Title: Maybe Not Everything Was Totally Your Fault
Disclaimer: Very much not mine.
Summary: Post-1x20. "Mindy, I know you're in there. I can hear Meg Ryan on the TV!"
Note: For everyone who wanted to see an apology… here you go.
The buzzer goes unanswered for the fourth time, and he starts banging on her door instead.
"Mindy, I know you're in there. I can hear Meg Ryan on the TV!"
From her place on the couch, Mindy rolls her eyes and wipes at her damp cheeks. "Go away, Danny!"
"Open the door," he insists.
"You know what? I'll do this all night," he tells hers. "I don't care. I have no girlfriend and a burned out piano. What else do I have to do?" When he's greeted with silence, he starts knocking again. "Come on, Mindy!"
"You can't just Sam Wheat me until I open the door, Danny!"
He's quiet for a moment before, "What?"
"Ugh." She pushes the mute button on the remote control. Under her breath, she mutters, "Of course you've never seen Ghost."
Steeling herself, Mindy shuts her eyes and counts to five in her head, trying to ignore Danny's incessant knocking. When she's done, she pushes herself up off the couch and crosses the room to the front door.
He's mid-knock when she opens it. For a moment, the surprise shows on his face and they just stand there, staring at each other. It's awkward enough that she considers closing the door in his face.
Danny puts his hands on his hips. "Can I come in?"
"If I say no, will you leave?"
"No." She doesn't move out of the doorway, and he sighs heavily. "Please?"
She furrows her brow. "What do you even want? As you pointed out, we're not friends," she huffs, "so, honestly, I'm not sure what else we have to discuss."
He looks down at his feet. "I didn't say that."
"I mean, you basically did."
Scrubbing a hand over his face, he says, "Please, can I come in?"
"Why?" she demands, loudly.
He matches her tone. "So we can finish having this fight now and not in the office on Monday!"
"Ugh! Fine!" She turns and stalks away from the door. "Let's do this, Castellano!"
Danny follows her into the kitchen, slamming the door shut behind him. He watches while she pulls a bottle of tequila and a shot glass from a cabinet and pours herself a drink.
"What are you doing?"
She tips the glass back, squeezing her eyes shut as the liquor burns down her throat. "If you're going to stand in my house and tell me about how horrible I am, then I am going to need this."
Something in his expression softens a bit, then. "All right, I didn't come here to…" She pours out another shot, and he frowns. "At least get me a glass."
"Why should I?"
"Look, I'm sorry that I ruined your party, and your relationship, and that I brought a prostitute into your house, and… what else?" She swallows the tequila with only a slight grimace this time. "I'm sorry I touched your books, and your shampoo, and that I slept with Brendan, and I'm sorry that I thought we were friends, okay?"
"Does that cover it? Or do you want to talk about, you know, how I sometimes steal your yogurts out of the refrigerator?"
She picks up the bottle again, and Danny stops her with his hand over hers, pulling the tequila toward him instead. When she lunges for it, he holds it out of her reach and uses the distraction to grab her shot glass as well.
"Stop," he says, his voice quiet, controlled. He places the bottle and the shot glass out of her reach before turning back to her. "Can we talk like adults?"
She folds her arms over her chest and shrugs. "Let's see."
Scratching at the back of his head, he blows out a breath. "Okay, look. Maybe not everything that happened tonight was totally your fault, all right?"
She frowns. "Um, I definitely brought a male prostitute to your party of my own volition."
He squints his eyes and pretends to consider it for a second. "…Yeah. Yeah, you did."
"Yeah," she says defensively. "Okay. So…"
"Could've done without that," he says, and she's surprised to see the corner of his mouth begin to quirk upward.
She gives him a small smile in return. "Me, too."
He rubs his face. "Just… why?"
"I wanted to get back at you for what you said in my office," she says quietly. "You know, show you how wrong you were."
He frowns. "Oh."
"And honestly, I'm not sure why I thought Pretty Woman-ing him would work," she says, sounding somewhat disappointed. "I think Hollywood has conditioned us to believe that prostitutes are much more amenable to change than they really are. The truth is, they don't always have a heart of gold."
He stares at her, like he still hasn't quite figured out whether he wants to laugh or roll his eyes at her.
"Anyway." She moves closer and puts a tentative hand on his arm. "For what it's worth, I am really, really sorry about the way everything played out tonight."
He watches her for a long moment, his eyes flicking down to her skin on his, before he nods. "Okay," he says definitively.
"And also, I mean, you were kind of right." She taps her fingernails against the counter and eyes the liquor on the opposite side of the island. "I guess I do tend to go for… dickish… types."
"Hmmph," he says.
She looks at him questioningly. "I am admitting to having a fault here. Isn't that your dream? Don't you want to, you know, say I told you so, or something?"
He shrugs. "Maybe, considering… I don't know, maybe I'm not really one to talk."
With that, he grabs the bottle of tequila off the counter and takes it with him into her living room, where he drops onto the couch with a deep sigh. She watches as he takes a long swig and just sits, staring at the muted movie still playing on her television.
Mindy lingers in the kitchen for a minute, eyeing him, before padding over to join him on the couch. She curls her feet up underneath her and sits quietly, watching while Tom Hanks eats caviar garnish.
Danny silently hands the bottle over. Mindy accepts it and takes a sip.
"I should've told Alex the truth," he says.
"Yes, you should have. And I swear, Danny." She touches his arm to get him to look at her. "I swear, I thought she knew."
He nods. "It's… I don't know, it's fine, I guess." A beat, and then he admits, "Honestly, I don't know how much she really liked me anyway." He takes the bottle out of her hands and drinks.
She frowns. "Why would you say that?"
He picks at the top of the bottle. "I don't know, sometimes it just felt like… I think she liked the idea of dating me more than actually dating me."
Mindy's face falls a little. "Oh."
"I mean, I like staying in most nights. So sue me."
She nods. "You are not a big going out guy," she agrees.
"Right? I mean, look. Once in a while? Fine." He laughs humorlessly. "You know, maybe it's just me. I'm too old or… a loser, or whatever. She probably should've just stuck with Reed."
"Danny, you are not a loser or a bad guy or anything like that, okay?" she says, sighing. "You guys just weren't meant to be, I guess. It happens." She pokes his arm and adds, "In the future, though? Don't hide the ex-wife stuff. Especially if you're at the Co-Host a Dinner Party stage of a relationship."
"Hmm," he considers.
Mindy waits for him to say more. When he doesn't, she purses her lips and lets her eyes drag over him before turning back to the television. "You know, this is getting a little personal for people who are just coworkers," she says quietly. "So."
Groaning, he places the tequila bottle on her coffee table with a thunk and turns to look at her. "I didn't – all right, hey." He touches her knee to get her to look at him and lets it linger a few seconds longer than necessary. "Before. I didn't – I didn't mean that we aren't friends."
"It's just…" Danny stares at his hands, at the remote control, at anything but her face while he gathers his thoughts. "I know I'm closed off, all right? And for the record, it isn't totally unintentional." With a shrug, he adds, "I think it's a self-preservation thing after… everything."
Her face softens. "Danny…"
"And then you just come along and kind of… worm your way in there, you know?" He chuckles under his breath. "I mean, I didn't ask for it, being friends with you, but it looks like I got it anyway."
She screws up her face. "Um, thanks? I think?"
The corner of his mouth quirks up. "Look, I just – it was a shitty thing to say, and I'm sorry."
"Okay." She nods. "Apology accepted."
"Good." He holds out his hand. "Friends?"
Mindy grins and shakes his hand. "Friends."
"All right." He reaches for the liquor. "Which one is this? What are we watching?"
"Um," she says, eyeing him suspiciously. "It's You've Got Mail."
He drinks from the bottle. "Mmph," he grunts, and unmutes the television.
She watches him watching the movie with a weird sort of grin on her face. "Are you serious?"
"You know, you don't have to stay and watch this movie just because you have some guilty conscience thing going on and you think you need to, like, prove to me that you want to be my friend."
"I'm not doing that," he insists, and it's somewhat convincing. "I'm just… hanging out here with you, watching this stupid movie, and avoiding cleaning up the mess that is my apartment."
"Yeah, I thought I'd have a little help with that later on," he says. "Also, I really wasn't expecting the chicken wings or the fire."
Mindy pats his arm companionably. "Hey, Danny? How about, instead of watching this, we go back to your place, and I'll help you clean up?"
"Oh, you don't have to –"
"No, I insist." She smiles brightly. "We're friends. That's what friends do."
He nods slowly. "Plus you brought a prostitute to my house, so…"
"Okay, just." She rolls her eyes and puts up a hand to stop him. "Enough. Do you want help or not?"
He thinks about it for a fraction of a second. "Yeah, okay."
"That's what I thought."