Dan should have known that "casual relationships" were something that happened to other people. For some reason, though, he always thought he could pull it off, always thought he could keep that level of detachment that Casey always seemed to manage just fine... Every time, he was proved wrong.

It was even harder when she worked at the show, when she was with him every minute of the day. And when she knew sports. And when she was... well... her. All it took was a kiss or two at work, her warm vanilla scent around him, and it led to the two of them in his office, Natalie - sweet little Natalie - pushing him lightly against his desk, which then led to a painfully long subway ride back to his apartment until they reached his home and tumbled onto the couch, not even reaching the bed. Waking up in the morning with her head tucked under his chin, cheek pressed against his chest, her breathing slow and even, and he didn't want to move, didn't want to wake her...

And Dan decided then and there that casual could be set aside, because he was desperately in love with Natalie Hurley, and didn't see that changing any time soon.


It's been three years since Natalie last kissed him, since the breakup that was supposed to be temporary and turned permanent. It's just the way Dan remembered it, as Natalie rises up on her tiptoes and presses a gentle kiss to his lips, and the second he returns it her hands are on his shoulders, clinging a little, her tongue slipping past his lips, and it's perfect and sweet and like they were never apart, like there was never a Jeremy, never a Rebecca... Just them. The way it was supposed to be.

Natalie drops back onto her heels, smiling a little shyly up at him.

"Well then," she says softly. Dan wonders absently if anyone saw them through the windows of the office, and decides he doesn't much care.

"Well."

"You have to be on air in about a minute and a half."

"Yes I do." He didn't move, unable to tear his eyes away from her.

"So you should probably... go."

"Yes, I should." At last, he managed to take a step back and turn to the door. He made it halfway to the control room before turning back to meet Natalie as she came out of his office. "Listen, do you want to... come back to my apartment after the show?"

A slow smile spread over her face, familiar and beautiful, the just-for-him smile he hadn't seen since they broke up. "I thought you'd never ask."