October 2001
Disclaimer: Dan and Casey belong to Aaron Sorkin and to whatever various corporate entities come attached.
Notes: This was originally intended as part of a larger project that fizzled, and then rewritten as a cheery drabble for a friend. Putting it up here means that I've resigned myself to the larger thing never getting done.

The window of Casey's hotel room faced east, and Dan woke when the sun slid past the open curtains to brush against his face. His usual early-morning questions were in the forefront of awakening: where am I? who am I? what do I have to do today? There had been times in his life--a lot of times--when he hadn’t liked the answers to any of those questions. When he had woken up and immediately wanted go back to bed, because where he was wasn’t where he wanted to be, and what he was doing was still only a step toward what he wanted to be doing. And because being Dan Rydell wasn’t all it was cracked up to be.

Casey's profile was smooth and his far arm cradled his head. Dan blinked away the vestiges of sleep and watched the way Casey's mouth curved down at the corners, not in unhappiness or dejection, but in pure, unthinking relaxation.

Casey saw that he was awake and turned his head. "Hey. You used to play baseball, right?"

Dan rubbed his eyes and the bridge of his nose. "Do you always begin morning-after conversations this way?"

Casey smiled. "No." He looked up at the ceiling.

Dan shifted in the bed. His foot was trapped underneath the weight of his other leg and had gone to sleep. He extricated it, wincing at the return of blood. "I had that no-hitter back in fourth-grade Little League."

Casey's eyes flicked to his. "So I recall from previous conversations. But I have yet to see any evidence of this alleged no-hitter."

"Jealousy doesn't suit you, Case." Dan turned and propped his head on his hand, and traced his other hand down the length of Casey's arm, which was lying on top of the sheets. The skin under his fingers shivered and tightened, but Casey didn't pull his arm away. "And I made Bobby Bolden cry."

"You made a ten year old cry? How manly." Casey reached over and took his hand, weaving his fingers in with Dan's.

Dan rubbed his thumb against the side of Casey's hand. "Got him square on the thigh. He never knew what hit him."

"I can believe it, seeing as he was ten and this was Little League."

"He was crowding the plate." Dan squeezed Casey's hand with his own, then untangled his fingers and trailed them down Casey's chest to his ribs, tracing the line of his rib cage.

"Hard to do when you're four feet tall." Casey's stomach contracted from the light tickling pressure. "Cut it out."

Dan ignored him. "There are no boys in Little League, Casey. Separates the men from the chaff, something like that. You go in prepared to fight the big fight, win the big battle."

"And the battle was won?" Casey recaptured Dan's hand and licked the tips of his fingers.

"The battle was won," Dan said, with a certain amount of breathlessness. Casey took his index finger into his mouth, grazing the skin with his teeth. Dan held his breath and had a brief moment of clarity, of what, he wasn't sure; then he pinned Casey down beneath him, his hands on either side of his head. He leaned down and kissed him.

"Slipped during the delivery," Dan admitted when the kiss ended. Casey's eyes were dark. "Didn't have a fucking clue where the ball was going."

Casey brought his head down and kissed him again. "Like I said: how manly."

He brushed his cheek against Casey's jaw. There had been times, a lot of times, when being Dan Rydell had been excruciating.

But not today.