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12 July 2012 @ 12:10 am
fic: then you come crashing in [1/4]  

title: then you come crashing in
pairing: Derek/Casey, Derek/OC, Casey/Jesse
summary: Just this once, she'll do things a little differently. Just this once, she won't pass go or collect two hundred because she's done running around in circles.
a/n: This is about 22,000 words. I can't apologize enough because when someone gives a prompt, they're probably expecting like ~3000 words max and to have to read that much just because I sort of lost my head, oh my god. SO YOU DON'T HAVE TO READ THIS, OKAY. You guys, this is longer than Dissolution. It's almost half of Distraction and those had nine and nineteen chapters respectively. I'm guessing this is the culmination of my Derek and/or Casey get married fics, since it seems I've been obsessed by the idea forever. I don't know why Abby's not in it, since Derek's getting married, but let's assume she's at the bottom of the ocean searching rare phytoplankton and miles from civilization or something. Written for the fairytale prompt table.
warning: Derek and Casey are dysfunctional, entitled assholes with the anti-Midas touch and ruin everything they touch basically. Post Vacation With Derek.
disclaimer: disclaimed. I don't own at all, and I'm sure everyone's really glad about that right about now.
jane_wanderlust's prompt: the practical girl.



You who never arrived in my arms, beloved,
Who were lost from the start, 
I don't even know what songs would please you.

Rilke




[1]

It ends like these things always do: with that one guy who's in love with this other girl and first hearing about it from Edwin of all people.

"When are you coming over for the wedding?" he asks, when he calls in the evening, because they do this awkward phone bonding thing sometimes in lieu of the Breakfast Moments. She remembers it in capitals because that's how she remembers every moment from the Time Before.

"What wedding?" she asks absently, only half listening, Jesse's in the shower and she can hear the water pelting the tiles much louder than Edwin's voice. She thinks he definitely needs to change his crappy service provider, but she usually forgets it as soon as she thinks it, so, well.

Edwin laughs, the sound breaking up over the distance and static, "is this one of those 'see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil' kind of things?"

"What," the noise from the shower grows exponentially; it mildly irritates her in the way in the way that little things about living too long with a person do, "what are you talking about? Who's evil?"

"Derek," he says, the note of surprise obvious even over the static.

"That's fitting," she twists the cord around in her hands, she could have gone out and checked on the food if he'd called on her mobile, "considering it's Derek."

"No," he says, and he doesn't sound amused any longer, "I meant Derek's wedding."

Her vision blurs for a moment before it fixates blankly on that spot on the wall that Jesse's niece had colored over with the purple crayon, "what?"

"You knew, right?" Edwin's words are rushed, and it's obvious he thinks he's done something wrong, "I mean— you knew…right?"

"Yeah," she lies, forcing out the words, "of course I knew. Listen, I need to check on the food, so I'll call you sometime over the weekend, okay?"

"Casey—"

She cuts the line.

The phone rings resolutely about forty seconds later. She doesn't pick up.








"Derek's getting married," she says, pressing her head against the board. The words don't sound any less wrong on her tongue. They don't quite seem to fit somehow. Like she's mixing up the order of the words in the sentence.

Jesse looks up, towel in hand, droplets of water still trickling from his wet hair onto his bare chest. She stares unabashedly. It's one of those things she never really gets used to and turns her on just as much as it used to in the beginning.

"Oh," he says after a second's pause, and she's oddly disappointed.

"Yeah," she echoes, "oh."

Later, she makes love to him on her study desk. She hasn't done it since she was nineteen and it was new and exciting, and now it's uncomfortable and awkward and clumsy and it's still the hottest thing she's ever done.

(She thinks I could get used to this, and she thinks Derek's getting married, and she thinks I love Jesse and she thinks Derek's getting married and she thinks— god yes, just there, harder— and she thinks Derek's getting married.)








Marti calls two days later.

"Derek's getting married," she says bluntly, "Nobody wants to tell you."

Casey laughs, it's a first cousin to the sound, but it's still recognizable and she's going to be okay, "I know, Marti. Why don't they want to tell me? Sure, he's an immature, unevolved jerk and the possibility of him being ready to start a responsible married life is about just as much as the possibility of him being able to grow wings and fly over the Atlantic, but the McDonald-Venturis aren't exactly known for their secret-keeping abilities."

Marti is silent for a long moment that registers on her wall clock, "you don't want to ask me that because I'll give you an answer."

She laughs again, and it isn't forced. She's getting better, or at least better at this, "what did George say about the piercing anyway?"

It's stupid and the most obvious out ever but she knows Marti'll let her take it and she's grateful, she really is.

She can hear Marti shuffling around on the ground; the phone probably pressed against her ear and shoulder as she paints her nails and keeps her textbook open with the other. In that moment she misses the six-year-old just as fiercely as she does the sixteen-year-old.

"I'm not sure it was any registered language actually," Marti's voice sounds further away, "it sounded like a tribal war cry, but I haven't googled it, so I'm not sure what part of the world it's native to."

"I was expecting the five stages of grief," Casey replies, "good for George. That's almost a normal father reaction."

She looks at the wall clock again, and she's late. Derek's getting married and she's late for work. Obviously.

"For the record," Marti says, just as she's about to hang up, "he's an idiot."

(She doesn't ask.)








"Edwin told me this morning that he told you," Lizzie begins without preamble, "I smacked his head in for him. Just so you know."

Casey smiles, and then remembers her sister can't see her over the phone and laughs instead. She does a lot of that these days. She's probably laughed more in the past few days than in her entire life. "I can't understand why you guys are freaking out about me. Shouldn't Derek's would-be-wife be the one getting the deathbed treatment?"

"She uses an electric dryer," Lizzie says unnecessarily, "besides, she's not that pretty. Sure, the whole big-eyes-and-wavy-dark-hair combination works for some, but it's so systemically defined and conventionally good-looking that it's almost like not being good-looking at all."

That makes her pause for a minute, because she'd been assuming it was Felicia (which would be the oddest thing in the world and vaguely incestuous, to have Derek marry a girl with her grandmother's name), but big-eyes-and-wavy-dark-hair sounds nothing like the poker-straight-blonde Felicia.

"So, who is Derek marrying again?" she asks casually.

Lizzie stops in the middle of an extensive description about the number of minutes the To-Be-Mrs.-Venturi's hair-dryer is on in a day and what it means for the environment, "you don't know?"

"I just haven't talked to him in a while," the defense mechanism automatically kicks in, "it's not like he's Joe Regular in keeping up with the family updates."

"Rachel," Lizzie says finally, "he's marrying Rachel."

She remembers thin hands curled in red-brown hair and dark hair falling over a wide smile, Derek's my college bffBecause he's a jackass and I'm the only one who put up with him all of first year. Now you're here, you can take over handling half of him, I have a lot more work-load this semester and he's more of a long-term project.

And quite suddenly she realizes she'd been wishing it was Felicia. Because Felicia, Felicia's not Derek. Felicia is divorce papers five years down the line and drunken 'I should have never married you' phone-calls. Rachel is Derek. Rachel is close to and they lived—

"How is Rachel," she forces herself to ask, "I didn't know they were still in touch."

"We all are." Lizzie's voice is quieter, like she'd rather not talk about it, "she's been around a lot. Here, I mean. This past year. Simon loves her and kept calling her over to play with him, and well, you know Rachel. She always came. Derek sometimes came too, but even if he didn't, she was still around."

She does know Rachel. And stupidly enough it still feels like betrayal. Simon is her brother.

"Jesse's home," she says; the doorbell rings three seconds after her words and it's like fate or something, "I should go open the door."

"Yeah, okay" the younger girl says awkwardly, "I love you, Casey."

Her throat feels like it's closing up, "I love you too, Lizard."

(It isn't Jesse after all. She looks at the bills the delivery guy hands her and thinks they'd be metaphorical if she could figure out what they're a metaphor for.)








Nora calls when she's at work, and spends half the time reprimanding Simon in the background.

"I know, mom." Casey rubs her temple tiredly, "Derek's getting married to Rachel and we're all very happy for him."

"Oh," her mother sounds relieved for some reason. Then uncertainly, "we are, aren't we?"

"We are," Casey repeats firmly, "and Simon's probably raising Cain somewhere so you shouldn't be on the phone too long."

"Love you Miss Case," Nora says hurriedly and Simon sounds in the distance before the receiver clicks.

"Love you too," she whispers to the dial tone.








"Derek is—"

"Getting married. Now, bye George, I have a lot of paperwork. I told Edwin I'll call over the weekend."

"You should call him sometime." he says easily before hanging up

(She laughs, just for the record, and then rests her head against the pile of papers and cries.)








"I'm sorry," Jesse says, Wednesday night, staring straight ahead at the screen.

She turns around in well-executed surprise, "what for?"

He looks at her and she drops her gaze and she can feel him staring at her bent head for a long second before he turns back to the television, "just."

(– they don't have sex that night, but he puts his arms around her and holds her close and she's so sorry too and she thinks she loves him and thinks she doesn't deserve him and thinks they're both so terrible at letting go and knows she's right on all counts.)






[2]

So, here's the division:

Before Derek. During Derek. After Derek.

It's no Gregorian calendar, but she finds it divides her era perfectly. And honestly, she's Casey McDonald; she's nothing if not practical and if her life requires another dating system, then she's damn well going to get another dating system. And anyway, she needed a new system as it is, because hers isn't linear, it's cyclical.

This is how the cycle turns: one step forward, five hundred and seventy two backwards.

That's an exact calculation if someone asks.








In shorthand version, the A.D. period goes something like this:

She does the Disney Princess thing and follows her heart straight to Big City Dreams and Bernard Blue's dance recital.

The competition is way more intense than Sir John Sparrow High has ever taught her to handle, and she's reminded of Sadia from her Dance Mania days, except multiplied by like a million. She's terribly out of practice compared to all the others, and she's somewhere on the left of the stage, behind three other dancers in the first recital, and when she looks at the video later where she's visible for about four seconds, she cries. Till Nora calls, after which she puts on a bright, giddy voice that fools her mother. And then she wants her father because he would know. (And then she wants Derek because he would know too.)

Derek goes to Queen's, and if there are moments when she feels like her life just went backwards, then those moments are far and few and restricted to the times everyone back home makes him call her to ask how she's doing.

The calls aren't actually so 'far and few' unless it's Opposite Day, but it's the McDonald-Venturis, they probably told him they'd cancel his constant money transfers and put the fear of god in him, judging by how often his name blinks across her mobile screen.

He uses up all her old nicknames and she informs him haughtily that she doesn't trip when she likes someone anymore because she grew out of high school unlike someone she could mention who probably still has grandiose delusions about being the big man on campus. He says something wildly inappropriate about seven times per half hour and she shrieks De-rek about thirteen times per conversation. And it's old and familiar and she cramps inside with fierce longing for something she can't define. They talk late into the night most days because they can't stand to let the other have the last word. And sometimes they talk through the night, trading insults till she feels more at home than she's felt in months.

One night like every other night, when she's stifling a moan of pain and her ankle feels like she crushed all the bones with a hammer and then poured kerosene and lit it on fire for good measure—

"You're killing yourself because the fam isn't around to tell you to lay off the crazy perfectionism, and just stop being so Casey for a while, aren't you?" he says suddenly, stopping mid-comeback.

"What?" it's such a personal topic of conversation for them that she's taken aback, and it takes her a minute to come up with, "no."

"Casey—"

"Since when do you care anyway," she states instead, because that works every time.

"I don't, obviously," he says immediately, and drops the topic.

(But a week later Nora comes over to visit with Simon and is all wide smiles and watchful eyes, and it's exhausting to try and pretend with every facial muscle than it had been with just the vocal cords and the telephone.

"I didn't think it would be like this," is the closest she gets to admitting the truth.

"Come home," Nora says, her forehead creased in way that immediately makes Casey feel guilty because her mom has enough in her plate without worrying about her.

"No," she laughs and it's sort of real, "I just— I thought I'd be better, but I know I can get better. I mean I love this, so even if I've to practice all the time, it's just like spending time on a hobby. I love this. I honestly do."

The crease doesn't leave her mother's forehead, but she goes does go back home eventually, so there's that.)







"You don't sound heartbroken," she says suspiciously.

He shuffles around, the sound almost drowned by some loud music playing in the background, "what was that, headcase?"

"Marti said—"

He groans, "Marti is the worst. She's doing this because I said I'd visit her last weekend and didn't. Getting you to call me and yap on for ages is the best revenge she could have come up with. I'm almost impressed."

"Oh," she says blankly, trying to figure out inflections. But maybe he got better at the whole displaying-his-emotions thing in college, "who was the girl."

"Some girl," she can't figure out if the nonchalance is fake or real and it bothers her, "I'm not sure I know her name. Why inconvenience yourself with the homework, when baby seems to work fine for everyone involved."

"You're a pig," she says automatically, "what are doing to do to get over this mythical heartbreak?"

"What all great lovers in history have done," she can almost feel him shrugging, "go to the bar with Rachel, get drunk and possibly pick up two girls for three hour time slots."

For some reason she thinks of Jesse, and there's a nagging feeling at the back of her head that she's missing something, but she shrugs it off, "when you develop some sort of emotional maturity that is greater than that of a scavenging rat, call me."

She doesn't keep down the phone, obviously.

And then in the middle, much later, he laughs accidentally at something she says. It's all very sudden and reflexive, and he obviously hasn't had the time to register that he's laughing at something she said. He stops as soon as he's started, and he doesn't even seem to realize it, but it pulls something low in her gut and and she thinks something like— oh.

And then she thinks it's all terribly inconvenient and if she could just rewind a few seconds back to when he hadn't laughed, it would just make life so much easier.

The next time he calls, she doesn't pick up.





[3]

This is how it begins:

Jesse is Bernard Blue's golden child and most girls glance at him out of the corner of their eyes at least twice, and she can't help feel that twinge of pleasure each time he seeks her out over all the others he could most definitely be with. Everyone looks at them with curiosity because fourth-dancer-on-left-of-stage and the show-stopper is just bad PR, but Jesse doesn't seem to care so she pretends she doesn't either.

This one night they're back from rehearsals, and he has his arm around her, holding her up because she's exhausted out of her mind, and she thinks she's sprained her ankle again. He takes her back to her tiny apartment that she barely funds, and she thinks this isn't what it was supposed to be and she's so terribly lonely, the word slips out before she's thought about it— stay.

This time Derek isn't around to interrupt mid-kiss and make her join him in some ridiculous dance or whatever, and when their clothes are lying scattered at the foot of her bed and she thinks she they might have left the door open, she thinks this is it. And when Jesse's all around her and inside her, the feeling builds and builds and builds till she's terrified her spine's going to snap with how tautly she's been wound up.

But then she melts instead and it's better than phone conversations, and it's better than any maybe and it's better than all the almosts and it's just better.

They do it everywhere and he laughs and tells her to stop calling it it, but she can't seem to. When they're at the intersection in his car and his hand slides between her thighs, she opens her legs wide and feels no shame when his thumb brushes against the satin fabric that she'd worn just in case, but she still calls it it.

"You're something else," he tells her, his hand traveling down her body with lazy abandon. And there's a Casey McDonald who leaves the building and there's a Casey McDonald who practices much too hard, and there's a Casey McDonald who talks to everyone back home every day and there's a Casey McDonald who's living her dream, and there's a Casey McDonald who stopped dreaming, and there's a Casey McDonald who is something else.







"I didn't know you guys were so close," he's lounging on her single bed, and her legs are between his, her head resting comfortably on his chest, the phone pressed against her ear, "in fact I thought you oscillated between mutual antipathy and outright hostility."

She doesn't tell him they mean the same thing because she's not in high school anymore. Instead, she covers the mouth-piece with her hand and raises herself up on her elbows, "we're not. And we do."

He looks down at her, one side of his mouth turning up in amusement, "you sure talk a lot for people who spend most of the time just describing to the other in excruciating detail how glad you are that you don't have to see each other all the time."

She thinks about that for a moment. There's no real answer to that, "it's complicated," she replies, and she's aware of how lame it sounds. But it is. That's exactly what it is. It's complicated.

He scrunches his forehead and she thinks she falls a little bit in love, "so you hate each other but you can't get through the day without talking?"

"It's— complicated," she tries again.

He kisses the top of her head and she feels loved in the way of kissing in the rain and hot chocolate before she knows she needs it, "when is anything with you not."

When she uncovers the mouthpiece, Derek's gone, the dial-tone sounding loud and much too in-her-face.







He's sitting outside the restaurant, when she finally reaches it, the sorry we're closed sign mocking her, "I'm so, so sorry, Jesse."

He nods, unsmiling, shoving his hands in his pockets with unnecessary force, "where were you?"

She thinks of lying for a moment and then thinks of how utterly ridiculous that is, "I was—"

"—talking to Derek and lost track of the time," he finishes for her. So, well, maybe it's happened more than once and the lying thing wouldn't have worked out anyway apparently.

"He's just—" she stops, "Marti said he broke up with his girlfriend and he's really torn up. Or something. That's hard to imagine, and it's probably just a play for sympathy and license to get drunk but—"

"Why you?" Jesse asks, and he sounds exhausted like he's tired of dealing with complicated, and it terrifies her, "I don't get it. He's a big guy, he's in college, don't you think he has other friends or other people to help him deal now?"

That stops her short; somehow she's always been so stuck in being here that she kind of forgot that Derek may have a life outside her now. A life she knows nothing about. It's a strange feeling.

"Force of habit, I suppose," her tongue feels like cotton wool and much too heavy to allow for words, "I really am sorry."

"Whatever," he mutters, like he never does. Jesse isn't the whatever kind of guy, "a fifth monthiversary is just lame anyway. Nobody celebrates these things."

Except you, she completes the sentence silently, and it stings just a little, and for some reason she thinks of a blonde wig and Sam.

They walk back together but he goes back to his apartment and he doesn't hold her hand on the way back.








He raises his head from where his teeth had been engaged with her collarbone. His hand slides over to her table, the insistent buzzing out of the phone pulling her out of the moment.

He glances at the screen for a moment, "it's Derek," he says flatly, "you should probably take that."

And Jesus, he didn't really think she'd pick up the phone in middle of having sex with him, did he? Then she thinks of him sitting alone on the steps of her favorite restaurant, and her face heats up. (Then she thinks of Derek laughing at something she said, and her insides twist.)

"It's okay," she pulls him back down, stringing her fingers in his hair, "I can call him back later."

And she knows by the way Jesse looks down at her, that it's a moment. She doesn't know why, but she knows it's a moment. And she's made the right decision, even though it shouldn't feel huge, and she doesn't even know what exactly that decision is.

The phone rings till what seems like an eternally long moment, before falling silent.

(She doesn't call back.)






They break up on the day of her final recital.

She's in the front of her line this time, even if she isn't center stage, and she can see mom and George cheering in the audience and she wishes the moment could go on forever.

They come backstage after the performance and there's a lot of backslapping (George) and crying (Nora) and endless repetitions of 'wasn't Casey good' (both in chorus). She sees Jesse staring at them with a half-smile on his face and for a wild moment she wants to stay.

"Hey," he stands in front of her, when he can finally get away from his adoring throngs and most people have already left for the post-performance celebration.

"Hey," she replies, looking straight at him, and memorizes each inch with her eyes as she's done with her hands.

"So," he takes a deep breath, "this is it, then."

It sounds a little like a question even though it isn't, and she feels like crying for some inexplicable reason.

"Yeah," she says awkwardly. And it hits her then: this is it, "maybe we can still— I mean lots of people make it work. It isn't that hard. I had a friend—" she knows she's babbling, her words rushed and uncertain and frantic.

"No," he firmly puts his hand on her shoulder, "you're going to college, Casey. Believe me, you want to have that chance to see, explore and know other people. And you can't do that if we're— I mean, some people might, but you're you and you wouldn't. Maybe afterwards. You can decide afterwards. We have a long time."

It's better this way, she thinks and she kisses him fiercely for the last time, clumsily clashing their teeth together in her hurry. I could love you, she thinks before breaking off.

"Casey," she turns around. He's still standing in the middle of all the glitter, and the mess, "say hello to Derek for me."

They stare at each other a long time. She nods.

George and Nora help her pack, and in the end her apartment looks like she'd never spilt soup on the rug, or written poetry late into the night or twisted her foot trying to pirouette in the cramped space or been made love to over and over or made love over and over and she hates the bareness and emptiness of it.








(This is how it starts over:

Four years later he ends up on her doorstep.

"So," he shuffles awkwardly, his inherent grace unable to disguise the uncertainty of his steps, "did you decide?"

She thinks of college and Derek and everything and nothing and she pulls him inside and kisses him hard.

They have sex on the double bed and nobody falls off and it feels like an unusual luxury.)





[4]

"I know," she says, refusing to give the caller the time to speak first, "Derek is getting married. La-di-dah. Play the wedding march, someone. Now, I have a lot of work, so if you'll please excuse—"

"Great, since we're past that, you can dump your lot of work in the trash bin and come over for dinner."

She clutches the phone tighter, "Derek?"

"Is getting married," he says needlessly, "and for some reason the wife-to-be wants to see you. Bonding with the family etcetera. Or whatever. I told her you're not so much family as finally, as in I'm waiting for the time the law finally changes to allow exclusion of unwarranted step members from the family circle, but she didn't listen. Then I warned her that divorces take place on lesser grounds than that, but it didn't seem to matter much to her, so."

"Derek," she snaps, because she'd thought it would be more momentous than it is but he can still make stupid jokes while the hole in her chest is the exact size of a hockey puck and she hates him, "I'm busy, okay."

"What," if she closes her eyes, she can see him on his stupid couch with the stupid remote, watching the stupid hockey game and only half-listening. But he's not home, and it's all different and she doesn't know what he's doing right now, "no 'congratulations Derek!' No 'Rachel is such a wonderful girl'. No 'I hope you'll be very happy together.' Come on, Case, you used to be better at this. I'd expect more from my favorite sister."

"Congratulations, Derek," she says mechanically, it's all the same difference anyway; "Rachel is such a wonderful girl. I hope you'll be very happy together. And, shut up."

"Anyone would think you can't leave aside our differences even on this wonderful occasion," he sighs in mock disappointment, "you know the fam already thinks it's weird that we live in the same city and never meet."

"Okay," she says, "Contrary to your long held belief systems, the world does not revolve around you, Derek. And neither does my life. I have a job and an actual life and a boyfriend who— who's taking me out to dinner. So just, some other time, okay?"

"Cancel your plans," he says easily, and she feels the familiar rush of irritation making its way through her, he always gets under her skin and stays there, "I'm sure you can match your dental plans and figure out the scheme that would save you the most in terms of taxation in the long term some other day."

"My boyfriend and I should cancel our plans to meet you and your girlfriend?" she snaps.

"Fiancée," he corrects, "and yes."

"You jerk—"

"As much fun as this wasn't," he signs off cheerily, and she wishes she could tie the telephone cord around his neck, "we should totally up the suckage factor and meet up. See you at dinner then."

She slams the phone down with needless force.








(So, she has this one dream which is just stupid and mundane and a waste of sleeping; but the phone rings and she doesn't pick up.

It's a different why not each time; she's late for work, she's in bed with Jesse, she's in the shower, she's watching a movie, all lame, boring reasons for something that doesn't even need a reason; phones ring all the time and she doesn't take calls for a variety of reason, it's not a life-altering moment or anything.

But she dreams it over and over, and it's different each time, but it's always the same: the phone rings, and she doesn't pick up.)









Jesse's already dressed by the time she reaches home.

"I thought you'd come back early," he says, as she slings her bag down. She straightens up; watching him run his fingers through his hair, and misses him even though he's right in front of her.

"Why?" she asks, unbuttons the top button of her top, takes the pin out of the bun, and thinks this could be like coming home, almost, "we didn't make plans tonight did we? I'm sorry, I was just—"

"—busy," he finishes, the corner of his mouth turning down and she thinks she's always the one to put that look in his eyes, "We didn't have plans, but Derek told me he'd already spoken to you about the dinner. Didn't he?"

She stares at him, stunned into silence for a full minute, "Derek spoke to you about it?"

Jesse laughs in a way that isn't one at all, "we've been living together since two years, Casey, it can't be that much of a surprise."

"Yeah," she says, "I mean, no. It's just— I thought we could stay in tonight, you know."

She adds a seductive lilt to her voice and unbuttons the second button and somewhere at the back of her mind she thinks the grade-grubbing, klutzy headcase from nine years ago wouldn't recognize her. This isn't who she's always been. She hopes to god this isn't who she's always been.

He reaches out his hand, as if to touch her, and she thinks please. Then he stops short, his hands half raised and her heart clenches at his expression and she's so, so sorry, "why don't you want to go."

Please don't, "It's not that I don't want to go," her voice falters, Derek is right, she used to be much better at this, "it's mostly—"

She stops and stares blankly at him, and he doesn't turn away, he stares right back, and it's the longest silence she can remember.

"Tell me," he says quietly, "why not. Just say it, and we won't. We won't go. We'll make love against the wall, stay in tomorrow. Hook the phone off. Buy tickets for vacations that we'll cancel later. Have all three meals in the bed. And I'll clear it afterwards, I promise I will. Just tell me why not, and we won't."

He's as messed up as she is, she knows, and she knows she does this to him every single time, and she almost says it then. Why not.

"Maybe we should go," she says instead, the coward ringing at the back of her head sounds like this boy she knows with red-brown hair and smile like a gut punch, "I mean, he's getting married. And as much as I don't like him, I suppose he's family."

Because he's getting married and maybe, maybe if she doesn't say it, it's almost like she doesn't think it. Hasn't ever thought it every day since as long as she can't remember.

She uncrosses her arms and moves towards the closet, unable to acknowledge the disappointment in Jesse's gaze.

They drive in silence.

The radio station seems to pick and choose all the songs she hates. She doesn't change it.








Rachel opens the door in slacks and an oversized Queen's shirt that is clearly Derek's by its size and Casey immediately thinks something bitchy like god, doesn't she have her own, because apparently that's the kind of girl she is now.

A second later she immediately feels overdressed in her best cocktail dress and expensive heels that she's been saving up and decided to wear tonight because— well, because.

Rachel lets out a sound that is most definitely in the neighborhood of a squeal and engulfs her in a cloud of dark hair and perfume, "Casey!"

The she steps back, "oh wow. You look gorgeous. And now I feel like a dowdy Mrs. Jones. I wish Derek had told me he didn't tell you it was just an informal thing; I'd have dressed up, and tried to and failed miserably at out-staging you."

The thing is, in the middle of all the not thinking, she'd forgotten how much she liked Rachel, "I knew it was just informal," her face flames, "I don't know why—" she does know why.

"For Derek obviously," Rachel says unconcernedly, and Casey feels Jesse shift behind her.

"No," she says, the words tumbling out before she's thought them out, "I mean, why would I— I obviously didn't—"

Rachel waves her words with an offhand gesture, "shush. Of course you did. Your sibling rivalry thing is very cute and massively annoying. And it's totally working, by the way. I can't imagine even he'd be able to find fault, even though he's going to try very hard."

She feels the tense line of her shoulder relax, "yeah, that's pretty much it."

Rachel shoos her in and pulls Jesse inside by the hand, "and you must be Jesse."

"I must be, mustn't I," he smiles, all charm and grace and at the back of her eye-lids there's the image of the girls who used to look at him out of the corner of their eyes, all the girls he left for her. And she knows; in his way he's just as lost as she is.

"It's strange we haven't met before," Rachel continues, "since you're a handsome guy and I like handsome guys, but it's a miracle I managed to get Derek and Casey under the same roof even today, and I don't look a gift horse in the mouth."

She can feel Jesse's eyes at the back of her head as surely as if she were looking at him "miracle, yes," he replies in a monotone.

"Didn't anyone tell you it's rude to hit on the host's fiancée?" Derek's voice floats from behind, "I mean sure, you're here with my sister, which, my condolences. But this one's taken."

He's dressed casually too, in a button down and jeans and she hasn't seen him in over six months since the last family gathering and something inside her clenches to the point where it almost hurts. Or stops hurting. Either way.

"The hooker heels really complete the look," is all he says about her dress. Obviously.

He shakes Jesse's hand and she thinks he holds it tighter than necessary and knows she's just imagining it, "Good to see you again, mate."

"Likewise," Jesse nods his head, and she's definitely not imagining the straight set of his jaw.

She reaches out her hand, for what, she doesn't know, and he pointedly avoids it, pulling Jesse inside.

Rachel smiles brightly and takes her hand.




[Parts: One Two Three Four]

 
 
 
gemma: Body Imagecranmers on July 11th, 2012 07:00 pm (UTC)
Obviously I haven't read this yet!!!
HI.HI.HI.HI.HI.

I've missed you, bro.
youcallitwinter: i met a man who wasn't thereyoucallitwinter on July 11th, 2012 08:41 pm (UTC)
Re: Obviously I haven't read this yet!!!
OH MY GOD, ARE YOUR EXAMS OVER? I HAVE MISSED YOU TOO, SO MUCH.
Re: Obviously I haven't read this yet!!! - cranmers on July 11th, 2012 09:01 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re: Obviously I haven't read this yet!!! - youcallitwinter on July 11th, 2012 09:33 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re: Obviously I haven't read this yet!!! - cranmers on July 11th, 2012 09:52 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re: Obviously I haven't read this yet!!! - youcallitwinter on July 11th, 2012 10:21 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re: Obviously I haven't read this yet!!! - cranmers on July 11th, 2012 11:14 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re: Obviously I haven't read this yet!!! - youcallitwinter on July 12th, 2012 08:19 am (UTC) (Expand)
Re: Obviously I haven't read this yet!!! - cranmers on July 12th, 2012 09:45 am (UTC) (Expand)
Ishi-chanishi_chan on July 11th, 2012 08:58 pm (UTC)
Re: Obviously I haven't read this yet!!!
Oh hey, just dropping by to say I like this boobgrabbing icon.
Re: Obviously I haven't read this yet!!! - cranmers on July 11th, 2012 09:02 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(Deleted comment)
youcallitwinter: you meat eateryoucallitwinter on July 11th, 2012 08:48 pm (UTC)
LOL, I was pretty sure most people would be like 'bitch plz'.

(I think so? I mean there aren't any major spoilers as such, but it does take a lot from something that happens in the movie, so I think it's better to see that first!)
upupa_epopsupupa_epops on July 11th, 2012 07:44 pm (UTC)
Lol, 22k for a comment!fic? You're adorable :D.
youcallitwinter: and my eyes are wide openyoucallitwinter on July 11th, 2012 08:50 pm (UTC)
I'M PRETTY SURE YOU JUST MISSPELLED 'INSANE'. (What is wrong with me? Has anyone in the world ever done this? And after, I wasn't ever all BRB STOPPING WRITING FOREVER, I was jusr 'so hm, about that Joseph/Candice fic Candy wants...' D:)
upupa_epopsupupa_epops on July 11th, 2012 09:07 pm (UTC)
Oh, come on, I'm pretty sure someone's done it. I'm just jealous. I'm making a big fuss about a 6k fic, and what you just did makes me look bad.

YOU SHOULD WRITE ALL THE THINGS. So go write that rpf!
(no subject) - youcallitwinter on July 11th, 2012 09:23 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - upupa_epops on July 11th, 2012 09:31 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - youcallitwinter on July 11th, 2012 09:44 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - upupa_epops on July 11th, 2012 09:54 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - youcallitwinter on July 11th, 2012 10:11 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - upupa_epops on July 11th, 2012 10:16 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - youcallitwinter on July 11th, 2012 10:31 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - upupa_epops on July 11th, 2012 10:38 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - youcallitwinter on July 11th, 2012 10:46 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - upupa_epops on July 11th, 2012 10:51 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - youcallitwinter on July 11th, 2012 11:13 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - upupa_epops on July 11th, 2012 11:23 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - youcallitwinter on July 12th, 2012 08:22 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - upupa_epops on July 12th, 2012 09:01 am (UTC) (Expand)
Ishi-chan: pydia_kissishi_chan on July 11th, 2012 09:09 pm (UTC)
d'accord with Upupa_epos. WRITE IT. I WILL DIE (and become your own personal guardian angel).

Edited at 2012-07-11 09:09 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - youcallitwinter on July 11th, 2012 09:26 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - ishi_chan on July 11th, 2012 09:32 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - youcallitwinter on July 11th, 2012 09:51 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - ishi_chan on July 11th, 2012 10:03 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - youcallitwinter on July 11th, 2012 10:18 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - ishi_chan on July 11th, 2012 10:39 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - youcallitwinter on July 12th, 2012 08:36 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - ishi_chan on July 12th, 2012 08:48 am (UTC) (Expand)
Ishi-chanishi_chan on July 11th, 2012 08:08 pm (UTC)
I have a lot of feelings, none of which I can express coherently at the moment. You'll just have to do with "Nnnnnnnghhhhhh." which is slowly becoming my favourite word. :)
youcallitwinter: mad girl's love songyoucallitwinter on July 11th, 2012 08:52 pm (UTC)
Whaaaaa- did you actually read ALL OF THIS? That's crazy epic!

Ishi-chan: pydia_purpleishi_chan on July 11th, 2012 08:54 pm (UTC)
DUDE I am currently reading chapter 4 while DRUNK. AND YOU GIVE ME FRENCH.

Edited at 2012-07-11 09:09 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - youcallitwinter on July 11th, 2012 09:16 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - ishi_chan on July 11th, 2012 09:30 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - youcallitwinter on July 11th, 2012 09:46 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - ishi_chan on July 11th, 2012 09:57 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - youcallitwinter on July 11th, 2012 10:13 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - ishi_chan on July 11th, 2012 10:35 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - youcallitwinter on July 11th, 2012 10:39 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Violetamoenavi on July 11th, 2012 09:03 pm (UTC)
SALFHJSAKFJDOSIFJADKADLS.

I have not yet read this but just the fact that it's DEREK/CASEY means I will have brain mush and love.
youcallitwinter: there is such a lot of world to see.youcallitwinter on July 11th, 2012 09:18 pm (UTC)
I GET THE NOT READING PART. I mean, I want to read it fully to edit and stuff and I can't get through it D:

(But omg, forever OTP trufax, so adorkable, guh <3)
Florencia: Elena (Before the Bed Before the Knife)florencia7 on July 14th, 2012 11:18 pm (UTC)
This is SO awesome. I'm reading this fic like an original one (because I don't even know if it's based on a movie or a show lol), and it's absolutely amazing how easy to grasp the characters are. How your writing fleshes them out, conveys all those stories writing themselves within them. And the structure (sounds awfully technical = inappropriate, since your writing is Pure Art, but anyway) - I love how you arrange the sections, how you start them, end them, how there is that revolving quality about this entire chapter narration. I love your writing style sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo MUCH ♥