Djibouti, by Fox and Caroline Baker.
We are not now, nor have we ever been, Aaron Sorkin.


"Hey, Dan," Casey said cheerfully.

"What," Dan said to his desk.

"Don't you have a big day coming up?"

"No," Dan said. "I do not."

"Well, then, why do I have it marked down on my calendar that I'm supposed to buy Mallomars this week?"

"Because you're a peculiar person and there's no explaining what you do."

"Listen," Casey said. "Do you still want me to get the Spice Girls to give them to you? Because I'm not sure if they'd be discounted now, or if they'd actually be more expensive, because it would be harder to sort of ... herd them together."

"I never said I wanted the Spice Girls," Dan said.

"You said I should get the Spice Girls to serve you Mallomars in hot pants. And I assume, although your modifier was dangling, that you wanted the Spice Girls to be wearing hot pants, rather than that you wanted the Mallomars in the hot pants," Casey said.

"Shut up about the Spice Girls, and shut up about hot pants."

"But we can talk about dangling modifiers? Because I gotta tell you--"

"Shut up about dangling modifiers."

"But still," Casey said. "Big day!"

"It's not a big day," Dan said. "It happens every year."

"Yes, but this year, you turn--"

"Twenty-nine," Dan said. "So what?"

"You can't go from being twenty-nine to being twenty-nine," Casey said.

"I'm not," Dan said. "I'm twenty-eight right now."

"Well, you were twenty-nine on your last birthday, so--"

"You're confused. You're confusing me with some old person."

"Some thirty-year-old old person?" Casey asked. "Thirty isn't old."

"It's old," Dan said. "Old old old."

"Danny, I'm thirty-six!" Casey said.

"I know!" Dan said. "Look at you!"

" ... That sounded a lot like an insult," Casey said.

"Well, it's good that your hearing is still functional in your dotage, Casey."

"Did you just use the word dotage in a sentence?" Casey said.

"Yeah," Dan said. "You know why? Because I'm young, and my mind is nimble. You, on the other hand ... "

"Wait wait wait," Casey said. "I am still gearing myself up for the prime of life. It keeps getting better, Danny."

"That is such a lie," Dan said. "I found my old pair of favorite jeans--they don't fit! They fit some young person that used to be me."

" ... I don't have an answer to that," Casey said.

"Of course you don't! There is no answer!" Dan said.

"Well, no, I'm sure there are women who have an answer for that," Casey said. "You can talk about it with them while you get your nails done."

Dan ignored him. "And, let's say, for argument's sake, that I was turning thirty. All right. How am I supposed to survey the ruin that is my life? I am thirty, and I sit around and read sports scores. I don't even play sports anymore, because I'm too busy reading sports scores."

"Danny, I have the same job you do!" Casey said. "This is a great job."

"Uh, yeah," Dan said, "but you get paid good money for it."

"Whoa, whoa," Casey said. "You're getting paid too."

"Never mind; we're not getting into that," Dan said.

"Thank God."

"But ... " Dan said. "You've had a life, man. You have an eleven-year-old son! I have ... sperm! Swimming around, till their little tails tire and they die ... You have an ex-wife! I've never had a wife, and you're already finished with yours!"

" ... That's not quite how it happened, actually."

"But you know what I'm talking about," Dan said.

"I really don't," Casey said.

"By the time you were my age, you'd already been married and ... and spawned, man!"

"And look how well that worked out," Casey said. "Thanks for referring to Charlie as spawn, by the way."

"You have nice spawn. You have produced another human being," Dan said. "I've got ... used condoms."

"Look, if I give you the Mallomars now, will you shut up?" Casey said.

"Um ... " Dan thought. "Wait, does that mean you won't give me a present on my actual birthday?"

"Yeah."

"Hrmph," Dan said. "Give me one Mallomar. No, two."

Casey reached into his desk and pulled out the box. "Here."

"Thank you," Dan said sullenly.

"You're welcome," Casey said pleasantly.



"I think ... " Dan said. "Yeah, I think I see a gray hair."

Casey rolled his eyes. "Danny, the computer screen isn't really much of a reflective surface."

"No, but I'm pretty sure ... "

Casey came over and indulgently looked at Dan's head. Then he leaned in closer. "You know, I think you're right. That is a gray hair."

Dan sighed and got up, flopping onto the couch.

"You know how I gave you those Mallomars the other day?" Casey asked.

"Yes," Dan said.

"Yet you haven't shut up," Casey said.

"Well, what am I supposed to talk about, for the love of Mike--"

Natalie bounced into the office. "Danny! Dana wants to know what kind of cake you want!"

"I don't. Want. A cake."

"Well, we're getting a cake, so what kind of cake do you want?" Natalie said.

"I don't want a cake," Dan said.

"How can you not want cake?" Natalie asked. "Never mind. What kind of cake do you want us to have?"

"The cake will sag with the weight of its candles," Dan said, "and then ignite. The whole building will go up in flames. And they will find my poor, burned body, here, alone. And old."

Natalie turned to Casey. "Casey, what kind of cake does Danny want?" she asked. "And why is he so upset about turning twenty-nine?"

"He wants chocolate cake with chocolate filling and chocolate frosting," Casey said. "And he's turning ... " He glanced around and whispered, "Thirty."

Natalie looks at Dan again. "You're turning thirty?"

Dan had buried his face in the couch. "I can't understand what she's saying," he said, his voice muffled. "The new generation has all these new slang expressions that I can't comprehend."

"Chocolate cake," Natalie said. "All right."

She left.

After a moment, Casey said, " ... Danny?"

"What," Dan said.

"We should probably do our work."

"Right," Dan said, sitting up. "Because I need the money, so I'll be able to buy prescription drugs and not have to eat cat food."

"Okay, so we'll work now," Casey said.



Jeremy came in. "You're turning thirty?"

"No!" Dan said. "I'm turning twenty-eight! Get out of here!"

"I thought you were turning twenty-nine," Jeremy said.

"I'm turning twenty-eight," Dan said. "Good-bye."



Dan burst into Isaac's office.

"Hello, Daniel," Isaac said.

Dan whined vaguely.

"Don't make that noise around me," Isaac said.

"Okay," Dan said.

There was a pause.

"Isaac," Dan said seriously. "I'm getting old."

Isaac started laughing.

"What?" Dan said. "I'm old! I used to listen to LPs! Kids today, they think vinyl is something you make jackets out of!"

Isaac was still laughing.

"Remember ... " Dan said. "Remember UHF and VHF?"

"Danny, I remember before there was either UHF or VHF," Isaac said.

"Basketball players!" Dan said. "They used to wear kneesocks and short shorts!"

"And they used to all be white," Isaac said.

" ... Actually, that was before my time," Dan said. "But still!"

"Danny, roll up the sleeve on your shirt there," Isaac said. "Look at your arm."

Dan did, looking confusedly from his arm to Isaac.

"Do you have a little scar there?" Isaac asked.

"Um ... " Dan said. "I can see this spot where I fell off my bike in fourth grade ... "

"You were never vaccinated for smallpox," Isaac said. "One of the world's most fearsome and deadly diseases had been eradicated by the time you were growing up."

"Well, that's nice," Dan said. "But there's still this ... this progression of time. It's inexorable. Relentless. I am old now."

Isaac shook his head. "Daniel--"

"Actually, I'm thinking this is a good thing, though," Dan said. "We'll have so much more in common now, and I think our relationship will benefit from--"

"Danny, I will seriously beat you with my cane."

Dan looked warily at Isaac's cane, then said, "You know, I'm probably gonna need a cane in a matter of days."

"Yes, you will," Isaac said. "If you get my meaning."

"Okay, okay," Dan said. "I'm going."



"Dana," Dan said, crossing the newsroom to meet her.

"Chocolate cake, chocolate filling, chocolate frosting, right?" she said, continuing to walk.

Dan kept up. "Dana, I'm getting ol--"

"Shut it, mister," Dana said. "I am thirty-six, and it just so happens that I'm not married, and that's fine because I am not old. And I'm sure that there is no one stupid enough in this world to suggest otherwise."

Dan looked sidelong at her. "Okay."

"Did you have something you wanted to tell me?" Dana asked.

"No," Dan said. He quickly went back to his office.



Dan came in and kicked at his desk.

"Oh, see, Dan?" Casey said. "It doesn't matter how old you get; you'll still be able to act like a child, and that's the important thing."

"I think I'm gonna move to Djibouti," Dan said.

" ... Djibouti," Casey repeated.

"Yeah," Dan said. "Where nobody knows my age."

"Well, that's a plan," Casey said.

"Do you know what the capital of Djibouti is?"

Casey thought for a second. "Actually, no."

"Djibouti," Dan said. "You know how I know that?"

"Mm, I'm kind of done with this conversation now, Danny."

"It's because my mind is young and nimble, that's how," Dan said.

"Oh," Casey said. "I thought it was because you were an old fogey who collects useless information because you're too old to do anything interesting."

He watched a pencil go sailing by his head.

"And your aim sucks," he said.



"So ... " Casey said, taking a swallow of beer. "The big day comes to an end."

Dan grunted.

"You're sure you don't want me to take you out?" Casey said. "Because I really will buy the drinks."

"No," Dan said. "I am going to sit here. Quietly. In my apartment. My carousing days are over."

"All right," Casey said. " ... You know, that was some good cake."

"It was ablaze," Dan said. "A pyre for my youth." He shook his head and said sadly, "I turned thirty today, and I haven't had a rimjob in two years. My ass has lost its cachet."

Casey nearly spit up his beer. "And you're telling me this why?"

"I tell you everything, Casey," Dan said.

"Yeah--" Casey said. "Maybe we shouldn't do quite so much of that."

"This is a grave situation, Casey," Dan said.

Casey sighed. "Your ass is fine, Danny. Really."

Dan stared at his bottle of beer. "You're just saying that."

"Yeah," Casey said, "but you could pretend I meant it."

"Casey--"

"Hey," Casey said. "It's not like I have any firsthand knowledge to support me here, you know?"

"Well, here, look--" Dan said, standing up. He undid his zipper.

"Goddammit, Danny," Casey said.

Dan did up his pants and sat back down, laughing. "Dude, you've seen my ass before."

"Yes, but I haven't looked," Casey said.

"Well, why not?" Dan demanded. "You can't look at my ass because it's thirty years old?"

Casey shrugged. "Between the two cheeks, you've got sixty years there."

"Oh my God," Dan said. "... Thirty, Casey! It's a third of a century!"

"No, it's not," Casey said. "A third of a century is thirty-three-point-three-three-three-three-three-three-three ... "

"Shut up," Dan said. "It is close enough. The next three years and four months are just going to fly by."

"You see how I'm older than thirty?" Casey said. "You see how well I'm doing? You see how cool I still am?"

Dan covered his face with his hands and moaned.

"You don't even like my ass," he said through his fingers.

"I have no basis on which to judge your ass," Casey said.

Dan lowered his hands. "What're you--" he said. "You're surrounded by ass! Every day of your life! We live in a city, man."

Casey nodded. "Right. Yes. New York City. The City of Ass." He rolled his eyes. "Look, I don't spend my time making a comparative study of asses, Danny."

"Well, why the hell not?" Dan said.

"What?" Casey said. "Because I--I'm not talking about this."

Dan nodded and took a drink of beer. "You know, you're right, anyway--really it's Newark that's the City of Ass."

"Oh, well, you know, Danny, truthfully, they've done a lot of urban renewal there," Casey said. "They've got that new performing arts center, and lots of nice restaurants ... "

"Oh, I know," Dan said. "They got upgraded to the City of Ass." He drank some more beer. "New York, on the other hand, is the City of Fine Asses."

Casey raised his eyebrows. "Including yours?"

"Well, I thought so!" Dan said. "But here I am. Rimless."

Casey shook his head and tried not to smile. "I gotta tell you, Danny, there are mental images that I hoped never to have ... "

"So, what, did the rimming dry up for you, too, when you hit thirty?" Dan asked.

Casey cleared his throat. "That pretty much stopped when my wife and I were no longer sleeping in the same bed."

"Nobody besides Lisa has ever ... "

"Nobody since Lisa," Casey said.

"I can't believe that Sally wouldn't--wait, wait a minute, go back. Since Lisa?"

"What, I went out," Casey said. "I slept with people."

"I thought you and Lisa--" Dan said. "Since, like, you were fricken nineteen."

"Well, we weren't completely together that whole time," Casey said. "And, you know, it's not like my sex life started at nineteen."

"Oh." Dan blinked. "I really thought it did."

"Why would you--"

"You're wholesome, that's all."

"I'm wholesome?" Casey said.

"Kinda," Dan said. "You know, wheat-like. Amber waves of grain. No, not 'wheat-like.' But corn-fed."

Casey opened up another beer and said rather huffily, "Well, apparently there are all sorts of things you don't know about me."

Dan stroked his chin. "Rrrreally."

"None of your business," Casey said.

"Of course it's my business; you just brought it up."

Casey took a long drink. "We were going to not so much tell each other everything."

"That's not my recollection," Dan said.

Casey pursed his lips, thought a moment, then said, "Okay, you know how when you're twelve, and you're at camp, and there are a bunch of guys around ... ?"

Dan just sat there.

Casey quickly said, "I was wondering if you knew anything about that, because I sure don't."

Dan laughed.

"No, really," Casey said. "It was a theoretical, hypothetical--"

Dan slapped him on the back. "No, man, of course I know what you're talking about. I went to camp." He thoughtfully drank some more beer. "I certainly didn't get rimmed at camp, though."

Casey cleared his throat and mumbled, "It was a camp for precocious children."

"Boy, remember the good old days," Dan said, "when all that happened at summer camp was a circle jerk?"

Casey shrugged and glowered a little.

Dan nudged his shoulder. "You're a stud, dude!"

"All right, shut up," Casey said. "The thing is--that was my introduction. So it was something I expected all my junior high dates to do."

Dan snickered. "Man, you were one disappointed little kid, weren't you?"

Casey shrugged again. "Well, you know. Even in junior high. You can make certain friends."

Dan was agape. "You were friends with the school sluts?"

"That's not really such a nice word," Casey said. "'Slut.' They were just--nice people. Ready to help out a fellow."

Dan laughed. "See? You make sluts sound wholesome."

"Don't tell me you didn't hang out with the sluts, Danny," Casey said.

"Of course I did," Dan said. "We got drunk and high and had group sex. But--see, with you--it's incongruous. 'S all I'm sayin'."

"I happen to like a good time," Casey said.

"I know you do," Dan said. "But I thought your idea of a good time was listening to Afternoon Delight while eating American cheese with mayonnaise on white bread, so--"

Casey smacked him on the side of the head and said, "Well, all right, homey."

Dan shook his head. "You're missing what's important here!"

Casey drank his beer. "And what would that be?"

"Me!" Dan said. "I'm old!"

Casey inspected his fingernails. "Is there anything I could do to make you shut up?"

Dan thought for a moment. "I wouldn't mind a rimjob."

"Really, that would shut you up," Casey said. "Because you seem like a moaner."

"Well, I like to let my partner know when I'm enjoying something, yes," Dan said. "What's wrong with that?"

Casey shook his head, his beer bottle next to his lips. "Nothin'. It's just not quiet."

Dan looked sidelong at him. "I bet you talk really dirty when you're having sex."

"So what," Casey said.

"Wait, you do?" Dan said.

Casey shrugged. "Once in a while."

"Huh," Dan said. "I usually go for the nonverbal stuff. Makes me feel less--pornographic. Not that there's anything wrong with feeling pornographic--I like porn--but then I start thinking about porn instead of what I'm doing, so--"

"Okay," Casey said.

"So ... " Dan said. "What do you say, when you're getting all dirty?"

Casey smirked. "Aw, come on."

"No, really," Dan said. "I still don't believe you know filthy language."

Casey tilted his hips up and said throatily, "Oh, Danny, uh, God, I wanna suck you off, ram your cock down my throat, please, I'll beg for it--" He interrupted himself as he dissolved into laughter.

"Dude!" Dan said.

Casey laughed some more.

"You know what's scary, that turned me on a little," Dan said.

"I'm a very sexy person," Casey said.

"I don't know if it was you, though," Dan said. "It might just have been the concept of a blowjob."

"Well, you won't know unless you get a data pool going," Casey said.

"Right," Dan said. "I'm going to get Natalie to come in here and say that? Kim? Dana, God help me? I'm going to put my dick through some kind of audio lineup?"

"Hasn't anyone ever talked dirty to you before?" Casey asked.

"Well, sure," Dan said. "I guess. I--my listening skills get knocked out of the mix fairly early on in these typea situations."

"Mm," Casey said.

Dan shook his head. "Boy. Casey with a filthy mouth."

"I'm a professional writer," Casey said. "It's my job to know how to wield words to a certain effect."

Dan shook his head. "You can't say those words on television. And, besides, man, it's not the effect I'm concerned with. It's the words themselves."

"Well, the effect was that you got turned on, right?"

"No," Dan said. "No."

"You said you did."

"Just a little," Dan said.

Casey laughed quietly. "Danny, you must be so easy. Jesus."

Dan was affronted.

"That's not necessarily a bad thing--" Casey said.

Dan shook his head. "Casey, I'm confused now. I didn't know you knew those words."

"That fact that I don't curse as freely as you do doesn't mean I'm any less colorful," Casey said.

"But Jesus!" Dan said. "Who the hell gave you a rimjob at camp?"

Casey coughed a little. "I actually, uh ... never mind."

Dan stared at him. "You didn't."

"You're right," Casey said. "I didn't."

"Oh my God," Dan said. "You did."

"You just said I didn't," Casey said.

"How the hell would I know?" Dan shook his head. "I hope you brushed your teeth afterwards."

"Look, it was a dare, okay?" Casey said.

"Yeah, but it wasn't even a double-dog dare, was it?" Dan said. "You just went in and--" Dan stuck his tongue out and waggled it around.

Casey hit him with a couch pillow.

Dan hunched over. "Hey, don't spill my beer."

"Right," Casey said, settling back against the couch.

Dan held up his hand and said, "And this is all very interesting, yes, but I know what you're trying to do, and it won't work. You're not going to distract me from the fact that I am now an old man."

Casey sighed. "Danny."

"Casey, I don't even have a girlfriend."

"It's not like you've got a biological clock or anything," Casey said. "Relax."

"But a girlfriend would have sweetly distracted me on the morning of the anniversary of my birth. 'Oh honey, you think you're old? Of course you're not; let me give you a blowjob.'"

"Well, Danny," Casey said, "if that's your approach to relationships, I'm frankly stunned that you don't have a girlfriend."

"Oh, come on, Casey; everyone knows the birthday guy is entitled to a blowjob."

Casey cracked his neck. "You want me to get some whores in here for you?"

Dan thought. "I think they prefer to be called 'sex workers.'"

"I think you can call 'em anything you want if you're paying."

"I don't want whores," Dan said.

"Rimjobs don't just magically appear, Danny."

"That would be pretty cool, though," Dan said. "Click your heels three times, and--"

Casey made a face. "I have this grotesque image of a tongue erupting from the yellow brick road, and--god damn you. You're sick."

"Oh, I'm sick," Dan said. "I'm not the one who rimmed a kid at summer camp at the age of twelve."

"I was a precocious kid," Casey muttered.

"I'm sure your parents were very proud," Dan said.

"In fact," Casey said, "I won a sportsmanship award at camp that summer, and they were very proud."

"Is that what they call it in Indiana?" Dan asked. "'Sportsmanship'? 'Cause I gotta tell you, this could totally change the way we report the news."

"I would really like something to fall through the ceiling right now and end this conversation," Casey said.

"You started it," Dan said.

"I did not," Casey said.

Dan sighed. "Casey. I'm never gonna get laid again."

"Of course you are," Casey said. "Especially if you're willing to cough up the money for the whores."

Dan carefully set down his beer, then lunged and put Casey in a headlock. "How do ya like me now? Huh?" He applied a noogie.

"Cut it--knock it off--" Casey squirmed and twisted, and got out of it.

Dan looked at him. "You're surprisingly lithe."

Casey shrugged modestly. "Well, you know. Gymnastics."

"Ah yes," Dan said. "The gymnastics. Can you still do that stuff?"

"I guess," Casey said.

"C'mon, show me something," Dan said.

"I'm not going to show you something--"

Dan clapped his hands. "Perform for me!"

Casey sniggered, got off the couch, and stretched out into a perfect split.

"Jesus Christ," Dan said. "Doesn't that hurt?"

"I am surprisingly limber," Casey said.

"Lithe," Dan said.

"That too," Casey said.

"No, man, I'm looking at you, and that's gotta hurt," Dan said.

"Nah," Casey said. He leaned out in front of himself and lowered his forehead to the ground.

Dan shook his head. "You know, I did a split once, when I was seven. But it was on accident. My mom had just washed the kitchen floor, and I didn't know it and was running around the house in socks, and ... whoosh. I remember being up in the air, and then I remember being in great pain."

Casey's shoulders shook slightly as he laughed. "Yeah, well, it is sort of a thing you have to intend," he said to the floor.

He rolled himself up and got into a headstand, then pushed himself up into a handstand.

"Well, now you're just showin' off," Dan said.

Casey started to walk around slowly on his hands.

Dan got up, looking at him from different angles. After several moments, he casually reached out and scratched Casey under his arm.

Casey snorted and collapsed in a heap. "I hate you," he said.

"You were begging for it!" Dan said. "You can't give me set-ups like that and not expect me to--"

Casey grabbed Dan's ankle and yanked.

Dan yelped on his way down.

"There ya go," Casey said.

"Now I can't get up," Dan said. "You've probably fractured my hip."

"Talk to me in forty years, and then maybe I'll believe you fractured your hip," Casey said. "Wuss."

"I'm not moving," Dan said, looking up at the ceiling.

Casey sat up and leaned over him. "Not even if I do ... this?" He started lightly tickling Dan's sides.

Dan flinched slightly. "No," he said. "I'm not ticklish."

"That's what you say," Casey said. "But I am convinced that you only say that because you think it'll mean people will stop trying to tickle you."

Casey kept slowly tickling him. Dan just stared at him.

Finally, Dan burst into giggles and said, "Fine, God, please stop."

"Ha!" Casey said, and started tickling him harder.

Dan grabbed his wrists. "You're an evil person and I'm ashamed to know you," he said.

Casey was laughing, getting close to chortling, then he leaned down and kissed Dan.

After a second he backed off and cleared his throat. "Um," he said. "About that just now."

Dan blinked. "Yeah."

"Well," Casey said. "I didn't--"

Dan shrugged. "You could do it again."

"I could, but that might not be such a--"

Dan reached up and kissed him.

"See?" he said.

Casey nodded thoughtfully. "Yeah."

He kissed Dan again, the said, "You know, we're both too young for a midlife crisis."

"Uh-huh," Dan said.

"So we don't really have an excuse for this," Casey said.

"Oh, well," Dan said, "if you want an excuse, I could dare you."

"We're too young for a midlife crisis and too old for dares," Casey said.

"Well," Dan said, hooking his leg behind Casey's. "We've been drinking. That's always a good standby."

"Okay," Casey said. "Good enough for me."

Dan smiled as he ran his hands over Casey's back.

Casey whispered as he leaned over him, "All this time. I knew you were ticklish."

"You're the only one who knows, Casey," Dan said.

Casey laughed a little. "Okay."

"I'm not saying that in a corny, I-trust-you kind of way," Dan said. "I'm saying that you better not tell anyone or I'll kill you by horrible means."

"Okay," Casey said.

He and Dan kissed a little.

Dan stretched. "Mm, Casey. I think I'm ... too old to be doing this on the floor anymore."

"Can you make it to the bed without your walker?" Casey asked.

"Possibly," Dan said. "Help me up."

Casey got up and gave Dan a hand. Dan pulled him down again.

"Whoops," Dan said.

Casey laughed against Dan's neck and said, "Well, what about the couch? That's not very far away at all."

"True," Dan said, playing with Casey's fly.

"Stop it," Casey said. "Stop it, we're--Look, if you want to do this on the floor, that's fine."

Dan looked up at him. "When are you going to start talking dirty?"

"Right now, motherfucker, move your ass!" Casey said. "Come on, bedroom. This way."

Dan let Casey lead him down the hallway. He snickered. "You said 'motherfucker.'"

Casey pushed him up against the wall and covered Dan's mouth with his. Dan's surprised noise was cut off when Casey started sucking his tongue. Dan held on as Casey swiveled his hips against his.

When Casey pulled away a fraction, Dan took a second, then said, "Okay, that wasn't just a fun-loving kiss. You know, flowers and light. It was kind of about wet and nasty."

Casey nodded.

"Why don't you give it another try," Dan said.

Casey did.

Dan nodded. "Yeah. Not really finding the daisies in there."

"Should I do it again?" Casey said.

"Yeah, I think you should," Dan said.

Casey shook his head. "Come on."

Casey led him into his room and pushed him down on the bed. He propped himself up on his arms and pressed his hips against Dan's.

"Hmm," Dan said. "Comfy."

Casey slowly thrust against him.

Dan arched his back and sighed.

Casey leaned in and bit his neck.

"I think ... " Dan said. "I've just had a thought. I think we should take our clothes off. I mean, you've never even really looked at my ass before."

Casey rubbed noses with him. "Have you looked at my ass, Danny?"

"Of course I've looked at your ass. Jeez."

Dan reached down and grabbed Casey's ass, pulling him closer.

" ... When were you looking at my ass?" Casey said.

"Locker room," Dan said. "Wardrobe. When you wear those jeans."

Casey paused and licked his lips. "Wait, which jeans?"

"The good ones. The ones that show off your ass."

"I don't have any jeans that show off my ass," Casey said.

"Heh," Dan said. "Okay."

He squeezed Casey through his pants. Casey squirmed a little, making Dan smile.

"So, um ... " Casey said. "Taking off our clothes, you said?"

"Yeah," Dan said. "Sometimes people do that in situations like these."

"But then I'd have to get up," Casey said.

" ... Point," Dan said. "Okay, I'll just take your shirt off for you."

He did, tossing it to the floor.

He ran his hand over Casey's chest and smiled. He sang a little under his breath, "I got ... hair on my chest ... I look good without a shirt ... "

"You're singing now?" Casey said.

"It's a good song," Dan said. "It seemed appropriate."

"There's nothing wrong with my having chest hair," Casey said.

"I know," Dan said. "I like it."

"I mean, at some point everyone decided that guys should be all shiny and smooth, but I was not on that committee, and I really don't see how I can be expected to shave an entire expanse of my body just to fit some preconceived notion of--"

Dan tugged on a couple of hairs. "Shut up."

Casey made a visible effort to let go of the speech. " ... I just wanted to get that out of the way."

"It's been gotten," Dan said. "Man, I didn't know you were so insecure about your chest."

"I'm not," Casey said. "I have a nice chest."

"Well, that's what I'm sayin'."

"You're the one who's insecure about his ass," Casey muttered.

"Well, maybe you should check it out for me," Dan said. "Allay my fears."

" ... Really," Casey said.

"Yeah, c'mon," Dan said. "Validate me."

Casey got up and kneeled in front of Dan, undoing his pants. "I don't think I'm going to allow you to see that therapist anymore."

"Oh, our sessions almost never end up like this," Dan said.

"You're a twisted individual," Casey said, pulling Dan's pants off.

"But I'm getting so much better ... " Dan said as he turned over.

"Hm," Casey said. He ran his hand over a cheek and squeezed a little. He leaned down and pressed a kiss to it. "Well, it's kissable."

"Yeah?" Dan said.

"Mm-hm," Casey said. "Let's see what else you've got here ... Ooh, it can be bitten."

Dan stretched and pushed himself up on his arms and knees.

"And ... " Casey said. "Licked, yes ... very nice ... "

"It meets the minimum requirements?" Dan asked.

"Hang on, I have to check something," Casey said.

" ... What?" Dan said absently.

"Hang on, I have to take off my pants."

Dan laughed into the mattress.

Casey guided his cock to fit in the cleft and slid it up and down a little. "Yeah, Danny, you've got a pretty good ass," he said.

"Okay, good," Dan said.

" ... But you wanted a rimjob," Casey said.

Dan hummed a little in response.

"Yeah ... " Casey said. "I think I should just fuck you with my tongue, what do you think?"

"Well, all right," Dan said. "If that's what you want."

"Well, if you don't want to ... "

"Goddammit, Casey!"

Casey smiled and lightly bit Dan again. He got in close, rubbing his stubbled chin against the bare skin.

Dan groaned quietly.

Casey looked up. "See? I knew you'd make noise."

"Yeah," Dan said. "That noise means, 'Keep doing that; don't stop and gloat, ya braggart.'"

"Ah," Casey said. "A translation."

Dan made a show of settling in.

Casey kissed the small of his back, then lightly traced circles there with his tongue.

"Hmm," Dan said appreciatively.

Casey dipped his tongue into the cleft and, when he lapped against the hole, Dan gasped.

Casey just kept licking him there, teasing along the edges. Dan's breathing was noisy, unsteady.

He groaned long and soft when Casey pushed his tongue in. Casey twisted his tongue up, curling inside Dan, then pulled out and smiled. He flicked his tongue against the strip of skin leading to Dan's balls.

He repositioned himself, grabbing hold of Dan's hips and really leaning in. His tongue darted in again, and when Dan moaned, Casey kept up the motion, spreading Dan with his hands, going deeper.

After a while, Casey stopped and murmured, "You're not getting bored, are you?"

Dan trembled and shook his head.

"Because, I'm, um ... " Casey dipped his tongue in again. "I've been writing out obscene French poetry down here, but I could switch over to German ... "

Dan whimpered and pushed himself back some more.

"Okay," Casey said.

And when Dan came, it was a shock, all of a sudden; Casey hadn't done anything differently at that moment, but Dan was nearly keening with it.

Casey kissed him again, a few more times, then lay himself lightly against Dan's back. He tapped Dan's shoulder. "Hey."

He shifted and Dan rolled on to his side, looking at him. "Mm," Dan said.

"I didn't know you would come from just that; it was pretty impressive," Casey said.

Dan stretched. "I'm pretty sure it had something to do with you too."

"All right," Casey said. He kissed Dan's forehead. "See, I told you you'd make a lot of noise."

"Hey, I stopped talking, didn't I?" Dan said.

"Yes, you did," Casey said.

Dan smiled and then tugged at him. "C'mon, let's move to the other side of the bed. It's ... squoogy over here."

Casey laughed. "Did you just make up that word?"

"Well, it's fitting, isn't it?" Dan said.

"Sure," Casey said.

His legs twined with Dan's when they'd found a drier place to settle in.

Dan kissed him. "Hey, you wanna fuck me?"

" ... You want to?" Casey asked.

"Yeah, c'mon," Dan said. "It's my birthday."

"Well, then, I guess I have to," Casey said.

"Yeah," Dan happily agreed. "'S stuff in there," he said, gesturing vaguely at the nightstand.

Casey nodded and got himself ready.

Dan lay back with his eyes closed, arms out-stretched, and spread his legs.

"You are completely easy, Danny," Casey said.

"What?" Dan said absently.

Casey shook his head. "Nothing."

"All right ... " Dan said.

He sighed when Casey pushed all the way in, and let his hands roam over Casey's back.

"Oh fuck ... " Casey whispered, looking down at Dan. "So fucking hot ... "

Dan pushed up a little, his eyes still closed.

Casey watched a drop of sweat fall from his forehead onto Dan's.

"You're just going to lie back there, aren't you?" Casey said.

"Mm-hm," Dan hummed, wrapping his legs around Casey.

Casey slowly moved in and out, and Dan let him, and then, when Casey went harder and faster, Dan let him do that too.

When Casey finally came, Dan ran his fingers through Casey's hair and smiled at him.

"Kiss me," he said.

"You could ... " Casey said. "You could kiss me."

"Yeah, but I'm down here," Dan said. "You've got gravity on your side."

Casey sighed as he pulled out. He leaned down and kissed Dan pretty thoroughly. "You're very lazy in bed, aren't you?"

"I'm not lazy," Dan said. "I'm pleasantly pliant, because it's my birthday."

"I think you're lazy because you're an old man and don't have the energy."

"Oh, it could be," Dan said. "Could be."

Casey lay beside him and trailed his fingers over his chest. "So ... " He glanced over at the clock. "It actually hasn't been your birthday anymore for a while, but do you still want your birthday blowjob?"

"Nah," Dan said.

"Because you seemed kind of worked up about it before," Casey said.

"No, I'm good," Dan said.

"Are you going to move to Djibouti?" Casey asked.

"No, I'm good." Dan sighed and stretched. "Maybe my thirtieth birthday can mark some huge turning point in my life," he said. "It'll have signaled the beginning of my Debauched Gay Sex Period."

Casey wrinkled his brow. "Well, how is that different from your High School Period?"

"Because the ... " Dan said. "Less with the group sex now. This is the Debauched Gay Sex with Casey Period."

Casey kissed him. "I think you're growing up very nicely, Danny."

"Well, thank you very much," Dan said.

" ... Do you still have to sit at the kids' table when you go home for Thanksgiving?" Casey asked.

"I'll thank you not to mention that again," Dan said.

"All right," Casey said. "Good night, Danny."

"Good night," Dan said.

Casey yawned. "Happy birthday."

"That's right," Dan said.

"Okay."

"Are we going to sleep now?" Dan asked.

"Yes," Casey said.

"Mm," Dan said. "Okay."

Comments always welcome!

e-mail the author: agent DOT reynard AT gmail DOT com