It's Carol's birthday, and since Danny's went by pretty uneventfully,
he's channeling his energy into making Carol's something to remember
- or at least something fun. The table (such as it is), is set with
candles and actual linens, and Danny is in the kitchen getting started
on dinner - he's not actually expecting Carol home for a couple more
Except that Carol has gotten out early, on account of her natal day,
and is heading for the door with an armful of flowers, because she got
two bouquets and decided to bring one home; a collection of
chocolates; and Danny's present, since they sort of fell into the idea
of celebrating both days together, and hers was the later one.
And Danny, not expecting her, is talking animatedly to Clio, who has
figured out their having salmon for dinner, and wants to make sure
that her master doesn't forget that she /really/ likes it. She's
making mewling noises at his feet, and coiling around his legs. "I
get it, okay? But I have to /cook/ it first - so you're going to have
to let me get near the stove... Crazy cat..."
Carol manages to get in the door. "Hello?"
Danny considers a minute, then puts the salmon on the counter, and
grabs the cat, cupping her chest in his hand, and holding her close as
he heads to the door. "You're early!"
"My birthday present from the boss." She steps in to kiss him. "Is
the cat my present?"
He kisses back, cringing a bit as Clio sticks a claw in his chest.
"No, but neither is she going to eat our dinner while I'm not
looking," he says, looking down at said cat. "Your present will come
"Oh, goody," she purrs, giving him a little smile. "Uh. Should I put
yours on the table?"
He kisses her again, smiling softly. "The table works." He tries to
sneak a glance, but fails. "I was just getting dinner started - so
its going to be awhile..."
"Do you want help?" She puts the bag down and scoops Clio from his
arms. "Does Clio plan to eat with us?" She meows at Carol, looking
disgruntled from all the holding.
"You can cut veggies, if you want. We just have to make sure we don't
trip for her." He gives the cat a look, and she meows again in reply,
so he brings a hand up to scratch under her chin. "You're spoiled,
that's what you are."
Carol laughs as Clio yowls. "Nice shirt," she teases, as she puts
the cat down.
Danny grins, following the cat back into the kitchen. "Thank you," he
says, with a chuckle. "Gwen sent it - it arrived this morning."
"It's perfect," she says, giggling. "So how goes the newspaper business, Jimmy?"
Danny chuckles. "And if I'm Jimmy in this storyline, who does that
make you?" he says, turning with another grin. "I don't know that the
poor boy ever got laid."
"Well, you don't have glasses, so you can't be Clark. And you're too
cute to be Perry White." She starts peeling asparagus into the sink.
"Well, that's good to know at least." He starts getting the salmon
ready to bake, watching the cat from the corner of his eye. "That I'm
cuter than Perry White..."
"I'm sure Jimmy was able to find a nice girl, he had impressive skills
that would bring the ladies running." She leans over to sniff. "That
"It was one of my mother's favorite recipe's," he says, smiling
softly. "When we were older, at least - she could never get me to eat
it when I was a kid. Too fancy. I wanted a hamburger."
She echoes his smile. "I like the fancy."
"I figured fancy worked for us tonight," he says, smile turning into a
grin. The fancy!salmon is ready, and he puts the asparagus into the
pan to bake with it, sliding it into the oven. The cat takes up
position in front of the oven, as though she can will it to open.
"That'll be about an hour - I have ginger ale, and I have wine..."
"Wine," she says, with a small smile, "Would set me up perfectly. Do
you want your present now, since you were so fair about waiting five
He gets wine glasses out of the cupboard, and moves to the fridge.
When he turns, he looks like a kid in a candy store. "I'd /really/
like my present now," he says with a grin.
"Well, /that/ one can wait until after dinner, or the salmon will
burn," Carol says practically, but she grins back. "May I have my
wine, you horny thing?"
"Just trying to get back into the swing of things," he says with a
wink, turning towards the cabinets to open the bottle and pour the
wine. "I've been out of practice lately..."
"If there's swinging involved, I might be a little worried," she
teases, bending down to give Clio a proper rub hello.
Danny chuckles, holding out a glass of wine to her. "No swinging -
I'm disabled, remember?" He shrugs his right shoulder - which
actually hasn't given him issues in a while. ""But, you know,
"Mmm." She leans over to plant an overplayed kiss on his shoulder
before taking the glass. "I'm in favor of practicing."
"I thought you might be." He grins, and pours himself a glass only
half as full as hers. "Shall we adjourn to the count?" he says
grandly, holding out an arm.
"Yes. You have presents to open." She takes his arm, letting him lead
her but pausing to grab the shopping bag off the table.
And there's already a fair sized box waiting on the coffee table when
they get to the couch, elegantly wrapped (he obviously didn't do it
himself). He pulls her down, grinning. "You have presents too."
"Of course. That's the point of birthdays." She dumps his onto his
lap. "You first."
Danny raises an eyebrow, because the bag is rather large. Pulling out
two boxes, he holds one in each hand. "Which one first?"
"Your pick." She grins, watching him examine them.
He's actually a little more intrigued, for some reason, by the smaller
box, but he opens the larger one first, which leads to a silly grin. "A lapdesk - is this your way of trying to get me to come to bed earlier when I'm working?" But he's amused, and happy. "This is beautiful, Carol."
She grins. "Possibly. And also so you don't have to sit on the floor
anymore when you're spread out in here."
"And what makes you think I'm not comfortable on the floor?" he says
with a grin. He's exploring the desk, then he slides it back in the
box, smiling. "This is awesome..."
"The way you groan when you get up, maybe," she teases. "Or you could
use it on the floor. Or in bed. Whatever works." He gets a nudge.
"Open the other one." She was a little uncertain about this.
He puts the first box down on the table, and lifts the other one off
his lap. He unwraps it, glancing at Carol, who's looking nervous, and
reveals a facsimile copy of all the drafts of Churchill’s The Making of the Finest Hour speech..And for a moment, he's speechless,
flipping through this pages. "Carol - It has his notations... I know
its a copy but ...Where did you find this?"
She just grins. "I have my connections. You like it?"
"I do," he says, awed. Book still open on his lap, he leans over to
kiss her. "This is - I love this!"
She grins wider, watching him as he leafs through it, mumbling to
himself. "There's a bit in the back, with a reproduction of what he
used when he actually gave the speech."
He flips to the back, and his eyes widen a little, but he pulls
himself a way, closing the book. "You next." Kid. In. A. Candy.
Store. He just likes to share the candy.
She can't stop grinning at his reaction, but she takes up her box: it
is flat and clothing-sized. "You bought my underwear, didn't you."
Not that she entirely minds. In fact, it's rather flattering.
"Wait - you mean that's not part of /my/ gift?" he says with a wicked
grin. He puts down the book, and picks up his wine, taking a sip
before putting it down again.
She chuckles, and rips into the paper and the box in a rather
child-like fashion, emerging with fistfuls of blue fluffy pajamas. "Oh. So soft."
"They didn't have red," he says with a smirk. "I figured, however,
that they'd be cozy to travel with - or to leave here... "
"Both." She rubs her cheek against the fabric. "This is positively
decadent, Danny." She hasn't even looked at the rest of the box.
He grins, leaning across the distance between them to kiss her cheek.
"There's something else in the box," he says softly.
She gives him a curious look, and goes to look, emerging with a much
smaller box. "What is it?" she asks, because he's suddenly very
quiet, and she feels like she should be too.
He shrugs. "Open it."
She does, and gasps. "Danny. It's beautiful." Drawing the bracelet out of the box slowly, she leans in to squint at the
patternwork. "Celtic knotwork."
He leans forward to pull it out of the box, holding it gently in his
fingers. "I thought it was appropriate, considering - and this
pattern is supposed to represent longevity, I think..."
She smiles, shyly. "Will you put it on?"
He grins back, unhooking the clasp. "I looked at a lot of bracelets,"
he says quietly, as he latches it around her wrist. "But this seemed
right somehow. You like it?"
She holds her arm out. "It's perfect, see?"
He smiles happily, but he's not looking at the bracelet. "I see," he
says softly, knowing just how goofy he sounds.
She meets his eyes, blushing. "Maybe we should check on dinner?" she
Ahhh, Carol blushing, that just makes the night a complete success.
Rising, he leans down to kiss her gently before pulling away. "I'll
check. Drink your wine."
"Liquoring me up now," she says, amused, and sits back to watch him as
he putters around the kitchen.
"You've discovered my plot," he quips, opening the stove to check the
salmon, and pushing Clio out of the way. "I'm getting you drunk, and
seducing you with fuzzy pajamas and jewelry..."
"It's working," she says softly, blushing again.
Danny laughs softly, raising his head over the island to look across
at her. "Oh, good," he says, voice quiet. "I was worried I was out
of practice. I guess its like riding a bicycle?"
"Well, the part where you detailed your cunning plan might have ruined
the overall effect just a tad. But you've still got it." She grins,
the smile warring with the blush lingering on her cheeks.
"Curse my honesty!" he says dramatically, picking up the cat to remove
her (uselessly) from the kitchen. "A few more minutes." He digs
around for matches - because he did put candles on the table.
"So what exactly are your plans?" she asks, settling back on the
couch. "Are you going to ravish me on the dinner table for dessert,
or -- is there dessert?" One track mind.
Danny chuckles, coming around (and dodging the cat), to light the
candles on the table. "Well, if I ravish you on the dinner table,
I'll set fire to the building," he says logically. "So dessert might
be a better option. Besides, I don't want the torte to waste."
Her eyes light up. "Ok. You're definitely getting laid."
He laughs, eyes twinkling - and how unusual is that, lately? "Well,
that's good to know," he says, putting the matches away. "I'll count
this night a success."
"You should." She sighs, happily, tucking her feat underneath herself
and settling in to watch him get dinner out. The wine is starting to
spread through her body, and she feels comfortably warm, smiling to
herself as he works.
He dishes out the asparagus and salmon, cutting a tiny chunk off his
own, and putting it on the counter to cool a bit, while eyeing the
cat. "It's hot," he says fondly. "Be patient."
Clio meows, a decidedly un-patient sound. "It smells good," Carol
pipes up in her defense, and gets up to move to the table. "She knows
good cooking when she smells it."
Danny snorts. "She knows /fish/ when she smells it," he says, handing
the plates across the island to Carol, so he can defend the dish of
hot salmon for a moment longer. Eye on the cat, who is looking like
she's going to jump onto the counter, he reaches for the wine bottle
as well. "If you burn yourself, you're not getting any sympathy from
"She's a smart girl, she'll learn." Carol runs a hand down Clio's
back before sitting down. "Come on. Sit down."
He brings the bottle of wine into the living room, but only after
putting the plate of salmon down for Clio. He scritches her head on
his way by, but she ignores him in favor of the savory food. Bottle
of wine on the table, he sits down, smiling across at Carol. "Happy
She raises her glass to clink against his. "Yes. Happy Birthday."
And they settle in to feast, in more than one way.