Set after "The Giants Win the Pennant, The Giants Win the Pennant" ~~ previous / next

September 7, 1983

"What time is it?" Dana asked again.

"It's 10:43, Dana." Natalie told her.

"Wasn't it 10:40 like three hours ago?"

"That's one way to say it," Natalie agreed.

"What's another way to say it?"

"That it was 10:40 like three minutes ago."

"Oooooh." Dana rolled over and buried her head in the armrest of the sofa in the edit bay.



"You want to talk about it?"


"Are you sure?"


"You're not sure?"

"I am sure."

"You just said you weren't sure."

"I didn't."

"I asked if you were sure and you said ‘No'."

"I meant yes."

"Yes, you want to talk about it?"

"Yes, I'm sure that I do not want to talk about it. And anyway, I don't know what you're talking about."

Natalie shrugged. "I never know what you're talking about."

"Natalie --"

"Yes, Ma'am?"

Dana sighed and tried to hide her face completely in the sofa. "Natalie?"


"What time is it?"

"Ten forty-four. He'll be here."

"He said he'd be back in plenty of time."

"He will be."

"If he was going to be back in plenty of time, Natalie, he would be back right now."

"Actually, if he was going to be *back* in plenty of time, that would mean that there would be plenty of time between the moment when he left and the moment when he returned."


"Never mind."


"Still 10:44. It's 16 minutes till the show starts. He'll be here."

"Natalie, do you know where he is?"

"I'm assuming he's with Pixley."

"Indeed he is."

"I'm assuming they caught an early dinner."


"I'm assuming that the second he returns you're going to grab him and declare your undying love for him and Pixley will never again enter the picture."

"I'm assuming you're insane."

"An honest assumption, Dana, but I'm not the one who insisted that my prospective boyfriend sample other women before dating me. In fact, I feel I'm quite safe in assuming that if my prospective boyfriend for any reason whatsoever decided he *would* sample other women before dating me, he would cease to be my prospective boyfriend."

"Natalie, please don't start."

"You missed."


"You missed. I started at 10:41."

"Well. ... Please don't continue."

"There's nothing else to do."

"You could prepare the show."

"So could you."

"I'm busy."

"Doing what?"

Dana groaned. "I'm waiting for Casey to get back."

The door opened at that moment. "Natalie," Casey said as he entered. "Have you seen --"

"The woman growing out of the sofa? She's right there."


"Casey. You're late."

"The show doesn't start for 16 minutes."

"You've got work to do."

"I've done my work."

"With Pixley?"

"I did my work before I left with Pixley."

"Did Pixley appreciate your leaving work to go out with her?"

"I assume she did."

"I assume Natalie's insane, but that doesn't make it true."

"Natalie is insane, and I have ample proof that Pixley appreciated my leaving work to go out with her."

"What kind of ample proof?"

Casey shrugged. "I appreciated her leaving work to go out with me."

"Does anyone care if I'm not a part of this?" Natalie asked.

"Of course not. Does anyone care if I'm not a part of it?" Casey said.

"I'm going to go find my honeybun and assure him that I'll never ask him to date other women," Natalie announced as she left the room.

"I'm sure it will be a load off his mind," Casey muttered.

"Casey --"

"Dana, I was just looking for you because I wanted to let you know that I am back. I am not at all interested in becoming involved in a discussion that will likely ruin the night for both of us." Casey turned and started to walk away.

"Get back here, you unbelievably easily-satisfied human being," Dana commanded, sitting up and staring at Casey with a mixture of disbelief and anguish in her eyes.

"Dana, the dating plan was your idea."

"Indeed it was."

"So don't act as thought I went looking for someone to replace you."

"You needed someone to replace me?"

"I was frustrated, Dana. I loved you so much, and you ..." He stopped suddenly.

Dana closed her eyes for a long moment. "Loved," she repeated.

"Love. ..... I don't know, Dana."

"Well, I do. There's no chance."

"...There's no chance for what?"

The door opened and Jeremy stuck his head into the room. "Sorry to bother you. Dana, something's happening in this fight that you might want to see."

"Not now, Jeremy," Dana said.

"What's happening, Jeremy?" Casey asked.

"Mike Jacobs."

"Is Terence going to win?"

Jeremy shrugged. "One would hope."

Casey started toward the door and Dana half-stood and grabbed his arm. "Stay," she commanded. "We'll be right there, Jeremy."

Jeremy nodded and ducked back out of the room. Casey let out a frustrated sigh and turned to face Dana. "What?"


"That's what I said."

"Casey, you just spent two hours with Pixley."

"Yeah, I noticed."

"Didn't you spend enough time with her last night when you left together?"

"I didn't leave with her last night."

"Jack said you did."

"I left the building with her. I didn't *leave* with her."

"You left with her, but you didn't leave with her?"

"I walked her to the corner and I watched her hail a cab, Dana. I don't see that it's any business of yours."

"You don't see that it's any business of mine?"

"What were you going to say?"


"Just now."

"When just now?"

"Before Jeremy came in."

Dana closed her eyes. "Casey, do you have any idea why I started the dating plan in the first place?"

"Because you thought I was too immature to go out with the wonder that is you."

"Because I thought you might not be sure that you wanted the wonder that is me."

"I was sure, Dana."

"Apparently you weren't."

Casey blew out through his lips. "Dana," he said. "What did you expect me to do?"

"I expected you to date other women."

"I'm doing that."

"I didn't expect you to begin *dating* other women."

"Well, maybe I don't know the difference, Dana, but it seems to me you're not going to be satisfied no matter what I do."

"Do you love me?"

Casey closed his eyes.

"I see," Dana said stiffly.

"I don't want to do this now," Casey said, and abruptly he turned and left the edit bay.

"Jeremy," he called.

"It's not looking good," Jeremy replied.


"Ten forty-seven."

Casey walked away and Dana emerged from the edit bay.


"Yes, ma'am."

Dana stood still for a long moment.

"Dana? Are you okay?"


"What is it?"

Dana didn't move.

"Dana, these guys from San Antonio just bit the big one in college hoops. Are you on this?" Dan asked. When he didn't receive an answer he stopped and turned back to Dana. "....Dana?"


"Is something wrong?"

"Casey loves Pixley."

Dan shrugged. "Maybe."

"Dana," Kim called. "What's this about the race horse?"

"He's a Derby favorite," Natalie answered when Dana didn't.

"What does that mean?"

"It means that when it comes to discussions about the Derby, many prefer to talk about him."

"Thank you."

"Casey loves Pixley," Dana repeated.

"Dana." Casey was standing a few feet behind her.



"Yes you love Pixley?"

"Yes I love you."

"What about Pixley?"

"Dana --"

"What about Pixley, Casey?"

"I went out with her because you told me to."

"I told you to because I wanted to know if I could be replaced and apparently I could be."

Casey blinked. "What?"

"Let's not do this here."

Wordlessly Casey turned and walked back into the edit bay. Dana looked at Natalie, who nodded, and Dana turned and followed Casey.

When the door closed behind them, Casey turned to face Dana. "You wanted to know if you could be replaced?"

"It's happened before."

"Not by me."

"No, not by you. You've for the most part been a very loyal friend."

"For the most part? You told me to date her, Dana."

"I never told you to write your number on her hand, Casey."

"You wanted me to date her without calling her?"

"I didn't want you to date her."


"But you did. You wanted to date her. You still want to date her."


"Admit it, Casey. The thought of calling her and saying you don't want to see her anymore is about as appealing as holding for tennis."

"Yeah, Dana, it is. You know why? Because I like Pixley. She's a nice girl. And what I've done to her is awful. I've dated her because my potential girlfriend told me to."

"And you liked her!" Dana had tears in her voice. Casey closed his eyes for a long moment.

"Dana." There were tears in his voice, too. "I've loved you since we met."

"That explains why you married my best friend and then slept with my worst enemy and then dumped me for the first girl you dated after your divorce."

"If I recall, you set me up with Lisa."

"That's because you wouldn't go out with me."

"I didn't dump you."

"You said ‘loved'."

This time it was Dana who walked out of the room. "Natalie," she said, wiping her eyes as she spoke. "What do we have on Oakland?"

"A minute 30."

"And the fight?"

"Jeremy's on it."

"What time is it?"


"Are we going to have it together?"

"No idea."

"Jeremy, what --"

"September 7, 1983," Casey said from behind her.

Dana stopped moving.

"That was the day I took my first test as a freshman in college. I was sitting on a bench studying algebra and hoping to God I wouldn't fail when you roller skated by me on the sidewalk."

"Casey --"

"You were more interesting than the subject matter, so I watched you. And you noticed. You skated back to me, and you said, ‘You're in my mass comm class, aren't you?' Those were the first words I ever heard you say."

Dana wiped her eyes again. "Casey."

"I've loved you since September 7, 1983, Dana. And I'm not about to stop for someone you insisted I date. No matter what her name is."

"So what do you want to do now?"

"I just want to move on."

Dana nodded and wasn't quite sure what he meant.

"I'm not dating any other women, Dana. Your dating plan ends here. But it's up to you where we go next."

Casey stared at her for a long moment and then turned and started to walk away.


He stopped walking, turned, and waited.

"If I were to ask you out tonight, would you say yes?"

Very slowly, and with all the relief in the world, Casey nodded.

The control room burst into applause as Dana closed the distance between herself and the love of her life.


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set after "The Giants Win the Pennant, The Giants Win the Pennant" ~~ previous / next