Summary: He heard the sirens before he saw the lights. This is the summer after the fact, and they're finding their own way to cope. Dick and Mac take a road trip.
Disclaimer: No, I don't own them! Cassidy would not be evil if I did!
A/N: I got the idea randomly and then Hider went "OMG SAM WRITE ME DICK AND MAC FIC" so of course I had to since she's my Hider and I can't say no to her. Kind of a curse. Anyway: let me know what you think.
He drained the last of the beer and tossed it into a nearby trashcan, nodding to various people as he left the suite. He flipped his keys idly as he stepped into the elevator. He wasn't drunk, not even close, and for some reason the sentence "I didn't graduate" failed to bring the ladies around. It pissed him off, but what the fuck? At least he was getting his diploma at the end of the summer.
If it hadn't been for that stupid science project he would've walked across that stupid little stage and gotten that stupid piece of paper that declared him a high school graduate. Hearst had already let him in with the grades he'd gotten in his other classes throughout the years, so there was really no point in not letting him graduate.
He rolled his eyes and leaned against the back of the elevator, flipping his keys impatiently. Logan had gone all catatonic after Veronica had showed up at the party looking for the Beaver. He wasn't really sure why, but nobody else would hang out with him so there was no point in staying at the impromptu grad night party that had been thrown in one of the Grand's suites any longer.
Stepping out of the elevator, he winked at the cute new receptionist and ignored her look of vague disgust. He tossed his keys into the air and caught them again as he pushed his way past the throng of people by the front doors. When he stepped outside he was momentarily distracted by the cute blonde that was talking on her cell phone by the valet booth. She smiled at him and he leered, walking closer to her and shoving his keys back in his pocket.
As he got closer, he realized she was telling a story to the person on the other end of the line. She sounded almost frantic and her facial expression matched the emotion, but it didn't occur to him that something was actually wrong until he stopped walking toward her and listened to what was going on.
He heard the sirens before he saw the lights.
The blonde rolled her eyes as he shoved past her, and he nearly ran around the corner of the building to see what the commotion was about. He froze when he saw the body lying in the middle of the street, and his eyes strayed to the roof of the hotel before roaming over the crowd of policemen and paramedics that had crowded on the sidewalk.
Someone placed the body on a stretcher and declared the time of death to have been about five minutes before he got there. It made him sick but he walked closer anyway, a light sheen of tears clouding his vision.
He couldn't remember the last time he cried.
"Sir," a man in a uniform stopped him with a hand to his chest. "I'm going to have to ask you to leave, this is a formal investigation."
"Cassidy Casablancas?" he asked.
The man dropped his hand and nodded gravely. Dick nodded in turn and hastily wiped at his eyes before folding his arms across his chest. "He's my brother."
Logan was at Veronica's apartment. That was the first thing Dick registered after he drove home and got his friend's voice mail six times in a row. And what the fuck did she have to do with Beaver committing suicide? She was looking for him at the party but after that she just disappeared.
He rolled his eyes and started going through the bottles of alcohol he had laid out on the counter, opened them all and started chugging. He wasn't drunk yet but he would be; he'd make sure of that. There was no fucking way he was going to deal with this sober.
The curtains opened and he groaned in pain, turning over to bury his face in the carpet and block out the blinding light of the sun outside. She came to a stop about two feet from his face. He vaguely recognized the worn-out black Chuck Taylors but coherent thought was not high on his list of functioning mechanics at the moment.
"Get up," she said firmly. Her voice didn't waver and he found himself wondering how the fuck she was that calm after last night.
His only response was to groan. A moment later she sat down next to him and folded her legs underneath her. She sighed and shoved at his shoulder until he rolled over, his hands automatically coming up to cover his eyes as he groaned again.
"Dick, get up," she repeated.
"What the fuck?"
"Have you lost all ability to think? And here I thought you had a higher tolerance for alcohol than that," she shook her head in disappointment.
Dick cracked an eye open and immediately regretted the action when he was almost blinded by the spot of sunshine behind her. He didn't blink though. He just continued to stare at her until she rolled her eyes and cuffed him on the head.
"Get up," she said again, more irritably. "You are not going to sit around at Case de Killer all summer."
The words registered in the back of his mind as his own, but he didn't have time to process a retort before she was standing up and pulling him with her, letting him fall back on the couch as she sat down on the coffee table. He groaned again and she rolled her eyes once more for effect.
"Aspirin are on the counter and there are clean towels in the bathroom. Take the pills, take a shower, and pack a bag," she demanded. Dick raised an eyebrow and she set her jaw.
"Pack a bag? Are we having a sleepover?"
Mac stared at him and then shook her head slowly. Something in her expression shifted and he found himself wondering what exactly had gone on last night. She shrugged it off only a second later, and had the pounding in his head been a little less he probably would have noticed the way her voice wavered the next time she spoke.
"We're going on a road trip."
His eyebrows shot up and he sputtered, leaning forward on the couch so that he could see her more clearly. "I'm sorry, what?"
"We're going on a road trip," she repeated, more confidently. "Unless, of course, you want to stay in this house and torture yourself."
He blinked at her and she raised an impatient eyebrow, patting him on the head as she stood and headed in the direction of the stairs. "I'll pack your crap; you take a shower! We leave in half an hour!"
She gasped when she reached the top of the stairs and he winced when he realized she had reached his baby brother's room. Like – fuck – but that was the reason he hadn't gone upstairs when he got home. He preferred getting smashed on the couch.
Footsteps sounded in the hallway upstairs and he heard her annoyed sigh as she entered his room. The house was too quiet – he could hear everything she was doing and it was driving him insane. He vaulted off the couch and stopped dead in his tracks as the pounding in his head increased exponentially, and he grabbed the aspirin bottle off the counter as he passed through the kitchen to get to the downstairs bathroom.
His fingers shook as he popped the bottle open and he rolled his eyes as he swallowed three or four of the little pills. The water from the showerhead sprayed him as he turned the nozzles to get it to the right temperature. He stripped off his clothes and closed his eyes when he finally stepped under the spray.
Mac slid into the driver's side of the car and he leaned back in his seat uneasily. The convertible top slid down a moment later and she offered him a small smile as she pulled out of the driveway.
Dick turned and watched his house until they turned the corner and he couldn't see it anymore. He fiddled with the radio and froze when he came across news coverage of the incident at the Grand, coverage that was followed with the fact that the mystery behind the bus crash had finally been solved.
She stuck a CD into the player and he trained his eyes on the unfamiliar scenery as they drove past the city limits and out of Neptune, headed in a direction that he wasn't even aware of.
After a while, he turned to face her and she rested her head on her hand as she leaned her elbow against the door. He studied her, taking in the newly-dyed green streaks of hair that were whipping around her face, and he wondered how the fuck she was dealing with all of this.
"Didn't your mother ever teach you not to stare?"
"My mother didn't teach me much of anything," he countered. "Didn't your mother ever teach you not to show up at people's houses and drag them on road trips to unknown destinations?"
"Oh, big word for Dick! More than three syllables? Color me shocked," she turned her head slightly and gave him a smirk. "And if you're trying to analyze me, don't. I don't even know what I'm doing."
Nodding, he traced the interior of the car with his index finger. He leaned his head back against the seat again and closed his eyes, fighting the last remaining hints of his hangover. A semi-comfortable silence settled over the two as she continued to drive down the highway, the only sound coming from the CD player.
It sort of pissed him off that everything was this calm after what had happened less than twenty-four hours ago.