There's Denver, with the tricked out limo and the adjoining hotel rooms. For five days, they live out of exploded suitcases, possessions strewn between two rooms. "Keith, get your crap out of here or I'm keeping it," she tells him the first night they are in town. He waves her off, and she makes good on her threat. When she wakes him up Monday morning -- by throwing one of her sneakers at him -- she's wearing his dress shirt, and his eyes nearly pop out of his head before he remembers to act indignant.
They kill his minibar the second night in Denver, Rachel hanging upside down off the edge of Keith's bed, a little bottle of Jack in her hand. "This is awesome," she says, and he doesn't know what she's talking about. It could be the convention or the head rush she's getting, but he agrees with her anyway because her shirt has ridden up and he can see a little bit of skin. "Throw me the three-dollar Snickers bar, would you?" she says, making grabby hands.
The third night -- Wednesday morning, really -- they attack Rachel's minibar, sitting on her bed with junk food and booze. "Who's on the other side?" Keith asks, pointing to the wall behind them, and he starts laughing when Rachel tells him it's Pat. Halfway through the last of the minibottles, Keith slaps the wall with his palm and moans out, "Oh, God, Rach," and it snowballs from there. By the time the implied dildo comes into it, Rachel almost has to smother herself with a pillow to muffle her laughter.
The night after that is when all the pundits hit the hotel bar. Rachel blushes fuchsia every time Pat so much as looks in her or Keith's direction, and Keith couldn't have planned it better himself.
Thursday night, as it bleeds into the early hours of Friday, is different, exhausted and introspective as they sprawl on Keith's bed in the darkened room. Rachel speaks slowly, choosing her words carefully as she lies on her back, her head at the foot of the bed. Keith sits against the headboard, listening to her speak, hearing her voice more than her words as he toys with the hem of her pants. He can picture the two of them, juniors in college, thinking they know everything, passing a joint between them and talking like this, about things bigger than them. When she falls silent for a moment, he slips his finger beneath the hem of her jeans, tracing her anklebone and asking, "What do you think we could have been like?"
She misses him in Saint Paul.
They get shipped off to San Francisco to cover Proposition 8. It's not Prop 8 anymore, really; it's been proposed and ratified and challenged and upheld. But there are riots, and MSNBC sends them -- anchors, not reporters, and Keith wonders when the hell he and Rachel started to look like Anderson Cooper. (He's out there, too, Anderson Cooper and his fucking black t-shirt and his God damned fake neutrality, and Keith will never, ever understand that man.)
With the budget cuts, they're sharing a room in a Super 8, and Keith feels like there is a certain tone deafness to that decision, like maybe it wouldn't have killed them to go for Motel 6 instead. Rachel doesn't seem to mind, but he can't be sure -- she hasn't said much since the plane landed, him holding her hand in a death grip as she chattered pointlessly, trying to distract him from his hatred of flying.
After the third day of covering the riots, she's still too quiet. The most he hears her say, other than when she's on the air, is when she locks herself in the bathroom and calls home every night, talking in hushed tones. He thinks she's taking this personally -- he knows he is, and he doesn't even have a stake in this. He thinks her being here is a huge fucking mistake, and he wants to stick her on a plane and send her home and write an angry email to the dumbass who thought sending her out here was anything other than a horrible idea. But he knows she would kill him for that, so he keeps his mouth shut.
At Fenway Park, someone knocks the Yankees cap off his head. He turns around, ready for a fight he knows he can't have, and he finds himself eye-to-eye with Rachel, who is grinning at him from beneath her Red Sox hat.
"I could have decked you," he grumbles, and her grin just gets bigger.
"You couldn't hit the broad side of a barn," she says, taking a sip of her beer. She goes wide-eyed as she has a mock revelation. "Kind of like Cano, actually. It's cute how you have that in common."
He snorts at her and crouches to pick up his hat, which Rachel kicks away from him. He glares up and her and says, "Ah, immaturity. A trademark of the Red Sox fan, right alongside a propensity toward drunkenness." He grabs his hat, brushes some dust off it, and sticks it back on his head. He grabs Rachel by the waist and uses her to haul himself up.
"Grabby hands," she notes. "A hallmark of the Yankee fan -- strangely, this is also alongside a propensity toward drunkenness."
"Well, what do you know? I guess we're not so different after all." He knocks her hat off.
"Jackass," she says, picking up her hat. She stuffs it into the back pocket of her jeans.
"You shouldn't insult the guy who can get you onto the field."
She gives him a dubious look. "Right, because I totally want to hang with the Yankees."
"I like ya, kid, ya know that?" he says in some weird 1950s Brooklyn accent. Throwing an arm over Rachel's shoulders, he starts walking them down the stairs, toward the home team's dugout. "And because I like ya, I'm willin' to do this for ya." He drops the accent. "But you're going to owe me, because I don't like you quite that much."
"You don't get to impress girls very often, do you?" Rachel asks, smiling at him.
"With baseball? Rarely."
"Well, I am impressed," Rachel assures him. "But you're not getting laid. You might be willing to switch teams for the afternoon, but I'm not."
Keith chuckles. "How about trading teams in a less metaphorical way? You, me, and the Yankees and the Phillies in a couple weeks."
"I can do that," Rachel agrees. "You know, I'm glad I ran into you today."