Oh, The Places You'll Go

Nothing More, Nothing Less

Notes: So, it turns out I don't do things by halves? I thought to myself, thought I, I haven't written an SN drabble for a good wee while and 'Time' is an excellent prompt. I should do that then. So I did. Only, I kind of wrote 24 linked drabbles, one for each hour in a day. 0-60 in 5 seconds? Me? Go on.

12 am

Dan's high on post-show adrenaline, talking a mile-a-minute and Casey nods and hmms in all the right places. His mind isn't on the words Dan's shaping with his mouth, though, it's on the mouth itself, the curve of it, the promise of the smooth slide of lips against Casey's own.

He watches Dan in the mirror as he almost takes an eye out; hands describing the perfect Hail Mary pass that saw the Redskins take the game with two seconds to spare while simultaneously removing his make-up. Casey smiles as Dan shakes it off, bulldozes on.

"Yeah," thinks Casey. "Yeah."

1 am

It's a race against time; Elliot has a draught beer, Dan a bottle of Rolling Rock and Kim some noxious green cocktail, paper umbrella removed and handed off to Casey. He twirls it mindlessly.

Casey has Dan to win, bets the thick, creamy consistency of Kim's drink and the sheer volume of Elliot's will slow them down. He's forgotten about the bubbles, though, and Dan's quick pulls result in foam effervescing from cool, green glass. Dan swallows frantically.

Casey can't tear his gaze from the droplet sliding down Dan's neck, over his bobbing Adam's apple. He isn't thinking about beer.

2 am

Dan's at the other end of the bar, talking to some red-head who's trailing slender fingers along his arm. Casey considers the distance and how fast he could move through the crowded room. If he divides the former by the latter he can work out how long it would take before he could get to her, prizing manicured nails from Dan's sleeve.

Or maybe he could call out, because sound doesn't travel as fast as light but faster than Casey, and his voice would say, 'Back off,' and it would say, 'It's time to go now. Come home with me.'

3 am

"Are you coming up?" It's a stupid question and Casey doesn't really expect a response.

He doesn't get one. Dan walks a half-step behind and Casey can sense his proximity as they wait for the elevator. His heart beats faster and he's half-hard before they even step through the doors.

The ride to Casey's floor is exactly long enough for Casey to hook his fingers through Dan's belt loops, pull him in and press their mouths together in a kiss that's almost chaste at the lips and grinding at the hips.

It's not time yet, but it will be soon.

4 am

"So," says Dan, drawing out the vowel like he's been drawing out pulls on his bottled beer, mouth slip-sliding along the neck in a way that Casey can only categories as obscene. The word is loaded.

It means, 'Wanna fuck?"

It means, 'Shouldn't we be better at this by now?'

It means, 'I'm still waiting.'

Casey puts his own bottle down on the table, neatly centered on a coaster. He wonders how it is that his belly still fizzes with thrilling terror; after months of the same dance it's still as new each time. "So," he says.

It means, 'Yes.'

5 am

Dan's lips are stretched around him, pink and glistening and Casey's knees begin to shake. He's not ready to come yet, Dan's warm, wet mouth and sure, steady fingers are making him forget everything but the sharp points of pleasure buried deep. Watching Dan's mouth on him is driving Casey insane, pushing him too close, but closing his eyes isn't an option, he needs to see, to know why Dan is doing this, to know who he is.

Dan's tongue swirls around the head of Casey's cock and he gasps, hips jerking.

Not ready. Not yet.

Casey starts to count.

6 am

It's a gentle slide into sleep and Casey isn't sure at first that he's there, because here is Dan, pulling on his shoes.

"I can't wait," he's saying, voice echoic.

"Can't wait for what?" asks Casey, struggling up in bed and wondering why his comforter is made of shimmering electric eels.

"I'm late, I'm late," says Dan, turning around and displaying a white puff of a tail.

"For what?" asks Casey again, trying to get out of bed but thwarted by eels sliding around his ankles and wrists, binding him still.

"I can't tell you," says Dan, regretful, and disappears.

7 am

Casey struggles awake, fretful and confused, his breath coming fast and shallow and his eyes dart around the room despite the blackout curtains hiding everything but the barest outlines. He knows without looking that Dan's asleep next to him, but he reaches out to touch all the same, needing reassurance.

His hand rises and falls with each breath Dan takes and Casey finds himself counting along; in and out for a count of three. The regularity of it soothes the turbulent edges of the half-forgotten dream and Casey's own breathing slowly synchronizes.

He drifts away again, hand still in place.

8 am

Clocks of all shapes and sizes cover every wall; cuckoo clocks and grandfather clocks, rhinestone-set monstrosities and designer digital displays.

Casey learned to tell the time when he was five so he could get up in time for Saturday morning cartoons without disturbing anyone but these clocks are a mystery to him. They might as well be modern art for all the sense they're making. He's turning round and round in the middle of the room, muttering, "Yes, but what time is it?" a looped track going nowhere.

"Time to wake up," says Dan, appearing from thin air. "It's late."

9 am

Casey's hand flails at the alarm clock, blind fingers finding the off-button through long practice. One of these days he'll remember to switch the damn thing off when it's not needed. Today is not that day.

"'S Sunday," mumbles Dan into Casey's shoulder, "Sleepy time."

There's dampness on Casey's skin where the corner of Dan's mouth presses against it. Intellectually, Casey does not find drool appealing, but that message doesn't seem to have gotten through to his limbic system because it makes his heart clench and his thumb come round to press lightly against Dan's lips.

"No hurry," he says.

10 am

Once upon a time Casey'd thought of himself as an up-and-at-'em kind of guy. These days, not so much. Bladder relieved and oral hygiene perpetrated, he's more than happy to climb back into bed with Dan, trading slow, lazy kisses and desultory comments about the previous day's events.

Tracing a hand down Dan's side, watching skin pucker with fake-cold, Casey wonders when he'd become this guy. Simplistically the change isn't that big; he's always spent most of his spare time with Dan, now he spends most of his spare time with Dan naked – one word creating a universe of difference.

11 am

Casey loves to watch Dan writhe, loves the dull flush in his cheeks and the way his mouth twists in an expression of pleasure that walks the line so close to pain. He loves to hold Dan down, immobilizing him as he slides his fingers into Dan's ass, pushing against the right spot to make his cock twitch and his hands beat uselessly against the sheets.

Casey loves to make Dan's heavy-lidded eyes fly open with shock and want as he replaces fingers with a fist, tight heat slowly giving way as Casey takes his time and takes Dan apart.

12 pm

The slow drip of the coffee machine is, apparently, Chinese water torture to Dan.

"I could have instant," he whines.

"I don't have instant," Casey says. "It's full of additives."

"Yes, but it has caffeine and is ready in an instant. It doesn't drip, drip, drip and try to kill me."

"Isn't coffee was supposed to give you a heart attack if you drink too much, not if you don't get any?"

"I'm buying you a new machine for Christmas," says Dan.

Casey supposes this means Dan's going to be around for a while. He smiles and pours the coffee.

1 pm

Casey clasps his hands above his head and stretches, muscles pulling like taffy, warm and comforting like the quiet hours stretching in front of them. His elbows crack pistol-loud and he drops his arms. It doesn't hurt, but it feels like it should. Dan looks impressed and Casey can't help but grin at him.

"What do you want to do today?" he asks, ignoring the fact that that half the day has already slipped past unnoticed.

Dan drops his gaze and stares at the detritus of breakfast. "I have a date," he says quietly.

"Oh," says Casey and time stops.

2 pm

Casey is rarely without a watch. There's a clock of some description in every room in the apartment, all keeping exactly the same time. It's not that Casey is worried about being late — though he prides himself on punctuality — it's that when he is is as important to Casey as where.

If time is passing he wants to know about it.

Since Dan left Casey's been checking the clocks every two minutes. They all tell him the same thing; time is still passing, it's simply choosing to pass second by agonizingly slow second.

Casey thinks he might be going crazy.

3 pm

It takes six seconds to pace the length of Casey's living room and twenty-two to circumnavigate it. Thirty-one if the kitchenette is included.

They've never made promises. Not once. Not in all the years they've been friends, not in the months since they've become ... more. Casey is fairly sure it's mostly his fault, Dan's always been more open, more giving, even when he's keeping parts of himself walled off. Casey is the cautious one, the one who looks both ways at least four times before crossing the street. He probably deserves this.

It takes fifty-four minutes to reach a decision.

4 pm

Dan's apartment is walking distance from Casey's but Casey's had one too many encounters on street corners with pale, fidgety girls or brassy, gum-chewing women, or — on one notable occasion — a slim-hipped, dark-haired boy not much older than Charlie, that he'd rather put his life in the hands of a New York taxi driver.

Today's cabbie doesn't say much, thankfully, and seems to sense the urgency that Casey's trying to keep tamped down.

Despite apparently meeting the city's entire allocation of roadworks, they make it to Dan's in record time. Casey tips lavishly and gets out.

It's now or never.

5 pm

The 'just out to buy a paper' excuse had soon worn thin. An hour is too long to vacillate, Casey knows.

"Why are you really here, Casey?" asks Dan.

Casey clenches his fists, steeling himself. He looks up, straight into Dan's eyes, friendly and concerned. "I-" he starts and falters. Dan waits and the room is quiet enough for Casey to hear the tick-tick of his watch in place of the thud of his heart.

"Don't date anyone else," he says in a rush. "Ever." And as Dan smiles as bright as the sun, Casey's heart starts to beat again.

6 pm

Casey's not one for great declarations and he's rarely one who wants to be fucked but today he needs it. Needs to let Dan see he fills Casey up and if he can't tell him in words, then he'll have to show him with his body.

Dan's biceps strain as he balances above Casey, tiny increments of movement pushing him deeper inside. His face, fierce with concentration but completely unshuttered makes Casey's heart race. A long time coming, the burn is sweeter for the knowledge of why they're here, together, now.

Casey spreads his legs wider and lets Dan in.

7 pm

The years have retreated, it seems, because Casey has the energy of his youth if not the speed of recovery. He kneels, Dan's soft dick in his mouth. Dan protests half-heartedly but Casey's always been goal-oriented. He sucks gently, cockhead swelling against his tongue, fingers massaging Dan's balls, pressing into sensitive skin behind.

Bringing Dan to half-mast, Casey lets him fall and turns him around, broad hands spreading Dan apart. He licks deep into the cleft then searches out Dan's entrance. He licks again and again and his world narrows; there is no space, no time, only this. Only Dan.

8 pm

"In the spirit of total disclosure," starts Dan, one finger pausing in its constant circling of Casey's nipple.

"Hmm?" Casey's blissed out and inattentive.

"I ... um ... didn't have a date."

It's a delayed reaction but it's there and Casey bolts upright, staring down at Dan. "What?"

Dan screws up his face. "I faked it. We needed to ... I didn't think you'd want 'The Talk', this seemed a better option." He offers up his best 'love me' smile.

"I should be mad," says Casey. "But I kinda like the Machiavellian look on you."

"Well, okay then," says Dan and kisses him.

9 pm

"I'm starving," says Casey and his stomach lets out a long, grumbling whine. "I haven't eaten since breakfast. That's hours ago."

"Whose fault is that?" asks Dan, getting up anyway. "You can have grilled cheese or popcorn, what's your poison?"

"Jesus, Danny, you ever heard of a thing called a store?"

"I haven't exactly been around here much lately," says Dan over his shoulder as he leaves the room. "For that you're getting the moldy bit of the cheese."

He should take better care of himself, thinks Casey. And, He should move in. It should scare him, but it doesn't.

10 pm

Dan's lips are smooth and frictionless, a stark contrast with the rough scrape of stubble against Casey's skin. It's something that took Casey time to get used to but now he can't imagine being without it.

They kiss deeply, slow and languorous, tight-pressed together, arms twined around each other, rocking gently. Casey calculates his heart has beaten at least a thousand times since they fell back into bed and wonders how many millions of times more it will beat for him, for them. He is amazed at its strength, how much it can hold without bursting. He hopes Dan understands.

11 pm

Casey's not used to sleeping in Dan's bed, the comforter's heavier than he likes and a shaft of orange light slants across the corner of it, highlighting the swell of his feet but casting everything else into deeper shadow. He hopes sleep won't prove elusive; he never sleeps well away from home.

Dan shifts against him, hair tickling Casey's chin, fingers brushing through his chest hair and Casey twists to kiss the top of Dan's head and meets Dan's hand with his own, curling his fingers around Dan's palm.

Bone-tired, Casey closes his eyes and redefines his conception of home.

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