I just got back from watching Glass and was a little sad yet understand the way it had to end. I'm still writing my other story but wanted to write another sort of AU Casey/Kevin/Dennis of course haha.
Dating the Horde
Casey was running late to her first appointment.
After constant pestering from her foster mother, she'd finally agreed to see a psychiatrist to work out some of her mental issues stemming from her childhood. At first, the first psychiatrist she'd seen, a male in his mid-sixties, really blew. He didn't seem to understand her and speaking to him about such personal things only felt uncomfortable and agonizing.
Her foster mother eventually suggested she may have better luck trying to confide in a female psychiatrist instead. That's where Dr. Fletcher came in. Her foster mother had looked her up after a close friend of hers had recommended Casey go book an appointment in to see her for a visit.
Dr. Fletcher came highly recommended as one of the best psychiatrists out there that dealt with mental health issues, as well as traumatic childhood abuse and psychological disorders.
After sleeping in and realizing she was running late, Casey had immediately thrown on the first pair of jeans, ankle boots, singlet and jacket she could find, hoping to look remotely decent. Her foster mother, seeing how flustered she seemed, offered to give Casey a lift rather than her having to catch a bus. She agreed, despite not being enthusiastic at the idea of having to attend therapy sessions. If anything, the fifteen minute drive to the building where Dr. Fletcher did her sessions seemed to ease Casey's nerves and reluctance a little.
"I think this will be really good for you," her foster mother spoke hesitantly during the drive while Casey sat in the passenger's seat opposite her, fiddling with her bag nervously. "It will be good for you to be able to speak to someone and let it all out."
"Hmm," Casey absently murmured, peering out the window. She couldn't say she shared her foster mother's same attitude.
As her foster mother pulled into the gutter outside the tan brick building where Dr. Fletcher's house- and office was located to see her private patients- Casey sighed while staring up at the large building. She had a feeling this was going to blow as well, but she knew her foster mother really wanted her to try her very hardest to recover over the ordeal she had been through as a child.
She flit her dark eyes over to her foster mother, giving her a faint smile while reaching down to open the door. "See you later. Thanks for the lift."
"Anytime, Casey," she called out as Casey got out while tossing the strap of her bag over her shoulder. "Remember, this will be really good for you." She was practically yelling it out of the rolled-down window eagerly. "Try to give it a chance."
"Sure." Casey waved once, turning her back on her foster mother's car, glancing up at the set of concrete steps that led up to the door of the large tan brick building.
Her stomach was in knots already. She hadn't slept very well last night, having been anxiously rehearsing what she would say to the doctor mentally inside her head. Talking about her past... her problems, it wasn't something she liked to do, with preferring to keep things to herself. But perhaps her foster mom was right; It was time for a chance, and she couldn't really let go if she kept everything bottled up inside the way she always had.
As she got inside the door, there was the option of taking either the elevator or a winding staircase that led up to the second floor where Dr. Fletcher's office was. Casey chose to take the stairs.
Gripping the polished railing, she began climbing up the stairs, keeping her eyes down towards the ground, her long hair swinging around her face. She was so busy and focused on staring at her shoes as she stepped up each step that, as she reached the very last set, she didn't realize that someone else was intending to come down in the opposite direction before it was too late.
Casey gasped as she collided straight into a man, a man whose fingerless-glove clad hands abruptly flew up to her shoulders to help her maintain her balance in case she fell. She cut a quick glance up at his face- he was smiling a real smile at her for some reason, a wide, welcoming smile, almost too big for his face- then she hastily glanced back down at her feet with a shy smile, shaking her head in forgiveness at what had just happened.
"Yikes, I'm, uh, I'm sorry," the man laughed awkwardly as he took his hands away from her shoulders, the chuckle sounding oddly nice to Casey's ears. "I was in too much of a rush. I always am. I'm terrible like that."
"Not your problem." Casey forced out a short laugh, peering up at the man again quickly. "I was, um, in a rush myself."
She let herself really take him in before glancing away again. He made her feel so inadequate; the way he was smiling, so widely, so warmly. His eyes were the most striking blue Casey thought she had seen in a man before. He appeared older than her, maybe even a decade older, to be precise; wearing a grey beanie, hooded jacket, and overcoat thrown over the top of it, with dark jeans and combat boots.
"You here to see the great Dr. Fletcher as well?" he asked conversationally, his voice deep, smoky.
Casey somehow wished she had the superpower to vanish or at the very least evaporate into the floor. It wasn't every day a guy went out of his way to strike up conversation with her- and she already felt inadequate enough as it is, in all her casual baggy clothes, her jeans. Not to mention what was underneath those aforementioned clothes she was wearing.
"Oh, so you're a patient of Dr. Fletcher's as well?" It surprised her. Casey didn't think he looked like the type. Not that mental illness or trauma had a type, she knew.
"I am. Been a patient of Doctor Fletcher's for over three years now." He was so open with her, so straightforward. He didn't sound ashamed to admit that he was seeing a psychiatrist at all. Casey stole a fleeting glance up at the man again as she nodded, noticing his eyes were still on her, that wide smile still on his face. Why was he smiling at her like that? It wasn't everyday someone acted so open and friendly towards her. "She's, uh, great actually," he added, raising a hand to scratch at his cheek with his fingers. "One of the best."
"That's good to hear then," Casey muttered quietly. "Today's meant to be my first time seeing her."
"Well, she does great for us anyway. She really helps."
Us? Casey arched her eyebrows at the 'us' in his comment. A moment later, she thought she saw a fleeting uncomfortable look come across his face as he slowly caught onto what he was saying too.
"God, did I just say us?" he spoke out loud, shaking his head. "I meant me. She really helps me out, Dr. Fletcher does." A brief awkward silence ensued where Casey didn't know what more to say, but when she glanced up at the man again, for some strange reason, he was still staring down at her. As if suddenly remembering something, he slapped himself playfully on the side of his beanie and shook his head again. "Jesus, sorry, I, uh, I should probably introduce myself." He held out one of his grey-gloved hands to her. "The names Kevin."
"Um, hi Kevin," Casey murmured shyly, reaching out to shake his hand with her own a little tentatively. She noticed his fingers that weren't covered with the fingerless gloves were surprisingly warm and calloused. "I'm Casey."
"Good to meet you, Casey."
Casey thought he was about to say something else, his mouth opened, but then one of the doors opened on the floor and a woman with short grey hair, wearing glasses, was standing there, looking between the pair of them with a friendly smile. Casey noticed however that the woman's smile waned a little as she noticed who Casey was speaking to, this man that had introduced himself to her as Kevin.
"Good morning, you must be Casey Cooke?" The woman held out her own hand and Casey stepped closer towards her, shaking her hand gently. "I'm Dr. Fletcher, how very good to meet you. You must be my new patient?"
"Um, yes, I am."
"Then, please, come in and make yourself comfortable." Dr. Fletcher stood back while holding the door open to Casey, her eyes flitting past her to the man Casey had met quickly. Casey thought she saw a hint of warning in the woman's eyes as she smiled at Kevin. "Still here, Kevin?"
"Uh, yeah, I was just, uh, leaving now. Dr. Fletcher." Casey turned back to look at Kevin with a smile as he gave her another too big smile, his fingers fiddling with his beanie. "Oh and, uh, before I go..." He seemed to hesitate, his bright blue eyes roaming down Casey's clothes she was wearing appreciatively, "Now I swear this ain't a line or anything like that, but... I love what you're doing with all those layers." Casey heard Dr. Fletcher laugh as Kevin gave her an innocent look while raising both hands in the air, as if pleading his innocence, "What, now? I'm just saying the truth?"
Casey couldn't help the smile that came across her face as she waved at Kevin shyly before entering into Dr. Fletcher's own personal office, looking around, her cheeks burning as she thought over what he had just said. It had been a very, very long time since she'd met someone who seemed so charming and kind before. This Kevin guy, he was really nice.
"What?" She heard Kevin mutter, as if playfully outraged, outside Dr. Fletcher's office.
"Don't think I don't see what you're doing, Kevin," Dr. Fletcher said, but her voice was playfully encouraging.
"Oh, me? What am I doing?"
More gentle laughter came from Dr. Fletcher. "Never you mind. I'll see you all next week, at our next appointment."
"Of course, Dr. Fletcher. Keep doing the good fight."
Casey was walking around slowly, inspecting the large office that also looked like Dr. Fletcher's living quarter's when the woman shut the door gently, still smiling.
"That young man you just met was Kevin," she explained, a glint in her eyes that seemed fond as she wrapped her cardigan tighter over herself, walking towards a small armchair. She sat, eyes scrutinizing Casey kindly as Casey smiled back at her nervously. "He's been one of my most promising long-term clients, Kevin and the others have. But," Dr. Fletcher straightened in her chair, expression turning focused and intent on Casey, "enough about that. Tell me about you, Casey. What brings you here to me today?"
Forty-five difficult minutes later and their session was done for the day. It had been difficult, expressing to Dr. Fletcher what was going on in Casey's mind and explaining to her her extensive background, and dealings with self-harm. But once Dr. Fletcher had called their session to an end for the day, Casey actually realized she felt the experience had been rather cathartic. Dr. Fletcher had been a very good listener, encouraging Casey when she stumbled along- even reaching over to pat her on the hand gently when she observed Casey was having some difficulty articulating herself.
Perhaps her foster mother had been right? Perhaps Dr. Fletcher was exactly what she needed?
As Dr. Fletcher showed Casey towards the door, she handed her a card with their next appointment date on it. "Thank you so much for meeting me today, Casey, and I look forward to seeing you at our next appointment next Wednesday." The warmth in the woman's grey eyes for Casey, how accepting and non-judgmental she was, it was a sheer relief. "And please, if anything comes up at all or if you should feel the need to see me earlier than our scheduled time, my e-mail is just right there on the card."
He jumped up the winding staircase, taking it two steps at a time, halting to look inside the waiting area. He hissed through his teeth in disappointment when he noticed the girl that he'd met last week, Casey, wasn't waiting in the room.
It was a curious thing, but he hadn't seemed able to get his mind off of her. There was something about her, something different about her from all the rest that he wanted to get to know lots more about. He'd impulsively made another early session with Dr. Fletcher in the naive hope that he may be lucky enough to run into the girl again, only she was nowhere to be seen.
"Hello Kevin." He almost jumped out of skin as he heard her voice coming from the doorway of her office while he stared around the waiting room miserably. Not wanting the good doctor to see something was up, he forced his best enigmatic smile on her as he turned around to face her, one hand going up to tug his beanie more securely over his ears.
"Hey, Doctor Fletcher," he greeted warmly. "How are you doing?"
"I'm doing well, myself, thank you, but what's going on with you?" He heard the note of concern in her voice as he pushed past her into her office, keeping his back from her. His cheeks felt too warm, his heart too jittery. "Judging by the urgency of your e-mail, I assumed something was going on?"
"It's nothing, really." He waved off her concern with a vague shrug.
"You do realize that you asked to schedule in an extra appointment two days earlier than your usual? I got the impression that perhaps something was on your mind, given the urgency of your request to see me?"
"Really, it's nothing all that serious. Just the usual." He let out a puff of air through his lips, shrugging again. "I guess I'm just... feeling a little overwhelmed with things, you know."
"Overwhelmed?" He watched as Dr. Fletcher removed her reading glasses slowly and folded them, placing them down on her desk. She sat up in her chair, her eyes burning into his. "Overwhelmed in what sense exactly?"
"Oh, you know..." He shrugged again, turning away. Speaking to Dr. Fletcher, usually he found easy and trouble-less. But how to talk about this exactly? What he was going through now? Deliberately, he kept his back facing her as he paced slowly around her office, eyeing her things. "Some stuff has come up, a little overwhelming stuff. I've been finding it difficult to sleep."
"You've had issues sleeping?" He shot Dr. Fletcher a quick nod before averting his eyes, seeing the concern building in her gaze for him. She was rubbing around her chin with her index finger thoughtfully. "I see. And this is a recent development, I take it? This trouble sleeping- you haven't addressed this with me before?"
"Yeah, it's new, Doctor Fletcher." It had started ever since he'd arrived back home after having met her. The girl. Casey. At first, he assumed he was just too busy overthinking things, but then... he'd started thinking about her, about what they'd spoken to each other that day. Mentally rehearsing it. Reenacting it. "You know how it is, sleep's usually easy. But then it's all changed." He eyed the house plants she had in the corner of the room, fiddling with a slick green leaf.
"I see. And so what has changed, exactly? What do you feel is causing this... sleeplessness?"
He knew the answer to that without hesitation. Her. But what would Dr. Fletcher say if he told her? What would she do?
He decided he couldn't resist asking about her. He tried his hardest to sound casual, as he began apprehensively, "Uh, you know that girl, from last time?"
"Yeah, you know... that, uh, girl? Your new patient?" He whirled around to look at her anxiously to see if she was catching his drift, but Dr. Fletcher only arched her brows at him in question.
"Kevin, as you know, I have many new clients... and on a regular basis. Which one was it in particular?"
He sighed loudly as it dawned onto him that he just couldn't do it. He couldn't. He couldn't let her know.
"Actually, uh, you know what?" He glanced back at her behind his shoulder with a forced smile, shoving both hands into his trouser pockets to stop them fiddling restlessly, "I think this was a mistake, this whole early appointment thing. Because, as you can see, I'm actually feeling great."
Dr. Fletcher's brows were still crinkled as she stared at him, blinking slowly.
"And what about the blackouts, Kevin? The ones you've spoken about over the past five years? Has any happened recently for you that you haven't told me?"
"Uh, no." He made a face as he shrugged again. "No, I'm good."
"Are you sure?" Somehow, her tone made it seem as if she wasn't believing him. "Because I know how overwhelmed you can get when these... occur?" As if trying another tactic, Dr. Fletcher pressed on gently, "And what about the sense of losing time? Have you felt any sensations of losing time or days recently, Kevin?"
Doing what he did best, he deflected, distracting her. "Are you married?"
Dr. Fletcher laughed a little in surprise. "You already know the answer to that, Kevin. I'm not married and I'm single."
"But for how long?"
"How long what?"
"How long have you been single for?"
"For... my entire life." Dr. Fletcher shrugged, perplexed by his asking. "Why are you bringing this up, Kevin? Have you... met someone?"
The way she asked it, with an excited tinkle in her eyes, it made him feel red. He tried not to grin. Failed. "Well, you could, uh, say that, sure."
"Truly? You've met someone?" She cupped her hands together, the happiness for him feeling so sincere it flattered him. "Oh, Kevin, this is a wonderful development. Where and when did this happen?"
"Whoa, whoa, whoa," he chuckled nervously, overwhelmed by her assumptions. "Let's calm down here, Doctor Fletcher." But her excitement, it was catching. He loved exciting her, catching her attention. "There's just... someone that I may have taken a liking to, is all." He shrugged, forcing himself to sound purposefully blase. Her interest began to make him feel uncomfortable, so he moved around again, pacing around, "It isn't exactly like it's definite or nothing but... there's definite interest there. On my side of it anyhow, but... whether she's interested or not, that's a complete mystery at this point."
"So you've found yourself interested in someone, Kevin? Romantically?"
"Perhaps you should take a chance and ask her out for coffee, Kevin?"
All the shutters fell down at her suggestion. All playfulness, all keeping secrets was over. This was why he had scheduled an appointment early. He was feeling overwhelmed, but... with feelings. Feelings for a girl, feelings he hadn't had or acted on before. And frankly, he was tired of being lonely. He felt ready to take a risk.
"You think so?" He turned to look at her, his voice unable to conceal his worry. "I mean, after all we've discussed... the blackouts, the... loss of time that I've been experiencing, and all my concerns? You think I should still try pursue something even though I'm like this?" He wanted guidance from Dr. Fletcher the most. She knew him the best, he trusted her.
"Oh, Kevin." There was sympathy in her voice as she smiled at him, her eyes alight and earnest. "If anyone deserves happiness and a chance at love, I know it's you. You deserve it, so... yes. I really do think you should go for it."
After their encouraging talk, he felt a million times better. He thanked Doctor Fletcher as she showed him out with a flamboyant kiss on the cheek, which she reeled back from in surprise, hand held to the place where his lips had been, startled by this new change and determination in Kevin.
But what he failed to disclose to her, was just who the girl was that had his eye in particular.
Casey waved as her foster mother drove off from the sidewalk in the car.
Today was her second appointment with Doctor Fletcher, and she was feeling less nervous than she had been the first time around. It had really helped, speaking of her deepest fears and concerns with the psychiatrist last week. She had also given Casey a few examples of some coping mechanisms she could use if the urges arose during stressful times to mutilate herself again.
All in all, Casey was feeling positive. Probably more positive than she had ever felt in her entire life.
She pushed the strap of her bag over her shoulder, stepping up off the sidewalk towards the entrance of the large tan brick building. She lifted her leg, about to step up the stairs, when above her eye vision she caught the door open as someone pushed their way outside. The shadow of a tall figure stopped immediately once they saw her, shuffling their feet nervously.
She lifted her eyes and there he was, smiling down at her, blue eyes a little wary as if anticipating what her reaction would be to running into him again at Doctor Fletcher's office. Kevin.
"We gotta stop meeting like this," he murmured, his voice half-serious with mirth. "Seriously."
She laughed a little shyly, dropping her gaze to the ground. "Hi. Kevin, right?" She peered up at him to see his face had fallen a little, like an entire weight had been lifted off his shoulders, all tension drifting away, all because she'd correctly remembered his name from the last time they had met. Casey found it quite cute, surprisingly.
"Yeah, that's right. Casey?"
"Mmm." He moved back two steps, holding the door open to her with his hand so that she could enter the building. Casey smiled gratefully without meeting his gaze, feeling her cheeks burning.
"You having another appointment with Doctor Fletcher?" he murmured as she squeezed past him to get through the door.
Her bag and the side of her body brushed against his arm and shirt a little, and stupidly, Casey could feel herself flushing over such insignificant, accidental body contact. She often avoided touching people- especially members of the opposite sex- like the plague, only... weirdly, it was different with Kevin and she didn't even know him.
"Yeah, I am. You were right. She really helped me last time so I think it's probably going to be an on-going thing for me." The conversation seemed over to her. Or maybe she hoped it was because she felt awkward in front of him and was never really good with being social. "So, I guess I'll, um..." she faltered uncertainly, turning back to glance at him nervously.
He was still watching her, arm still holding the door open even although she'd already walked through it. It seemed to her as if he was working himself up to saying something. He shoved his free hand in his trouser pocket as his gaze fell to the floor, and suddenly, he looked strangely vulnerable and nervous. His jaw tightened, and his mouth and forehead tensed.
"Actually, uh, I was gonna ask if maybe you wanted to, uh..." Kevin paused for a moment, clearing his throat hoarsely as he lifted his eyes to meet hers again, something distinctively hopeful yet apprehensive in them, "You know, go for a coffee with me sometime?" He finally let the last offer out in a quiet, low rumble.
Casey felt her heart almost burst with a curious mixture of both dread and excitement. No one had ever asked her out for coffee before, let alone want to hang out with her in general.
Honestly, after everything that had happened, she'd sort of given up any hopes on having a normal life, being involved with someone, having a boyfriend, anything that normal girls her age did.
She had too much emotional baggage, too many insecurities. She needed to get her head and mind straight first- and that would take a lot, a humongous amount of sessions with Dr. Fletcher to ever start feeling right again, to trust in feeling and allowing herself to be vulnerable with someone, to feel safe and comfortable with-
"Hey, it's cool," Kevin suddenly muttered, disrupting her from her indecision. She glanced up, realizing he'd gone a little red in the face. "I get it, no worries. You, uh, you don't have to say a thing." Casey realized he thought she was rejecting her, that she was saying no all because she was uncertain.
Her foster mother had been encouraging Casey to try get out a lot more lately. To try move on, even although it was easier said than done. But could she?
"You know what?" His eyes shone with disappointment as he glanced away from her, down at the floor. "I'm just, uh, gonna go and hide now..." He was embarrassed. She'd upset him.
"Kevin, wait!" she called nervously, just as he was about to shut the door on her and run down the stairs away from the building where Dr. Fletcher held their sessions.
He stopped, glancing back behind his shoulder to look at her, his eyes downcast, expression vulnerable and uncertain. He still looked a little red-faced, his lips pursed tight.
"Um, I finish in about an hour, if you don't mind waiting?"
It astonished her, the change in his features after she said that. That wide, too-big smile came across his face as he radiated glee, relief... everything. "Really? So you wanna, uh, meet for coffee afterwards?" he murmured, his expression a little uncertain, as if he didn't really want to get his hopes up too much. Then, as if realizing he was being too eager, he cleared his throat curtly and tried to look more serious, "I mean, great. I'll be waiting out here then."
He couldn't help losing himself in his joy, the instance the door drifted shut and Casey disappeared. Like a child, he threw his head back and grinned widely up at the sky as he jumped down the small flight of steps, his overcoat rustling in the breeze.
But then... a feeling of malaise overcame him, and he scurried close to the wall, resting both shoulders against the side of the tan brick building as wind whoosed in his ears and his vision spotted with dark splotches. Sweat gathered and prickled around his forehead. His heart thundered in his ears. A shuddering twitch vibrated through his vertebra as he clenched his teeth.
"You're looking a lot happier today, Casey, if you don't mind me saying?" Dr. Fletcher observed the instance Casey entered inside, a beaming smile uncontrollable on her face. She patted the couch where Casey had sat last time, and she sank into it slowly while dropping her bag off her shoulders. Dr. Fletcher sat next to her, observing her speculatively. "Has something good happened?"
After her last client for the day left, Dr. Fletcher sat back down into her chair, thinking contemplatively.
Something had been extraordinarily different with Casey Cooke. While she had only had one previous session with her, Dr. Fletcher felt she was good at reading people, was an excellent judge of character. Something had brightened up the girls mood, in such a short amount of time. She was determined to find what that was.
Standing from the chair and chucking her shawl over her shoulder, she walked outside of her office, heading down towards where the security room was. Jerry, one of the men employed to watch over the building and manage the security cameras was in the office. She requested him to look back over the security footage from the outside entrance, five minutes before the ending time of her session with her client.
It was there she was him. Standing against the wall, waiting impatiently. If she was not mistaken, it was her client Kevin Crumb.
Then, roughly two minutes after her session with her last client finished, Casey Cooke exited the building. What happened next was very curious, indeed. Kevin Crumb pushed off the wall, walking around to stand next to Casey while fixing up the lapels on his overcoat. And then they began walking together, in the same direction, down the street, at the same pace. It looked as if the two were talking to each other, deep in conversation.
Dr. Fletcher continued to stare at the screen recording, even after the pair of them had vanished out of sight of the camera. An unsettling feeling was awash in her stomach. While Kevin Crumb was one of her longest clients, he was also one of her deeply troubled patients, with concerning tendencies.
"Hmm, what are you up to, Kevin?" she murmured, placing her elbow on the table as she rested her chin in her hand.
Casey Cooke was in an extremely vulnerable state of mind.
Suffering early childhood sexual abuse at the tender age of five by her Uncle, who she now had a restraining order against and was living in another state.
Had struggles with self-mutilation. Self-esteem issues.
Kevin Crumb was not the sort she should be meddling around with. While undoubtedly fond of the man, he was dangerous. Him and the others that were only just waiting to surface again.
Dr. Fletcher hummed her disapproval out loud. She would have to have a word with him during their next session. A conversation the man was bound not to like.
"You ever been to the Zoo before?"
They were walking together, after her session with Dr. Fletcher had finished for the day.
When she had gotten out, Casey had for a moment believed he wouldn't have bothered waiting for her, that he would have gotten fed up and left. Only, much to her surprise- or perhaps relief- Kevin had been waiting dutifully for her, like he'd said he would, leaning against the brick of the building.
And for reasons unknown to her, he had greeted her with that too-big-for-his-face smile again. She was already beginning to like his smiles. Even the way he'd stare at her.
Now he was asking her about the Zoo.
"You mean Philadelphia zoo?" she asked in a small voice.
"Yeah. The one here."
"Um, no, I haven't yet. You?"
"Yeah, loads of times. Kind of have to, though. Not only do I work there, but I also practically live right under it."
"You work at the Zoo?" Casey wasn't sure why it surprised her so much. She just hadn't expected him to work at a zoo.
"Yeah. Mostly I clean the cages and stuff, but... sometimes I get to feed the animals too. The tigers are my favorite." He was so straight-forward, so open. Casey appreciated that.
"I like tigers too," she murmured softly in agreement.
"How old are you?" He asked the question without preamble, it surprised her. "What?" He raised both hands in the air, pleading his innocence, "I know it's rude, asking a lady her age but... I'm simply curious, is all."
The way he looked, so playfully defensive, it made her smile.
"I'm twenty." She glanced shyly down at her hands, shivering a little as a gust of wind picked up on the street, blowing the dark hair of her strands across her shoulders. It occurred to her that her sleeves had rode up a little, leaving her wrists a little exposed. She yanked them down self-consciously with her fingers. "So, how long have you been seeing Dr. Fletcher for?"
Casey couldn't deny she was curious. She wanted to know why he was seeing her, and what issues he was going through. She wondered if he was a little like her, in a sense.
"For a long, long time now." He never told her a specific time. When Casey glanced over at him, she saw he was staring ahead, down the slightly empty street. "She's helped us a lot over the years. You really ain't gonna find someone as great as Dr. Fletcher. I mean, she really cares, you know?"
Casey could see he truly respected her, in the way he spoke so highly of her. She decided Dr. Fletcher was pretty great herself.
"It helps to have someone who truly cares..." he continued, his voice low, thoughtful. "Most don't, you know?"
"Hmm." A gust of wind tore through her layers of clothes again, and Casey couldn't help shuddering. She saw out of the corner of her eye Kevin stop walking and then, before she knew it, he was tearing off his overcoat.
"Here, think you need this."
Casey felt her heart stutter as Kevin stood behind her, helping her arms into the sleeves of his overcoat. She couldn't remember a time when a man had been so thoughtful to her, so kind.
"Damn, girl," he murmured with a teasing edge, and when she turned to look at him hastily, she watched anxiously as he lifted a hand over to rub his thumb and forefinger over the numerous layers of shirts she was wearing. "You wear a lot of layers?"
Her stomach twisted and knotted at the thought having to tell him why. What if it turned him off? Or freaked him out or something?
"Thank you," she simply muttered, flipping her hair out from the neck of the overcoat. It felt warm. And, weirdly enough, wearing something that belonged to him, even although she didn't even truly know him aside from him having the same psychiatrist as her... it felt good.
She met his eyes briefly, and his head was cocking to the side, his deep blue eyes eyeing her. It seemed like he liked it, the way she looked, wearing his overcoat, even if the sleeves were far too long and the bottom of it nearly scraped the ground as he was taller than her... She felt shy looking at him, and she had to look away hastily.
He led her to a little coffee shop and they went inside. He didn't ask for his overcoat back, she noticed, even in the warmth of the shop. She sat at a table near the window while Kevin went to ask for their orders. She couldn't help observing him as he ordered. Then she noticed he was still wearing his beanie. She wondered what his hair looked like underneath it.
As Kevin came back to the table, he sat, his eyes meeting hers. He smiled, that big smile at her. Casey couldn't help grinning back shyly. Then an awkward silence crept between them as she watched him glance down at the table, using his fingers to trace a pattern on the surface.
"So... um, why are you seeing Dr. Fletcher?" Casey asked. She still didn't know.
"Why?" She saw his throat twitch as he swallowed, his eyes on nothing else but the table as he continued tracing it. "I'm seeing Dr. Fletcher 'cause... I got issues." He lifted his gaze to meet hers, his mouth tightening.
"Well, that makes two of us," Casey murmured, trying to make it a joke. She was relieved when he took it as such, smiling halfheartedly.
"Yeah, but... I got twenty three of 'em." He was evasive, deliberately not giving much away. But Casey figured she could understand that. She didn't very much want to admit to her problems either.
He glanced down at the table again, and Casey watched as he started sorting out the salt-and-pepper shakers, the sachets of sugar, lining them all up into a neat, orderly line. Then he flicked the pepper shaker with his thumb, made it crooked from the line, and then started all over again, lining everything up. Casey wondered if maybe he was bored and if that was why he was deliberately distracting himself.
Their coffees arrived. Casey reached over, grabbing her cup. Then she thought she heard Kevin heave a sigh loudly through his mouth. She glanced over, noticing his eyes were clenched deeply closed, his head tilted a little. The corners of his mouth was tight, almost as if he was grimacing, as if he was in sudden pain.
"Um, Kevin?" she whispered, when he kept his eyes tightly closed. "Kevin, are-are you okay?"
Without thought, she stood, leaning over the table towards him, concerned. What was happening? One second he was fine, and now he was...?
"Kevin, what's wrong? Is there something I can-"
"...Not now," she heard him mutter over her harshly, his voice low, irritated. A sharp hiss of breath tore through his teeth as his lips opened, his teeth clenched.
Casey sunk back down into her chair, staring. Not now? Was he telling her 'not now'? As in don't ask him what's wrong right now or-
Clearly he wasn't going to answer her, so she sat in silence, watching his face, a little tense. She took a small sip of her coffee, letting it run down her throat as she worried. She felt a small bit of froth from her coffee spill somewhere on her, but she didn't exactly care right now. Not when the man in front of her was clearly-
His eyes opened, his lips closing. Casey watched as Kevin breathed in deeply and out for a few second through his nose. And then his blue eyes cut to hers.
Cold. His eyes looked oddly different, if possible. The expression in them. They didn't seem like the Kevin's that she had met... even although he clearly was Kevin, another one of Dr. Fletcher's patients, like her.
He stared at her, his face blank, his big smile not coming across his face. Why did he feel suddenly so closed off to her? So cold even?
His back seemed to straighten up in the chair, his shoulders filling out as he blinked back at her, his eyes roaming down her face, the overcoat he'd let her borrow as she was cold outside.
"Kevin?" she murmured cautiously, eyeing him nervously.
Kevin's eyes drifted to his overcoat that she was wearing again, at some space below her chest. Then-
"-You got coffee froth on the overcoat, you realize that?" He arched his eyebrows at her, his voice deeper, somehow stiffer than it had been earlier.
Casey dipped her chin, glancing down at the spot he was staring at on his overcoat in question. And he was right. She knew she'd felt a bit of coffee spill and drop somewhere, but why did it have to land on his coat that he so kindly let her borrow?
"Oh, god," she whispered apologetically, reaching for a napkin. "Kevin, I'm sorry. I didn't mean-"
Casey's face felt as though it had been drained of blood as she stopped trying to wipe the stain away frantically, her insides cut by how low but sharp and angry Kevin's voice had gone. All due to some silly little stain that she hadn't meant to do in the first place?
His breathing was getting shallower by the second. He squinted his eyes down at the stain again, a shiver passing through him, one that seemed filled with rage. Then his eyes fell down to the table, and he analysed every surface of it carefully, his eyebrows arching in disgust.
"Look at it, all of it," he muttered, his voice getting louder. "Don't people clean the goddamn tables in here?"
A few staff members in shop had glanced over at the loud, panicked outburst of Kevin's voice. Casey, meanwhile, could only stare in disbelief. Who was this person that had suddenly appeared? Surely not Kevin, was it?
Kevin's head whipped back towards the group of staff members, his voice shaky. "You ought to be ashamed of yourself, all of you," he growled in a low, piercing voice.
Casey had heard enough.
Abruptly, she stood from the table, embarrassed. He was making a big scene and everyone was watching them. What was wrong with him?
"I'm leaving," Casey said with finality, although her voice was a little unsteady.
Kevin's eyes shot back to her, a little wide with what appeared outrage while he still trembled over the state of the table. But why did he look so surprised and outraged?
Her hands were shaky as she fumbled to take off his overcoat quickly, and she tossed it on her seat and grabbed her bag before she could change her mind. She swiftly moved outside of the cafe, ignoring what she thought was Kevin calling out for her to come back urgently.
She shook her head furiously, her mind racing as she wrapped her arms tight over her stomach, shivering in the wind. Whatever had just happened, it was enough for her, sadly. She'd dealt with her Uncle's rage, his emotional and physical abuse for most of her young life. She didn't need another person yelling at her all simply because she accidentally spilled coffee froth on their coat.
She just couldn't seem to get over the change in Kevin though. One minute, he was interesting and warm. Then just as suddenly, he felt closed-off and cold and angry about the state of the cafe's messiness. Something just didn't add up.
"Hey!" She heard someone yell at the top of their lungs- probably Kevin. She turned her head back to see that yes, it was Kevin. He was running down the street after her. Great. She picked up her pace. "Casey, wait! Let me explain something here!"
He seemed to catch up with her easily, and he grabbed her by the shoulder gently, wheeling her around to face him. He was panting heavily, exhausted from his run, blue eyes desperate as they scanned her face.
"Please, you just gotta let me explain..." His eyes were pleading desperately with her as he crouched down for a moment, resting his hands against his knees as he strained for breath. Once he seemed to have recovered, he stood to his full height again, that look there still, that pleading solemn desperation in his eyes. "You asked me, before, why I was seeing Dr. Fletcher?"
Casey nodded, tightening her arms around her stomach, waiting for it.
"Have you ever, uh... felt like you were there, but... you weren't? Like you... sometimes lose track of times and the... uh, the days?"
Casey couldn't say she had, but she nodded slowly anyway. He looked desperate for her to hear him out. She decided the least she could do was give him that.
"Well, that's why I'm seeing Dr. Fletcher, you see. I don't even..." He paused, breathing heavily. Then something came across his face, his eyes. His eyes dropped to her mouth briefly. "Can I, uh... can I maybe, uh... kiss you?"
Before Casey could completely answer or even grasp how to respond to that, it happened. Kevin's hands went over her face and then he was bending down towards her, kissing her. She was completely unprepared. One second, he was explaining about Dr. Fletcher... and then, his lips, they were pressed and molded against hers, chapped and warm.
And then, despite everything, Casey found herself kissing him back, because he was a little emotional right now and maybe so was she, and so confused, yet she knew she liked him even although she properly didn't know him.
She hadn't kissed a man before. Didn't even think she'd ever really want to, until then.
No sickness developed in her chest, no dread. Just the sensation of Kevin's warm lips and fingers open her cheeks, just the vibration of his throat into her mouth as he hummed and moaned throatily while kissing her.
It didn't last for very long. Kevin was the one to pull back, and still holding her face in his hands, he leaned forward, the tip of his nose brushing against hers and then he dragged it upward, past her forehead, to her hairline, sniffing and inhaling her in as if he was smelling her. Casey thought she heard an odd clattering deep noise from the back of his throat- was he growling like a tiger?- before Kevin released her face, backing away urgently as he breathed heavily.
"I'm sorry, I, uh..." There was a wide fearful look in his eyes, fright, as he stared back down at her as she breathed shakily through parted lips, "I... I shouldn't have done that. I, uh, I gotta go." Without another word, Kevin turned and dashed down the street, leaving Casey staring after him, wide-eyed, a little breathless and... consumed. Utterly consumed and amazed by how good a man's lips could feel on hers.
She brought up her fingers to touch her still-warm lips as she began walking towards where her foster family lived, her legs trembling, numb.
She had a strange feeling that her life was going to be changing.
sorry if OOC I feel like I suck at writing but if interested in more I would love to know :)