Stellaluna (stellaluna_) wrote,

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Fic: "Long Way Down" (for fanfic100)

Title: Long Way Down
Author: stellaluna_
Fandom: CSI:NY
Rating: NC-17 for explicit sex and language
Summary: A July heatwave, a broken air conditioner, and an ill-timed bout of nostalgia all add up to Danny finding himself in sore need of some distraction. Danny/Mac.
Disclaimer: None of these are mine. Characters are the property of Anthony Zuiker, Jerry Bruckheimer Television, CBS, and Alliance Atlantis.
Notes: For the fanfic100 challenge (prompt 063: Summer). Many thanks to gin200168, who suggested the line of dialogue that inspired this story, and who is always supportive and encouraging, much more so than I probably deserve. The line itself is a quote from the film For Your Eyes Only.

Danny hates it when he catches himself thinking in cliches. Sometimes, like now, he just can't seem to help it. The air conditioner is broken, and there are no new ones to be had anywhere in the city; it's a heatwave, and just like every year, New York seems to have been caught by surprise. No one ever does anything like plan ahead and buy their air conditioners in April. The building super came by and looked at it and laughed, or at least that's how Mac described the situation; apparently it's too old to make a repair worthwhile. The fan in the corner isn't doing anything except pushing the hot air around, and having the windows open doesn't do any good in the absence of a breeze. Somehow all of this has triggered a minor existential crisis for Danny, or at the very least a severe attack of nostalgia, and he sprawls across the couch and channel-surfs aimlessly while he broods about how much summers have changed since he was a kid.

Summers back then, more than twenty years ago, as hard as that is for Danny to believe, meant mornings spent watching reruns of The Monkees and Bewitched and The Flying Nun on WOR out of Secaucus, and then The Price Is Right on Channel 2; and afternoons playing baseball down at the park. They'd go until dark or dinnertime no matter how hot it got, with the help of the occasional time-out so they could go dunk their heads under the spray of one of the concrete water fountains. When there weren't enough guys around for a game, or when Danny got in a mood where he didn't feel like being around people he knew, he'd go exploring instead. He'd just take a walk, or he'd scrounge up enough change for the subway and see how far he could get before he had to turn around and go home.

A few times he rode all the way to the end of the line, Coney Island and the Aquarium, and in his memory they shine in the midday sun, even though he knows that both places were too old and too worn-down to shimmer that way. He'd sneak back into the house after these trips feeling like he'd gotten away with something, even though it was rare for anyone to question where he'd been. In the evenings, sometimes, if no one in the family was pissed off at him for anything, his father might let him and Louie go down to Baskin-Robbins for cones.

Danny knows he's romanticizing all of this, knows that perfectly well, and even so, he's lying here thinking how summers are less meaningful now that he's an adult, since it's not like he gets time off anymore, or like baseball and the subway have the same allure they did when he was ten. Baseball does sometimes, but he knows too much now to ever again view it with the same wide-eyed wonder he had for the game back around 1983, and the subway is just a means of conveyance, nothing more. And blah blah blah; cry him a Gen-X river. He's a walking fucking cliche to get all introspective like this, and it's not like there aren't still good things about summer, not like he never feels suddenly happy when he buys an Italian ice or when he feels the sun on his face, or when Jeter hits a homerun and he leans across the couch to kiss Mac, because even though Danny is a Mets fan through and through, he's willing to be generous. Times like these, he still enjoys summer.

Other times, though, like now, it's just too motherfucking hot, and Danny pulls his shirt away from his stomach and wishes for December.

Mac has pointed out several times that they could go to a movie, or to a bar or a restaurant. "Or the lab if you're really feeling desperate," he'd added, and Danny had rolled his eyes and said that Mac was crazy if he thought that was a good idea on a day off, never mind the broken air conditioner.

"And all those other places take effort," Danny had continued. "Even if it's air-conditioned so's it's like Antarctica when we get there, first we gotta walk to the subway and then we gotta ride the train. Then we gotta walk to the place, and then we gotta do the whole thing in reverse on the way back. By that time we're all sweaty again."

Or at least, Danny thinks, he'll be all sweaty again, because he's not so sure about Mac. He's not convinced that Mac sweats, that he's actually affected by the heat the same way everyone else is. Hell, just look at him right now: his only concession to the weather is that he's wearing a t-shirt and track pants -- stuff he'd normally only wear to work out in -- instead of his usual dress pants and jacket and shirt. And he looks perfectly cool and collected, with every hair in place and not so much as a solitary wrinkle in the t-shirt, much less sweat stains under the arms or anything like that. His posture is still perfect, too, even sitting in the armchair and reading the way he is.

In contrast, Danny, who's still stretched full-length across the couch and cursing the lousy TV selection on a Saturday afternoon, is wearing shorts and a thin undershirt, both of which are a mass of wrinkles, and he feels like he's being baked from the inside out. He hasn't moved much in the last half-hour except to push the buttons on the remote, but he can feel sweat soaking his armpits and pooling in the small of his back. The heat is like a weight on his skin, pressing him down, and there's no escaping it. He tugs irritably at the neck of the undershirt.

"Don't know why I bothered gettin' dressed today," he says. "May as well just sit around naked for all the good clothes are doin' me. Probably be more comfortable, too."

Mac looks up from his Law Enforcement Bulletin. "You're not sitting around naked and sweating on my furniture, Danny."

Danny rolls onto his side so that he can face Mac. "You don't always mind that," he says.

If he was hoping to make Mac blush, he's disappointed. Mac just barely blinks, then says, "There's a qualitative difference between that and you dripping perspiration all over my couch because you're too overheated to keep your clothes on during the day."

"Hey, maybe I'm just that hot," Danny says. "And what're you talkin' about? We done it on the couch before."

Mac sighs, then goes back to his reading without saying a word.

Danny thinks, not for the first time, that Mac may be getting used to him. There was a time when a remark like that would have raised a blush on Mac's face for sure, or at the very least some tension around his jaw line. If Danny had really hit home or poked at a nerve, it might have even touched off a lecture about inappropriate comments. Now things like this don't seem to faze Mac in the slightest; he's much more likely to volley with his own peculiar brand of stealth sarcasm, then carry on as usual. Maybe this is only normal; it's been long enough now -- most of the previous winter and all spring, and now on into the summer -- that Mac has had plenty of time to adjust. Even so, it still can take Danny by surprise. It's a good thing, of course.

Danny watches Mac read for a minute or two, then says, "Aren't you hot?"

"It's probably close to a hundred degrees in here," Mac says. "Of course I'm hot." He doesn't sound as if he's really paying attention.

"Yeah, but isn't it bothering you?" Danny asks. "I mean, you don't look uncomfortable or anything. I'm dyin' over here."

Mac turns a page. "My suggestion of a movie or a drink still stands."

"Naw, told you: too much effort, not enough payoff."

"Then try to focus on something else. Mind over matter."

"Mind over matter, right," Danny says. "Don't mind my sayin' so, Mac, that's a lot more mystical than I'd expect of you."

"There's nothing mystical about it, Danny," Mac says. He closes the Bulletin, but holds his place with one finger. "It's just that if you keep focusing on how hot it is and how much you hate it, of course it's going to get to you."

"Yeah, but how am I supposed to not focus on it?" Danny says. "It's kinda inescapable."

"You could find something to read."

Danny waves a hand at him. "It'll just give me a headache in this weather."

"Or you could watch -- " Mac glances at the TV for the first time since he sat down. " -- Whatever that is you've got on," he finishes, after studying the screen with what looks to Danny like horrified fascination, or possibly fascinated horror, one of the two.

"Boa Vs. Python," Danny says. "See, there was a movie called Boa, and another one called Python, and then they decided to put 'em together for a sequel. Talk about a cage match, huh?" Onscreen, CGI reptiles hiss at each other.

"You could say that," Mac says.

"It's Snake Weekend on this channel," Danny adds.

"I see." Mac watches for another few seconds, then shakes his head and opens up his magazine again.

"It's not my first choice of movie, but there's not much else on this time of day."

"Danny..." Mac looks up.

"You want me to let you read, don't ya?"

"Please." Mac nods. "Either that, or let's do something instead of sitting around."

Danny shrugs, as best he can from his prone position. "Maybe after the sun goes down," he says.

Mac goes back to reading, and Danny goes back to staring at the TV, watching now without really processing anything that's happening in the movie. He lets his thoughts drift instead, trying to think about something other than the heat. Anything other than the heat. And none of those misty watercolor memories bullshit musings about his supposedly idyllic childhood, either.

His earlier thought recurs: Mac may be getting used to him. Taking that through to its logical conclusion would imply that the reverse is also true: that he's getting used to Mac. It's not just that Danny is usually, if not able to predict Mac's actions, at least able to hazard a guess with a fair degree of accuracy; it's that more often than not he finds himself feeling comfortable in Mac's presence. This in itself is, paradoxically, enough to make Danny uncomfortable when he thinks about it too much.

This is the longest relationship he's had in years. It makes him feel a little stupid to even think of it as a relationship, because he and Mac are smart enough not to talk about shit like that, but he supposes that's what it is. Maybe it's okay to think that, and even to feel it, but it's not okay to say it. Danny is a follower of the Church of Low Expectations: expect nothing, hope for nothing, and you won't be disappointed. Hoping just leaves a person open to all kinds of bad shit. Danny wouldn't be surprised if Mac was also a believer in this philosophy.

Yet here they are, and this has been going on for more than eight months now. Even so, Danny starts every day they spend together with no expectations at all; he doesn't think about the future or wish for anything. Since the present is good, he has no complaints. He just thinks it's sort of like the childhood summers he was remembering earlier: back then he thought they'd last forever, and that things would always be just that good. Now he knows that's not true, that summer always fades. And he may be complaining about the heat now, but next January he'll be shivering and wishing for August.

Whatever. If Danny isn't going to think about the future or brood over his past, he doesn't see any reason not to enjoy the present. Low expectations or no, it's a summer day and Danny is bored with lying here muttering about how hot he is. Mind over matter, Mac said. Well, maybe they should put that theory to the test.

Danny swings his feet to the floor and pushes himself off the couch, and makes like he's heading into the kitchen for a drink of water or something. Instead, he reverses course at the last second so that he ends up standing in front of the armchair. When Mac looks up to see what he wants, Danny leans down and braces his hands on either arm of the chair, so that he's right up close and personal and can look into Mac's eyes. Danny doesn't move.

"Something I can help you with, Danny?" Mac says after a few seconds, and lowers his magazine.

"I don't believe you," Danny says, and flashes Mac a smile. "I don't believe for a second that you..." He leans in even closer, close enough so that he's as much in Mac's face as he can get without actually touching him. "...are actually as cool and unaffected by the heat as you're lettin' on."

Mac is a cool customer, though, because he doesn't even blink, or try to back up -- not that he could actually go anywhere, but it would be a natural reaction. "I'd prefer it if the air conditioner were working," he says, "but I'm really fine, Danny."

"Maybe." Danny leans in even closer, studying him, and then he sees something. A little trickle of sweat on the side of Mac's neck, so minor that no one who wasn't standing this close -- or who hadn't been trained to notice the tiniest details about a person or a given situation -- would probably ever spot it. Fortunately, Danny has been trained in just such a fashion, and he works with one of the best people in the field. "What's this?" he says, and reaches out and touches Mac's neck, very lightly.

"What -- " Mac starts to ask, and Danny smiles again.

"Looks like sweat to me, Mac," he says, and traces his fingers over the wet patch. "Feels like it, too."

"Yes, and?" Mac says, still sounding calm. "It's a physiological reaction, Danny. You know that as well as I do. Just because -- "

Sometimes Mac talks too much, Danny decides, and he takes his hand away, then leans forward even more and licks the side of Mac's neck instead. Warm skin and a taste of salt on his mouth, and Mac stops talking and inhales sharply as Danny traces his tongue over the patch of sweat. He keeps on licking until his mouth is moving over Mac's pulse point and Danny is all the way in the chair straddling his lap, the Bulletin tossed carelessly to the floor. It's still hot in the room, and now the sweat is really running down his back, but he's starting not to care about that so much.

He holds still for a few moments, feeling the steady beat of blood beneath the skin and listening to Mac's quick breathing. He licks again and gives one quick little nip, and then presses his crotch into Mac's. Danny's already hard, has been since he first put his fingers to Mac's throat, and Mac's erection is solid against his. He lifts his head and smiles.

"See?" he says. "I knew it."

Mac looks into his face, and Danny reads both amusement and arousal in his gaze. He rubs against him a little, just enough to make him draw in another quick breath, and Mac's hands come up and press into his waist. "You're a smart man," Mac says.

"Observant, too." Danny runs his tongue over his lips. "'S'why I'm so good at what I do." Mac arches his hips a little, and this time it's Danny who has to bite back a gasp.

"Yeah," Mac says, and his voice is hoarse. "You are."

"Yeah, I know," Danny says, and then, even though he meant to tease a little longer, he kisses Mac, nice and deep. Mac's tongue slides over his and their teeth bang together, and Danny feels the heat roll over his body as he works one hand inside Mac's shirt.

"Maybe we should move this inside," Mac says when they pause for breath.

"Uh huh," Danny says, and climbs out of Mac's lap so he can drag him into the bedroom. Earlier he'd had a vague idea about maybe doing a nice little striptease for Mac, even throw in a bump-and-grind, what the hell, but instead he just yanks his undershirt over his head as quickly as he can and then pulls off his shorts and boxers all in one smooth motion. After that he gets his hands under Mac's t-shirt again and works on making both of them naked as fast as he possibly can.

"I would have thought," Mac says awhile later, as Danny kisses his way down his torso, "that this much physical activity would too much for you today." He sounds pretty breathless, but he's still able to form coherent sentences, which Danny finds pretty fucking impressive.

"And there you'd be wrong," Danny says, and spider-walks his fingers over Mac's thigh while he nuzzles into his hip. "Gonna sweat, might as well have fun doin' it, right?" They're both soaked in perspiration by now, and Danny's skin feels even hotter everywhere it presses into Mac's, but he's also discovered that he doesn't care so much anymore. So maybe Mac was right about the whole mind over matter deal after all. This is definitely way better than fake snakes on TV, too.

"That's what I was trying to tell you," Mac says, and Danny slips his mouth over the head of his dick and Mac shuts up.

They're both quiet for awhile except for gasps and soft exclamations, and then Danny stops what he's doing and says, "C'mere," and they roll over, kissing, as Mac reaches out and starts fumbling around in the nightstand drawer. He gets the condom on and then Danny pushes back into him, cursing in pleasure as Mac thrusts forward. They move together and Mac strokes him up and down, pressing quick, scorching kisses all along Danny's neck and shoulders.

Danny comes hard and Mac keeps on kissing him until the tremors stop, and a minute after that Mac's coming, too, rocking deep into him and making Danny groan again just for how good it feels. He lets himself fall back against the pillows and thinks that he really hopes no one pages either of them any time soon, because there's no way his brain is up to processing a scene right now.

They both catch their breaths, and eventually Danny stretches out on his stomach and drapes an arm across Mac, propping his chin against his chest. "Hey," he says.

"Hey." Mac runs his fingers idly through Danny's hair.

"Guess you were right about the mind over matter thing, too," Danny says.

"Does this mean you might listen to my opinion every now and then?" Mac asks.

"I do that already."

"Not as much as you -- "

"Now, don't go gettin' ahead of yourself, Mac," Danny says. "Just 'cause you were right about this doesn't mean I ain't right sometimes, too."

"Of course," Mac says. "You're frequently insightful."

"Goddamn right," Danny says. "Hey, whattaya say we get outta here for awhile and get something to eat, now that I've gone and gotten you all sticky."

"I thought you said that going outside was too much effort."

"Yeah, I know. Changed my mind. It's a gorgeous day, so why waste it?" He grins at Mac. "'Sides, it's prob'ly cooler outside than it is in here. Even if it's not, hell, we should be able to find some place in the neighborhood that's got the AC goin', right?"

Mac smiles. "That sounds so familiar," he says. "Where have I heard that before? Oh, I remember: I said it myself a few hours ago."

"Yeah, yeah. You're a forward thinker, what can I say?" Danny pats Mac on the chest. "Now put your clothes back on, and I'll buy you an ice cream." He gives Mac one last kiss, then rolls over and off the bed. He finds his boxers and his shorts and steps into them, and when he turns around, zipping up his fly, Mac is sitting up in bed blinking at him. The sheets are rumpled and so is his hair, and Danny feels pleased with himself all over again. "What?" he says, since Mac is still just looking at him.

"I can't believe you just quoted a Bond movie at me," Mac says.

"Very good, you recognized it. Now c'mon," Danny says, yanking his undershirt over his head. "There's nothin' wrong with that. It fits the occasion and everything."

Mac shakes his head and laughs, then gets up and starts to get dressed. "I think that's a first, that's all," he says.

"Yeah? Well, get used to it, my friend," Danny says. "'Cause I got a million of 'em. I just haven't been using 'em on ya up until now on account'a I didn't wanna scare you or nothin'."

"You wouldn't have scared me," Mac says, raising an eyebrow at him.

"Right, you're a tough guy." Danny rocks on his heels impatiently as Mac sits down to lace up his sneakers.

"That, and I know you." Danny doesn't say anything at that, and his movement halts mid-rock. Mac stands up. "Don't I?" he says.

"Yeah." Danny nods, and then he can't help smiling, even though his stomach is jumping. "Yeah, guess you do," he says. And maybe that's not a bad thing, he decides as they walk toward the living room together; they've got more than two months of summer left to go, and that's plenty of time. That may be a cliche, too, and maybe some day he'll look back on this season with the same mixture of reluctant nostalgia and longing with which he regards his childhood -- or maybe he won't. There's just no way of knowing.

Meanwhile, he's just had sex and he's about to go eat ice cream, and, for now at least, he's got Mac, too. In light of that, Danny decides, even the heatwave doesn't seem so intolerable after all.

Feedback is always appreciated.

Big Damn Table of prompts, and links to previous stories

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  • thinkpositive30: day 18

    I managed to pull or strain something in my neck and back on Sunday night, although it didn't start paining me until after my shower on Monday…

  • thinkpositive30: day 17

    Busy week, so I've fallen several days behind, but now seems like a good time for getting back on schedule. We started watching the BBC miniseries…

  • thinkpositive30: day 16

    I do not like Mondays on principle, but this one is over now. I had Trader Joe's Middle East Feast prepared meal for lunch, which I find very yummy…