Skating Away
by HYPERFocused

"So, I asked Dana if we could take a few hours off this afternoon, since the script is pretty much done, and nothing much is scheduled until the run downs." Dan said this, as he tossed a whiffle ball from hand to hand in his - or was it Casey's - office. He was feeling particularly stir crazy, which was slightly unpleasant, but bearable. Certainly more so than feeling crazy - the plain old garden-variety brand of nuts that had driven him to thrice weekly sessions with Abby.

He knew "crazy" wasn't a term she liked. "I prefer 'troubled", was what she usually told him.. He liked it better when she said he was improving. They were down to once a week sessions now, and he really did think she had helped.

There were things he could do now that he hadn't been able to do before. Things for which he had Abby to thank, at least in part. The rest of it was due to Casey, who always had a shoulder for him, or an escape.

It was Casey who had reassured him that the only thing he needed from Dan was Dan's presence. Because of this, he could sit at the long table in the CSC cafeteria and not feel obligated to tell stories, or feel nervous that he was being too quiet. He could talk about Sam - a little - without feeling like he was going to completely lose it. And, he could tell Casey how he felt about him. At least, he was pretty sure he could. Knowing Casey, or rather Casey knowing him as well as he did, it wouldn't be much of a surprise.

At least this mania was bearable to him. Dana and Natalie would surely say otherwise. "Go work off some of that energy. Take Casey with you," was all Dana had said, as she shooed him out of the office. "You're both driving me batty." Dan had laughed to hear her actually use the word. "Shoo! Shoo! Get out of my sight."

"She will have her way," was Casey's rather cryptic reply, when Dan told him. It didn't take him long to throw a bag together. Dan wondered what was in it, since they'd only be gone for a few hours, but he knew Casey liked to be prepared.

When they got out of the building, Casey handed him the bag. "Here. Happy Hanukah."

"Hanukah ended a couple weeks ago, Case. And you already got me that laptop case. What's in here?"

"Look and see."

My my my , they're skates." They were. Two pairs of what looked like top of the line ice skates. Not that Dan would know good skates if they kicked him in the ass. They certainly looked expensive, though.

"Casey, I don't skate. Never have."

"That's easily fixed. Come on. I'll teach you."

"You don't skate either."

"I used to. I won an award, even. I can certainly show you the basics."

"That doesn't fill me with a lot of confidence. Why don't we get our winter kicks with a snowball fight, or something else less dangerous?"

"Don't be a wuss. I'll catch you if you fall. You won't bruise anything but your ego."

Two hours and one lesson later, Dan considered the situation: Casey, sprawled spread-eagled on top of him, red faced and out of breath? Good. The fact that Dan's ass was rapidly changing from badly bruised to ice-numbed? Bad.

"You really aren't very good at this, are you, Case?"

"I am too. I told you I won an award."

"What was the award?"

"Most improved."

"And did they give awards to all the little boys and girls?"

"Well, yes. But I really deserved it."

"I'm sure you did. I bet you were hardly hugging the wall at all anymore."

"Shut up, Dan. I just tripped, there was a bump."

"There was no bump, Casey. This is the most famous skating rink in New York City, not McPherson's pond."

" "I don't care. I felt it. I'm sensitive to these things. I should complain."

"Casey, do that, and the Zamboni guy will make a bump. And it'll be suspiciously Casey McCall shaped."

Casey gave in, sighing. "I'm good at part of it," he said petulantly.

Dan looked at him dubiously. "And what part would that be?"

"The part where you tell me how cute I look in my scarf, with my cheeks all red, and then invite me in for hot chocolate."

"And exactly when would I have turned into your mother?" Dan lifted an eyebrow -- just one, which always drove Casey nuts because he couldn't do that, either.

Of course, there were lots of things Casey could do, but Dan wasn't asking about any of them. He could tell you the major properties on a dozen different cities' Monopoly equivalents. He could discern the differences between Monet and Manet, and why one should never confuse them. And he could recite every speech Linus gave in any Peanuts special. All spectacularly useless talents, except for the one he was performing now.

"My mother wouldn't do this," Casey said, taking advantage of their position to lean down and kiss Dan the way Dan had wanted him to all day. He loved the way Casey tasted, how he warmed up under his mouth like they'd already had the cocoa.

"Don't be so sure of that," Dan joked, when they pulled apart to breathe. "I happen to know your mother thinks I'm hot."

"She can't have you."

"I wasn't offering. There's only one McCall I want."

"Even though he's kind of a klutz?

"Yes," kiss

"And a bit of a dork?"

"Yes, but you're dork." He got off of Casey, then pulled him up to standing level. "Come on. I've had enough ice for today. I think we both need something a little warmer."

"And less slippery."

"I don't know about that," Dan grinned. Then he added, "Hey mister, can you tell me where a man might find a bed?''

He just grinned, and shook Dan's hand. "No, but I know where there's an empty office with a pull out couch, and no windows. And we don't have to tell anyone we're back."

"My motto's always been 'when it's right, it's right. And this, my friend is definitely right."

"Thinkin' of you's workin' up my appetite," Casey told him, with a little leer Dan found hilariously endearing. "I'm looking forward to a little afternoon delight.

"I hear your voice, and I want some more," Dan admitted. "Even when you use ridiculous phrases like that."

"Some things change," Casey said, kissing Dan again. He took a whiff of his slightly snow-damp hair, and recognized the familiar scent of Dan's Pantene. He'd kept a "just in case" bottle in his bathroom cupboard for years now, but had never experienced it quite this way. "And some stay the same," he added, knowing no matter what, their friendship would stay intact. Despite the December chill, he was walking on sunshine.


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