, bright pain of screaming nerve-endings could be turned almost into pleasure because now he was welcoming Casey home. How the sure-fire knowledge that his hips were really not meant to bend that way and he'd know all about it in the morning just did not matter because Casey was inside him and Dan could see his face, could see everything scrawled across it in fine calligraphy and edged with hearts.

He smiled and then began to laugh. Casey drove into him hard, the perfect angle proving Casey's assertion that he'd always been good at geometry. Dan gasped and clutched at Casey's arms.

"You're not starting that again," said Casey, unable to hold back his own smile. "Concentrate, Rydell." He thrust again, hitting the same spot, sending Dan's eyes rolling back into his head.

"More," begged Dan, entirely sober now. "More. Of that. What you're doing there. More. Preferably before my legs break off at the hip."

It was Casey's turn to laugh. "Hey, old man, you love me like breathing?"

Dan reached up to cup Casey's face. "Yeah, I love you like breathing."

"Good," said Casey. "Good to know."

And then there was only movement and later ñ much later ñ silence.

Dan woke in the grey dawn, Casey's arm thrown across his chest. He watched as it rose and fell.

Still breathing.


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