Casey has known he was gay since college.
Sure, there was Dana and Lisa and Dana and Pixley and Dana, and over and above all of them there was Charlie, but Casey was gay. Gay, gay, gay. He was well-dressed, he listened to the Starland Vocal Band, and that gay men knowing how to dance thing was a stereotype perpetuated by the popular media.
Danny, though, Danny didn't believe that Casey was gay. Danny tapped his finger on his desk in time with each name he threw out as a challenge.
He had a headache. "What about Dana?"
"Dana, Casey," Dan said, swirling his hands through the air. "Is a woman. She watches a lot of sports and has many brothers yet no sisters, but she is, strictly speaking, in terms of her gender and addiction to shoes, a woman."
"Yes, Dan, Dana is a woman. She is quite womanly. She exhibits feminine wiles and," this is not how he imagined this conversation would go. "Buys shoes."
"Being that she gave birth to my son I think we can safely assume that, yes, Lisa is a woman."
"Harpy," Dan muttered.
"Harpies have the head and torso of a woman, and the hindquarters of a bird."
"Case?" Dan peered up at him and grinned. "Does Lisa have the hindquarters of a bird?"
"Then she's a woman. And Pixley was a woman. And every other woman I've seen you date has been," Dan sped up his tapping until he was delivering a credible drumroll on top of his notes for tonight's show. "Wait for it, Case… a woman!"
His headache was worsening. Casey rubbed his temples and idly wondered if he was going gray, if the very act of speaking with Danny was giving him gray hairs years before his time. "This is going to make me less appealing to our male viewers between the ages of eighteen and thirty-four," he mumbled.
"What is? Your dating of women?"
"The gray hairs you're giving me."
"Lisa gave you those." Danny stepped around the desk, coming to a stop in front of Casey. He leaned in close. "I don't see any gray hairs."
"Oh, they're there."
"Are you trying to convince me that you're gay by displaying an unusual interest in your personal grooming?"
"No." Casey pushed Dan's hands from his shoulders where they'd come to rest and took half a step back. "I am trying to convince you that you're doing physical harm to me with your stubbornness." He threw himself down on the sofa with a sigh. "I'm gay, Danny. I, Casey McCall, am a homosexual."
"No you're not."
"Yes I am."
"No you're not."
"Yes I—" Casey balled his hand into a fist and pounded it on the sofa next to his leg. "I am not having this argument with you. You'll say 'no you're not,' I'll say 'yes I am,' and we'll repeat this over and over until you finally say—"
"No you're not, infinity!"
He dropped his head into his hands and groaned. "That's what you'll say."
"So you're telling me you're—"
"As bright and as gay as a daisy in May, yes."
Danny was leaning against the desk when he looked up, arms crossed over his chest and head slightly tilted to the side. There was the slightest touch of a smile on his lips and he looked, well, he looked like Danny.
"If you're so gay, then what's with all the women?" Dan held one hand out toward Casey, as if fending off his arguments. "I'm not judging, I'm just saying there's been women. And under that broad category I include the harpy who bore your child and your name."
He had no idea how to answer that. How was he supposed to take everything he'd felt and thought and worried about for years and summarize it into one quick sound bite? If this were a teaser for the show he'd consider using alliteration, but the only thing he could come up with right now was in extremely poor taste and the thought of Danny giggling over his life choice was making him queasy.
"Casey, I am talented and we do work very well together and have a nearly instinctive knowledge of each other's actions, but I can't hear you when you only think the answers."
He wondered if there was any aspirin in the office. Natalie would have aspirin, but she'd want to know what was wrong and he wasn't up for that conversation just yet. "I don't know."
"So, you're telling me you just now discovered you're gay?"
"No. I realized in college and I swear to god if you say a single word about college experimentation I will throw myself out that window." He looked up from his hands when he felt the couch sink under Danny's added weight. "I couldn't be gay, Danny. At first, I thought, I don't know. Maybe I thought it would go away. And then, Lisa was a good wife."
"Stop that." He leaned back and looked his partner in the eye. "And then there was Charlie and I could focus on him, forget everything else. Forget myself."
"Where does the gay come in, Case? Because I'm hearing you telling me why you can't be gay but not how you are."
"I didn't want to be. For a long time, I didn't. Because sports anchors can't be gay. Football quarterbacks can't be gay, hockey goalies can't be gay, umpires can't be gay, and the men who report on those men cannot be gay."
Dan's voice was rough and grating. "Publicly."
"The men who report on those men cannot be publicly gay."
"Is this really a good time to nitpick my point?"
"No, Case, it's a good time to make my point."
"Which is?" Could they never just have a discussion? All he wanted today was to finally tell his best friend that he was gay. There wasn't supposed to be a lengthy discourse about it.
"Which is, I am not your public."
Danny's face was pinched and the hand on his knee was tight.
"Because I'm gay."
Danny sighed and shook his head. "Because for an educated man, Casey, you're incredibly stupid."
"Because…" He was starting to figure this out. "Because I didn't tell you."
"The judges would also have accepted because you didn't trust me." Danny punched Casey on the leg before relaxing his fingers and resting them on the sofa between them. "Now you tell me you're sorry and then you tell me if you're dating anyone or if I can set you up on blind dates."
Danny's eyes crinkled when he smiled. "Apologize first or no blind date loving for you."
"I'm sorry." He couldn't help but laugh. Turned out this was pretty much how he expected this conversation to go.
"Apology accepted." Danny turned to face him. "So, what's your type?"