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Kisses, Taxis, and Plans

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"Okay, slugger," Casey says as he aims a quite tipsy Dan Rydell out of Anthony's, propping him up against a wall as he hails Dan a cab. Three taxis pass them by when Dan abandons his place at the wall, coming to lean heavily against Casey.

"I love you, man," Dan slurs, pulling Casey into a hug.

"I know, Danny," Casey smirks back. He sees a cab and goes to hail it when he catches Dan's eyes, gazing into his. "What?" he asks.

Dan leans into Casey, pausing just a nanosecond before gently kissing Casey. It's over before Casey can even respond, Dan stepping back with a shocked look on his face.

"Danny," Casey finally manages as a cab pulls up to the curb.

"Taxi?" the driver calls out from the opened window.

Before Casey can respond, Dan lowers his eyes and gets into the cab. He doesn't even look at Casey as the car pulls away from the curb, speeding Danny out of Casey's life.


Though Casey tries, Dan manages to avoid him for most of the day, showing up late to the round-up meetings, leaving early. Heading left when Casey goes right. Casey tries to get his attention, though Dan will barely look at him.

Ten minutes to showtime, Dan walks up to the studio and takes his place at Casey's side. "'bout time," is all Casey can manage, then grabs Dan's arm and doesn't let go of him until they're safely ensconced behind the craft services area.

"Look, Casey," Dan starts. For the first time that day, he finally manages to look Casey in the eye, and Casey sees angry red veins in Danny's eyes, notices how glassy they look. "I'm sorry about last night." Dan paces the small area, rubbing his jittery hands on his jacket, finally saying, "I was drunk and got carried away. I'm sorry - I don't want to affect our friendship. It didn't mean anything."

"Didn't mean anything, Danny?" Casey asks.

Dan nods, though Casey can read the true meaning from Danny's eyes.

Casey walks up to Dan, taking a nervous hand into his own. "You sure, Danny?" he asks. With just a hint of a smile, he asks, "What if I wanted it to mean something?"

Dan and Casey stand there, not moving and barely breathing; just gazing into each others eyes until finally, finally, the barest hint of a smile curls the sides of both of their mouths. They stay that way for what seems an eternity, until they hear Kim on the overhead say, "Five minutes to air; first team to studio, please."

"C'mon," Casey says, and both men head back to their chairs while the techs and makeup artists finish their last touchups.

"Sixty seconds," a voice bellows.

"You wanna go to Anthony's tonight after the show?" Danny asks.

Casey tosses Danny a wink and says, "Naah. I think I have better plans for us tonight after the show..."