TITLE: The Great Pretender

AUTHOR: ponderer

DISCLAIMER: I own nothing. Song goes to the Platters.

SUMMARY: You will never be able to make her that angry. Angst galore. Max/Casey, Derek/Casey.

AUTHOR'S NOTE: I was honestly trying to write a story that would involve the past two HP stories, but in Ron's perspective. But, I started writing this instead, and wow, I'm actually pretty impressed. This is my first LWD work, but I've read enough, and watched enough, that hopefully I've captured their characters well enough to pull this off. Reviews are always appreciated.

Ooh yes I'm the great pretender

Just laughing and gay like a clown

I seem to be what I'm not

I'm wearing my heart like a crown

Pretending that you're still around

"The Great Pretender" – The Platters

She laughs, a little too dorky for your taste, and her whole body sort of shakes with her laughter. She doesn't ever hide the broad smile on her face, she tilts her head back, eyes closed, and this beautiful sound comes out. You know she finds something extremely funny when tears are in her eyes, face red, hands clutching at her stomach. Sometimes, when it's a joke that doesn't quite reach this stage of stomach clutching; she'll reach out a hand to touch the joke maker, just to show her polite attention.

It doesn't happen often, but you always catch the particular laugh when she's with him. In turn, the proud look on his face shows he knows it too.

Some times, when she kisses you goodbye, you notice her eyes don't linger on your face, but she isn't ignoring you either. Rather, it seems to be a routine for her, like folding laundry or washing her hair. It's like she has to do it. The big difference is, she doesn't need it, want it.

You notice how her eyes linger on him a bit too long after he makes a comment targeting her. It may be an actual conversation, a fight, or even just a short quip that escapes their lips. But you realize that their exchange could always be ignored, he could perhaps just walk by, or she could hold her tongue when he doesn't.

Each glance gets longer, each exchange brings out daring words, and it's like the only thing that they can do to survive. You'd give anything to be able to do that with her.

She's the most organized person you've ever met. The few times you've seen her bedroom, you quickly had noticed how the books on her shelves were color coded, her bed was always made, piles on her desk neatly stacked in order.

When you pass by his room, you murmur chaos. Sure, you're not her by any means, but you think you'd suffocate in his room. Clothes haphazardly hanging from every available space, including the floor, along with any school book in the past few years. His walls are covered floor to ceiling with posters of bands you've never heard of, as well as a long mirror where you assume he practices his smirk.

While sitting down with their family one night for dinner, you notice how he's become neater while he eats, and asks politely for something he can't reach.

She lets out a small burp, and shocks everyone when she starts to laugh.

You probably know him as well as she does because she tells you everything by ranting about his latest prank. Her eyes light up intensely, hands moving about, her usual concentration is completely non-existent.

You know the same amount about her as he does because while she does talk about you, it's never brought out a fire like it does when it's about him. How it's the only thing in her life that truly makes her feel anything. You think that maybe he knows this, and does it on purpose, and that might make him one of the smartest people you've ever met.

You also know, that when he really screws up, like when she refuses to even discuss him and will avoid him by using alternative hallways to bypass him, that he'll come to his senses, rather quickly for a guy with a rep like that, and after they make up, and how he achieves this, you'll never know, her world is all sunshine and daises again. You even notice an extra bounce in his step.

You will never be able to make her that angry. You just hope you can give her an ounce of happiness that he gives her.

You see their first kiss. And it's not that shocking really, to see them, her hands in his hair, on her tip toes, body pressed against his. He's got his arms on her waist, his neck bent awkwardly to reach down to her.

It doesn't shock you that it happened during one of their arguments. This one was about his latest fling, how she believed he shouldn't bring girls like that home where children could be influenced in a bad way.

That kiss would have caused a number, that's for sure.

It does shock you, however, that she's the one who initiates it. She's the one who pulls him by the front of his shirt to close the already small gap between them and thrusts her mouth on his. Not that he seems to mind at all, with the way his hands had traveled from her waist southward.

She never initiated anything with you.

You pretend you didn't see the kiss, and you also pretend that her sudden interest in everything you isn't something out of the ordinary. You even manage to ignore the death glares given constantly from him, because for once, there's something he's going to have to work at, and you're not going down that easily.

You let her remove her shirt one night on your couch, showing her modest pink bra, and you know she's wearing the matching panties too. You let her take your hands to cup her breasts and you don't tell her that she's beautiful or perfect because you don't want to see that look on her face; the one that says that he should be the one to say it. Not you.

You allow yourself to take her that night, and you're gentle and soft, the opposite of what he is and what she wants. You almost want to pretend to be him, just to give her what she wants; just enough so that maybe she'll stick around, but you need to prove that you're different, better even. She begs for more, aching for a quick release, something you're sure he could have done in a few seconds. You, instead, take your time; leisurely enjoy her body and everything she's giving you in the moment. When she does climax, you even pretend to not hear her say his name.

Afterwards, she dresses in your discarded shirt and props her chin in her hand to watch you thoughtfully. She's waiting for something you won't give her because you can't give her that. So, instead, you tell her that you love her.

You fall asleep against her bare breast and wake when her phone goes off. She mutters a hello, and you pretend to sleep, even when you know it's him on the other line by the tone in her voice, a tone saying that she had been caught in bed. She whispers that she's fine, but she needs a ride home, that you'd fallen asleep while watching a movie. You pretend to be asleep when she shimmies out from underneath you and dresses quietly in the darkness, the only light peering in from the crack in between the curtains. You pretend she's not crying as she writes you a note on your desk, and you don't dare open your eyes until a few minutes later you hear a car pull away.

When you read the letter, you pretend it's about a close family member's death just so you aren't crying over her. She doesn't deserve it.

The next time you see her it's at his hockey game. You stand rows behind her because you don't want to be noticed. You see her wearing his practice jersey, something you know she hated because he never washed it for luck. She's cheering along with her family, loud and proud. The buzzer goes off preventing you from seeing her because the home crowd erupts into cheers with a final goal and win for the team.

You stand unmoving even when you notice the letters of his last name float down the steps two at a time, and see him from the team on the middle of the ice, and how after she throws herself over the wall, he drops his helmet and his hockey stick and glides towards her. They stop in front of each other, face splitting grins on their faces, and time freezes, in one of those stupid cliché movie moments that she's made you watch, and he reaches down and swiftly picks her up and swoops down to kiss her right on the mouth.

You feed off the shocked looks from her family and his teammates, and even some of the crowd. The kiss doesn't stop, even when the cheering stops and changes the mood in the atmosphere completely, and although everyone else probably seems to feel the cold air, you feel warm because it's over, it's all really over.

You turn and leave, reaching in your pocket to feel her note between your calloused fingers. Now, you have to learn to pretend to not see them at school, because you don't think you could handle that, even when you knew it'd happen.