Summary: A game of “Fuck, Marry, Cliff” turns into something more.
A/N: for blacknwhitecow, my Fury-Taylor partner in crime. I hope you like this <3 There might be a part 2?
It had all started midway through dinner, when Ellen suddenly remembered something from many years ago, and she said the phrase that set the whole cast off. They were having a good, bonding meal together. The cast was almost done with filming the entire season, and since they had all become good friends throughout the process, it became normal to go out together.
"Have you guys ever played fuck, marry, cliff?" She asked the table.
Some of the cast (Katrina, Bonnie, Dan, Liam, Cynthia) knew what it was right away. Especially Katrina, who clasped her hands together in excitement. Those who didn’t know, (Pana, Manu, Ditch, Heath) were told what it was by the rest of them, and soon everyone was on board.
The next hour was spent with the cast teasing each other and asking the famed “fuck, marry, cliff” question that would lead into laughs and jeers and jokes. They had long since been done with dinner, but most of the cast had cups of coffee in front of them and were taking pleasure in this. At first, they spoke about American celebrities (Angelina, Brad, Jennifer, etc) but everyone soon grew tired of that and before long they had switched to asking who out of their cast mates they would fuck, who they would marry, and who they’d throw off a cliff.
Dan sat next to Pana, as he usually did, and Pana’s arm rested against the back part of Dan’s chair instinctively. They had grown considerably close to each other throughout the season, and it only helped that the characters they played had a budding romance. It was kind of ironic in many ways, but neither really questioned what went on between them, it just… was.
"Dan!" Liam said suddenly, "It’s your turn." He smirked and looked over at Katrina, and she leaned over and whispered something in his ear that made him laugh and nod his head.
"Okay Danny-boy," Liam teased. "Fuck, marry, cliff. Pana, Kat, Manu. Choose wisely."
Dan threw his head back and laughed. This game was ridiculous but it sure was a great way to waste time and tease each other. He looked around the table once more, eyes glancing over Katrina (who looked stunning as always with her hair down over her shoulders and bright red lipstick), Manu (who was actually staring at his phone and paying very little attention to what was going on), and Pana, who sat beside him with that ever-present smirk on his mouth. Pana was slouched back in his seat and seemed to constantly give off a calming, I-don’t-give-a-shit-but-I’m-still-a-nice-guy presence. He tickled the back of Dan’s neck with his fingertips and laughed when Dan shrugged his shoulders and pulled away from his hand for a second, shooting him a dark look.
Dan turned his attention back to the table. “Uh…” He thought, biting his lower lip. “I would… make sweet, sweet love to Katrina,” He smirked and she shook her head at him and gave him an exasperated look. It’s not like he wouldn’t want to have sex with her (she’s gorgeous), but Dan was so gay that the mere implication of sex with a woman would make anyone roll their eyes. Dan wasn’t at all ashamed by his sexuality, and embraced it with the same indifference he hoped his friends would. “And I would enjoy any opportunity to push “Crixus” off a cliff, so I guess I’m marrying—”
"Me." Pana offered. "Who has two thumbs and is marrying Dan Feuerriegel? This guy." He pointed to himself and had the biggest grin on his face, which only made Dan smile brighter.
"Alright, Pana," Ellen said, "since you’re so fucking cocky." Pana cocked an eyebrow at that and Ellen smiled back at him. "Your turn. Dan, Liam, Bonnie."
He laughed and stretched his arms above his head, sitting up straighter in his seat.
“Hmm,” he exaggerated, tapping his finger on his chin. Ellen awaited his answer patiently and tapped her nails against the table top.
"I’m waiting," she joked.
"Well," he said, "I would fuck Dan, obviously." Pana grinned and nudged Dan with his elbow, who responded with a small smile. "Marry Liam, ‘cause of obvious reasons," Pana gave Liam an over-exaggerated wink and Liam returned the favor. Bonnie pretended to be horribly insulted at the fact that Pana chose to "cliff" her, but it was all in good fun. Pana was next to ask someone else, and he asked Heath who he would "fuck, marry, cliff" but the choices he gave him were "Pana, Pana, and me," so Heath ended up making the difficult decision to do all three with him.
Something had changed, though, and Dan couldn’t make himself crack a smile or laugh at whatever hilarious thing Cynthia said from across the table, or at Katrina’s facial expressions or Ditch’s one-liners. Dan knew it was ridiculous, but he’d be damned if he wasn’t offended that Pana chose Liam over him in the “marry” category. Okay, maybe Dan was a little bit more than smitten with his coworker, but it still wasn’t fair. Dan said he’d marry Pana (of course it was a joke, but if he were realistically in that situation, he would still probably choose to marry Pana over anyone else.) Dan shook his head and couldn’t help the fact that he felt stupid, so fucking stupid, and Pana looked over at him once or twice and tried get him to smile back, but Dan would have none of it, and used the old I’m checking messages on my phone but really I’m just trying to avoid an awkward situation gimmick, even though Pana knew him too well to fall for that.
When they left the restaurant the cast mates said goodbye to each other in the parking lot, before they all took off to their hotel rooms to get a good night’s rest for the next day of shooting. When Dan hugged Katrina she asked him if something were wrong, and he responded with Of course not, I’m fine and his best smile. She must have bought it because she didn’t mention it again, and just gave him a kiss on the cheek before she left.
Unfortunately, Pana was Dan’s ride to the hotel, so it’s not like he could just ignore him and wait until his feelings were under check before he spoke to him again. Pana was leaning against his car when Dan found him, with his arms crossed over his chest and an expectant look in his eyes. Dan shoved his hands in his front pockets (it was chilly outside) walked over to him. He tried to look at Pana with indifference, but everything about him made Dan’s walls crumble down. From the leather jacket he wore, to the way his hair was tied up into a ponytail, to the twinkle in his eye that not only was a product of his youth, but of his spirit.
"What?" Dan asked with a shrug.
“C’mere,” Pana said. Dan sighed. He didn’t want to, but a huge part of him did want to. He wanted to embrace the other man and feel his warmth and hear his voice that was tinged with that accent that made everyone around him pay attention when he spoke. Dan was still a few inches away when Pana grabbed his hips and pulled him close. He smiled down at Pana and the other man looked up at him curiously.
"Tell me what’s wrong, Daniel." Not many people did call Dan that, but if one person was allowed to, it was definitely him. Pana could call him any name under the sun and Dan would be okay with it.
Dan shook his head. “Nah, it’s stupid, I’m stupid…”
Pana laughed. “Well, I know that much.” Dan narrowed his eyes at him but Pana just affectionately tapped the tip of Dan’s nose with his index finger, eliciting a small laugh from him. The parking lot was practically deserted, and both men felt comfortable being this close to one another. It’s not that they cared what others think (heaven knows Pana doesn’t give a shit about anyone’s opinion, and it was starting to rub off on Dan a bit as well).
“It’s just, you said you wouldn’t marry me,” and damn, did Dan feel stupid. He felt a blush creep into his face but Pana just looked confused for a second, with his eyes narrowed and his brows drawn in, and Dan wanted to smooth out the crinkle in the space between his brows with his thumb and then kiss his forehead, but he didn’t, for obvious reasons, although he wondered how he would react if he did.
"Fuck are you talking about?" And Pana wasn’t mad, it’s just the way he spoke. Sometimes a little too rough, but he held back when it came to everyone else. It was just easier to be himself around Dan.
“The game!” Dan said, and Dan never got angry, so he was almost surprised at himself when he felt the burn of frustration and embarassment inside him. Pana’s hands stayed on his hips, though, and squeezed softly, bringing him back down to Earth. His hands slipped under Dan’s sweater and his slightly-cold hands rested on the warm skin of Dan’s side, and Dan felt a shiver run up his spine. The hands cooled whatever had sparked up within him, and he felt himself relax.
"The thing over dinner?" Pana offered innocently, and Dan nodded, only to avert his eyes. Perhaps Pana would think he was being immature (although Dan was actually the older one, ironically).
But when Dan glanced back at Pana’s face, he was just smirking. “You’re getting mad because I said I would fuck you rather than marry you at a game. That means absolutely nothing. Over dinner after I’d had two glasses of wine?” He punctuated each sentence to highlight the sheer absurdity of the situation. Dan sighed.
“Well, when you put it like that, it does sound… petty.” He deadpanned, and Pana nodded. Dan was about to let it drop, but he had to know something first. “Why though?” He asked. “Why didn’t you choose me?” I chose you without hesitation, he thought to himself.
Pana shrugged. “Just didn’t think about it. But it’s not like I’m gonna go out and marry Liam to spite you or anything. It was a game, not a vow.” When he saw his answer didn’t register too well with him, he thrust his hips against Dan and laughed at the look of surprise on his face. “Besides,” Pana said, drawing out the i, “I wanna fuck you more than anything right now. The marrying can happen later.” His tone was joking, but the only problem was that Dan didn’t know which part he was joking about.
"Are you serious?" He asked. It might have sounded accusatory if expelled from anyone else’s lips, but Dan never had an edge in his voice, so it came out the way the meant for it to.
Pana shrugged. “Dunno. Ya want me to be?” He interlaced his fingers behind Dan’s back, bringing their bodies flush against one another, and fuck Pana, fuck him for being so smooth in ways that Dan wasn’t. If only Dan noticed the look of apprehension in Pana’s eyes, or the ways that those same warm, strong hands that were on his actually trembled with nerves, he would see that even Pana wasn’t that composed. Perhaps Dan did notice, but he chose to not take it into account.
Dan smiled uncertainly and ducked his head, and Pana raised himself a few inches by standing on his tip toes. They were eye-level with one another and Pana could looked at Dan’s green eyes and gauged his reaction, but Dan just stared right back at him, and in that same moment they both realized how ridiculous they were being; both waiting for the other to make a move when it was obvious what they both desired. Their faces broke into smiles, Dan’s dimples coming into view (and oh, how Pana fell for those dimples, and he never even paid attention to a thing like that before). He squeezed the warm flesh on Dan’s side again and Dan brought his hands up to either side of Pana’s face and brushed aside a few stray strands of hair.
They leaned in for the kiss at the same time. They didn’t have to lean much because of their proximity, but when Dan first felt Pana’s lips against his he somehow felt at home. He’d never kissed Pana before (unless you count the hallway scene, which, no, that was acting and definitely not too pleasurable), and he found himself relishing the simple act. Everyone kissed; little kids with their school crush, lovers, strangers, and it was so uncomplicated. People have been doing it since the beginning of history, and yet, when Dan kissed Pana he felt as if no one had ever experienced this type of kissing, no one had ever experienced the lightness that Dan felt in his soul in that very moment.
Dan wanted to kiss every part of Pana. He wanted to lick, and taste, and feel his skin, hear his laugh and see his smile and that twinkle in his eyes for days. He took Pana’s bottom lip into his mouth and sucked softly, eliciting a giggle from the younger man. Dan pulled away and Pana dropped back down to the soles of his feet.
“I was serious,” Pana said. It took Dan a second to remember what he was talking about, and to get his eyes off of his lips and back up to those brown eyes, but when he did he felt his heart flutter and a different kind of heat stirred within him. Pana smiled and pushed Dan away playfully, and Dan stumbled backwards because his center of gravity was off for some reason. He was about to argue and lunge for Pana (and possibly kiss him again), when Pana walked over to the driver’s side and opened the door.
“Are you ready?” He asked as he unlocked the door for Dan. Pana slid into the driver’s seat and put his keys in the ignition, and when Dan slid in beside him, Pana faced him and gave him a wink, and not an exagerrated one like he gave Liam, but still a playful one, and Dan smiled back and buckled up. He had never been more ready for anything else.