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Do It Again

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Denny's the last to leave, and as Don and Walt stand together to see him out they observe upon opening the door that night has crept in. So easy to lose track of time when they're working...

"Same time tomorrow?" Denny asks, noting the familiar checking-in look that passes between them before either speaks. Just a glance, no nod, wink or blink to convey whatever it might be that they seem to be so effortlessly communicating, and he briefly envies that tightness.

"No." says Don affably. "We've still got some shit to hash out, here. Prob'ly talk it out 'til daylight. No session tomorrow."

"Good job today, man." Walt tells him, and Don inclines his head in agreement.

"You nailed it."

This is practically effusive praise from these two who are so stingy with compliments, and Denny steps out into the darkness feeling validated as he smiles back over his shoulder: "Well, gimme a call when you need me. 'Bye."

Both make farewell noises at Denny's back before Don closes the door, turning to regard Walt with keen scrutiny. Walt knows what's coming...has, in fact, been dreading this explanation he'd been aware would have to happen once they were alone at last. He knows he can't tell anything but the truth, not to Don, anyway, but is waiting to see how Don phrases the questions so he can answer ONLY what is asked and maybe pass the whole thing off as a joke. Walt expects Don to pounce straightaway with sarcastic torment or probing accusation, so it takes him momentarily aback when the first words out of his partner's mouth are ones of concern.

"Are you okay?" Don asks, seemingly sincere.

[Although it could be a setup...he does this shit sometimes...we both do...pretending to care just to loosen the dirt in which they're preparing to dig.]

"Why?" asks Walt, stalling. "Did I fuck up somehow today?"

"You seemed pretty fucked up last night." Don tells him, customary sardonic smirk touching his lips although his expression remains otherwise considerate.

Don's surprised and a bit amused to espy a flicker of embarassment cross Walt's face. He's usually unapologetic to the point of defiance, so whatever'd been up during last night's strangely fraught phone call must've been more than screwin' around or trippin' balls. He can't resist.

"I think you better tell me everything you did."

Don lobs Walt's oblique quasi-accusation back at him. Walt doesn't exactly blush, but the breaking of eye contact and slight shift of posture shows he feels pretty stupid about something, and Don's keen to learn what the fuck is up.

"What do YOU care?" Walt snaps defensively. "I only talked to you for a second, then you HUNG UP on me. What were you '...in the middle of...' that was so important, anyway?"

Don's happy to oblige. Grinning, he asks: "Ever get your dick sucked by a flautist?"

Walt seizes the opening and jabs "No, but I had a clarinet chick in college, so I know how good you woodwinds are at...blowing."

"Sax is BRASS, dumbass." Don retorts.

"It is NOT." Walt barks indignantly, glad to be quibbling instead of explaining his questionable behaviour of the night before. "You fucking KNOW that, you just didn't think I did. No matter how much you like the company of tromBONERS, sax is WOODwind, so blow it out YOUR dumb ass!"

"That's more of a job for a trumpeter." Don dryly declares.

"Don't forget to empty the shit valve!" Walt quips, and the two share a brief laugh.

"Since when are we hung up on labels, anyway, dude? We're not a fucking orchestra. But, yeah..." Don continues his gloat, steering away from Walt's correction. "...a FLAUTIST, Walter. Would you want to talk to ME under such cirCUMstances?"

Walt's skeptical. "We don't know any female flute players. Sure it wasn't a guy?'

Don adopts a lofty man-of-the-world air to proclaim: "I guess I'm not SURE, since I didn't get into HER pants. She left after getting into MINE, but she had great tits and I didn't feel any stubble, so..." he trails off, trying to shake a flashback to his vision of Walt in the lady's place, and it's his turn to look away.

"Where were you calling from?" Don wants to know. "A country/western bar? There was some twangy steel guitar goin' on behind your freakout."

Walt tries for flippancy. "I was visiting your mom."

Don's done joking. Levelling a direct gaze back into Walt's face, he says: "Cut the crap."

Walt answers simply. "At home. It was the radio."

"What is it you think I DID?" Don demands. "You sounded super-pissed on the phone, but you've been fine all day today. Did you realize I DIDN'T do it after all or did you decide you don't care if I DID?"

This barrage of questions gives Walt pause as to how he should answer. He turns away and sits down heavily on a bench beside the door. Eyes on the floor between his shoes, he admits: "You didn't do anything. I had this crazy dream and woke up thinking you'd..."

"Left you for a disco band?" Don suggests, earning a rude scoff noise from Walt. He tries again: "Slept with your wife?"

Walt sighs "Yeah.", grateful he doesn't have to say it.

"You threw a major spaz on me over a DREAM?" Don is incredulous. "Bullshit! What ELSE?"

Walt bristles "Oh, like YOU've never had a dream so real you woke up..." (he bites back "scared") "...believing it was happening!"

Don recalls a few, expounding: "Only when I'd passed out drunk."

Walt mutters "Yeahwell..." , acknowledging: "It was the sunglasses. I got kinda loaded and forgot I wore a pair of yours home. When I woke up dreaming...THAT...and saw them there I thought..." he sighs again, confessing: "...guess I DIDN'T think...sort of got carried away."

Don nods with forgiving commiseration. "Well, at least you're lucky she wasn't home."

Walt turns his eyes back up to Don's, remorse vanished, replaced with wicked gleam. "She was."

Don's seen this look before, and it's always a trifle unsettling. This time, though, it's downright chilling. "Jesus CHRIST, Walt! Hard as you took after ME...and that was just on the PHONE." He asks cautiously: "You didn't...hurt her did you?"

Walt's lecherous grin becomes an open leer. "Not any more than she WANTED me to. No harm, no foul THERE, dude."

This strikes Don as some heavy shit, but he manages a facade of insousiance, clarifying: "Let me get this straight...you grudgefucked your wife, after accusing her of screwing ME...and she LIKED it?"

Walt's self-satisfied expression is answer enough, and Don can't help but imagine the scene...how he'd been unwittingly cast in their intense marital drama. He can't quite bring himself to ask what manner of "hurt" she might be into (although he IS curious), so he asks instead: "Before or after you called me?"

There's that uncharacteristic, almost SHY flicker again before Walt tersely admits: "After." , and Don finds it telling (as well as oddly flattering ) that his partner feels guilty about falsely accusing HIM but has no compunction over treating his wife the same.

"So..." he leads Walt to say more, hoping for dirty details. "Then what?"