Disclaimer: I don't own The Mindy Project. Never have, never will.
Danny had eventually come to understand a horrifying, terrifying truth: Mindy Lahiri made him happy.
He liked to watch her operate, felt a sense of accomplishment when she laughed at his jokes, and couldn't help but get excited when he saw her on the subway in the mornings. The anti-social side of him was strong enough to make him stay where he was whenever he saw her, but it didn't matter - she always came up to him.
Except for the past week.
Because apparently, for the past week, Mindy had been staying so close to the office that she didn't need to take the subway. Because Mindy was staying just a block away from the office. Because Mindy, as she so helpfully pointed out to anyone within hearing distance, was in a relationship with a man just a block away from the office.
Well, wasn't that just fucking fantastic for her?
As a consequence of this, Danny had been moping around even more than usual. Well, not moping. Moping was what preteen girls did when they couldn't go see the new vampire movie. Danny Castellano simply sulked. In a very manly fashion.
Really, Danny thought to himself as he watched Mindy's new boyfriend come to pick her up, what was so attractive about the guy?
Sure, maybe he looked strong, but it was way too obvious that he worked out. And his hair? He had more gel in it than Jeremy put on his head in a week. And his eyes, well, some women went for ice blue eyes, but personally they looked kind of creepy, in Danny's opinion.
Of course, try telling that to Mindy. Danny didn't - he was pretty sure that if he said one word against Loverboy (Danny hadn't bothered to learn his name, and he never wanted to) she wouldn't talk to him for a week, not that she was talking to him much, anyway, considering she was busy working so she could leave the office early to go on dates.
And Mindy...she was practically shining. Her eyes lit up with a goofy, love struck look whenever she saw Loverboy, she nearly danced around the office, her joy over her new romance made look even prettier.
At that last thought, Danny wanted to put his head through a wall. He couldn't remember the last time he had used the word "pretty." Danny Castellano didn't use the word "pretty." He used hot, or sexy, or attractive.
As the days passed and Mindy grew happier, Danny grew more and more mopey. His mood turned darker and darker as Mindy's grew lighter. He thought there was something perversely interesting about that.
Until one night it was just them in the office, both finishing up some work that they had left until the last moment. Mindy because she was on so many dates, Danny because he found himself slipping off into long daydreams of various ways to punch Loverboy's face in.
Mindy was humming as she made some final adjustments to her makeup. She had changed out of her work clothes and into a red dress. The red dress he had told her, months ago, was a good outfit to wear on dates. His advice was going to help Loverboy tonight. That was the last straw.
He walked out of the office, arms crossed. Mindy had stolen the mirror Shauna kept under the desk when she needed to go straight from the office to clubs. She was sitting on Shauna and Betsy's desk, legs lightly swinging as she looked in the mirror.
"Going out again?"
He could judge what mood Mindy was in by the way she responded. If she had been cranky, she would have come back with a snarky comment. But she was so pleased tonight that she simply looked over and nodded, smiling.
"You know, Mrs. Ellison's close to giving birth." He had no clue where the hell he was going with this.
"Yeah?" Mindy said, applying more lip gloss to the already heavy layer on her lips. She puckered them and then glanced over to him, her lips shining and really, really smooth...
Okay, for the sake of his sanity, he needed her to stop. The only way he could think of was by making her angry.
"I'm just saying, don't expect me to cover these births while you're out schmoozing with Loverboy."
"What?" Mindy finally looked up from the mirror where she had been doing her eyes, somehow emphasizing the rich color in them. Danny looked away, another nasty comment leaving his mouth before he could stop it.
"I'm just saying, I've got other things to do than cover your births."
"I haven't missed a birth in months." Mindy snapped.
"Listen, I know how it goes. You date some guy, they break up with you, and you self-destruct."
Mindy gave a quick intake of breath, and he knew she was struggling not to cry. He felt bad, but then reminded himself that she cried over everything. It didn't exactly make him feel better.
"That was once." She said through gritted teeth. "Before then I never did that."
Danny remained unimpressed. "Good for you."
"At least I'm trying to find someone else." Mindy said angrily, going back to her makeup, although now her heart didn't really seem into it. "At least I'm not a jackass that just wanders around moping because his wife left him."
And with that, she jumped down from the desk, landing on her way too tall high heels. Only for one of the heels - and the ankle - to break.
One second she was sliding down from the desk, the next there was a horrible snapping sound and she was on the floor.
"Mindy?" Danny rushed over to her side, their fight forgotten. She was lying there, hair loosely in front of her face, one of her ankles turned at an sickening angle. It was quickly welling up and becoming a nauseating color. What was most alarming was that she wasn't saying anything. It was Mindy - no matter what the hell was happening, she always had something to say. Trying to control the panic welling up deep within him, Danny took a deep breath and tried again. "Mindy?"
She finally gave a deep, watery sigh, clearly holding back tears. "It hurts." She whimpered. "It hurts, it hurts, it hurts...Do we have drugs around here? We have to have drugs around here. We're doctors. Where's the drugs?"
"I'm calling an ambulance." Danny pulled out his cell phone.
"Drugs first, then ambulance." Mindy said, trying to sit up, only to accidentally move her ankle. She gave a cry of pain and went still.
Oh God, this was just what he needed.
Loverboy came through the door, dropping a bouquet of roses, undoubtedly for Mindy, on the floor. He gave Danny a death glare, as though he had snapped Mindy's ankle and not a faulty high heel.
"Danny won't let me have drugs." Mindy muttered through the nest of hair that was over her face. "And I really need them."
"I'm calling an ambulance." Loverboy said. Danny was about to protest that was what he was doing, until he realized that he was actually just watching Mindy, cell phone hanging loosely in his hand.
"NO, seriously, someone needs to give me painkillers." Mindy's voice was rising. Whatever shock she might have had was fading fast, leaving only pain. "Please." She was on the verge of hysterics, Danny could tell.
Danny did the only thing he could think of to calm her down. "Mindy, I want you to tell me the plot of 'You've Got Mail.'"
Loverboy looked up from the phone, clearly thinking that whatever had broken Mindy's ankle had given Danny a concussion. Mindy, however, seemed to perk up. "What?"
"Just...just tell me the plot of the stupid movie."
"It's not a stupid movie, Danny." Irritation colored her voice. Good. Better than pain.
"Then tell me why not." He brushed back the hair that was in front of her face, so he could see that it was screwed up in consternation at him.
"Because it's a love story of two people that meet over the Internet and -"
"Ok, one of them's got to be a creepy person that never leaves their apartment to go online - Or a serial killer. Or both."
"Are not! They're the rivals of two separate book companies."
Mindy and Danny were in the middle of arguing whether or not Tom Hanks was a creepy stalker when the ambulance came. (Personally, Danny thought he was winning.) Loverboy promised he'd follow her in a cab. Danny was thinking about doing the same thing, only for Loverboy to turn towards him and thank him for "helping out."
Translation: She's my girlfriend and I'm going to comfort her from here on out.
Danny watched as Loverboy left, closely following the ambulance. He stood there for a minute, before coming to a very rational and mature conclusion. He was going to go home and, in the safety of his own apartment, he was going to get very, very drunk.
Danny was relieved to see Mindy in the office on Monday. She was on crutches and couldn't move around much, but she was still there.
Mindy, apparently, had a hard time with being still. Just because she had broken her ankle hadn't stopped her being the most energetic person Danny knew, much to his relief. When he came to see her, she was bouncing in her seat. Danny threw a salad on her desk, feeling awkward. "Thought you might not want to go out and have to buy lunch today. You know, with the cast." He said, looking everywhere but at her.
He looked down at her ankle. "Does it hurt?"
"Yep. Gwen's trying to talk me into suing the company that made the high heels. Carl," Mindy said the words with sarcasm, "her husband, is apparently a lawyer. And would take the case pro-bono."
"That's good. 'Cause it's the high heels fault..." Danny's voice trailed off uncertainly. Mindy looked up, surprised.
"Do you think I broke my ankle because of my fight with you?"
Danny decided he was very interested in the wallpaper of her office.
"You do." Mindy said triumphantly. "Does this mean you'll wait on me until I get better?" She put on an expectant face. "And watch 'You've Got Mail' with me?"
Danny wondered if throwing himself out of her office window was an option.
"I'm just joking." Mindy said, seeing the look on his face. She opened her salad, and began eating it. "And you weren't responsible for my broken ankle. We were fighting, but I'm pretty sure you didn't telekinetically break my heel while I was sliding off the desk." Then she stopped eating. "Did you? 'Cause that would actually be really cool. The mental powers, not the the whole 'breaking my ankle thing.'"
"Damn." Mindy frowned and went back to eating the salad. "You know, if you're part of the X-Men, you can tell me, Danny."
"I just wanted to, you know, make sure you're okay." Danny said, deciding to stare at the carpet this time.
"I'm fine." But at least now I know you're interested in You've Got Mail. I've got you hooked Danny."
She did, even if it wasn't in the way she thought.
God help me now I want to write a sequel with Danny taking care of her...