Oh, The Places You'll Go

Two Arms To Cling To

Notes: Written for the sn_playbook cliché challenge.


"Come on, Danny, you've been in there forever. God, you are such a woman."

"Er," floated Dan's voice from behind the bathroom door. "About that."

"About what?"

"You always calling me a woman."

"I wouldn't always call you one if you didn't behave like one. Come on, Danny, we're going to be late." Casey banged the side of his head lightly against the door. Unfortunately that was the moment Dan opened the door and Casey stumbled sideways grabbing at Dan's arm as he fell, hand brushing across Dan's breasts.

"About time too," he snapped, righting himself. "Dana's gonna-" He stopped dead.

Dan's breasts.

Dan's.

Breasts.

Casey realized he was staring.

"Hey there, Casey," said Dan, managing to sound amused and distressed at the same time. "D'you think you could stop ogling my boobs for just a second and, you know, look at me?"

Casey tried. He really tried. But whenever his gaze got as far as Dan's neck — now New! Improved! Adam's Apple Free! — he found he couldn't go any further and down it dropped again. This wasn't happening. He was still asleep, that's what it was. Dan's hand, still the same, yet somehow subtly different, grasped his chin and forced it upwards. Felt real enough. Trembling, Casey forced himself to look properly at his partner.

Oh, yes, this was Danny. Same liquid eyes, warm, dark and expressive, same cheekbones and gentle curve to his — her — jaw, the lines smoothed out some, that was all. Same beautiful mouth. Exact same mouth, quirking in the way that meant Danny was not as calm as he was pretending to be.

Casey put his hands on Dan's shoulders in what he hoped was a reassuring clasp; only they were narrower now, sloping down from Dan's neck into slender arms, taught with tension. Casey's hands missed and slid down Dan's upper arms, stopping just above the elbow.

"Oh god," he whispered. "Danny, what have you done?"

"What have I done?" squeaked Dan in a falsetto voice. Both of them looked alarmed at this development. Dan coughed and tried again. "What have I done?" That was better. The voice was still new, not quite Danny's, but similar enough for Casey to feel reassured.

"I didn't do anything. I woke up, stumbled to the bathroom to take a leak and ... and found a vital piece of equipment missing."

"And you didn't yell the place down?"

"I think I may have been in shock."

"In shock."

"Uhuh."

"And you weren't at all, how might I say it — practicing — with your new body?"

Dan's mouth dropped open and he shook Casey's hands off him.

"Practicing? Practicing?!" If his voice got any higher he was going to take off. "Casey, I went to sleep with fully functioning boy parts which, I have to say, I'd grown quite fond of over the years, especially the later ones where you've grown quite fond of them too and I woke up minus my genitalia, stretching out my favorite sleeping t-shirt with these, these things," he waved his hands frantically at his breasts which were, indeed, stretching out the worn, gray, cotton fabric, "dealing with all this hair," and only now Casey took in the bob that fell in waves from a central parting, skimming Dan's jaw, "and see-sawing between homicidal rage and an overwhelming desire to eat chocolate cake and pet kittens. PRACTISING?!"

Casey took a step backwards. And then another and another until he was safely back in the bedroom. This was like PMT Lisa on speed. With her the safest thing had been to hand over chocolate and then speak only when spoken to until it was all over. He had no clue at all how he was supposed to handle Dan.

And then the sobbing started and Casey was filled with anguish. How could he be thinking of self-preservation at a time like this? In a split second he had Dan in his arms and was murmuring words of comfort in his ear.

"We'll figure it out, Danny. We'll do it together. I promise."

"Really?" Dan's voice was wet and pathetic as he squirmed in Casey's arms, twisting his head around to press into the side of Casey's neck. The squirming made Casey hyperaware of Dan's breasts pressed into his chest. This was so weird. It had taken long enough to get used to the feel of a man under his hands, the hard smoothness of Dan, the roughness of his face in the morning a sharp contrast to the soft arcs and flowery smells of the women who had shared his bed.

If this had happened five years ago, even three, Casey would have been delighted. Dan in a woman's body — he could have everything he wanted, he wouldn't have to make any hard decisions. Cake and cookies too.

Casey would be a liar if he couldn't admit that underneath all the freaking out he was a little turned on by this, if he didn't confess that he wanted to slip one hand underneath Dan's t-shirt and map the new curves with delicate fingers, wanted to feel slip his hands inside Dan's shorts and feel the heat of him, the wetness of him, see if he could make Dan come over and over again, make him forget his own name, that he ever was a man as the pleasure rolled through him, a circular storm.

But that meant nothing — idle curiosity at best. Because it had taken years for Casey to understand what Dan meant to him, more years to accept what that meant and while it was never going to be the easiest relationship, the most socially acceptable, it was what Casey wanted. Exactly what Casey wanted. Five o'clock shadow, flat chest, wobbly (not-so-wobbly) man bits and all. He hugged Dan tighter to him, searching out his familiar smell. That, at least, hadn't changed.

"We'll fix this. I want my Dan back," he repeated.

Dan pulled back and looked at him, expression so open and shining that it set off fireworks in Casey's stomach.

"You do?"

"Of course."

Dan's smile widened and then his eyes narrowed in what Casey could only describe as an attempt at sultry.

"In the interests of furthering scientific progress, I think we should maybe test this body's responses first."

Sometimes, and only sometimes, Casey caught on quick.

"Practice?"

"Practice," confirmed Dan.

"For science?"

"You know me, altruistic to the end."

"I could stand to know you better."

"For science?"

"Naturally."

"Then let the research begin."


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