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Title: The Sea With Its Deepness
Author: Scrunchy
Fandom: Sports Night
Pairing: none
Rating: PG
Disclaimer: They're not mine, I just borrowed them.
Notes: For Fox & Hyperfocused's Madeleine L'Engle Title Challenge

"I've been thinking." Danny was slumped low in the armchair, his clipboarded script held to his chest under crossed arms.

"Well, that always goes well." Casey barely looked up from his own script. While Danny's work may have had magical self-editing capabilities, Casey's required some actual, manual effort.

"I haven't been able to go sailing as much as I'd like."

"Hazards of having a job."

"And a quick jaunt down to the Kill Van Kull1 and back on a Saturday afternoon just isn't as thrilling as it could be"

"Navigating the rocky, gently glowing shores of Northeastern New Jersey not doing it for you?"

"Not really, no."

Casey looked up, tucked his pencil behind his ear and leaned back in his own chair. Dan was very still in his seat across the room, his legs sprawled and his eyes closed in a position of perfect tranquility. Better keep him talking, Casey thought, or he'll nap straight through the noon rundown.

"So what exactly have you been thinking about? Or, is this one of those times where you say something just to let it hang heavily in the air?"

"I don't do that."

"You do it all the time."

"You make it sound like I go around dropping these ... these grand pompous bon mots solely for the betterment of my public."

"It would seem that way much of the time, yes."

"You're serious?" Dan was genuinely hurt.

"Not at all." Except he was.

"So, sailing? Tell me more, I'm intrigued." In theory, Casey didn't like lying to Danny, but if it got that kicked-puppy look off his face, Casey's pretty sure he'd be willing to kick an actual puppy for Dan.

"I just think I could make more time for it." Dan was up, walking over to his desk and pulling a pencil from his Giants mug. Turns out he actually had intentions of the editorial variety.

"If you don't have the time, you don't have the time, man." Casey tentatively darted his eyes back down to his work, unsure as to whether or not the subject would die that easy.

"I could make time."

Clearly they were in for a more protracted discussion on the topic.

"You can't make time, Danny. Listen -- what did you do on your last three days off?"

He furrowed in thought, settling back behind his desk. "I painted my apartment ... or, I supervised the painting of it. Before that I ... what did I do?"

"The time before the painting you drove up to visit your mom for the day, and before that you spent the day with me and Charlie in the park."

"And what I'm saying is ... sailing's something that's just me. It's all mine and I used to like that."

"If you're breaking up with me, Charlie, your mom, and your apartment, I don't feel I should have to take the brunt of it alone." He held up his hands in mock protest.

"I'm serious, Casey."

"I know you are. I just don't know what you want me to do here."

"Jesus, you don't have to do anything. Not everything I say carries an unspoken rider that says, 'fix me,' Casey. I just think ... I have some time coming up where I wasn't going to take the week, but now ... I may take the week."

"You should. I think that'd be good for you." He looked tired, which was bad, but he didn't look the kind of unshaven, needle-eyed tired that scared Casey, and that was good.

"I think I'm going to go sailing. Just ... out for half the time, and then back. No destination, just ... out to sea."

"With a compass and a map and ample foodstuffs and water."

"With all those things and more, Casey. I'm going sailing, not starting a one-man reality show." Dan smirked.

"You gonna be all right out there, Danny? Alone?"

"You're a good guy, Casey. You're my best friend in the world and a good guy, but you're not a sailor."

"Never claimed to be."

"My point is, it's a different kind of alone on the water. Out there you're just a speck of warm body in a slightly larger speck of a vessel, buoyant on the surface of the world. It's all about the perspective. And there's so much to do -- constant vigilance to keep your little splinter afloat, Casey -- the quiet teaches you about everything else, but the work tells you who you are."

A long moment passed where Casey waited for Dan to start scratching notes on his script before returning to his own.

"If this all goes well," he looked up, unable to focus on the legal troubles of California-based basketballers, "I mean ... when you come back, at some point, I'd like to go sailing someday."

"Oh yeah?" Danny looked up amused, an eyebrow raised and a smile at the corner of his mouth.

"Yeah. Just, you know, down to the Kill Van Kull or whatever. I just ... never have and I think it'd be cool." He spoke like he was admitting something horrible. "You make it sound cool."

"It's damn cool, Casey." He looked back down at his notes.

"So, I'd like that. If you wanted. To. I mean, whenever." And if Danny was the Prince of pompous non sequiturs, than Casey was surely the Duke of turning into a sputtering moron at the slightest provocation.

"I would like that." Danny didn't seem to notice Casey's sudden turn towards the awkward, or if he did he didn't care. His own face had softened into a genuinely happy smile. "I really would."


scrunchy 2004