Hi everyone! This is the sequel to Paul's Case Files…and it's in-progress! I'll probably add chapters periodically, though it'll be more like a series of oneshots instead of a chapter fic (another one is coming soon, I swear!). This installment is set around TTGBITN, and contains spoilers for that episode.
Enjoy! And review if you want to, you know how happy it makes me!
Disclaimer: Paul still has not come to his senses and left Alicia for me. But he lets me borrow him, and when I'm done writing, off he goes back to Canada. To LwD World, which I also do not own.
Life with Paul: The Big Breakup
"She broke up with him!" Paul crowed as he entered his house after school.
Alicia, who had gotten off work early that day, was busy reorganizing the spice rack. She ran over to greet him, and he grabbed her hands, twirling her around the kitchen.
Kissing her quickly, Paul reached up to take down the top row of spices, knowing she couldn't reach it herself without the aid of a stool.
He handed her the containers as he removed them, humming gleefully. Alicia shoved him playfully. "Alright, you're obviously not going to tell me, so I'd better ask—are you talking about Stacey and Dax?"
"Yes, Ma'am," Paul grinned, kissing her again. "It took all of my self-restraint to keep from cheering when I heard the news!"
Paul had decided to give his students codenames, because he couldn't help but tell Alicia about them. So instead of constantly referring to Casey as "that girl," he figured it would be easier if she had a name.
"So, do you think Eric will ask her out now that she's single?" Alicia asked, intrigued.
"I wish. It's going to take a lot of persuasion. The boy needs some serious help."
"Well, I know the perfect counselor to guide him in the right direction," Alicia said, wrapping her arms around Paul's waist. She reached over and switched on the stereo, and their favorite soft rock station enveloped the kitchen.
"Do you now?" Paul cooed in her ear, as they began to sway back and forth. He waltzed her around the kitchen, feeling downright giddy.
They were in the middle of the dip-and-kiss move when Alex barreled through the door, followed by three of his friends.
"Eww," they chorused, and Alex looked horrified.
"Guyyys," he whined in embarrassment. "You need to go do that somewhere else, please."
"Oh, is that so?" Paul shot back, pulling away from his wife and ruffling his son's hair, knowing it would irk him.
"Da-ad!" Alex reprimanded through gritted teeth.
"All right, come on, hon, we'll leave the boys alone," Alicia instructed, pulling Paul out of the kitchen.
"Bolus for what you eat in there!" Paul called to Alex, who shouted back impatiently that he would.
Alicia continued to pull Paul through the house, stopping in the family room. She curled up on the sofa, mischievous glint in her eyes. He sat down next to her, and propped his feet on the ottoman.
"Now, tell me about this big breakup." Alicia cuddled up next to Paul, sighing contentedly against him, and he began.
"I guess the beginning of the end was when Stacey tried out for cheerleading…"
This is better than cable, Alicia thought.
He slammed the door shut with a huff, and plopped down in a chair. Paul looked up in surprise. A piece of the sandwich he had been chewing fell out of his mouth when he saw who had entered his office.
Quickly wiping his mouth, he greeted Derek. "What a surprise, Mr. Venturi. Haven't seen you in a while."
"Hi Paul." Derek avoided eye contact, and Paul knew it was going to be a difficult session. He had only seen Derek a few times, and each time he did, Derek left frustrated. Paul decided he would get through to him this time if it killed him.
"I'm sure Casey told you the news."
"The news…" Paul feigned innocence.
Derek smirked. "We could sit here playing games, or you could tell me what I know you already know."
"How do you know I know what you think I know?" Paul said it again in his head, making sure it made sense.
"I know because you always know everything there is to know about a certain someone we both know," Derek shot back, and Paul had to hand it to him, the kid was good.
"Okay, okay. Truce. Yes, Casey told me about her breakup."
"With the 'sweetest, most popular guy in school'?" Derek mimicked Casey's sentiment in a high-pitched voice. Pretty good impression of her, Paul thought.
"Something tells me you're glad they broke up." Hmm, wonder why that could be.
"Max was a loser, Paul. Casey deserves better." Derek paled as soon as he said it. He knew what Paul was going to say next; he had walked right into that one.
"Oh, really? Who do you think would be better for Casey?" Paul was cheering on the inside. Just say "me," Derek, just say it.
"Anyone but Max. But that's not the point," Derek replied, effectively avoiding the dangerous territory into which that topic was going.
"And what is the point of this? Why are you here?" To talk about how to win Casey over, right?
Derek shifted in his seat, careful that his face didn't betray his discomfort, though his body language did. Paul had been trained to look for that kind of thing.
"Casey and I snuck out together last weekend." Paul's eyes grew wide.
"Casey mentioned you'd been grounded…" Paul trailed off, realizing he probably shouldn't be telling Derek what he talked about with Casey.
"She didn't tell you what happened?" Derek asked, surprised.
Paul shook his head. She really hadn't. He knew it had something to do with Derek; it always did. But she had refused to share the details this time.
Derek continued, "She wanted to go to this party because this popular guy—" He cut himself off when he realized how jealous he sounded. "Uh, we were both going to this party, and we'd been grounded, so the only option was to sneak out. So we did, except…" Derek was seriously regretting coming in here at this point, but for some reason he trusted Paul, so he barged on. "I accidentally hit my dad's car on the way out, and Casey ended up not going. Long story short, our parents found out and now we're grounded again."
Paul stifled his laughter. "You hit your dad's car? Why? Were you distracted by something?" Like Casey, probably all dolled up for this party?
"Casey was going on and on about cucumber sandwiches and our secret plan to sneak out…" Aha. Of course it was Casey's fault.
"You sure it wasn't Casey's blue eye shadow that did it?" Paul asked boldly.
"Her what now?" Derek asked, looking at Paul in disbelief.
"You know, the eye shadow she wears when she's trying to impress…a guy," Paul replied matter-of-factly.
Derek was getting very, very uncomfortable. "She was shoving a list and sandwiches in my face, I'm telling you."
"I'm sure she was." Paul said this in such a way that Derek really couldn't tell if he believed him or not.
"But," Paul went on, "This is still not explaining why you're here, talking about Casey sneaking out with you."
Derek didn't say anything; instead, he looked at the floor.
"You had fun doing that, didn't you?" Paul asked quietly. "I'll bet it gave you a rush that you got goody-two-shoes Casey to sneak out. With you."
Derek looked up at him and smiled. "Yeah, it did."
"Don't tell her I called her that," Paul said quickly as an afterthought.
Derek chuckled. "No worries. It was…fun. And we had to run back into the house just as Dad was coming in, and we hid under the table—"
Paul's eyebrows shot up, and this didn't escape Derek. "Look, Paul, if you want to say something to me, say it!" he cried, definitely getting frustrated. He had no idea how Casey could stand to talk to this guy every week if he made her feel like this.
Paul sighed. Here was his chance to lay it all on the line. So he took it.
"I think this whole story is your way of telling me that you actually like spending time with her. I think it scares you that you two are becoming friends. And if you're friends, she's going to see you in a new way. She might even see through that phony act of yours."
"Phony act?" Derek was startled. How did he know so much?
"The act you put on for everyone. The act that says Casey annoys the heck out of you, and that you can't stand her. Because I know the truth, Derek." Paul's voice had risen steadily as he spoke, and provoked Derek in exactly the way he had hoped.
Derek stood up quickly and stumbled, catching himself on the edge of Paul's desk. He bent down over the desk, where Paul was sitting calmly with his hands folded. He seethed, "And what is the truth?"
Paul stared him down, but Derek's eyes never left his. "You. Love. Her."
Derek tore his eyes away from Paul's and backed away slowly. At the door, he paused to look at a grinning Paul again. This only made him angrier. "You're wrong!" And he stormed out of the office, slamming the door closed after him.
Paul began to laugh. And laugh. He laughed until he couldn't breathe. That had been the exact reaction he'd hoped to see from the poor guy. Derek needed to see that he wasn't fooling everyone. And Paul could tell when people were lying; the last thing Derek had said to him was a definite lie. And he was sure that Derek knew that he knew it.