Oh, The Places You'll Go

rat_jam Promptathon Fic 1-3

Notes: Three comment fics written for the on-line con rat_jam. What a fantastic weekend that was. Fangirls are awesome!


1. Prompt: Dan/Casey, rain

Stormy Weather

He should have taken an umbrella.

He should have taken an umbrella but he'd only remembered it was raining when he was half way to the exit and if he'd gone back it would have ruined the drama of the thing. You can't storm out and then storm back in thirty seconds later, it's just not done. So he's outside in his shirt-sleeves, light blue cotton slowly staining dark, hands shoved in pockets, stomping along the sidewalk with water dripping from the end of his nose. That's just one more thing to add to the shopping-list of annoyances that he's already feeling. Goddamn it, he doesn't even know where he's going. His wallet is snug and dry on the counter and it's too far to walk to his apartment. So he makes a left and then another left and then another one and he's circling the building like some kind of very irritated bird of prey. He wonders if he seethes enough the water will start to steam off his body. He really hopes so.

It's on his fifth lap of the building that he starts to feel the rain trickling down his leg inside his pants and admits that he's going to have to go back in and that Casey's somehow going to turn Dan's unpreparedness into capitulation. And that does not make him happy because it had been a reasonable request and Casey had just blanked him. Spun him off as if he was an autograph hunter in a bar.

"We should tell Charlie," Dan had said.

"No," said Casey and that, as far as he was concerned, was that.

Dan had laid out the arguments one by one, the length of time they'd been together, his own relationship with Charlie, Charlie's intelligence, the potential for damage that lies cause and to each Casey had just said, "No." He'd even refused to have a proper argument about it. No wonder Dan is so mad. He scowls at the memory and shoves his hands deeper into his pockets though they're as wet there now as they would be if he took them out.

Rounding the corner of the building as he completes his fifth circuit, Dan spies a lonely figure, red umbrella illuminated by the street light above. It's Casey. Of course, it's Casey. Dan halts and Casey comes towards him, proffering the jacket that he's been holding over his arm. He holds the umbrella over Dan, they have to stand close and Dan's dripping onto Casey but he doesn't seem to mind.

"You know," says Casey, "It takes you about four and a half minutes to get all the way round the building. You were a little faster the first time, but then I think the extra pounds the rain gave you slowed you down."

"You've been timing me?"

"Well I had to do something while I was making sure you didn't disappear on me, didn't I?"

"And you let me go round five times before you brought out the umbrella?"

"I thought you might need time to calm down."

"And you thought 'hell, why not get a wet t-shirt contest of one thrown in for free'?"

"That too." Casey leans his head back a little and leers affectionately at Dan's chest, the clinging shirt leaving nothing to the imagination. "Come up, Danny, we'll get you out of those wet clothes." He touches Dan's elbow.

"Aren't you supposed to say 'and into some dry ones'?"

"Now that would just be spoiling it." Casey smiles and Dan has to work hard to stop an answering one appearing on his face.

"I'm mad at you, Casey."

"I know. Come up."

"Really mad."

"I know. Come up."

"I'm not having sex with you."

"Whatever you say, Danny."

"This isn't over."

"It never is."

"Will you make me hot chocolate?"

"With marshmallows if you want."

Dan looks out from under the umbrella, sees the rain sheeting down, glinting silver in the light from the street lamp. He looks back at Casey whose lips are smiling but whose eyes are contrite and decides what the hell? It's not the first time they've had this not-fight and it won't be the last. He tucks his arm through Casey's and they head for the warm and dry.

"You have to pick out all the pink ones, they taste funky," he says and Casey clips him around the head with a wet slap as the door swings closed behind them.


2. Prompt: Dan/Casey, rock and roll

James Dean

"You ready?"

"Yup. Lemme just..." Casey shut down the computer then straightened up. "'K, Danny, let's rock and roll."

"No."

"No?"

"No."

"What no?"

"You can't do it. You don't have it in you."

"I don't have it in me to be ready?" They started walking. "I'm always ready. Raring to go. All guns blazing. Hellza popping."

"No," said Danny. And, "Stop it."

"Stop what?"

"This pathetic attempt to recreate your youth by utilising slang that would have never seen the inside of your mouth in a million years. It's not you, it never was you, it never will be you, now stop it." Dan patted Casey's arm and smiled.

"I'm not-"

"You are, my sadly deluded friend, you are."

Casey couldn't think of a retort that wouldn't descend into schoolyard squabbles so he let the space grow. They were in the car by the time Dan spoke again.

"So what happened?"

"What do you mean?"

"Casey, I've known you for what feels like at least sixty lifetimes, you only start trying to be cool when something's happened. So spill."

Casey stared out of the passenger window at the tree trunks passing by. He liked to count the seconds in between each one, he'd never been able to figure out which amused him more, the exact regularity of their planting or Dan's steady 25mph, never slower, never faster.

"She called me an old man."

"Firstly, she's clearly observant, secondly, who's she?"

"The dark haired girl in the library, the one with the bangs, what's her name?"

"Melissa. Melissa was mean to you? I'm shocked. Shocked and appalled. Maybe your incessant flirting finally ground her down."

"I do not flirt."

"Hey, Melissa," said Dan in his fake-Casey voice, "you're looking very fresh today. Is that a new scent you're wearing? Here is a profound, yet manly tome that I am checking out in order to impress you when really what I wanted was a book on gay sex for the over seventies."

Casey laughed and swatted half-heartedly at Dan, leaving his hand resting on Dan's thigh.

"I do not do that."

"Oh, but you do. It's kinda cute." Dan's hand moves from the wheel to grasp Casey's briefly before returning to the exact same position. His eyes never waver from the road. "Seriously she called you 'old man'? That's not like her."

"Actually there were these teenagers and one of them pushed me a little on the way to the desk. Melissa said 'Be careful, Mr McCall is an old man, have some respect.'"

"So being you, you chose to focus on the old man thing and not on the respect thing. Oh, Casey." Dan shook his head. "And now I'm going to have to put up with the hepcat talk until you've got it out of your system."

"I guess I don't think about it much," said Casey. "Being old. Because I don't feel that way with you. You make me feel rock and roll even if I never liked the music all that much."

"Now that you can say whenever you like."

"I can?"

"Yup."

"Maybe when we get home I'll say it again."

"That, I can handle," said Dan. "I'll bring the rock, you bring the roll. And if we make it out alive, I'll fix you dinner."

"And if we don't?"

"Well you know how it goes: live fast, die young, leave a good-looking corpse. One out of three's not bad."

"No," said Casey, watching the tree trunks beginning to blur as suburbs gave way to forest. "It's not bad at all."


3. Prompt: Dan/Casey, letters

Sincerely Yours

Wish you were here.

No. Trite. Pointless. The postcard is torn up and thrown in the trash. Try again.

Some days I wonder what happened
to all my favorite sweaters. Maybe I never
unpacked them. It's never cold here, but
sometimes I am. Does that make sense?

That one goes in the trash too.

Hey, how's it going? Nat told me that
Charlie's dating now. How the hell did you
let that happen? He's supposed to be a kid
forever, wasn't that the deal? Maybe now he's
all grown up and independent you could come
spend some time out here.

Hell, no. He doesn't want to remind Casey of what broke their partnership in the first place. Trash.

Casey, here's the thing, I miss you more
than I miss the cheesecake from the deli on 3rd,
more than I miss the Staten Island ferry on a
frosty night. More, even, than I miss getting to see
the Knicks romp to the playoffs from courtside.
And I don't know what to do about that.

As if he's going to post that. As if he's dumb enough to put it all on the line in a postcard. It follows the others into the rapidly filling trashcan as do at least ten other failed drafts. He's sitting in the same chair, chewing his pen, hours later when it occurs to him that a single sentence says all that he needs to say. He scrawls.

I'm coming home.

He signs it, stamps it and jogs it down to the mailbox before he can change his mind. The blue box swallows it up and Dan feels the sun on his bare arms. It's warm and he can't stop the smile that spreads across his face. He wonders where those sweaters are.


Contact Cat

Or comment at my LJ