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The 7th Inning Stretch

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They’ve been together for fifteen years, living together for ten, and off the air doing freelance work for two when it happens.

Dan never expected it, honestly, despite Casey’s ability to do feelings and grand gestures better than Danny (at times).

It wasn’t something he thought would be in his wheelhouse. Sure, his mother always wanted it for him — and his father always expected it wouldn’t happen — but Dan himself held no true aspirations of marriage, aside from considering himself a (not-so-secret) romantic.

“He’s going to propose,” were the first words out of Natalie’s mouth the moment same sex marriage was legalized in New York. She tracked Dan down in his office and made her declaration known.

“Who?” Dan had responded absently. Let’s face it, attempting to keep up with Natalie’s gossip was a full time job in and of itself.

“Why Casey, of course!” was the exasperated reply. She proceeded to lay out her case, and Dan had a headache by the end of it. He called her nutty and went about his business. It was a good day for New York and they made a comment on the air about it (Dan is nothing if not here for personal on air comments) and then that was that. Dan hadn’t really thought about it again.

He and Casey were the best worst kept secret in the industry. As long as they kept it professional on the air and weren’t “flaunting their relationship” (Dan fired that particular press agent immediately) the storm of their initial coming out within the company had eventually quieted.

But 2011 came and went, and so did the next year and the year after that. Now it was a nondescript day in May 2014. No holiday was just around the bend and there were no anniversaries to celebrate. Yet here Danny is, sitting in Yankee Stadium with half a hot dog hanging out of his mouth and mustard on his shirt as he stares wide-eyed out at scoreboard.

“Casey...”

“Uh-huh.”

Dan hasn’t looked at him yet, can’t look at him.

“Casey, Casey...”

“That is indeed my name, Danny.”

“Please tell me there is another ‘Danny’ getting proposed to right now.”

Now he does look at Casey, eyes still wide and lips parted. Casey’s expression is pinched.

“I could say that, but it wouldn’t necessarily be the whole truth and nothing but the truth.”

“Jesus Christ.” Dan puts down his hot dog, calmly wipes his heads on a napkin, and turns to his — holy shit, his fiancé?

“You do realize that public proposals are the cheesiest, most uncomfortable way to ask someone to marry you, right?”

Casey nods, eyes serious. “I had been forewarned.”

The corner of Dan’s mouth curves up in a smile. “And...?”

“You like cheesy,” shrugs Casey, delivering the words as simple as anything. Except he’s playing with his watch, which means he’s nervous. Dan doesn’t want him to be nervous.

“What about not flaunting this?” he asks, voice hushed.

“That was years ago. We basically choose our own work now. Also, damn the man.”

“Save the Empire?” Dan finishes, the other corner of his mouth curving upward to finally form the grin he’s been holding in.

“Exactly. So what do you say? You gonna make an honest man of me?”

Dan laughs, bright and boisterous. He grabs Casey’s cheeks between his hands and leans forward, bringing their foreheads together. “You are the biggest fucking dork to ever live, Casey McCall, and yes I’ll marry you.”

He feels Casey breath out against his lips and then they’re kissing, public displays of affection be damned.

Later, he’ll find out Natalie had a bet it would happen within five years.

About that, at least, Danny is not surprised in the slightest.

End