Danny burnt his hand, swearing softly. He set the slightly burnt pizza onto the counter, dropped the pot holders onto the floor, and pushed away from the stove, moving toward his sink. He turned the cold water on full blast and let the liquid roll over the blistering wound. That's what he got for trying to make pizza from scratch. Why couldn't Rachel just enjoy the store bought stuff like normal people do?
A knock sounded from the front room, he switched the water off and headed out of the kitchen, toward the door. He stopped short of the door, checked to make sure his shirt was sauce-less, and pulled it open. Of course, it wasn't who he thought it was.
"Stan?" Danny's eyebrows furrowed, panic gripped his stomach. He was expecting Rachel any moment, Stan couldn't be here. It would kill the taller man, discovering what his wife and her ex had been doing behind his back. And it sickened Danny a little, what he was doing, but he also couldn't help how happy he felt. Happiness he hadn't felt since the first few years he was married to Rachel.
"I have no idea why I'm here," Stan said quickly pushing past Danny to enter the shorter man's apartment. "I mean, I know we aren't friends, not even close actually. I mean, I wouldn't be surprised if you hated…"
"Is there a point to this, Stanly?"
"It's just…" he took a breath, ran a hand through his hair, and said, "You know Rachel better than me, and I was wondering…" Stan trailed off, an array of emotions flitting across his face, and finally blurted, "I think she's having an affair."
Several different responses came to Danny, some mean, some not so mean, but the only thing he managed to say was "What? Are you sure?"
"I don't know," Stan said and began pacing back and forth. "I mean, she comes home late, sometimes not at all. I asked her about it, and she just gets defensive. I mean, yeah we've been having problems for a while." Danny knew this already, Rachel having told him the first time they 'hooked up.' Internally he grimaced, 'hooked up' made what they had sound like a fling, something that neither one cared about, but he knew better. "But what marriage doesn't, right?" Stan stopped, his eyes resting on Danny. "I shouldn't be telling you this."
"Then why are you?"
"It's just…" Stan shook his head, sighing heavily. "I don't know. I don't…" he sat down on Danny's ragged couch, put his face in his hands, and said, "I guess I just needed someone to talk to."
"And you have no friends? None at all? You had to come to me, of all people." The guy who's technically sleeping with your wife.
"I know, it baffles me, too," Stan said through his fingers. He dropped his hands into his lap, met Danny's eyes, and asked, "Do you think she's having an affair?"
I know she's having an affair, Danny thought wearily, but slowly said, "No, I don't think she is. It's more like, she's giving you space. I mean, you said you were having problems. Maybe she's trying to avoid a fight." Okay, so it was what he used to do when he and Rachel started in on each other, head off to the closest motel to avoid a screaming match. But it wasn't like Rachel didn't have the ability to do the same thing.
"That's possible." Danny could tell Stan was conflicted. A part of him wanted to believe Danny's lie (not that he knew it was a lie), while the other part was still skeptical. "Maybe we should go away for the week. Maybe try to reconnect or something." he was talking more to himself than Danny, glancing down at his hands. He then looked up and said, "What do you think?"
No, Danny's mind screamed while his mouth muttered, "If you think it's a good idea. I can take Grace for the week. I'm sure the team would enjoy her company…"
"Thanks," Stan responded getting to his feet. "I should go." the taller man moved toward the door, stopping just short of grabbing the knob. "You're a better man than I give you credit for." and he was gone, the door closing with almost a silent click.
Danny headed toward the window, moving the curtain aside to watch Stan's departure. 'You're a better man than I give you credit for,' Stan had said. Danny couldn't help thinking, No, I'm not…
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Okay, this is a tag (of sorts) to Ua Hiki Mai Kapalena Pau. Or, well, it takes place a few days before the events of that episode transpire. Not that Danny and Rachel are doing something, but the show kinda implied they could be. So, that is where this was born
Anyway, I own nothing, please drop a comment if you can, and I'm gonna go...