Debra Fran Baker


"You guys going to lead with the Kevin McInnis rumors?" Jeremy popped his head into the office, clip board in hand. Dan grinned.

"We would love to lead with the Kevin McInnis rumors."

Casey nodded. "We would, indeed, love to lead with the Kevin McInnis rumors."

"You would?" Jeremy's eyes narrowed.

"There's only one problem." Danny looked at Casey.

"Only *one* problem?" Jeremy blinked.

Casey nodded again. "Only one problem."

"And what is this problem?" Jeremy stared from one to the other.

Danny laughed and decided to rescue him. "We don't know what the Kevin McInnis rumors are."

"You're kidding."

Casey shook his head. "We do not kid. We are completely innocent of rumors of hockey goalie rumors. Are we not, Danny?"

"We are. Furthermore, we are innocent of not only hockey rumors in general but also of Canadian rumors, which, I believe, would include all rumors concerning Kevin McInnis."

"Ah, but are you innocent of gay rumors?" Jeremy's eyes actually twinkled.

Casey frowned. "What are you talking about, Jeremy?"

Jeremy sat down on Casey's desk and leaned forward. "Well, it seems that there are rumors that Kevin McInnis is gay."

"Do we have a source for these rumors?" Casey leaned back.

"More to the point of that little thing called journalistic integrity, do the sources of the rumors have sources for the rumors?"

"Not yet. I'm working on it. But I can tell you what the rumors say."

"Tell us what the rumors say when they are more than rumors, okay?"

"And then you can do a great piece on gays in sports." Jeremy grinned.

"Why should we do a piece in gays in sports?" Danny had to stare at Jeremy.

"Yeah, Jeremy. Why should we do a story about rampant discrimination that forces athletes to hide in the closet or to give up their careers? Why should we ever do such a thing?"

Both men stared at Casey. Dan had only rarely seen him quite so worked up. He touched Casey's hand. "Case?"

Casey blinked and shook his head as if to clear it. "I'm sorry, guys. You touched a nerve I didn't know I had."

Casey was lying. Dan didn't know how he knew, but he knew. "Those things happen. Not to you, but they happen."

"Yeah." Casey shrugged. "Jeremy, clear it with Dana and Isaac, and verify *everything*. Double and triple check. Because the last thing we want to do is to base this on false rumors."

"Because outing someone who isn't gay is as bad as outing someone who is?" Jeremy took notes.

"Because then the whole thing becomes our fault." Casey turned back to his computer. Jeremy got up, waved and left, presumably to accost Dana and Isaac.

Dan turned to his computer as well, and made several attempts to write his script, but nothing that made sense came through his fingers to the screen. Finally, he turned to Casey, who sat *looking* at him. "You were married."

Casey nodded. "I was."

"You were married and have a son."

"I was and I do."

"You were in love with Dana."

"You thought I was in love with Dana. You and Natalie thought I was in love with Dana."

"You weren't in love with Dana?"

"I wasn't in love with Dana. I thought you were right. You were wrong."

"I'm very wrong."

"That you are." Casey tilted his head.


"Think about Sally. Think about her."

Dan thought about Sally. Tall. Handsome. Aggressive. Sally. "I've thought about Sally. Still."