Sassy was in the recliner when the sound of keys reached her pointy gray ears. She twitched her tail into place over her eyes and stayed asleep. "Hey Sass," Danny said. "You don't know how lucky you are to be a cat and not have to worry 'bout whether or not the man you thought was your best friend still likes you."
Danny got his gun put away and flopped down on the sofa. He tossed his glasses onto the table and closed his eyes. "Every time I've seen him this past week, Flack's avoided my eyes and talked to whoever is my partner on the case," he continued. "I trusted him, Sassy, and now I'm wondering if all I've done is drive him away."
Sassy opened her green eyes and jumped over, settled on Danny's stomach and started purring loudly. He smiled and ran his hand down her back. "I know you love me, Sass. And I know Mac loves me. He ain't gonna be able to come over tonight, he's got some sort of political dinner he's gotta go to for the good of the lab or some other BS. So we're on our own. What should we do for supper?"
The cat meowed and Danny had to laugh. "Tuna fish, huh?" he asked. "Y'know the folks at the deli think I'm nuts. All right, all right, I'll go and get the sandwiches but you can't ever tell Mac. He'll never let me hear the end of it."
Danny put the cat back in her chair, picked up his glasses and left the apartment again. Deep down he knew it wasn't really a good idea to give his cat human food, but he didn't know what her life had been like before he adopted her. He liked to spoil her just as much as Mac did.
"Oh, hey Adam," Danny said with a small smile.
"I'm sorry to just drop in on you like this, but I was wondering if we could talk. I kinda need your advice."
"Don't worry 'bout it," Danny said. "I was just going out to get some supper. The deli is down the block, walk with me and we can talk."
"Why not just get it delivered?" Adam asked.
"I needed to walk," Danny replied. "I'll tell you all about it when we're back at my place. And Mac's not coming over tonight."
Adam ducked his head. "Yeah, I know."
"You gotta get over this fear of him," Danny said. "Mac only bites if you want him too."
"I did not need to know that," Adam said, shaking his head.
Danny just laughed and went up to the counter. The young girl working recognized him and greeting him with a smile. "Hi Detective Messer," she said. "You want your usual?"
"That'd be great, Patty, but add in a turkey meatball sub with chips and a Pepsi, please," Danny replied.
"Danny, I could've paid for myself," Adam protested as Danny was putting his change away.
"Nah, my treat," Danny said. "You can get me lunch during the next big case when I can't leave the lab."
"Just as long as Mac doesn't find out," Adam said. "He's got this way of looking at you that just really makes me feel like he's taking me apart."
"I know the look," Danny laughed. "Adam, he ain't gonna hurt you no matter what happens. He likes you. It's just that he gets a little focused on work most of the time. Look, let me know if he's chewing on you and I'll call him on it, yeah?"
Adam picked up one of the bags. "I guess so," he said. "Danny, why are there three sandwiches?"
"Sassy really likes tuna clubs," Danny replied. "Look, do me a favor and don't tell Mac 'bout this. I'm always teasing him 'bout spoiling her and I know he's just waiting for the chance to get back at me."
"I wish I had a relationship like you two."
Danny unlocked the door to his apartment. "Trust me, buddy, there are downsides to everything."
"Like what?" Adam asked. He blinked at the silver streak from a chair in the living room to the counter in the kitchen. "She can really move."
"Sassy, get down from there," Danny said. "The only time she gets up on the counter is when she's hungry and I can't train it outta her. Mac and I debated naming her comet and bullet when I first brought her home."
Adam watched as Danny put the tuna club on a plate and set it on the floor. "I wonder why you can't train her," he said with a small laugh.
"She don't get stuff this good every night," Danny said. "C'mon, grab yours and we can watch TV while we talk."
"That doesn't make any sense," Adam pointed out. He dug out a fork and knife, stepped over the cat and joined Danny in the living room. "I mean, normally people don't have the TV on if they're planning to talk because it's unnecessary background noise."
"Or protection from people listening in," Danny said. He flipped through and found a baseball game. "That'll work. So you probably ain't heard, but Mac and me told Flack about our relationship."
"Yeah, I remember you guys talking about wanting to do it. I'm guessing things didn't go over that well."
Danny snorted. "That's the understatement of the year," he said. "Hell, maybe the decade. Flack can't even look at me, Adam. I've been with Mac more'n three years now and been best friends with Flack the whole time. But now that he knows 'bout us, he's freaked and dropped me like I gotta disease or something."
"That's tough, man, but I'm sure he'll come around," Adam said. "You guys have been friends way too long for it to just end like that."
"I hope so, 'cause right now work is hell and I know it's only a matter of time before someone asks me what's going on," Danny sighed. "But enough about my problems, what's up with you?"
"I guess I really need advice on how to ask someone out," Adam said.
"That's my boy," Danny grinned. "Tell me about him."
Adam blushed and ducked his head with a smile. "I met him at the bar about a month ago and we really hit it off. We've just been hanging out, getting to know each other, but I really do want to deepen the relationship. He's a medical intern about to start working with Sid."
"I hope he knows what he's getting into," Danny said. "Has he been to your place yet?"
"Yeah, a couple of times for movies," Adam replied. He started a little when Sassy joined them on the sofa. "She's way too quiet."
"I ain't putting a bell on her," Danny said scratching Sassy's ears. "Mac got her this cat nip mouse that she absolutely loves. She runs around the apartment with it and a bell would drive me nuts."
"It must be nice to have someone, or something, to come home to," Adam said.
"It is, especially when Mac has to go play politics," Danny grinned. "So, your boy has already been over, yeah?"
"So invite him over for supper and tell him what you're feeling," Danny said. "The worst that can happen is that he don't return your feelings and the best is that you got yourself a boyfriend."
"You make it sound so easy," Adam said. He leaned back, shifted a little, reached behind himself and pulled out the mouse. "Is this what you were talking about?"
Sassy batted it out of his hand and ran after it. Danny laughed, "that's it," he said. "Adam, I know what happened to you the last time you tried to date, but your dad ain't here. And there's no way for him to find out. Do you think your friend is gonna turn violent on you if you tell him your feelings are changing?"
"I don't think you, but you know how hard it can be for me to read people. What if I'm totally wrong, Danny?"
"Adam, the fact that you met in a gay bar helps the odds," Danny said. "Maybe he's looking for more and maybe he ain't. You're just gonna suffer unless you talk to him." He picked up the dishes and went into the kitchen. "Have I ever told you how Mac and me got together?"
"No, I wouldn't have even suspected you were together if I hadn't bumped into you at the bar." Adam perched on one of the bar chairs.
"It was right after the whole Minhas mess," Danny said. "Mac came over after our whole conversation that he ended really abruptly. He felt bad for what he'd said and wanted to talk some more. I really wasn't in the mood to talk but he forced my hand and we were up until two in the morning. And he crashed on my couch because it was so late. We both realized that our feelings were changing and I made the first move about a week later. It was another month or so before we finally slept together and we've been together ever since. Hell, if it wasn't for appearances, we'd be living together."
"I guess I'm just not as brave as you."
"You're the only one who can change that, Adam. Sassy, get outta there."
"I'll think about it," Adam sighed. He picked up the cat nip mouse that had been dropped on the counter next to him and tossed it back into the living room. Both men laughed as Sassy slid into the wall as she tried to get her feet under her and then dashed out after it. "So what are you going to do about Flack?"
Danny sighed and dried his hands. "I dunno, Adam. I really don't."
"You'll let me know if there's anything I can do to help?"
"Yeah, I'll tell you. Thanks, Adam."
Danny woke up at one in the morning when the bed dipped. "Mac?"
"Who were you expecting?" Mac asked. He kissed Danny softly.
"No one," Danny replied as he settled against his lover's body. "I thought you'd go back to your place after your supper thing."
"The only place I wanted to be today and tonight was with you," Mac said. "Danny, I saw how Flack was treating you during the case today and wondered if you wanted me to talk with him?"
"And say what?" Danny asked. He moved his foot and winced at the muted thud. "Sorry, Sassy. Flack ain't gotten unprofessional and as long as I have a partner on the case it should be okay. But Adam noticed there's something wrong."
"Did he come over tonight?"
"Yeah, he wanted some dating advice," Danny said.
Sassy jumped back up on the bed and very pointedly settled down on Mac's side. Both men snickered. "Is it someone at work?" Mac finally asked.
"He will be soon, a new intern of Sid's," Danny replied. "They met at the bar and have been hanging as friends."
"I hope it works out well for Adam," Mac said. "He needs something to bolster his self-confidence and being in a steady relationship could really help."
Danny kissed Mac again and settled in, using his lover's chest as a pillow. "It definitely helped me."
"You weren't ever lacking confidence, Danny. But it has settled you. Now go to sleep. We both need to be sharp at work tomorrow."
"You gonna talk with Flack?"
"I'll think of something, Danny, I don't like to see you hurting," Mac said. "And I promise not to hurt him.
Danny kissed the bare skin under his mouth. "Thanks, I kinda need him for the case we're working."
Mac kissed Danny's head and settled in to try and sleep. Neither man was aware of Sassy's green gaze watching them until they were both asleep. Then she moved into her normal spot, twitched her tail into position and went to sleep as well.
Summary: Third in the Sassy universe. Mac has to go to a political dinner so Adam takes the chance to come over and ask Danny for some advice.