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Monday Morning Blues

by A S Lawrence

[Story Headers]

That Monday, Dan had called from his car to say he was snarled up in traffic and would be late, so when he came through the door of their office, Casey only glanced up absently from the script he was working on, mumbled, "Hi," and went back to writing.

A moment later he registered what he'd seen and looked back up again.

"Danny?"

"M'm?" Dan was trying to sound nonchalant, but it was coming out as 'defensive'. It was something Casey hadn't experienced in all the years he and Dan had known one another, but was it possible that Dan was actually ... embarrassed?

"What are you wearing?"

Dan shrugged. "You want the whole list? Reeboks, sweatshirt, teeshirt, 501s, Calvins, socks..."

Yes. Embarrassed, and hoping to change the subject.

"Danny. I don't want you to think I was staring at your ass or anything, but those jeans ..."

Dan moved gradually - and carefully - around the office till he was behind the table, but didn't sit down. "Something wrong with them?" he asked, with a casualness so fake it should've been labelled 'Made in Taiwan'.

"Don't you think they're a little ... um ..." And wasn't it, Casey wondered, a little warm in the room?

"What?"

"Did you buy the wrong size?"

Because the jeans Dan was wearing might as well have been painted on, for all that they left to the imagination. And they were taking Casey's mind to places he was not at all certain he wanted to be taken. Certainly not first thing on a Monday morning.

Dan sighed, and finally, rather gingerly, sat. "You know I went up to my parents' place Saturday evening?"

"Yes?"

Dan wriggled a little, thought better of it, and sat very still. "Well. My mom thought she'd do my laundry while I was up there."

Eventually, Casey knew, he'd get the whole story. "And?"

"Casey, you know my mom's not good at that stuff." Dan glanced down at himself; Casey thought he winced. "I guess she boiled them, or something. They - well, they shrank."

"Yes," Casey said dryly, "they certainly did."

Dan shifted uncomfortably again. "I was hoping they'd ease up a little ..."

"No luck?"

"Does it look like it?"

Casey had been trying not to look, but that was as good an invitation as he thought he'd be likely to get. He looked. After a moment, he realised that what he was actually doing was staring, and managed to tear his eyes away. "No," he said, lamely, "I guess not." Then he grinned. "You know, they remind me of that joke about the Amish meeting house-"

Dan grunted unappreciatively. "Already heard it." He eased himself up out of his chair again.

"Going somewhere?"

"It hurts to sit," Dan said sadly. "I'm going to have to figure out a whole new way of working."

"Guess your mom's not in any hurry for grandkids, huh?" Casey said unkindly, and only grinned all the harder at the dirty look Dan threw him.

Then Dana stuck her head through the doorway. Took one look at Dan. And said, "Oh-my-good-lord-almighty!"

Dan glared at her. "Is that all you have to say?"

For a moment Casey thought Dana was laughing too hard to talk, but finally she managed, "Danny, if I said what I'm really thinking right now, QV would still be paying off their sexual harassment lawyers 20 years down the line. You'd better go home and change."

Dan breathed out a huge sigh of relief. "Can I?"

"I think you'd better. Before Kim sees you."

A long, low whistle came from the direction of the bullpen. Dan groaned.

"Too late!"

"That wasn't Kim," Natalie reported, popping up suddenly by Dana's elbow. "That was Elliott." She crossed over to Dan and stalked around him in a slow, predatory circle, running her eyes over his lower body with a terrifyingly intense scrutiny. Finally, "You know, Danny, you should go work for the post office. 'Cause that's an awfully big- "

"I'm going home!" Dan announced, and fled. Or tried to. The best he could manage was a rapid, rather stiff-legged walk.

Casey caught up with him by the elevator. "I'll drive you," he told him.

"I can manage," Dan said. "I made it all the way down here, didn't I?"

"And you want to handle the cross-town traffic, too?"

Dan's shoulders slumped in defeat. "Not really," he admitted.

"Well," Casey said, as he followed Dan through the elevator doors, "you just had to get a stick shift..."


Twenty minutes later, at Dan's apartment, Dan came out of his bathroom and huffed out a sigh of relief. "Sweatpants!" he declared gratefully. "Maybe they're not a fashion statement, but god. They've never felt so good."

Casey looked up from his document - he was still working on the script; it was the only way Dana had agreed to let both of them out of her sight - and nodded. "Feeling a little better, now?"

"A lot." Dan collapsed next to him on the couch and spread his legs out. "Oh, god, that really does feel good!"

"You can spare me the details," Casey said hurriedly, and snapped his laptop shut. "You wearing those back to work?"

"I'm making it Casual Monday," Dan said. He tipped his head back and sighed. "I guess those jeans are gonna be headed to the Salvation Army now. Damn. I was just getting them worn in."

"You should keep them," Casey said, surprising himself. And Dan, whose head swung sharply toward him.

"Keep them?"

And now Casey could feel himself reddening. But since he'd started to speak his mind ...

"Keep them," he said, firmly. "They looked good on you."

Now Dan was trying not to smile. "You thought so?"

"I thought so."

"Thought you weren't looking at my ass?"

"I lied."

"You did." Danny shifted around to look at him; he was definitely smiling now. "What else have you been lying about, Casey?"

"Oh ... just about everything. Most of my life. You?"

"I don't think of it as 'lying'," Danny said softly. "It's just 'don't ask, don't tell'. Are you asking?"

"I'm saying."

"Then I'll ask." He leaned forward; his lips just brushed Casey's. "Do you want me?"

Casey lifted his hand; touched Dan's face. "I want you," he said. "I've always wanted you. I want... what?"

Dan was looking at his watch. "Not to destroy the moment or anything, but what I don't want is to be killed by Dana. We have to get back." He touched Casey's hand. "Later?"

"Later," Casey promised.

And that was Monday.

[December 2004]

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Fandom:  Sports Night
Title:  Monday Morning Blues
Author:  A S Lawrence   [email]
Details:  Standalone  |  PG  |  *slash*  |  6k  |  05/24/06
Characters:  Casey, Dan
Pairings:  Casey/Dan
Summary:  In which Dan suffers a minor wardrobe malfunction.

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