Oh, The Places You'll Go

rat_jam Promptathon Fic 4&5

Notes: Two more comment fics written for the on-line con rat_jam. *hearts fangirls*

4. Prompt: Dan/Casey, gone

Trudging Slowly Over Wet Sand

In the end, it was Casey who left.

Dan stayed exactly where he was, the world shifting around him in jagged, kaleidoscoping patterns while he remained steady at its centre, the point of no change. It still surprised him that this was the case. Every day he would wake and wonder how he was still in the same bed, in the same apartment, getting up to the same breakfast, heading into the same job, exchanging the same banal conversation. It scared him a little, this lack of capacity for change, but not enough to do anything about it.

He should have known it was coming: professional partnerships are forged from a different set of needs than personal ones. He couldn't really have expected to work with Casey until the networks retired them to the old anchors' home in the desert. He couldn't have expected it, but somehow he did and when Casey had moved on (moved up, moved away) Dan had felt betrayed. He'd had the common sense not to show it, to wish Casey well, to smile at the airport gate and to not shake him until his teeth chattered and he promised to always stay. It was only afterwards, after he had watched the plane lifting towards the sky, after he had found himself an anonymous bar, an anonymous bottle of vodka and an anonymous mouth on his cock that he allowed the full weight of his loss to hit him. Gone.

There were too many things to miss. Too much history. Too much potential. All vanished. All packed on the plane with Casey's hand luggage. Of course, there were the modern miracles of phone and e-mail but Dan didn't know how to do this. How to move them from what they were to what they could be. So it was easier to do nothing and nothing is what he did until nothing became the norm and he stopped being an actor in his own story, remembered only how to react.

Then came a day, an ordinary day, nothing special, nothing marking it out as significant. Just a day. But when he woke, Dan felt different. Like someone had shaken the kaleidoscope and now there he was right in the middle of things, transforming. He stared at the sun shafting across his bedroom walls and had a revelation. Every day did not have to be like Sunday. Casey was not the only one who could leave - it didn't have to be an either or. Dan could go too: could take just the parts of himself that he wanted, the best of him, and leave the rest behind. And the excellence of this plan was that he didn't have to go anywhere to get started, because just by accepting the possibility he was already on the road.

There was just one thing he needed to do first.

5. Prompt: Dan/Casey, tumbling after

Vinegar and Brown Paper

Dan and Case went to his place,
Where there was beer and laughter,
Dan fell on the bed and bumped his head,
And Casey came tumbling after.

Or something.

Anyway, now Dan is lying in bed next to a naked Casey and there has to be a reason that they got there. Other than the fact that he's wanted to get into Casey's pants for some number of years that he's not going to count because then he'll have to face the fact that he's old, old, old and it's way too early in the morning for that. At least, he's assuming it's the morning but he's had blackout curtains since forever because he can't sleep if it's light and working the hours he does that's a problem in the summer months. On second thoughts it might not be morning because he is most definitely rambling and rambling is what he does when he's drunk. Or nervous. He glances at the apparently sleeping man in the bed next to him and his heart thumps in a way that is not entirely pain free. Oh, he's definitely nervous.

He stretches out a hand to touch Casey's hair but stops before he reaches it, hand hovering in mid air. He's not sure he's ready to deal with the consequences of an awake and probably freaked out Casey. Alcohol can only explain so much. For example, it can explain the headache that's settled in between his eyes and appears to be making itself quite comfortable there, but it doesn't explain the throbbing at the back of Dan's head somewhere in the general vicinity of the top of his right ear. Dan pulls his hand back and aims a cautious prod at the area. Ouch!

His head is in Casey's hands, bodies manoeuvring through the dark, hands too busy finding their way under things to be concerned with putting the light on. He stumbles hard against the bed, falling awkwardly, hits his head on the bed post. Casey collapses on top of him, giggling, apologising, promising to make it better. Makes it so very, very much better.

Dan can't say who instigates the first kiss. Actually, that really gets him pissed when people are telling him their stories and are all 'it just happened.' No. It didn't. Someone says something and then someone moves in a certain way and then signals are passed and then whatever 'it' is happens. It's never out of the blue, never from thin air, it's just descriptive laziness and an unwillingness to accept responsibility in case anything goes wrong. Or so he's always thought. But he thinks about him and Casey and he can't say. They're laughing at The Daily Show which Dan has taped and sharing some new-fangled European beer, just being Dan and Casey, Casey and Dan, and then his arms are around Casey's neck and Casey's tongue is in his mouth and it's like coming out of suspended animation, everything switched on and turned up to eleven. It just happens.

Jack doesn't throw them out of the bar; it's more of a suggestion. Casey doesn't exactly invite himself back to Dan's place either and neither does Dan, but there must have been a suggestion because he's there, they're both there. And Casey has toed off his shoes and is sitting on the couch, knees bent, head lolling backwards and looking exactly like he belongs there. Dan hands him a bottle of beer and sits next to him, legs splayed. It's comfortable here. It's home. He reaches for the remote.

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