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Masquerade: A Night of Sports

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"Yes!" Jeremy crowed, raising his hands in the middle of the bullpen.

Dana's head snapped up from the spreadsheet she was working on. "You got it?"

"I've got it."

"Are you sure? He said he's definitely coming?"

Jeremy grinned. "He's already on a flight to New York. We'll get the interview tomorrow night."

"Yes!" Dana said, high fiving the first person passing by, who happened to be Intern Kris on his way to the bathroom. "Jeremy, you are a king among men and I promise if this all works out I shall extol your virtues far and wide. With embellishments."

"I do enjoy being twittered about," Jeremy mulled.

"Casey McCall," Dana sighed happily. "Last time he was on the show our ratings spiked by six points. This guy is golden."

"With certificates."


"Because of the... gold medals."

"No, I got it," Dana said. "It just wasn't a very good joke. Don't worry," she added at his concerned expression, "I'll still tweet about how you landed us an interview with Olympic gymnast Casey McCall."

Jeremy looked relieved. "Can I—"

Dana waved a hand. "Go." Jeremy tossed her a quick smile and went away to gloat. "Don't flirt with my talents!" she called behind him.

"I'm not—" he started, a shocked expression on his face, but red creeping up his cheeks. "I'm perfectly professional," he pointed out, and left with a huff.

Abbey looked up from her desk with an amused expression. "Do you really think you can hold off their flirting long enough to win the bet?"

"Please," Dana said, walking backwards to the control room with a smirk, "I made four hundred bucks over you and Jed at the Christmas party last year. Trust me on this."

Abbey raised an eyebrow but didn't disagree, and Dana left the bullpen behind, entering the control room with a flourish. "Casey McCall!" she announced.

Kim's eyes widened. "Jeremy got him?"

"Booked for tomorrow night," Dana confirmed, grinning at the cheers and light applause that came in response. "We're gonna need to set up the studio for—"

"Dana!" came a voice from the door. Two voices, to be exact, a little breathless and kind of stuck in the doorway until Cook took a step back, let Margaret through, and stepped back in after her. Cook was wearing a big grin on his face, and the corner of Margaret's mouth curved slightly upwards, which basically meant the same thing.

"Good news," Cook said. "You know how all of our guests canceled tomorrow night's show and pretty much fucked us over?"

"It would be truly worrying if I'd forgotten," Dana said.

"Well worry no more," Cook said, bouncing on his heels with barely contained excitement, "because we got you—"

"Isaac Jaffe," Margaret blurted.

Dana felt her eyes widen. "The Isaac Jaffe?"

"Yes," Margaret said.

"Legendary sports journalist Isaac Jaffe?"

"Yup," said Cook.

"The Ed Murrow of American sports Isaac Jaffe?"

"That would be the one," Cook said, pleased, and hugged Margaret with one arm. Margaret and Cook had the weirdest friendship Dana had ever seen, built on encyclopedic knowledge of baseball stats and a shared general disdain for monosyllabic words in written text, and somehow, as a team, they worked. And they had gotten her Isaac Jaffe.

"You guys," she said, scared for a moment that she was going to cry. "I am totally taking credit for this because I was the one who hired you both, but I could hug you right now."

"You're welcome," Cook said, bowing his head with a grin, and Margaret said pointedly, "We have work to do," and dragged him out of the room, and Dana had to sit down for a moment, because Isaac Jaffe.

"Okay, where was I," she said finally, when the phone in the control room rang, the red light blinking that the call's from the Managing Editor's office.

Dave raised an eyebrow. "You think it's the boss telling you he got Jesus to be on the show tomorrow?"

"He's Jewish," she reminded him, picking up. "Let me guess," she said into the phone, "you got us the messiah for the show tomorrow night."

"Better," Adam said on the other end of the line. "I got you Johnny Weir."

Dana took a few moments to just breathe deeply and bask in the universe working in her favor. "I basically love everyone in the world right now. Just so you know. I have a whole lotta love, for... basically everything."

Adam laughed. "So you have been listening to my karaoke night leadership seminars."

"Don't tell anyone." Dana twirled around in her chair once, fighting the urge to whoop out loud, and then thought about the list of things that needed to be done for tomorrow, and more urgently, tonight. "Okay," she said with finality. "I'm gonna go put on a show."

"Have fun," Adam said cheerfully, before hanging up.

Casey McCall, Isaac Jaffe and Johnny Weir on the same show. She was going to have to put Cook and Margaret on research ASAP, Advertizing on promos, Jeremy on logistics—

Dana looked down through the observation window at the studio, where Jeremy was leaning semi-casually against the anchors' desk. She grabbed Dave's microphone. "Natalie, tell Jeremy to come up here."

Natalie jumped in her seat at the desk, adjusting her earpiece. "Is everything okay?"

"Yeah." Dana grinned. "It is. We've got quite a show lined up for you tomorrow night."

Natalie's eyes brightened. "Yes, ma'am, looking forward to it."

The studio buzzed with energy, more so than usual, and Dana knew they had a long night ahead of them, and she knew that none of them really cared. At eleven o'clock sharp, she closed her eyes and smiled, and let the familiar words wash over her from her headphones, from the studio, from the live TV mounted in the corner. "In three," Dave whispered, "two… one..."

"Good evening. I'm Natalie Hurley—"

"Alongside Charlie Young."

"And you're watching Sports Night on CSC, so stick around."