Very late for her birthday - so with much apologies.
"They are not."
"They so are."
"No way, no how, not." Jeremy folded his arms against his chest. Natalie shook her head.
"How can men be so blind?"
"Men, meaning me, are not blind."
"Jeremy isn't blind?" Dana stood at the door to the conference room.
"Jeremy is blind." Natalie sat down at the table.
"Jeremy...I am not blind. Natalie is seeing things."
"What is Natalie seeing that Jeremy is not?"
"Danny and Casey." She shrugged.
"You can't see Danny and Casey? They're in their office, being late to the meeting." She pointed out the door.
"I can see them just fine. In fact, I even spoke to them not twenty minutes ago."
"I am confused. Please unconfuse me before the meeting begins."
"Fine. Natalie, the love of my life, my future wife to be, as soon as Rabbi Posner says she can, affirms that our stalwart and quite male anchors are, in fact, an item."
"An item?" Dana stared.
"An item." Natalie nodded.
"Dan and Casey?"
Jeremy rolled his eyes. "Yes. Dan and Casey. Natalie says they look at each other."
"They do not."
Dana frowned. "Oh, my God. They do. They totally do. The sort of look as if..."
"As if no one else is in the room." Natalie nodded. "It's incredibly romantic."
"It is not romantic because it's not happening. And it's also highly disturbing just to think about, which I do not want to do."
Eventually, the others showed up. Jeremy found himself staring at Dan and Casey. Were Danny's lips a trifle swollen? Did Casey look at Dan? Were they sitting too closely together?
Were Dana and Natalie grinning at each other?
Were Dan and Casey staring at him?
"Oh, I get it. Ha ha. Very funny." Jeremy stood up. "You're all in on it. All of you." He glared at every one in turn, including a startled Elliot, who'd just run into the room.
"In on what?" No way could Dan be as innocent as he looked.
"Nothing! In on nothing. There is nothing going on. Nothing." Dana stood up and tried to push Jeremy down.
"Oh, yes, nothing. Stop laughing, you two." He aimed his entirely useless non-heat vision at Dan and Casey, who were falling over each other. "These two have been saying untrue things about you. I hope they're untrue, but you're acting like it was true, but since it has to be untrue, you have to be in on it. Either that or I'm incredibly susceptible to suggestion, which is entirely possible."
"I think I followed that." Casey shook his head.
"Except the untrue things." Dan stifled more laughter.
"Except the untrue things. What are the untrue things, Jeremy?" Casey grinned.
Jeremy could feel his cheeks start to burn. Dana and Natalie, though, also looked like they wanted to floor to swallow them up. This was maybe not so bad. He just had to say it with out actually dying. "That you and Dan are...you two are...that you look at each other."
Dan stopped laughing. So did Casey. Both turned pale.
This was not good. This was very not good. "Guys?"
Dan buried his head in his hands.
"Can everyone leave, please?" Casey's voice was strained. He gave the three of them looks, so they stayed in their seats as the room emptied.
By this time, Dana and Natalie looked as bad as Jeremy felt. "Casey..." Dana tried to put a hand on Casey's arm. "I never meant...it was supposed to be Jeremy..."
"Well, it saves us the trouble." Dan raised his head. "Doesn't it, Case?"
Casey actually laughed. "That it does."
"Guys? You mean..." Natalie slumped back in her chair. "How long?"
"Forever." Oh, God. Dan's smile was so big, so happy.
"Or since we were bought by Quo Vadis. Whichever." Casey's answering grin could have lit up Pluto.
Jeremy had to grasp the table to keep the world from turning over yet again. "This isn't a joke?"
Dan shook his head. "This isn't a joke."
Dana closed her eyes. "This was a joke."
"This was a joke and it shouldn't have been one." Natalie sat next to Jeremy and put her arm over his shoulder.
"This was a joke." Casey smiled and caught Dan's eyes. "We got all of you." They high-fived.
"You're not?" Jeremy felt the world right itself.
"What do you think?" Casey looked at him.
"I think you got me. I think it was a work of utter brilliance we shall never speak about again." Dana and Natalie, who were bright red, nodded emphatically.
"Excellent. Jeremy, get the others in here so that we may finish this meeting." Dan waved his hand.
And all was well in Jeremy's world, until he chanced past the glass walls of their office.
And Casey's hands were tangled in Dan's hair, and they were most definitely looking.
Funny. the world didn't tilt or anything.