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12 July 2012 @ 12:33 am
fic: then you come crashing in [4/4]  
title: then you come crashing in
pairing: Derek/Casey, Derek/OC, Casey/Jesse
summary: God, even LOST taught her that, don't mistake accidents for fate or something.

There are things she doesn't do now. Like use the words 'destiny' or 'fate' or bullshit like that. Stuff doesn't happen for a reason, it just happens. God, even LOST taught her that, don't mistake accidents for fate or something of the sort.

"Um." she says, articulately, unconsciously holding Sam's hand tighter.

Jesse looks uncomfortable, "hey."

So obviously, Derek chooses that moment to walk in from the kitchen, a bag of chips in hand (seriously, this guy is getting married?), stopping abruptly, his gaze travelling from one to the other.

"Don't mind me," he drawls, "there's nothing good on the television right now, so I'll just sit here."

She glares at him, before turning back, "um, hi."

Jesse scratches the back of his neck in a gesture she remembers, "Rachel called and invited me over. She just said—"

"No," she says, hurriedly, "no, I mean, yeah, that's totally fine, of course. You were always invited for the wedding."

Jesse looks at her hand clasped in Sam's, and she removes it as discreetly as she can. She doesn't know why, but it's weird. Like she owes him that much.

Derek laughs from behind, bringing attention to her gesture, and all three of them turn to look at him.

"Sorry," he says unapologetically, "but you really shouldn't be breaking the fourth wall. It's a mood-killer."

"shut up," she exclaims in exasperation. Jesse's not looking at her anymore; he's looking at Sam with the oddest expression on his face; part sympathy and something she can't define.

"I just wanted to—" he clears his throat, "I just wanted to ask you if that's okay. With you."

"Of course," she says, a little too loudly, "that's totally okay."

"I should be going," he says awkwardly, "I booked a hotel in central London."

"That's good," she nods her head like a clockwork piece, "that's really…good. You sure you don't want to talk to Rachel. She's in the shower right now; but she'll be downstairs in a bit."

"No," he says definitively, "I'll catch up with her later."

"Okay," she says, nodding her head again for good measure.

"That's the ex," Derek stage-whispers, as Jesse disappears out of sight, "you sure you want to be in that category, Sammy boy? He teaches dance. What if it's catching?"

She turns on him furiously, "ballet. And it's an art form, but you've to be higher up the evolutionary ladder to actually develop any sense of culture. Maybe your great-great-great-great grandchildren will get there someday."

"Oh, buuuuurn," Derek drags out the word, "Did you pick that out from the list of insults you make in all that time you spend not living?"

"Please, you guys," Sam cuts in, sounding drained, "I have a headache."

"That's code for you're not getting any tonight, if you have, in fact, been getting any all this while." Derek informs her.

"Derek," Sam's voice holds a clear note of warning.

"Just saying," he shrugs.

"I'll get you aspirin," she says. If there's anything she's learnt since then, it's how to ignore him. She's practically completed a doctorate in it by now.

She leads him up the stairs by hand, and it feels nice, just holding hands. Love, love comes later. Maybe it doesn't even exist. Who knows. But holding hands is good.

"Casey-" Derek calls, once, voice low.

She turns back, even though she shouldn't, even though she needs to goddamn stop, "what?"

He looks like he wants to speak for a moment, before his face goes blank, "nothing."

She doesn't ask again, like she would have, once upon a time. Just this once, she'll try something else. Just this once, she won't pass go or collect two hundred because she's done running around in circles.

Sex with Sam is old and new all at once.

It's knowing and remembering and discovering and it's coming home and it's moving away.

Do you like this, he asks once.

Yes, she says, yes.

The banging on the door wakes her up first. Sam rolls over with a grunt, and she smiles affectionately.

"Sam," she whispers, "the door."

He makes an unintelligible sound before sleepily putting on his robe. She lays back down, pulling the covers over herself. She could get used to this.

She's wide awake a second later when his voice floats through the door, "rise and shine, Sammy boy. Get your hockey gear on."

"I didn't get hockey gear, Derek; I'm here for a wedding. This guy I know, maybe you've heard of him."

"You didn't get hockey gear?" Derek sounds stricken, and she snorts softly, "'whatever, the show must go on, you can wear mine."

"Derek," Sam says patiently, "I'm a foot taller than you."

"Those delusions of yours speak of a very sick mind; Casey's obviously gone to your head" Derek says in pretend concern, "speaking of the she-devil. Where is she? Nora's going spare and I'm the one who gets blamed around here," he puts on a high-pitched voice that sounds nothing like her mom, "it's not like Casey to be so irresponsible when she knows she has work to do, Derek. What did you do this time, Derek. Find her before I get back home, Derek. I tried to explain that her mothership probably came and took her back, but Nora was singularly uncompromising on her—" he stops abruptly.

She looks up, heart sinking. The guilt rising up in her throat like bile is unpleasant and unwelcome and fucking unfair. She has nothing to feel guilty about.

"Oh." he says, standing straighter, voice hard.

"I'm here," she says unnecessarily.

"I see," he says, eyes fixed at a point on her collarbone. She resists the urge to cover herself further, "my apologies for the interruption, I wasn't aware Sam was…otherwise occupied."

She hates him, hates him, "oh, he was occupied last night," she says airily, "he's free now, you can take him for your hockey game or whatever." The look in his eyes almost makes her falter for a second, but only for a second, "of course, he might be too tired to play, but—"

She watches his knuckles on the doorknob turn white and feels a vicious kind of satisfaction. She doesn't know when she became this person. Doesn't particularly want to know.

"You better stay, Sam," Derek looks at his best friend with mock seriousness, gaze darker than usual "it might seem like she's willing to let you go, but she's just cataloging it for later so she can bring it up as an excuse, for why not when you break up."

Dimly, though her fury, she registers he said when. Not if you break up but when you break up. Because apparently he's the only one who's allowed to do this.

She wears her robe in hurry, past caring that it's turned inside out. The girl she was at sixteen would have stopped. Thought it out. Possibly drawn color-coded charts and complicated pie diagrams. But that's exactly who she's not. The girl she was at sixteen.

(She leaves Sam behind, still standing at the door, but she won't remember it till later.)

"What the hell, Derek."

He doesn't turn around, and she sick and tired of this. Whatever the hell this is. Whatever the hell it is that this has always, always been.

She blocks his way, hands on hips. He looks at her through shuttered eyes, like he couldn't possibly be any more bored of the proceedings.

"You sure you're doing the whole fucking thing right?" he asks crudely. Pretenses are pretty much the only thing they've ever been good at together. "because I'm pretty sure your astronomical level of frustration is sucking a giant black hole in the room."

"Very good Derek," her lips stretch with difficulty into a wide smile, "that's a whole metaphor carried through! Can we have the canned applause please."

"Whatever," he mutters, slinging his stupid leather jacket over his shoulders and he does not get to do this every single fucking time.

"Don't you dare walk away from me," she hisses, clutching her robe tighter, "don't you dare."

She doesn't know what she wants. Never has. But right now all she wants is for him to stop, stay, whatever. She's reaching out for his leather clad arm, and then he's pinned her against the wall in a trice, his hands on either side of her.

She stunned for a long second, staring at him wide-eyed, "Derek?" she didn't mean for it to be a question. She didn't mean for it to be that soft. There are so many, many things she didn't mean.

His mask slips off and in that split instant she knows this guy. He's the one who ruined her life and destroyed her dreams and then danced on-stage with her to un-ruin it. And then he's buried his head in the crook of her neck, where her robe's slipped open a little through her yielding, startled hands, his lips motionless against her skin in a way that makes her heart give a threatening warning. (This is what doesn't happen because her life's not a paperback: her heart doesn't skip a beat, and her pulse doesn't slow down. Really.)

He says something then, maybe, because his mouth moves, possibly forms words against her bare shoulder. She closes her eyes against the sound.

"Derek—" she doesn't hear the door open. Just like she doesn't believe in fate.

He raises his head from her shoulder, and he looks. Exhausted. He looks exhausted.

"It's not—" she swallows hard, her eyes fixed on Rachel, unable to look at Ralph, Emily, Jesse. Oh god, Rachel, "it's not what it look like. At all. I mean— obviously. That's…obvious." Because they're stepsiblings, and nobody can even possibly think that it could be what it looks like. She doesn't know what it looks like, but she remembers how it feels. And it can't possibly be what it feels like.

Rachel's gaze slides between them before settling on Derek, "say it isn't, and I won't," she says quietly, "just say it."

She inadvertently catches Jesse's eyes, just say it, and we won't.

She nudges Derek because she couldn't that time. She couldn't say it. But this time, maybe he can. He has to.

He looks at her briefly, and even though her life's not a paperback her heart skips a beat. He hasn't ever looked at her like that before. Never when she's been looking back. She drops her gaze, staring at the floor instead.

God, this is so stupid. Nothing happened. Nothing was going to happen. They'd had one of their heated fights and maybe, maybe it was nostalgia. Or something. For some long ago time when they weren't so bitter, both of them. She's dressed wrong, but that's for Sam. And okay, he had his head on her shoulder, so fucking what? They're almost family. Family does this all the fucking time. Why won't he say something. He's going to get his heart broken and break Rachel's in return for nothing at all.

He stays silent.

"You bastard," Rachel reels back, like he's physically hurt her, "you fucking bastard."

"Rach—" he begins, maybe to apologize, and the shuts up, like he's just realized he can't possibly.

"God," Rachel says, half laughing through watering eyes, "you fucking, selfish assholes. We get it, okay. You're messed up. You're fucking Freud's wet dream or whatever. But god, can you for a second stop messing everyone else along with you."

When she looks up Jesse's looking straight at her, an unreadable expression in his eyes, while Emily is studiously avoiding her gaze. She thinks of let's get married, she thinks of a blonde wig and Sam (Sam whom she left alone upstairs, just got up and left) and "Derek's only dating you to get to me," and she feels slightly sick.

"Just, stop making us fall in love with you," Rachel whispers, "when you've nothing to give. Please, just, stop."

She wishes she could. Stop. But then of course, that's kind of what they taught in eight grade geometry about circles; they don't.

The thing is: it was always complicated. From the first first time at the school when he wasn't who he was and she was exactly who she's been ever since. It was always going to be complicated.

This is what she thought would happen; they'd move on, find someone else and maybe sometimes, at family dinners they'd look at each other for a beat longer than necessary, but then they'd look away, and it'd be one of those things she wouldn't write in her diary and he wouldn't strum on his guitar.

It wasn't supposed to be this. She doesn't know exactly what it was supposed to be. But it wasn't supposed to be this.

"I'm leaving tonight," Rachel says, expression carefully blank as she closes the door behind her, glancing at the Swan Lake poster before turning around to look at her.

I'm sorry, she thinks, "oh," she says. She hadn't even been able to speak at all with Sam, but he'd known. Let her go just like that because he'd always known.

"Maybe you should talk to Derek," Rachel says, coldly, "just so the whole thing isn't an entire waste, you know."

It stings more than it should, because Rachel wasn't just Derek's would-be-wife, Rachel was her friend. The one who'd waited outside the bathroom door after that one drunken mistake in college, and heaved the same sigh of relief when the line didn't turn pink. God, what did he even look like, she can't remember.

"Where are you staying," she asks, for the sake of asking. Of ending the long silences.

"With Jesse," Rachel says bluntly, "for the while."

Maybe her face is more transparent than she realized because Rachel snorts, "wouldn't that be convenient."

She flushes, because she'd been thinking just that. Then it could be the start of a love story. Then it wouldn't have to end this way, with heartbreak all round. But maybe that's the thing about growing up; facing consequences.

"I—" she begins, just as Rachel says "you—" before stopping and staring at each other. And then she's crying, and what the hell is wrong with her. She'not the one who just had her heart broken along with the dissolution of her wedding plans. She has no right here.

For a moment, she's alone, then—

"God, you're a fucking tragedy," Rachel sighs, before pulling her into her arms, and she doesn't deserve this. She's the evil witch in the scenario.

"I'm sorry," she says over and over, because she is, she really, really is, "you should hate me."

"I do," Rachel admits, "a little. But, Case, I'm going to move on. It's going to take time, but it will happen. Because I wanted him, but I never needed him. You, you need him, you've always needed him, and that's got to suck. And I want to hate you, I do, but then I think of that, and I can't. Not as much as I'd like to anyway."

It hits her then; she needs Derek. Her heart hammers against her chest, because that's terrifying. That's the most terrifying feeling in the world. Needing Derek. Needing Derek.

"He loved me you know," Rachel says, after a moment, almost inaudible, "he was good at it. When you weren't around, he was good at it. Because he wanted to, so badly. And I knew it. I think I always did, even before you came to college, when you were just the occasional voice on his answering machine. But fools in love and everything."

She nods, like she understands. She doesn't. (Since when has Derek ever had to deal with the same thing. Since when has he not been shuttered eyes and a sharp tongue.)

"He couldn't hold it up as well when you were around though," Rachel continues, her mouth curling upwards, even as a slight tinge of bitterness lines the edge of her lips, "maybe that's why he never wanted to be around you. Why he kept putting off every dinner, every meeting. Because he just wanted to go on for a little while longer. Like maybe it would all go away or something if he just kept his distance long enough."

All they've really known is distance, she knows, and it never helps. For some reason, it just doesn't.

"I wish I didn't love him," she says wearily, resting her head against Rachel's shoulders. It wasn't supposed to be like this.

"I know," Rachel says quietly, holding her tightly, "that makes two of us."

She doesn't know if that means it makes the two of them in loving Derek or wishing she didn't love Derek, but she doesn't suppose it matters either way.

She trips as soon as she reaches the door and it's so ridiculously high school it makes her flush with the ridiculousness of it.

He's lying on his old bed with his headset on and some comic that he'll vociferously defend as a graphic novel, how illiterate are you if she mentions it. The room's a mess; his clothes half hanging out from the drawers, magazines strewn over the bed and she's pretty sure she'd find a three day old pizza slice under his bed if she bothered to look.

"I'm leaving." she begins unceremoniously, standing next to his drawer, arms crossed.

He looks up, apathy coloring each line of his face into a study in indifference. She doesn't know how he hears her at all and it strikes her that maybe he's just sitting here with blank headphones on, for the same reason she's wearing her bunny slippers. Because it used to mean something, and she wishes so hard it still could. But she dismisses the thought as soon as she thinks it. It's Derek.

"I'm leaving," she says again, louder, because her palms are sweating and maybe it's the slippers but she has the strangest feeling of being fifteen all over again and she doesn't know what else to do.

He has the audacity to laugh, as he turns back to his stupid comic almost immediately, "of course you are."

"It's not you," she continues determinedly, even though he's a jackass and she wants to hit him over the head with something hard almost as often as she wants to kiss him, "it's me."

"Is that what you came up with after an entire night of practicing in front of the mirror?" He looks at her pityingly, and she flushes with annoyance because he doesn't know, he's just guessing, but he's right anyway.

"Shut up," she snaps aggressively, losing all semblance of dignity, "it's—"

"Can't be much left for you to do here anyway," he interrupts her pleasantly, using the tone he would to talk about the weather, "my was-to-be wife hates me and thinks I'm a cad of the highest order, the fam's mad at all the shenanigans and the expenses and all you had to do was just show up to prove once again that it's still you every single fucking time. I'd call that a good week's work. And since we're unfortunately stuck here together, without the convenience of a phone you can refuse to pick up or doors you can refuse to open, you'll have to settle for leaving as a suitably dramatic mode of action."

"What," she says startled, "it's not that. It wasn't ever that. I don't even know what you mean."

"Don't you?" he asks casually, "do you want me to go there. Draw you a picture perhaps?"

"I thought we could do this differently, this time," the weariness lines her words before she can help it, "from how it usually is."

"How should we do it this time then? I just thought it would be such a waste of time to go through the entire script when everyone already knows there's only one way this ends, with you walking out the door. But, go on; don't hold back, since you're obviously dying to complete the speech you spent so much time practicing."

He's looking at her with polite interest like he's waiting for her to blow his mind with her presentation and excuses, arms crossed, (and it's like they never get over the pretenses, over and over and over) and suddenly it's all too much at once, "I have to leave," she says in a rush.

"You've already said that," he points out, "also the part about how it's you. Which, well, overstatement doesn't make for strong speeches. Just a friendly, familial tip."

"I just— I have to leave," she repeats, lamely. Thinks of Paul's sympathetic look, Derek isn't all you are, Casey. Thinks of you need Derek, you've always needed Derek.

"So you keep saying, and yet—" he looks pointedly at the door.

She doesn't answer, instead opening his drawer violently to shove the hanging clothes back in, just for the sake of giving her hands something to do, to just prolong the moment a little longer. The glint of green catches her eye before she's fully shut it again and she absently reaches out for it. Her back hits the handle hard, and she lets out a small sound of pain.

He looks up then, and something flashing in his eyes as they snap from the ring in her hand to her. Something she can maybe define if he gives her the time. She's almost read his expression when it slips back into his usual mask and she can't anymore.

"When did you buy this?" she asks, wide-eyed, mouth dry.

She expects him to lie, so obviously he doesn't. Maybe predictability is just her thing.

"Three years ago," he shrugs, like he doesn't understand why she'd bother him with such a trite question.

Without warning, the panic swells in her throat. "I need to— I have to leave, to—"

He nods his head in mock-understanding, picking up his comic, "Of course."

She drops the ring back into his drawer among his shirts. For a brief moment, she considers asking him where the box is. But knowing him, there probably isn't one. It's just the ridiculously expensive ring carelessly thrown among half-laundered shirts. It makes her ache a little, the thought. Because it's just like him to do that. To do this.

She stumbles on her way out, just as she'd stumbled on the way in and if she was that sort of girl anymore, she'd have thought it meant something.

"Just," he starts, when she's almost out, "just for the sake of argument; nothing I say will make you stay. Obviously."

He's staring at the comic too hard to actually be reading, "no," she whispers, honestly.

He smiles widely at the book, "good. Close the door on your way out then."

She waits far too long at the door, twisting her shirt between her fingers. He doesn't look up.


This is how the leaving thing goes:

She takes up the three semester course over in England that the office offers each year and nobody applies for because it pays far less and involves even longer working hours and they're not stupid. The whole family comes to drop her off, slightly subdued, stiff, but it doesn't last the long wait and the flight delay and when they're finally leaving, she cries, and thinks it's a good thing Derek isn't here. (Because Derek isn't here. He isn't coming and she isn't searching.)

It's like being in college all over again, except not. Because this time she has these stories of staying awake too late for exams, but also of drunk dialing that guy from three desks across who she thinks is cute.

She still thinks of him far too often, but over the months, that tight feeling in her chest lessens to a dull ache, till one day she wakes up and it's gone, and she finds herself laughing over that time she single handedly saved him from expulsion. Her roommate thinks she's certifiably crazy but puts up with her regardless, so there's that. This one other time she sees a boy in the distance with this particular shade of reddish-brown hair and it doesn't remind her of anything or anyone till much later, and she takes out her color coded charts at night and puts in under the 'progress' category.

She works too hard and too late and is exhausted about seventy percent of the time because there's no one around to stop her, but six months later, Ray drags her to gay bars instead where he drools and gets numbers of drunk strangers and she bitches endlessly about all the things that are wrong with the world, starting and ending with the sexual orientation of that guy with those fucking arms oh my fucking god sitting on the other side of the dimly lit room, with the world economic crisis thrown in for good measure. Tanya steals her books and hits her over the head with alarming frequency and tells her to stop being such a bloody moron in a very English accent about thrice a day and in time, the migraine pills lessen to about one in a week.

("He didn't love me enough to ask me to stay," she slurs, sadly resting her head on the table. Everything seems sadder after four tequila shots.

Ariane laughs, which Casey thinks is completely not the right real-life emoticon to choose for the occasion, "you idiot, he loved you enough to let you go.")

Everyone in the family calls about twelve times in so many hours per day till she threatens a restraining order for everyone, accompanied by a piercing in a wildly inappropriate place to Nora, a shoe shopping spree debited to George's account, the cancellation of Lizzie's weekly subscription to the Environ-Mental and the hacking and subsequent shutting down of Edwin's fake sales' website because she's Casey McDonald okay, and she can totally do that. (She doesn't threaten Marti and picks up the phone all twelve times, but shhh, that's a secret.)

She goes blonde for one week because she's always wanted to, and it's a no-good, very bad, ghastly idea, and there are enough pictures to last a lifetime, which is just major suckage. She sometimes glances at the phone too many times in too short a while and he still doesn't call, but eventually? That's okay.

She does the growing up and moving on thing that everyone in the world seems to have tried at least once except her and this is what she discovers: she doesn't need Derek. Won't ever need Derek.

(This is what she also discovers: she loves him anyway.)

The truth is; sometimes she falls, still. Just as much as she ever did. But these days it's mostly on the inside. This is something that changed.

"Since when do you smoke?" she wraps her shift around herself tighter, the night air raising goosebumps on her skin.

He glances at her disinterestedly, before turning around and going back to blowing white smoke rings, which would totally be cool if those rings weren't symbolic of the noose around his neck, which is further symbolic of lung cancer; she minored in English, okay, she knows symbols when she sees them, "you don't know every single thing about me, you know."

She sits beside him, a little further away because she doesn't yet know how close to sit. She stretches out her arm and snatches his cigarette from his hands as he turns to stare at her with questioning eyes.

She brings it to her lips, "you don't know every single thing about me, you know" she answers his unspoken question.

The dramatic effect is rather spoilt by the fact that she's coughing out her lungs less than three seconds later. She's done this twice before, but she'd forgotten how vile this stuff is; she can't believe he likes it. He's such an idiot. But then again, the only surprising thing about that would be if it were a surprise.

He thumps her back a lot harder than necessary as his lips curve, and she glares at him, "not a word."

"God, I really hate fish," he says instead, stubbing the cigarette under his foot. He rubs his head tiredly, spreading his legs wider as he leans back against the hard step, staring at the back of her head or the sky, whichever.

She thinks about that for a moment. God, I really hate fish. "I— really hate fish too," she says carefully, still primly sitting with both legs together and the shift wrapped around her in an iron grip. They suck at this more than most people.

He stares at her blankly for a moment, before realization and a tinge of something close to amusement color his gaze, "that wasn't a metaphor. I was talking about the fish at dinner."

"Oh," she says stupidly. Of course it wasn't, "well, I bet Gorge paid a fortune for that and you could at least be grateful. But I'm not sure the word exists in your dictionary. Or if the dictionary itself exists at all because your two-hundred and fifty word vocabulary definitely doesn't make a good case for its existence and—"

"We screwed up;" he looks back up at the sky, "messed up too many people because we're selfish and stupid and— stupid."

That's probably the extent of his vocabulary. She thinks of Sam and Max and Emily and Jesse and Felicia and ohgodRachel, doesn't stop him because it's always a pleasure to hear him talk about himself like this. Even if the five down in the crossword fits her name equally well this time.

She's selfish and stupid and— stupid. Has been since she turned fifteen.

"I know," she twists the napkin in her hands; this moment should feel bigger, more momentous than it does. And it's further proof that she's a terrible, horrible, no-good person because all she really feels is relief.

"Didn't think you'd come back," he raises his arms as if to gesture and then let's them fall, "I wouldn't have."

She doesn't answer, she doesn't need to, because she's here and he's here and that's its own kind of answer.

There's silence for a long moment, where she debates turning around just in case he's fallen asleep and left her to freeze out here which would be totally like him—

"I love you," he says quietly, his breath hot on the side of her neck, steaming up the winter air, "Do you know how exhausting that is?"

She doesn't say anything for a moment, "can't be more exhausting than it is to be in love you."

If this is a competition she's totally winning here, because, hello.

His mouth quirks at the corners, "it's not a competition, Casey."

Oh, well.

They let the quiet in for a while, the lamplight casting shadows on the other side of the road across the fence. She thinks of silly little things that always mattered too much even when they shouldn't have; camp-outs with her dad, when Lizzie was too young to care that Casey was her dad's favorite because she got to stay with mom and watch T.V. all by herself. He'd mostly burn the chicken while trying to grill it, because he could go to court and file drafts like he was one of those hot-shot lawyers from all those law movies that she secretly watched because she wanted to see what her dad did and he only let her in so much, but he couldn't grill chicken and it was one of those little secret things that she knew about him and made her feel warm and hapy.

And then she remembers that much later time; crying in the kitchen and Derek calling her dad and he does this all the time. Just when she's almost over him, he's there with his stupid smirk and his stupid hair and stupid calling her dad and stupid— him and then she's just so stupid too, she just falls over for the same stupid pranks and his stupid—

"I tried, you know" he says abruptly, startling her out of her thoughts. He's still staring straight ahead, "not to."

"I know," she admits, because that's all she's ever done, "I tried not to too."

"I'm only going to break your heart," he says, voice low, and she doesn't quite catch it but it's something about breaking hearts and well, everything she learned about heartbreak, she learned from a broken heart, so really, she's had a better teacher than most if you think about it.

But then, as if he can't seem to help himself, he's turning her around, and bending down and kissing her as desperately as she's kissing back and something clicks inside her head. Like in one of those old video players that George keeps around because all his 'George of the Jungle' performances are on the VCR.

She doesn't know what it is yet, but she's willing to find out. And he's the only one who ever could, anyway. Break her heart. She's never allowed herself to think that before. She thinks it comes under either the 'growing up' category, the 'facing your fears' category or the 'how to be in love with your unevolved stepbrother' category. Maybe all three. She counts back years and ends up exactly where she started.

One of his hands is clumsily wrapped around her waist, while the other has a much-too-hard grip in her hair and her heart trips, even though he's mumbling something over and over about how he can't be whom she's always needed and he'll just break her heart or whatever, when she pulls away from him without preamble, and he falls back.

And then she's laughing; high, bright, too loud, and he's looking at her with his usual expression that signifies that he thinks she's a basketcase and should be locked up within steel grips at the earliest opportunity.

"Who knows," she says, and smiles wide, so wide, because it strikes her then that she can too, and maybe she's the only one who ever could, "maybe this time, I'll break yours."

It starts like these things always do: with that one guy, this one girl and a story.

(So anyway, she has this dream: the phone rings, and she picks up).

[Parts: One Two Three Four]

sweet baby jesus: lifeDerek} kiss kiss.moirariordan on July 11th, 2012 09:19 pm (UTC)
UNF. feel out of breath now.

you just put every single other "derek gets married to someone else and casey has feelings" fic to SHAME, my dear, SHAME.
youcallitwinter: there is such a lot of world to see.youcallitwinter on July 12th, 2012 12:10 am (UTC)
(I bet I've written half of those fics myself D:)

Thank you!

Man, it must really be terrible to be in love with these two. I mean, they're both such self-centered jerks, and so ridiculously obsessed with each other. GUH. <3
pariswindspeed on July 11th, 2012 09:30 pm (UTC)
As if you should be allowed to rip my heart from my chest, stomp on it, and then kindly - delicately - give it back to me. HOW DARE YOU.

ASFDSDGJHS THIS IS PERFECT. And yes, I read ALLLLLL 22,000 words or whatever because it was so heartbreakingly beautiful and gut wrenching and I was overcome with fat, ugly tears falling down my face.

Your characterization of Casey is flawless. FLAW. LESS. Alright?

Rachel's confrontation with Derek was so intense and the parallel to Casey's conversation with Jesse and Derek's silence and Rachel thinks they're assholes and I'm just sitting here nodding like, "yeah, this is beautiful and it shouldn't be allowed and it hurts."

AND THE LAST LINE. WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK. BEAUTIFUL. I am in love and God, it is just a boy and a girl and their story and she picks up the phone. /sigh IS THIS REAL LIFE RN? I am all over the place, and I apologize, but seriously, this is gorgeous. So. gorgeous.
Ishi-chanishi_chan on July 11th, 2012 10:31 pm (UTC)
I HATE YOU I HATE YOU I HATE YOU...I'm dissolving into feels.

It's not Derek/Casey sex but it's something and I CAN'T. This has been so great, so heartbreaking and ultimately such an emotional roller coaster. WHY WOULD YOU DO THIS TO ME. *dead from UST*
bellonablack on July 11th, 2012 11:26 pm (UTC)
So you won't believe this--except you will--but I read this whole fic without even watching this show.

And I still think it's brilliant. I loved it, how they completely blew up the wedding but not out of malice but just...being. I like how self-aware the two characters are, and while others are calling them out, it might not even be necessary. I love how they know each other and I love how it begins with a promise to again, break apart--but still love each other.

Yeah, so that was an experience. You should be proud of this fic (but hey that's the obvious statement):)
jane_wanderlustjane_wanderlust on July 12th, 2012 07:33 pm (UTC)





So, I have shamelessly read this Beautiful Piece of Heartwrenching Mastery of World-ending Doom Due to General Life-Ruinery and Unfathomable Perfection in shameless pieces of time shamelessly stolen from the payroll people who think I'm at work actually being productive.


And now I'm sweating and that's gross and an overshare but my emotions are leaking through my pores and I care not about propriety at a time like this and holy fucking shit how did this happen? I don't understand your existence. I don't understand; my mind literally cannot wrap around the beauty of everything that just happened.

...Outside of my physical/emotional reactions, because those were very, very ugly.

God oh lord almighty, when I get home and have free reign at a non-phone based keyboard, the comment/feels-explosion you will receive may earn me a restraining order.

I don't care!

I'm drowning in a sea of emotions.

I love you.

I hate you.

Never leave me?
youcallitwinter: all you want is everythingyoucallitwinter on July 12th, 2012 09:36 pm (UTC)
OMG, WHAT IS THIS COMMENT, IT IS MAKING ME CRY TEARS OF BLOOD. I shall reply properly tomorrow, but I just wanted to say, PLEASE don't feel obliged to leave a long review, it is totally not your fault that I went crazy and produced Frankenstein's monster, and I'm just trying to imagine having to read it all. D: I LOVE YOU BASICALLY.
Florencia: DE (I'm Happy)florencia7 on July 15th, 2012 12:29 am (UTC)
Your fics always have such an AMAZING Tale feel to them, and this one is no different. Your writing is SO rewarding to read. It's an emotional & intellectual ride & I enjoyed every moment of it! ♥
millepertuismillepertuis on July 17th, 2012 08:21 pm (UTC)
WHERE HAS THIS BEEN ALL MY LIFE? It literally has EVERYTHING I want in a LWD fic. The way the whole family doesn’t want to tell Casey about the wedding and then how they’re all walking on eggshells around her, except Marti who was THE BEST, and coming home is like stepping into the London Asylum and the Paul cameo and Emily and Ralph! RALPH! OF COURSE IT WOULD BE SMASHING! And I loved Rachel, she felt so real and I wanted her to be happy too. And Jesse and Casey’s relationship was so interesting too!

"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 really, REALLY loved this part. I really, REALLY love Casey, period, and you had her voice down to a notch, with her colour-coded charts and wanting to strangle Derek with the telephone cord.

"It's not you," she continues determinedly, even though he's a jackass and she wants to hit him over the head with something hard almost as often as she wants to kiss him, "it's me."

that what you came up with after an entire night of practicing in front of the mirror?" He looks at her pityingly, and she flushes with annoyance because he doesn't know, he's just guessing, but he's right anyway.

"Shut up," she snaps aggressively, losing all semblance of dignity, "it's—"

"Can't be much left for you to do here anyway," he interrupts her pleasantly, using the tone he would to talk about the weather, "my was-to-be wife hates me and thinks I'm a cad of the highest order, the fam's mad at all the shenanigans and the expenses and all you had to do was just show up to prove once again that it's still you every single fucking time. I'd call that a good week's work. And since we're unfortunately stuck here together, without the convenience of a phone you can refuse to pick up or doors you can refuse to open, you'll have to settle for leaving as a suitably dramatic mode of action."

THIS SCENE. JUST, THIS WHOLE SCENE! OF COURSE SHE PRACTICED IN FRONT OF THE MIRROR AND OF COURSE HE KNOWS SHE DID! He knows when she’s pushing herself too hard and he knows which buttons to push and he knows that she won’t stay but he (only kind of) asks anyway! HE ASKS ANYWAY! WHY? MY POOR HEART.

This comment is completely hysterical but the combination of Derek/Casey and your writing is just- I REALLY LIKE THEM, IT, THIS! SHE HATES FISH TOO! HE REALLY TRIED NOT TO LOVE HER! HE’S GOING TO BREAK HER HEART, BUT SHE CAN BREAK HIS HEART TOO! YOU BUNCH OF LIFE-RUINERS!

Éléonore: oiseau mortvergoldung on August 11th, 2012 10:00 pm (UTC)
je pars aux fleurs la paix dans l'âme

I need some time to recover. Give me a few days to get eloquent again.

You literally knocked me out. I am so out. My heart has been ripped to piece, sawn back together and shattered and mended all over again. There was tearless sobbing, teenage giggling, scary heart-pounding, rage fits, happy dances, wordless screams, articulate cursing and plain old silence because sometimes all you can do is shut up.

And I need to recover now.

Bless your existence.
Daniellehappy_overdose on September 25th, 2012 03:09 am (UTC)
my heart!
i'm serious, my heart is broken.
i loved everything ing this; Marti being badass and Ralph being Ralph and Sam being Sam and Em being "are you serious? the bitchin is for YOU! She's stealing your man!' and how much Derek and Casey leave a trail of broken hearts in their wake. my poor heart broke about three times.
in my head, rachel looks like Summer Glau, which only made me like her more.
this is epic. kudos
Danielle: seddiehappy_overdose on September 25th, 2012 03:10 am (UTC)
my heart!
i'm serious, my heart is broken.
i loved everything ing this; Marti being badass and Ralph being Ralph and Sam being Sam and Em being "are you serious? the bitchin is for YOU! She's stealing your man!' and how much Derek and Casey leave a trail of broken hearts in their wake. my poor heart broke about three times.
in my head, rachel looks like Summer Glau, which only made me like her more.
this is epic. kudos