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Studio 60
Sequel to Foot and Mouth Disease. The morning after Matt's drunken implosion. Set after The Christmas Show (which is as far as I have seen.)
"'I mean it,' Danny says. 'I love you. You've stood by me. You saw me through rehab and I know that wasn't my finest hour. You've been with me through everything and I couldn't do this without you. So don't beat yourself up, okay?'"



Matt's head feels like somebody kicked him. Repeatedly. With steel-toed boots.

On the upside, someone thoughtfully left him a glass of water and some Aleve on the night stand and he can smell food cooking.

On the downside, he's pretty sure the someone who is being so helpful is Danny. While he can't remember the exact details of last night he *does* remember the gist of it.

"Danny," he says, holding the heel of his hand up to his forehead.

"Well, good morning sunshine," Danny says cheerfully.

"Danny, how the hell are you awake and cheerful at," Matt squints at the clock, "9 o'clock?"

Danny tosses some vegetables into the eggs. "It's a talent," he says.

Matt rubs his hand through his hair. "Why are you here?"

"Oh, I don't know. It was 4 am when we got here, I'm not that much of a masochist?" Danny says. "You want bacon?"

Matt sits down at the table and lays his head down and whimpers.

"I'll take that as a no," Danny says and tosses the eggs. "You gonna live, champ?"

"If I am ever stupid enough to drink that much again, please, shoot me before I wake up. Because this is not life," Matt says, voice muffled by the table.

"What?" Danny says and cups a hand to his ear. "Can't hear you, there."

Matt makes an unidentifiable noise.

Danny shrugs and dumps half the eggs onto a plate. He shoves it over to Matt. "Eat," he says.

Matt eyes it warily before taking a small bite. "...how much of your soul did you sell learning to cook like this?" he asks, savoring it carefully.

"Oh, only half. That was all I had to give, mind you--I sold the other half when I started show business," Danny says and sits down with his own plate.

Matt laughs weakly.

Danny's smile fades. "We're going to have to talk, Matt."

"I know," Matt says. "For the record? I'm sorry."

Danny pushes his eggs around his plate. "I'm kinda surprised you remember enough to be sorry," he says, wryly. "You were about five sheets to the wind."

Matt musters a smile. "It is my curse," he says, brightly.

Danny sips his coffee. "Seriously, Matt. We have to talk. An actual conversation wherein both parties are in control of their mental capacities."

"Do we really have to?"

"Yeah, we kinda do," Danny says.

Matt sighs. "Yeah, okay. So?"

"Well, for one, what the hell? What, what prompted that?"

Matt rocks back in his chair, balancing on two legs. "I really don't know," he says. "I was watching you, you were laughing, and I just. My chest ached, watching you, the same it does with Harriet. And I realised it always has. And I really didn't know what to do with that. I don't know what to do with that."

Danny chews slowly. "Okay."

"What? That's it? 'Okay'?"

Danny swallows and shrugs. "What do you want from me, Matt?"

"I don't know! Something more than 'okay'."

"Eat your eggs," Danny says. "Matt, you're my partner. You've always been my partner. It's a... a little unexpected, yeah, but you're my partner. It doesn't matter."

Matt obediently shovels down scrambled eggs.

"I love you, too, you know," Danny says.

Matt drops his fork with a clatter. "Danny," he says. "Don't. Just... don't do this, okay?"

"I mean it," Danny says. "I love you. You've stood by me. You saw me through rehab and I know that wasn't my finest hour. You've been with me through everything and I couldn't do this without you. So don't beat yourself up, okay?"

Matt shoves himself away from the table. "Jesus Christ, Danny."

Danny looks up from his own food. "Matt," is all he manages to say before getting cut off.

"What the *hell*, Danny? Because in case I hadn't made it clear, the way in which I love you is *entirely* like the way I love Harriet. Which is problematic enough and as hard as I am trying to repress you could, I don't know, maybe help me out here? By *not* saying shit like that?"

Danny sighs. "Matt..."

"No, Danny, really. I'm trying here, I really am. Why aren't *you*?" Matt yells, gesturing wildly.

"Matt."

"*What*?"

"Sit down and eat your damn food."

Matt sits back down heavily and scrubs at his face. "Danny, please, work with me here."

"Matt, what do you want from me? Do you *want* me to freak out on you? Do you want me to say we can't work together again? What do you *want*?"

"I don't know! Some clue where the hell your head is," Matt says.

Danny shrugs. "I don't know, okay? I don't know. My best friend is apparently in love with me and has been for awhile. I don't know how I feel about that but I do know that you're probably the most important person in my life, okay? None of this *matters* because whatever you do or don't feel for me, you're still my *partner*. And *nothing* is gonna change that."

Matt lets his head thump against the table. "Still not helping, dammit," he mutters.

"Fine," Danny says and stands up. He lifts Matt's chin, forcing him to look at Danny and leans down.

Matt blinks at him. "What are you doi--," he trails off as Danny presses his lips to Matt's in a gentle kiss. Matt's lips open slightly in surprise as Danny kisses him deep and slow and sweet.

Danny pulls back and smiles that half-smile of his that makes Matt's chest ache. "I still don't know how I feel about all this, Matt, but I swear to god, it's going to be okay. I don't *care*, have you got that through your thick skull?"

Matt blinks some more. "Yeah, Danny, got it."

"Good," Danny says and collapses. "Jesus, I hate these little heart-to-hearts. We haven't even covered the rest of it."

"...uh," Matt says. "There was more?"

Danny laughs. You can hardly hear the hysterical edge to it. "You really were that drunk. Christ. Please tell me you at least remember the part where you kissed Harriet before she went out on News Sixty even if you don't remember telling me about it."

"Oh," Matt says.

"Not to sound self-absorbed or anything but are you going to be able to let go of your psycho obsession with Harriet now that you've had your revelation? Because it would make me really really happy if you would. As your producer and as your friend."

Matt mentally reviews his feelings towards Harrie and, check, he still loves her and he still wants to toss her into the Pacific. He tries and can't seperate out the affection and the anger at all and that's probably not a good sign at all. The human brain is clearly a stupid, stupid thing and his is a magnificent example of exactly how stupid it can be.

Danny sighs. "I'll call it a win if you'd stop actively pursuing her, okay? You're terrible for each other and you *know that*."

Matt kneads his temples, trying to hold back his headache. "Yeah, look, here's the problem, Danny. I love her. I really wish I could stop loving her because it hurts like hell but I do. Apparently, I'm very very bad at picking appropriate love interests. Because whatever the hell that was, I don't think it changes the fact that you're falling in love with Jordan and even if you weren't that.." he trails off tiredly.

Danny lifts an eyebrow. "Even if I weren't, what?"

"Danny, you're straight. Hell, *I'm* straight. Or at least I thought I was. Apparently I'm bisexual or some shit. But the point is, even if it weren't a terrible idea, it still wouldn't happen. And besides, you *are* falling for Jordan."

Danny pinches the bridge of his nose and Matt desperately tries to ignore the way his mouth goes dry watching Danny. He has no fucking clue how he's going to be able to cope with this in the long run.

"I don't know," Danny says finally. "If I'm falling for Jordan. I think I am but... Jordan isn't what I expect from a network executive, she's something different and amazing, and Jack Rudolph is probably right that she isn't going to last the way she's been going. I want her but my track record on things I want actually being any good for me isn't what you'd call spectacular. You know that better than anyone."

Matt stares. "You're kidding me, right? Danny, you haven't been able to shut up about her for weeks. You and she would be great together. And however fucked up my brain is right now, you're my friend and I am not going to watch you throw away something as good as Jordan McDeere without even *trying*."

"...how did we end up discussing me and Jordan when we were talking about you and Harriet?" Danny asks.

"Dammit, Danny, don't change the subject."

Danny snorts disbelievingly. "You did it *first*."

"Did not."

"Did too."

"Did not."

"...and we apparently have both regressed to three years old," Danny says. "Look, just tell me you will let the Harriet thing drop."

"Fine, if you'll tell me that you're *not* going to let the Jordan thing drop."

Danny stares at Matt disbelievingly. "You're kidding, right? You'd think you would be the first person trying to get me to stop with Jordan."

"I am fucked up, Danny, but I am not an idiot and I am not that selfish. I want you to be happy."

"Maybe you could, you know, let me decide what will make me happy?"

Matt sighs. "Whatever," he says, scrubbing a hand through his hair.

Danny looks over at the clock and his eyes widen as he digs out his cel phone. "*Shit*. We're going to be late. We were supposed to meet Cal at 10:00."

Matt ignores the ache in his chest as he slips on his jacket while Danny calls Cal and calls for a car and tries not to think about Harriet *or* Danny. He doesn't succeed very well but at least the rebuild will occupy his brain for awhile.

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