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Misery Business

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The insistent buzzing of his cell phone is what woke him up. The early afternoon sun was peeking through the curtains of the brightly colored room and Danny frowned, momentarily forgetting where he was. He reached out and grabbed the phone, the name on the screen blurry from sleep and when he recognized who was calling him, he quickly stepped out of the bed, making his way to the living room so he could answer it in privacy.

"Hello?" he grumbled out.

"Danny, where have you been?"

Christina's voice was more annoyed than worried which irked him. He ran a hand through his hair and twisted his back, his sore muscles protesting the movement. "I told you last night that I wasn't coming home," he said softly. "The triplet delivery went late and I..." He trailed off, looking around the apartment he was standing in. "I stayed at the hospital."

Christina sighed on the other line. "Well, look, I've been thinking about what you said yesterday - how you want to slow things down? I understand you're scared about us, Danny. I promise things will be different this time, though. We're both different people. I will give you space if you really need it, but I want you to know I'm very serious about us, baby. I love you."

Danny heard movement from the other room and cleared his throat. "I, uh, I appreciate that, Christina. Look, I'm still pretty tired and I just have a lot to process right now. Can I call you later?"

"Sure, Danny. I'm getting some stuff from your apartment right now before going back to mine. Maybe we could meet up for dinner?"

"Yeah, I'll call you. Okay, bye." He ended the call right as a figure appeared in the bedroom doorway. He looked up and saw the nervous, tired face of Mindy. Her body was covered by a silk robe and her short hair was sticking out in a few directions.

"Danny?" she whispered. "What did we do?"

Danny shrugged, shaking his head. "Nothing..." he told her confidently and then his smile faltered. "Twice."

They stared deep into each other's eyes, his fingers still lingering by her ears where he had slipped her glasses back into place. "There," he whispered, dropping his hands. "There was just... a little schmutz." 

They continued to gaze, their eyes briefly darting down to each other's lips before locking again. Finally, Danny took the plunge and closed the small distance between them, his lips pressing tentatively against hers. He felt her gasp and almost pulled away to apologize, but he felt her hand slide up his arm and rest on his shoulder, keeping him there. They stayed still for a few seconds and then mutually pulled away to gauge each other's reaction to what just happened. Neither seeing regret in the other's eyes, they were pulled together again like magnets. His hands cupped her jaw, his lips plucking hers. Her hands clutched at his shoulders, sliding down the panes of his back, and they raised up on their knees, pressing closer together. 

It wasn't until poor Doris walked in to find them tangled together on the couch, Danny's scrub shirt on the floor, completely forgotten, and Mindy writhing under him as they heavily made out, that they finally parted. They were embarrassed that they let themselves go so far in public, at work no less, and quickly scrambled to rush out of the hospital, shouting apologies at the cleaning woman behind them. They basically didn't stop running until they were in bed together, Mindy's fingernails marking his back and Danny's dance skills proving to come very much in handy.

The aroma of coffee was slowly waking them both up. Mindy sat on a stool on one side of the kitchen island while Danny stood on the opposite side, silently staring at each other, but neither saying their thoughts. He could see a dark hickey on the side of her neck and bit his lip, wanting to walk over and give her a matching one on the other side. Or maybe on her chest, near her breast. He had earlier attempted to put his scrub shirt back on, but had paused after raising his arms over his head, catching a glimpse of the red nail marks on his back in the bathroom mirror. Their night together was passionate and judging by the way Mindy was walking a bit stilted, their bodies were paying for it. 

"So," Mindy said, breaking the silence. "We had sex."

Danny raised his eyebrows at her, a smirk twitching his lips. "We did."

Mindy stared at him expectantly, but when he said nothing further she stomped her foot, crossing her arms over her chest. "Danny! Say something!" she demanded. "What about Christina?"

"What about Casey?" he countered. Her mouth clamped shut and she averted her gaze. "You cut your hair. You're going to Haiti with him. Why?"

She shuffled her feet and shrugged. "I love him?"

"Is that a question? Or an answer?"

Her eyes narrowed and she set a glare on him. "What do you want from me, Danny? Casey and I technically got back together last night and then you and I had sex. And you're still with Christina."

"I'm not sure," he said softly, looking down at the dark liquid in his mug. "I told her I wanted to slow things down and she wants to talk, but I don't... I don't think I love her anymore, Min."


He looked up at her, noting the glint of happiness in her eyes and felt a spark in his chest mixed with confusion. Was she happy about his ended relationship? "Yeah, I think we're two completely different people than we were when we were kids. Besides, she's still traveling constantly and I work just as much, if not more than I did before. Why should we even bother?"

She took a moment to respond, a frown on her lips. "Danny, can I be honest?" She didn't wait for his approval, plowing through her thoughts. "Christina treats you like shit and you deserve so much better."

He chuckled, a response she clearly was not expecting if the look on her face was anything to go by and he cleared his throat. "I know she treats me bad," he told her. "Which is another reason why I'm going to break it off completely with her tonight. Now can we get back to us?"


"Yes, us." He walked around the island until he was standing in front of her. "We had amazing sex last night, Lahiri. And I'd like to know what it means."

"You thought I was amazing?" she grinned, a flush creeping up her neck, and she set her coffee on the counter next to his.

"I did," he confessed. "What did you think?"

"Eh, you were okay." She waved him off and shrugged, looking away, but he could see her biting back a smile.

"Just okay?" His arms slid around her waist, pulling her flush against him. "I'd think your neighbors might beg to differ, Min. I almost had to put a sock in your mouth."

She tried to bury her face in embarrassment, but Danny kissed her instead. Her arms slid around his neck and the kiss deepened, their tongues leisurely brushing. After a few minutes, they parted mutually, breathing heavily and resting their foreheads together.

"Shit," she exhaled. "What are we doing?"

Danny held her closer, his fingers locking together at her lower back. "Are you really going to Haiti?" His voice quaked and he silently cursed himself, wishing he didn't sound so weak at the thought of her possible departure. He pulled back to look into her eyes, but kept his arms around her. "Because if I'm being honest, too, Casey treats you like you're lesser than him and it's not true, Mindy. You're an incredible woman and you deserve someone who recognizes that and doesn't make you feel like a bad person at every turn they get."

"And is that person you?" she whispered, her eyes large and hopeful.

"It can be. If you want... Do you want-"

Her kissing him senseless was the only answer he needed.