Oh, The Places You'll Go

Don't Know Much About Fate

Notes: Some schmoop written for sn_playbook's Happy Endings challenge.


He'd done his best. Saints couldn't do more. Not least because saints weren't supposed to spend their time hoping that straight men would become homosexual. Though there was always Saint Sebastian, he supposed. Casey giggled. And then suspected he was getting punchy. He had no idea where Dan was now, no idea whether he was going to make the show, no idea what to say to him if and when he did turn up.

Pity that hadn't been the case a few hours before.

*

It hadn't been anything special. Dan hadn't been wearing anything that made him hotter than he usually was. He wasn't being smarter, funnier, cuter (did Casey just think 'cuter'? There was no help, oh god) or in any way more. He was simply being Dan — singing a little tongue twister about the Red Wings to himself as he typed. And for a fleeting second the Dan-ness of Dan became overwhelming and before Casey knew it his mouth was open and words were coming out.

"Fuck, I love you!" he exclaimed then clamped his lips tight, appalled at his audacity. Years of repression were not supposed to lead to this.

Dan's head jerked up and Casey felt as if he was being strip-searched by the intensity of his gaze. Yup, that definitely hadn't come out as a friendly 'love you, man' — the kind they traded when drunk or in times of stress. He couldn't have been clearer if he'd been squashed in a press until he turned into an overlarge diamond.

"What do you want me to do with that, Casey?" Dan's voice was deadly calm. Casey would have much rather faced down a tornado — he had the bunker mentality down.

"I ... I don't know," he stumbled.

Dan looked down and around, searching for something Casey couldn't see.

"What are you looking for?"

"The rug. You know, the one that you just yanked out from under my feet."

Casey swallowed hard.

"I'm sorry. But I meant it. I shouldn't have said it like that. I should've ... I don't know what. Let me explain." He rose and made to move from behind the desk. Dan held up a hand stopping Casey in his tracks.

"No." Dan's face was shuttered; he wasn't letting Casey in any time soon. "You don't get to do that right now." He stood up.

"Where are you going?"

"Somewhere. Anywhere. In case you hadn't noticed, you kinda freaked me out here, Casey. I'll ..." he gestured vaguely. "I'll see you, okay?"

And then Casey was alone.

*

Casey was surprised at how normally he'd managed to continue his day. Spurned declaration of love? No matter, the script was still done with a liberal sprinkling of — dare he say it? — Trademark McCall wit, he'd withstood Natalie's constantly looping "Where is he? What did you do? Where is he? What did you do?" punctuated with random ear-boxing, he was suited and booted and ready to roll.

Still no sign of Dan. Casey thought he was probably going to have to get used to it. Time enough to let it hurt like hell after the show. With thirty seconds to spare, Dan arrived, nodding curtly to Casey as he sat down and let himself be wired up. Casey wondered how easy it would be to talk with a boot pressed into his stomach and his heart flip-flopping like a fish on a line. Turned out he was the consummate professional. Score, indeed.

Afterwards, he thought Dan would escape as soon as possible but he leant over, touched Casey's arm briefly and said,

"My office, Mr McCall."

Casey didn't argue the point.

He sat as far into the corner of the couch as he could — making sure Dan knew he was giving him space. Dan didn't seem to want it. He sat close — almost, but not quite, touching. It didn't mean anything, Casey told himself. Dan was a touchy-feely kind of guy.

"So," said Dan.

"So."

"You're totally in love with me." And Casey was relieved to hear a hint of laughter in Dan's voice.

"Turns out, yeah."

"Of course you are. I'm all that plus, I believe, tax." Dan nodded sagely. "This demonstrates that you are a man of impeccable taste, if lousy timing."

"Yes," said Casey, unsure of how to take Dan's teasing.

"It's interesting."

"What?"

"I, on the other hand, am a man of lousy taste, though impeccable timing."

"How do you figure?"

"You're hanging by a thread right now, aren't you?"

"You have no idea."

"You would say that now would be a perfect time for a rescue?"

"I see no life-boats."

"That's because you're not looking at me." Dan's voice dipped low and Casey felt it melting his spine. He looked at Dan.

"Land ahoy," said Dan, brushing Casey's cheek with soft fingers.

"I appreciate the effort, Danny. I do. But I think you're mixing your boat-based metaphors."

"You want me to take my boats and play in some other guy's bath?"

"No."

"Then shut up and kiss me before I change my mind."

Casey's lips were millimetres away from Dan's when realisation hit him and he stopped.

"Hey!" he said, offended. "You said you had lousy taste."

"So what?" said Dan smiling and sliding his hand into Casey's hair. "I've got impeccable-"


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