Title: Five Times Danny is Jealous of Jeremy (and the One Time He Isn't)
Disclaimer: I own nothing.
Author's Note: Finally posting this cause last episode was the perfect nudge with the reveal of Danny's insecurity about his piano playing. And two episodes before that with the "hoisties" competition was the perfect push to get me to finish this piece! Also, I can't stop thinking about these two, I need help.
Please comment if you read. Enjoy!
"What the hell, man?"
"Oh, hello, Danny. How has your day been?" Jeremy greets him from the doctor's lounge couch with a wide smile. He looks coiffed and put together, like he's taking a break from a photoshoot at six in the morning and decided to stop by the hospital just for kicks. Unlike Danny who's tired and sweaty, and grouchy and grumpy from working two back-to-back shifts - one of those shifts thanks to one Dr. Jeremy Reed.
"How has my day been?" Danny echoes back, snarling the words as he paces in front of the couch with frustration. "Where the hell were you this morning? You didn't show up and Wilson made me cover for you."
"I apologize, Danny, I had an emergency."
"Really? What kind of emergency? Your grandmother dying like you told Wilson, or some sorority girls needed help taking their pants off, that kind of emergency?" Danny questions angrily. "Because you texted me about that last night, not about your grandmother dying."
"Um, well, you see-"
"I also distinctly remember you telling me your grandma died when you were a kid and your dad inherited her castle."
"'Castle'? That's a bit stereotypical, isn't it?" Jeremy shakes his head as if he's offended, when really, he just looks pleased at the misconception. "It's a small home in the country, well, large by your country's standards-"
"You're an ass, you know that?" Danny declares. "I can't believe Dr. Wilson fell for your stupid British act. I've lost some respect for her."
"Oh, come on, Danny, don't be so harsh. Women can't help but sympathize when there's a dead grandmother involved. It's in their DNA or something," Jeremy comments with an air of authority like he's used the excuse many, many times. More times than he has grandmothers, that's for sure. Danny doesn't buy that explanation as scientific and continues to glare, so he adds, "Look, next time there's one of your little World Series on, I'll cover for you, okay?"
"It's not a little World Series, it's the World Series," Danny clarifies.
"Right. Exactly what I said," Jeremy replies. "I promise to cover so you can have off. We good?"
"Fine," Danny agrees reluctantly. "It's in a few weeks though, so be ready. You're covering my shift even if I have to drag your tanned ass here."
"Already? Didn't we just have one? How many times a year does it happen?"
Mindy walks by the doctor's lounge before Danny can explain to him the difference between the World Series and the Super Bowl. She spots Jeremy and rushes over quickly, shoving her charts into Danny's arms. He tries to hold them with one hand and keep his coffee from spilling in the other.
"Oh my god, Jeremy, I heard about your grandmother. I am so sorry for your loss. How are you doing?"
"Unbelievable," Danny mutters under his breath, rolling his eyes when Jeremy looks at him smugly over Mindy's head.
"I'm doing okay, love, thanks for asking," Jeremy says quietly, his tone somber as he lets Mindy pat his shoulder comfortingly. She embraces him in a warm hug, murmuring words of comfort in his ear.
"Ass," Danny says. He leaves Mindy's charts on the coffee table and heads for the door. "Two weeks, Reed, mark it on your calendar."
"And meeting adjourned!"
"Great," Danny deadpans as he grabs one last cookie off the plate on Mindy's desk. "So glad we managed to talk about the budget and our mission statement in between discussing your favorite TV episodes of the week."
"TV is not something to joke about, Danny," Mindy comments with a glare as she moves the plate of cookies away as punishment for his comment. "But you wouldn't understand. You has nothing to contribute to this dialogue. You only watch Antiques Roadshow on the History Channel."
"No, I don't. And it doesn't come on the History Channel, it's on PBS."
"Ha! I knew it."
"Oh, one thing this meeting did remind me of," Danny begins as he turns to Jeremy with a snap of his fingers, "Jeremy, Betsy mixed up the schedule. She has Carol Wright seeing you this afternoon, but she's my patient."
Jeremy looks up from one of Mindy's many celebrity magazines set out for light reading. His eyes dart to Mindy's in quick panic before he meets Danny's gaze with a grimace. "Actually, Danny..."
"I'm gonna give you two some privacy." Mindy pushes back her chair and tries to make her way to the door, but Jeremy grabs her arm before she can escape. She struggles for a second before eyeing the two men warily as she returns to her seat. "Fine. I guess I'll stay to moderate in case this gets ugly. But if he throws a punch, I'm having Morgan sedate him."
"Gets ugly?" Danny repeats with a shake of his head. "What for?"
"Well, Danny, Carol Wright requested that I be her new doctor," Jeremy explains cautiously.
Danny stares at him for a moment in confusion. "What? Why?"
"I don't know. She simply asked for this afternoon's appointment to be with me. It's not a mistake on Betsy's part, she was only following the patient's wishes."
"But why?" Danny asks again, raising his voice louder than he intends to. This is the third patient of his who has switched to Jeremy this year, and it doesn't make any sense since he's the best damn doctor this practice has.
"You should ask her, not me!" Jeremy says in self-defense. "All I did was talk to her in the waiting room when she was last here. She mentioned something about vacationing in England, and-" Mindy releases a small noise of disbelief, and suddenly, it all clicks for Danny. "Hey, I did nothing! It's not my fault I'm so damn good looking."
"Are you serious?" Danny turns to Mindy, arms raised and waiting for a verdict on exactly how serious this matter is. "He can't poach my patients with his stupid face and British accent! Come on, Mindy. There's gotta be some rule against this."
"Well, I mean, Danny, as long as they're not leaving the practice as patients altogether, they are allowed to switch doctors. Technically, she's still our patient," Mindy says quickly when Danny opens his mouth to interrupt. "Teamwork, remember? We need to focus on maintaining our clientele as a whole now that Dr. Shulman's left, not on individual numbers. Hey, at least they're not transferring to the midwives upstairs, right? We can all be thankful for that."
Danny nearly growls in the face of her reasonable and professional answer. "I can't believe this! I cannot believe women are actually this shallow. One decent looking guy has a conversation with her and she jumps ship."
"Danny, I woke up an hour early for four months to go to a Starbucks twenty minutes out of my way to flirt with the cute guy behind the counter. Four months! Then I found out he was gay, so now I only visit every month, and we text each other about celebrity gossip, so..." She notices Danny's blank expression so she wraps up her story. "So, basically the answer to your question is yes, women are that shallow. Sorry."
Mindy continues to look at him with that self-assured look on her face, while Jeremy nods sympathetically as if he's enlightened Danny on one of the cold, harsh truths of being an average looking guy in the world. Danny bites back the curse words he's dying to say, and tries not to slam the office door on his way out.
Tries, but fails.
"Why don't you ask her out?"
"I don't wanna ask her out."
"Yes, you do. And I approve. She's nice, and pretty, but not in that exotic-Victoria's Secret model way. In a normal, stare when I pass you on the street-way," Mindy clarifies with a nod while she discreetly eyes their waitress over the rim of her glass.
Danny stares at her in puzzlement. "Is that supposed to be a compliment?"
"Yes, it is! Just ask her out," Mindy says. "I'll give you ten bucks."
"I don't need ten bucks to ask a girl out, Min. I can afford dinner."
"I didn't mean- not for the dinner. Just, as an incentive." Mindy shakes her head at him in frustration when he only looks amused at her bribe. "Come on, we eat here all the time and she smiles at you every time you come in."
"She smiles at everyone. She's a waitress," Danny points out. But his eyes follow Amber as she wipes down the back table and makes her way down the aisle toward them.
"Come on, now's your chance," Mindy whispers. "Ten bucks. Ask her to the hospital fundraiser."
"I don't need-"
"Twenty bucks! Come on, Castellano, man up!"
"Can I get you guys anything else?" Amber asks brightly, handing them back their credit cards. "Done delivering babies for the day?"
"Yes, done, delivered, we're done delivering," Danny stutters as he stands quickly. "Um, how are you?"
"Good, thanks for asking, Dr. Castellano."
"I'm just gonna leave twenty dollars for the tip, Amber," Mindy says, emphasizing the amount with a surreptitious nod Danny's way. "It looks like a slow night."
"Aw, thanks, Mindy." Amber beams a smile at her.
"So, are we good, Danny? Do you need anything else from Amber?" Mindy eyes him once more, throwing in a wink for good measure. Or it could just be the goopy mascara she has on. She's always complaining about how it's in clumps after a full shift, despite what the advertising promises. Even wrote a letter to Maybelline one time, whoever that is.
"Nope. Good, I'm good. Let's go." Danny taps Mindy's shoulder to urge her to hurry, but she's taking her sweet time putting on her coat and gloves.
Mindy continues to eye him challengingly. "Are you sure, Danny? Sure you don't-"
"Do you wanna maybe go to a hospital event with me Saturday?" Danny blurts it out before he can pick his words carefully, and has no choice but to eye Amber warily now that the question is out there. "If you're free... and want to go.
"Oh!" Amber looks to Mindy, as if the other woman has something to add about the invitation, but Mindy says nothing. "That's, that's really nice, Dr. Castellano-"
"Great! It's a date," Mindy announces with a grin. "See, Danny, told you so."
"But I can't," Amber adds lamely.
"Oh. Okay." Danny nods, eyeing the exit above Amber's shoulder and wishing he'd left five minutes ago like he'd wanted to. "Cool."
"Sorry," Amber apologizes with a grimace. "But I'll see you there," she says, as if that promise will make the situation less awkward. "Dr. Reed asked me to go with him."
It only makes the situation more awkward.
"Okay," Danny repeats, avoiding eye contact with anyone and about ninety percent sure he's sweat through his undershirt. "See you."
Amber and Mindy share an awkward smile in the way that women do after something embarrassing involving a man occurs. Danny doesn't wait for Mindy to follow as he leaves the diner and heads for the subway.
"I'm sorry," Mindy calls out after him as she hurries to keep up in her heels. "I didn't know Jeremy had his eye on her. Sorry!"
"Yeah, whatever. I didn't like her much anyway," Danny lies. Self-preservation and all that.
Thankfully, Mindy plays along and nods. "She's a little rude. I mean, one time I asked her to wash my fork again and she gave this huff. I mean, hello, what happened to the customer is always right? I had to run across the street to the gas station and buy a bag of plastic forks because I don't know what she may have done to my silverware."
"Yeah, exactly. Rude," Danny agrees.
"Now I wish I could take my tip back," Mindy mutters. "Dammit."
"Ew, what the hell! What are you two doing?"
"Oh, hello, Danny. Marvelous party, isn't it?"
Danny covers his eyes the best he can, and tries to ignore the obvious sounds of fabric rustling and zippers zipping back into place.
"Um, we're good. Decent," Mindy clarifies, giving the okay for him to turn back around.
He stares at them in disbelief, waving his hand between them. "This is going on again? Are you guys kidding me?"
"Um, I have no idea what you're referring to, and frankly, I am offended by whatever you're accusing me of," Mindy exclaims dramatically. Danny tries to ignore the way she's sloppily buttoned the front of her dress; he can spy a hint of ebony skin where she skipped a button.
"Yeah, honestly, Danny, I have no idea what you think you saw," Jeremy drawls lazily, as if someone catching him making out on the back porch during a colleague's work party is a normal occurrence, nothing that would cause a hitch in his blood pressure. For him, a party's probably wasted if he's not caught with one hand down a woman's dress and the other on her ass. "Nothing's going on here."
"This is bad for the practice," Danny tells them with a glare. "Bad for business."
"Again, I have no idea what you're talking about, Detective Castellano. Playing CSI: New York again or something?" Mindy exchanges a look with Jeremy as the two fight back a smile.
"Yeah, Danny, playing Law & Order again or something?" Jeremy adds, jumping in on the joke.
"Okay, just because you two say you're not sleeping together doesn't mean I don't know you're really sleeping together!" He hates when they act like he doesn't know, as if he doesn't spot the lingering touches and the steamy looks, the way Mindy looks hurt when she sees Jeremy flirting with someone in the office or bragging about some hot blonde he met out bar-hopping. He's not a fucking idiot. He can see right through the casual sex buddies thing, because sex is sure as hell not casual for Mindy. "This is supposed to be Dr. Chang's retirement party. Our colleagues are in there!"
"Yes, exactly, our colleagues," Mindy echoes. "Everyone in there," she angrily points toward the house as if it has personally offended her, "is pitying me knowing Tom dumped me and is now married to some stupid blonde size zero bimbo! I see it every time they look at me."
He'd say something like she's being overdramatic again, but, well, this time, she's actually right. It's only been a few weeks since the wedding. The gossip's still fresh.
"That's not true," he lies kindly, but unsuccessfully. Even Jeremy snorts at his pitiful attempt.
"It's sort of true, Danny," Jeremy muses. He takes a sip from a glass of champagne he's managed to conjure out of nowhere. This guy, seriously. "No offense, Mindy."
"Oh, none taken. At least you have the decency to sleep with me to make me feel better-"
"I am a gentleman, my dear, any time," Jeremy assures her with a wink. Danny scoffs and rolls his eyes.
"Unlike those bastards in there who just keep patting my shoulder and rubbing my back and complimenting my outfit. Which, yeah, this dress is fab, but I don't need pity compliments on my fashion choices. I can't take it anymore," she growls.
"Look, it's only been a couple weeks, of course people are still talking. They'll get over it soon enough," Danny tells her, shrugging uncomfortably as he tries to be helpful. "It'll blow over."
"It hasn't yet! Nothing happens in this stupid hospital. It'll be ages before there's new material for the rumor mill. This isn't Seattle Grace where there's a new scandal every week!"
"Where's Seattle Grace?" Danny questions in confusion. "Why are we talking about a hospital in Seattle?"
"Yeah, do you know someone who works there, Mindy?" Jeremy asks.
Mindy looks between the two of them in amazement, as if they're the ones not making any sense right now. "Forget it. I'm going home." She gives Danny a withering stare, like it's his fault for interrupting and not Tom's for being an asshole, grabs her purse from the patio table, slides open the glass door and leaves without looking back.
"You can't leave!" Danny yells. "You're the one who said we had to come to this stupid thing tonight!"
"I'm coming too," Jeremy calls after her. He turns to Danny and hands him his empty wineglass. "Can you put that back for me? Thank Robert for a wonderful party from us, will you?"
"Are you kidding me?" Danny scowls at him, trying to push away the glass but Jeremy manages to leave him holding it in the end. "Tell him yourself."
"No can do, Danny. You have a good night. See you in the morning." With a wink, Jeremy makes his exit, leaving Danny alone on the back deck with the scent of Mindy's perfume lingering in the air.
Danny returns from lunch to find a crowd gathered around his office door. He can spot Betsy, Shauna, and the nurses in their colorful scrubs. Morgan's up front probably leading the third attempt to breach his office this month so he calls out, "Morgan, you can't have anything back from my drawer. It hasn't been fifty days yet, and I have everything dated- what is going on here?"
He walks in to find Jeremy seated in front of his keyboard playing something beautifully - the chords echoing in the small office, the music mesmerizing everyone who pauses to listen. With a few last notes repeated for a dramatic finish, Jeremy finishes playing and swivels in the chair to face Danny.
"Oh, hello, Danny. Good lunch?"
"Sure. What are you doing?" He spots Mindy seated next to Jeremy, and asks her the same question. "What is he doing?"
"Jeremy was giving us an afternoon reprieve in the form of a beautiful concert." She beams at Jeremy as she turns toward the crowd in the hall. "Okay, back to work, everyone! I'll send out invitations for the next show, check your mailboxes."
Jeremy takes a bow while their co-workers applaud. "Thank you, thank you. I accept boxed gifts, but cash gifts would be even better. Feel free to e-mail me your requests - anything from the Beatles to Bach!" He turns back to Danny once the crowd disperses. "Sorry about the commotion, Danny, I'll let you have your office back now."
"What are you even doing in here?" Danny snaps, trying not to be hurt by the lingering applause and compliments Jeremy's receiving. Is he signing an autograph for Morgan right now? Seriously?
"I came in to leave you a note about Mrs. Samuels' file, and the keyboard called out to me. And since you never let us touch it when you're around..." He shrugs apologetically while not looking apologetic at all. "It's been so long since I played. I was scared I'd be rusty."
"Not rusty at all, Dr. Reed!" Betsy gushes. "You were amazing!"
"Maybe you can give Dr. Castellano some lessons," she suggests. "He doesn't sound like that at all."
Danny bares his teeth and tries to remain patient. "I don't need lessons."
"Yeah, Dr. C, you sound completely different," Morgan comments, stating the obvious as always. "Wouldn't you rather sound like that than sound like how you sound?" He pauses to consider his sentence and adds, "I hope that sentence sounded okay."
"I like how I sound, okay?" Danny tells everyone, ignoring the pity they aim his way. He plays fine, thank you very much. He's not trying to play shows in Central Park, he just wants to unwind after a long day. He doesn't play for the attention, he doesn't want attention, he just wants to get his mind off things and relax. No one freaking understands the need for privacy these days.
"I'd be more than happy to tutor you, Danny. We had a music room while growing up. My mother insisted we keep our pianos well-tuned and ready for an impromptu performance at all times."
"Whoa. Pianos?" Mindy questions incredulously. "How many did you have?"
"Two downstairs, and one in my parents' bedroom. How many did you have at home, Danny?" Jeremy asks.
Danny sputters at the question, as if insulted. "I'm from Staten Island!"
"Do they not have piano stores on the island?"
"I'm not- that's not- okay, just everyone, get out, I have actual work to do."
Mindy stops in the doorway before leaving. "I know you don't allow anyone in here when you play, Danny, so thank you for letting us use your space for the concert."
"I didn't," he reminds her darkly.
She ignores him. "Since we are using your premises, your tickets for all future concerts will be free of charge, on the house."
"You're actually gonna charge people to listen to that guy?!" Danny stares at her incredulously.
"Of course. We can put the money toward our fundraising collection for prenatal care in Africa. If you have a skill, market it. The good stuff's never free, my friend," she tells him wisely. "But since we're using your equipment, it'll be free for you. Have a good rest of the day!"
"How's she doing?"
"Fine. Tired. Finally fell asleep."
"Took her long enough."
"Yeah," Danny laughs. "Figures she'd be one of those patients we run from who end up bothering the nurses non-stop."
"She has Morgan watching the nursery to make sure the babies aren't in danger of being switched." Jeremy shakes his head at the notion. "Something about an episode of Veronica Mars."
"Yeah, Veronica discovered that Mac was switched at birth-" He quiets immediately at the look on Jeremy's face. "What? It was a pretty good show, actually. She made me watch it with her cause she chipped in for the movie to get made."
"Of course she did," Jeremy comments with a chuckle. "Explains why she won't let this little one out of sight, am I right?" He leans over Danny's shoulder to peer at the little bundle in his arms.
At seven pounds, three ounces, and fifteen inches, she's the spitting image of her father. But a set of lungs like her mother because she entered the world kicking and screaming. Already a flare for nailing the dramatic entrance, Mindy had said, and fashionably late, too, since she'd been due a week ago.
"Oh, you're a beauty, aren't you, sweetheart?" Jeremy murmurs with a smile at the baby. "I know we've delivered hundreds of them, but it's different when you see one you actually know. Or the mom, for that matter."
"Tell me about it." Danny shakes his head as he thinks of the nervous mess he'd been in the delivery room, unable to do anything but stutter words of encouragement and let Mindy squeeze the life out of his hand. He'd wiped her forehead, told her she was beautiful, but mostly tried not to pass out. He sweat through all his clothes and had to shower in the locker room afterwards.
"Guess she was right, you couldn't be her gynecologist after all," Jeremy reminds him, and they share a grin of shared history and shared Mindy shenanigans.
"You want to sit?" Danny asks. "Morgan's bringing dinner."
"No, no. I just wanted to stop by and see the little one, make sure she didn't get your hideous looks." He continues talking as if he didn't see Danny rolling his eyes, and reaches for his phone to show Danny a picture. "I have a date, actually. An actress. Isn't she gorgeous? She played one of the socialites on Gossip Girl during its run." At Danny's blank stare, Jeremy shakes his head. "Never mind. Mindy will appreciate her work. Oh, and let me get a picture." He snaps one quickly of the new baby, and adds, "Women love it when guys talk about the children in their life. I'm an uncle now, after all, that's a big responsibility."
"Oh, yeah, your life really changed today," Danny drawls sarcastically.
"Don't be jealous, Danny. I'm sure you can find the occasional time for sex over the next eighteen years. Good luck with that. Tell Mindy I'll be by in the morning."
Danny considers flipping him off, but he'd rather have both hands cradling his daughter so he does nothing but continue to stare at her sleeping form. He startles when he hears a yawn, and turns to see Mindy waking up.
"Who was that?"
"Tell him to stay away from our daughter, or you'll punch his lights out."
"Oh, don't worry," Danny tells her as he takes a seat next to her so she can look at their daughter too, "she's not gonna be around any guys without me chaperoning."
"Danny, don't be such a cliché! Of course she is! How else is she going to meet her perfect match and get married and give us grandchildren?" Mindy reaches out to touch the baby's hand; her tiny fingers grasp Mindy's larger ones automatically.
Danny groans in disapproval. "Min, she was born eight hours ago. Don't even think about grandchildren yet, got it?"
"I guess. But we can't really say anything against her dating older men, considering how you're decades older than me," she teases.
"Not this again," he mutters good-naturedly. He looks down at the sleeping baby in his arms and says, "Your mother's lying. I'm only a couple years older than her. I'll show you our birth certificates when you're old enough to understand numbers."
"Those can be doctored," Mindy tells the baby. "Don't listen to him, listen to me! You're gonna inherit my fabulous closet one day."
"Maybe she won't care about clothes."
"Danny, don't be mean. I just pushed your baby out of my vagina, okay? A little respect, please."
"Right." Danny chuckles, then bends his head down to kiss her, long and lingering. "Nice work. You were amazing."
"I know," she tells him with a wide smile.
"Jeremy said he'll stop by in the morning. Something about a date with some girl who was on Gossip Girl."
As expected, Mindy's eyes light up with recognition and excitement. "Oh my god, no way! Really? I wonder what designers she wore on set! I wonder if she was in any scenes with Leighton! Oh, she can tell us all about what it was like on set after Blake married Ryan. Danny, we have to double-date immediately."
"Mhmm," he says absentmindedly, his hand rubbing the baby's back soothingly over the blanket, watching her breathe in, breathe out. It really is different when she's your own and you get to take her home, get to give her all your love. It's overwhelming and amazing at the same time.
"I'm so jealous of him right now. Aren't you jealous, Danny?"
"Nah," Danny answers. "Blondes don't really do it for me anymore."
Mindy grins and kisses him for the perfect answer.