Author's disclaimer: The characters of Sports Night are the brainchild of Aaron Sorkin, and they remain his intellectual property, along with ABC, Imagine Entertainment and Opie. This story is meant as a loving portrait, and no copyright infringement is intended.

For adult readers only, please. Contains male/male sex and strong language.

Author's notes: Here's my first whack at a Sports Night story, inspired by the incredible connection I saw between Dan and Casey during "Ten Wickets." Thanks go to Jen for the lightning fast beta.

Comments are welcomed (and almost always responded to) at JBonetoo@yahoo.com.

The Lost Boys

By Bone

"Screw 'em."

"What?"

"Screw 'em both."

"Why not extend your reach and just say screw 'em all?"

"Screw all women?"

"Screw all women."

(silence)

"You realize of course, that's exactly what we're not going to be doing."

"Screwing?"

"Yeah, screwing. No screwing. We're not going to be screwing. We're going to be not screwing. We may never screw again."

"Jesus, Danny."

"Look at us, Casey. It's three in the morning. The woman I just announced in semi-public that I love is going back to her asswipe husband. The woman you're secretly in love with is going to be proposed to by Asswipe #2 any minute now, and here we sit. Here. We. Sit."

"You're not drunk, are you."

"On half a bottle of wine? Not likely."

"Then what's with all the 'bobbing and weaving'?"

"Can't a man bob and weave if he wants?"

"Bob and weave 'til you puke; I don't care."

"Yeah, well, screw you, too."

"I thought we weren't going to be doing that anymore."

"What?"

"Screwing."

"No, Casey, I just said we weren't going to be screwing women anymore.

(silence)

"You are drunk."

"No, I'm not."

"Yes, you are."

"I'm not drunk."

"You are."

"I'm not."

"I think you are."

"I think I'd know."

As far as surreal conversations went, this was a doozy, Casey decided. A genuine, Twilight Zone, how'd-we-get-from-here-to-there conversation. Not an uncommon occurrence when the other mouth involved in the dialogue belonged to Dan Rydell. Given three minutes, Dan Rydell could convolute a straight line. An agile tongue, had Danny. An agile, facile, tactile tongue.

Casey stopped that train of thought before he plunged any deeper into imagining Danny's tongue and what it might be capable of. Dangerous territory at any time. At three in the morning, in the close confines of his Volvo, thoughts like that could be downright disastrous. Danny used words like touches. They could wound or heal, depending on the tone he chose, and the look he sent with them. Some people hugged to show affection, some people hit to show rage. In both cases, Danny talked. Not tonight, though. Tonight, Danny had given up on words, settling for bobbing and weaving. And hugging.

Hugging. He'd hugged Jeremy. And he'd hugged Casey, after a weird strange moment when the space between them seemed suddenly full already, when Dan's arms reached out, and Casey's reached out, but another millisecond went by before they actually made contact. Strange to feel awkward then. Strange to feel awkward putting his arm around his best friend, patting his back, feeling Danny's head drop briefly onto his shoulder. How strange for that to feel awkward.

Casey took his eyes off the road long enough to take a quick look at Danny. Mussed, untucked, his tie a loose noose around his neck, the distinct odor of good red wine and leftover aftershave lingering on him. Mr. Happy Guy gone derelict. What a shame.

What a goddamn shame.

Saying 'I told you so' would have been petty. Besides, it was understood. One good thing about Danny - you hardly ever had to spell things out for him. You hardly ever even had to finish a sentence. Whatever it was, he got it. Casey'd wanted to be wrong. He'd wanted Rebecca to ditch the loser she'd gotten herself collared to and let Danny open up wide and love her like Casey knew he could. But Casey could see, looking in from the outside, what Dan couldn't, looking out from the inside. It takes a lot to break up a marriage. That much Casey knew. That much he'd lived through.

Which was one more reason why Dana shouldn't marry Gordon.

It's a lot easier to tie a knot than untie it.

And it's a lot easier to start something than end it.

Casey pulled his attention back to the road, to the blurry lines and the lights streaking by; to the quiet bump of the pavement under his tires and the tap of Danny's hand on the seat. The streets were almost deserted. No people out and about. Just him and Danny, heading home. He'd gotten some flak when he told Danny he'd drive him home. Flak from Danny, saying he was fine. Flak from Natalie saying she'd drive Danny home. Flak from Jeremy, telling Natalie if Casey wanted to drive Danny home, really, why interfere? Finally, he'd just reached in Danny's pockets and pulled out his keys, ignoring the warm bulge he brushed against, ignoring the residual warmth on the metal keys.

"Let's go, lost boy," he'd murmured in Danny's ear. "Let's go."

Docilely enough, Danny'd followed. Too low, too quiet, too numb, Casey supposed, to put up much of a fight. Only when they got in the car, locked in, windows up, the world at bay, had Danny started talking again.

Danny doing what he did best. Danny touching through talk. Casey passed the exit to Danny's apartment. Danny kept talking. Casey turned off at his own exit, sliding onto surface streets and pulling into the garage of his own building. Danny kept talking. Out of the car, into the elevator, down the hall and into Casey's apartment, Dan kept a streaming monologue that made Casey again doubt his sobriety. Casey's whale on Jerry Falwell had nothing on Dan's diatribe against the women in his life, starting with his mother and ending with the latest betrayal, disappointment, heartbreak.

The bell had rung for Danny.

"Not leaving me to my own sad, sorry devices, huh?" was the only thing Danny said as Casey pointed to the coat rack.

"Didn't seem to be much point," Casey answered, hanging up his coat and toeing off his loafers. Danny followed suit, and in their sock feet they went to the kitchen and started scrounging in the cupboards. Two cold beers, a bag of Tostitos and half a jar of salsa later, Danny finally shut up.

He snapped his jaw shut, dropped his head back on Casey's couch and sighed. In the armchair adjacent to the couch, Casey sighed with him. Listening to a friend fall to pieces hurt. Seeing his own future in a friend's face hurt even worse. There but for the grace of Gordon's trip out of town go I, he thought, watching Danny's throat move as he swallowed hard.

"It's late," Casey said, leaning forward in the chair, reaching out to poke Danny's knee.

"Too late. Way too late," Danny muttered, not moving.

"Come on, Danny, don't wallow," Casey said, trying to snap him out of it.

It worked.

Eyes blazing, Danny arched off the couch, knocking Casey's hand off his leg. "Wallow?" he asked. "Since when does half a bottle of wine and an hour's conversation constitute a wallow?

Casey stood, holding out a hand in surrender. "Relax, Danny. I didn't mean anything."

Danny narrowed his eyes at him, then his shoulders drooped, as if the little rant had leaked the last bit of energy from his body.

"I'll get some sheets for the couch," Casey said.

"Don't bother," Danny said, dropping back down and stretching out on the sofa. "I'm fine like this."

"Yeah?" Casey asked.

"Yeah."

"Good night," Casey said from the doorway to his room.

Dan didn't answer.

The first inkling Casey had that his world was about to turn upside down came at 5:53 AM. That's what the digital clock read when Dan awakened him by crawling into the other side of the bed.

"Fucking couch must have been used in the Spanish Inquisition," was all he said before he turned his back on Casey, punched the spare pillow twice and cracked his neck.

The second inkling came when Danny started sniffing a few minutes later. Not delicate sniffs, either, but good manly snot-honking sniffs. With a sigh, Casey reached underneath the night stand and dropped a handful of Kleenex on Danny's side of the bed. Danny sat up, blew his nose loud enough to wake the neighbors, then dropped onto his back, staring up at the ceiling.

Casey turned to face him, taking in the red eyes and nose, the hair standing on end. "Feel better?" he asked. Danny shook his head. "Need more Kleenex?" Casey asked. Danny shook his head again. Casey rested his cheek on his hand, looking at the other occupant in his bed, thinking how good it felt to have Danny there with him instead of Sally, or Lisa, or really, anyone else. How good it felt to be comfortable and at ease with the person he lay next to. The hug might have been awkward, but the blanket-sharing felt just fine. And if that felt just as strange as anything else, it was way too early in the morning to worry about it.

Danny turned to look at him, and Casey could see no trace of Dan the Man, the man with a plan, the confident man with a plan. Here he had spiked hair, swollen eyes, and a dirty t-shirt. With his mouth for once at rest, the off-kilter angles in his face showed more plainly, and Casey thought how much more interesting Danny's face was than his own regular features. What woman in her right mind would give him up? For Steve Cisco, for God's sake.

Danny looked him over, then smiled at him.

"What?" Casey asked.

"Your hair's everywhere," Danny said, motioning with both hands. Surprisingly self-conscious, Casey licked one palm and slicked it over his hair, trying to tame it, but that just made Danny's grin wider. Fine. If it made Danny forget the Kleenex, he'd let a hair joke slide.

"You missed some," Dan said, rolling so they lay facing each other in the dim pre-dawn gloom, his hand reaching out to push down on Casey's head. "That's amazing," he said. "It takes a licking and keeps on sticking."

"Very funny," Casey said, reaching up to push Danny's hand away and finding their fingers tangled instead. Like the hug, it was awkward at first. The hands Casey usually held were small, with painted nails and smooth fingers. Danny's hands were rough from baseball and tennis. His nails were short, his fingers long. A man's big hand. A man's big hand, wrapped tightly around his own.

Danny didn't meet his eyes. Instead, he brought their linked hands down on the bed between them. Slowly, he brushed his thumb over the back of Casey's hand. Heat followed; a streak along the path Danny's thumb left. Casey felt his face flush, felt his groin stir. One touch and his ideas about friendship, and how far friendship could go, went up in smoke. One touch of Danny's thumb on his hand, and the Dana knot in his chest started to unravel.

One Danny touch. God help him if Danny started talking, too.

"Don't talk, okay?" Casey asked softly.

Danny nodded, pushing on their hands, pushing Casey on his back, leaning over him. Casey could make out Danny's features, the light in his eyes, the heat of his skin. Danny. Just Danny, just like always, only maybe a little softer, a little easier to touch. Just Danny, leaning over him, watching him, his face calm and serious.

"Don't talk," Casey said again, closing his eyes as Danny tilted his head and leaned in, pressing his mouth to Casey's shoulder. Even through the cotton of his t-shirt, he could feel the heat of Danny's lips. When Danny opened up and started mouthing his shoulder and neck, Casey felt sweat break out on his upper lip, and his cock stretched hard against the gym shorts he wore to bed.

Like so many other things, Danny was very, very good at this. Good at knowing where to touch, good at knowing how far to push. Good at knowing how to kiss, how to kiss hard, and wet, and strong. Not like a woman's kiss at all, Casey thought hazily, reaching for Danny when he tried once to pull away, gasping out, "Air," before latching on again. That mobile mouth, that agile tongue, were wasted on words, Casey decided, as Danny descended his body, pushing up his shirt, pulling down his shorts, splaying his legs wide and moving between them. That mouth must have kissed a man before, or else he knew what he liked so much he could give it to someone else without even thinking about it.

The mouth, put to such better use than talking, brushed, nipped, licked its way from throat to knee and back, leaving Casey stiff as a board, shaking. Danny went from touching with talk to talking with touch in the space between one heartbeat and the next. A touch Toastmaster in the making, Casey thought with his last coherent brain cell, before Danny's mouth made its eloquent way between his legs and he stopped thinking at all.

Heat, suction, wetness, motion. Heat. Suction. Wetness. Motion. Casey's only regret was that he couldn't stand it very long. Couldn't stand to lie there, pumping his cock into his best friend's mouth, feeling Danny's groans reverberate on his ultra-sensitive skin, feeling his best friend's throat open wide to take him in, feeling the bed beneath him rock with his thrusts. He wanted it to last, but Casey always had trouble saying 'no' to Danny, always caved eventually, always went where Danny led, and this time, he let Danny push him heaving over the edge, rocking up one last time, clawing at Danny's shoulders, holding him hard against his hips, jerking hard in Danny's mouth, feeling the wet stuff dripping out the sides, smearing Danny's chin and his own stomach.

Casey subsided back against the pillow, lungs stretching hard for air, dizzy. Dan crawled up his body, dropping all of his weight down on Casey, slipping through the mess on Casey's belly, rocking his groin on Casey's hip. Dan's hard-on, fitted into his hip joint, sliding in a puddle of come. Dan's hard-on. His friend Dan. His best friend Dan.

Casey wrapped his arms around Danny, squeezing him tight, dropping one hand to his ass and encouraging the rocking, the thrusting, encouraging his best friend Dan to have a taste of the pleasure he'd just given. Against his shoulder, he could feel Dan's breath puff, feel the vibration of low moans as Danny rocked harder. Casey lifted his hips experimentally on the next thrust and Dan went rigid, then thrust harder.

Point and counterpoint. Give and take.

A conversation with touch.

When Danny came, long hot pulses spilling out between their bodies, he broke his promise. He said Casey's name.

Twice.

Casey lay under his weight, wondering if this was how all those women felt when he dropped onto them, heavy post-climax body shivering, late twinges racking the strong body above. An odd feeling, a little bit. But mostly a good feeling. Maybe when the sun came up and the alarm went off, and noon rolled around, and they headed back to the place they just left, it might feel a little awkward.

Then again, maybe it wouldn't.

The mouth that sucked him still belonged to Danny. The heavy, sweaty body above him still smelled like Danny, still felt like him.

Still just Danny. Still just the same. Still just Dan and Casey. Only maybe a little more.

"Rebecca's an idiot," Casey whispered into Danny's neck. Against his cheek, he could feel Danny's smile, and he felt the strong clench of Danny's fingers in his hair.

"So's Dana."

"Thank God we're smart," Casey continued, rubbing his face into the hollow of Danny's shoulder.

"Thank God for that," Danny replied, tucking his head against Casey's. "Thank God for that."

The end.