Author's Note: Break up scene is from "Move On Cartwrights." This isn't going to be a one shot but definitely not as long as Say. Just couldn't shake off this plot bunny.
"I'm done, Evan."
"Done with what?" He asks as he adjusts his collar.
"I'm finished being angry with you. I woke up this morning and I finally realized no matter what I say or do, I can't change the past. Or how you feel about it. And I'm done trying."
Evan's smile falters.
"Finally ready to move on."
"Move on?" Evan says with a shake of his head. "From us?"
"Yeah," Casey replies.
"And what if I was less of a jealous idiot?" Evan asks.
"Um, then I think we could be friends. If you think you can do that."
"Think about it," she says before giving him a peek on the cheek. "See you around campus,
It hadn't taken long for the well oiled gossip mill of Cyprus-Rhodes University to start up again. Within two hours, the entirety of the CRU Greek system knew that Casey had shown up on the Omega Chi doorstep and told Evan that she's done.
In that many words.
"I'm done, Evan."
And because he knows Casey, because he knows that she wouldn't want to listen to him gloat about how she finally came to her senses, because he knows she won't jump in bed with him just yet he stayed away.
For two days.
Which, really, with his track record, is quite the accomplishment. Especially consider how he used to follow her around hoping for a look, hoping for a glance, hoping for anything from her.
And in those two days, he broke up with Rebecca, which wasn't fair to her but, really, he's thrown girls on the floor before for her.
And when is anything in life fair?
Because life wasn't fair when he showed up at the all Greek ball and she was there slow dancing with Evan. Life wasn't fair when she broke up with him two weeks later. Life wasn't fair when he spotted her heading into the Omega Chi house with Evan a week after that. Life wasn't fair when she found out Evan "rush humped" Rebecca. Life wasn't fair when she crawled out of his bed, slipped on her clothes, and told him their little reunion was just "a fond trip down memory lane." Life wasn't fair when he tried to be honest about the whole "fate" thing, because she hates liars, and it backfired in his face. Life wasn't fair when he watched her be lavaliered on the front lawn of ZBZ by Evan.
Life isn't fair whenever it comes to him and her.
So today he digs back into his memory, the creepy stalker part of his memory, and figures out where she is on Monday morning at ten-thirty. And remembering that English class he signed up for at registration last summer, the one he shares with her, the one that cause the whole midterm fate debacle, he grabs a notebook, rustles up a pen, and heads to class for the first time in three months.
It isn't hard for him to spot her. Her hair is down, in that simple fashion that he loves. The one where she brushes her hair dry as she curls up in bed and watches a TiVo'd episode of Boston Legal, the show he introduced her to. The one they used to watch curled up in bed together, her wet stringy hair leaving a wet spot on his t-shirt.
With Evan lying in the other bed, trying to study for some class for his political science major, and them laughing at Alan Shore make fun of the American political system. Evan had always said it was dumb, that Alan Shore was a communist who should be taken down in the same manner that Joseph McCarthy had taken down communists during the 50s.
Cappie had always been quick to point out that McCarthy had caused the Red Scare, that he had instilled fear in the American public that they too could be accused of being a Soviet spy, that he had taken away a right to a fair trail.
Casey had always told them both to shut up.
And Cappie wonders if she had ever watched it with Evan but quickly shoves the thought out of his head as he slips into the seat next to her. She's talking adamantly with a brunette in front of her and doesn't even know he's sitting next her until the professor calls the class to attention and she realizes someone's arm is resting on the arm rest to her right. She glances at him through her peripheral vision and then turns completely to look at him.
"What are you doing?" She hisses at him.
"Going to class," he replies like it's the most obvious thing in the world, which, really, it kind of is.
"Whatever," she mumbles back and cracks open her notebook, pink, of course. But what surprises him is that on the back of the cover the words 'Mrs. Casey Cappie' are firmly etched into it. Reaching across his own chest and the collapsible desk, he lifts of the pages to get a better look at the writing. She slaps his hand away.
"Is there a problem?" Professor Moncrief asks.
"No," Cappie tells her and the professor turns back to the chalkboard.
"Can't let go, can you?" He says throwing in that smug grin of his.
"Me?" She hisses back with an accusatory tone.
"Mrs. Casey Cappie, huh? Has a nice ring to it. But it'll be Mrs. Casey Cappington," he whispers to her.
"Yep," he whispers into her ear.
"Alright," Professor Moncrief says to Casey and Cappie. "That's it. You two out."
"Me?" Casey asks in surprise.
"Out!" Professor yells with her finger pointing towards the door and Cappie is not surprised that Moncrief would do this. He might have bribed the T.A. but Moncrief had found out about the plan soon after. She had wanted to know why he suddenly decided to grace her class with his presence and he found himself confessing everything to her.
And he does mean everything.
So he dutifully follows Casey out of the classroom and inwardly smiles at Moncrief's resourcefulness. At least, he hopes it was resourcefulness.
"You!" Casey accuses as the door shuts behind him, her finger jabbing into his chest.
"Yes, Mrs. Cappington?"
"Don't call me that," she snaps. "I have never, ever been kicked out of class and…"
"Really?" He interrupts. "Because I'd say it's about second best to not going in the first place."
"I need this class to graduate, Cappie. I can't have the professor hate me."
"This isn't…You didn't bribe her with two six packs, did you?" Casey asks, her eyes narrowing into slits.
"No," he draws out. "When have I ever done that?" She doesn't respond, just glares at him in that what-have-you-been-smoking kind of way.
"Okay…" he drawls out and she rolls her eyes before turning away from him and heads towards the exit.
"Casey," he calls after her and she turns back to look at him.
"What?" She asks with annoyance written all across her face. He opens his mouth and shuts again, unsure of what to say. Because, really, he hadn't expected her to turn around. He'd expected her to keep on walking.
"These boots are made for walking," he offers to the tune of the 1960s song and, surprisingly, she glances down at her feet.
"I'm not wearing boots, Cappie."
"Nancy Sinatra," he offers but she looks at him like he's an alien from Mars. "Well, I'll have to email you the song."
"Okay," she says and he can barely make out what she says except for the fact that his gaze is fixated on her. Okay? Well it's a step in the right direction and he's grabbing on it like it's a lifeboat and he's a passenger on the Titanic. What was it Mrs. Henderson always said?
Seize the day.
"Do…do you want…"
"Do you wanna…"
The both trail off and Cappie grins at her. He's got a pretty good idea of what she was going to say.
"You first," he tells her and she shakes her head.
"Do you wanna get a Cappie-cino?" He asks hoping that he isn't wrong. That she isn't going to stalk off. That she isn't going to walk right up to him and smack him in the face.
She bits her lip, in that way to makes him want her even more, in the way she knows turns him on, and nods her head, in that innocent way that also knows turns him on.
"Okay," he replies and then realizes how absurd they must look yelling…talking to one another as they stand at opposite ends of the hall from one another. And he suddenly gets it in his mind that he has to rectify the situation, so he walks…canters towards her until he's right in front of her, looking down at her.
"Okay," he says again before leaning forward so he's inches from her face. "Is there pie that goes along with this Cappie-cino?"
"Don't push it," she says. But she's smiling and as long as she keeps smiling, he's okay with her not wanting pie.
Really, he's okay with her instance that they go off campus for coffee. She's trying to get her sorority back on top and he's…he's just trying to make her happy. Trying to spend as much time with her as he can before he wakes up from this dream.
"Pinch me," he mumbles as he waits by the coffee bar for his coffee and her Cappie-cino. This isn't the coffee cart in the middle of the quad that he usually picks his morning coffee up from. Nor is it Starbucks, where the Omega Chis have an "official" table.
This one is off the beaten path, a mom and pop shop that has big coffee cups, kind of like those seen on Friends. The Central Perk, right?
It doesn't matter. Casey's here.
And she and him?
They're kind of like Ross and Rachel.
Broken up for the moment but in the end, they'll get back together because, really, everyone knows they belong together.
"Cap…" the teenager behind the counter says. Gladys had introduced the teen as her granddaughter, Hannah, who's going to be starting school at CRU next fall. Something about graduating from high school early. Something about wanting to make sure CRU is just right for her. Either way, he had mumbled a quick "CRU is a great school" and stepped out of line.
"Cap…" Hannah starts again and Cappie takes a step forward.
"It's Cappie," he tells Hannah with a smile and Hannah smiles back at him.
"Isn't your girlfriend the president of Zeta Beta Zeta?" Hannah asks him as he grabs the two mugs.
"Uh, yeah," Cappie replies. He likes the sound of your girlfriend. He could get used to this.
"I'm planning on pledging, well, trying to pledge ZBZ next year. They're like the best sorority on campus."
Cappie smiles. Not because he necessarily likes Hannah. (She's a bit young, don't you think?) But because he knows how much it would mean to Casey that girls are still planning of pledging ZBZ. That girls still think the Zeta Betas are the best on campus.
He scans the crowd for her. The coffee house has an eccentric mix of young and old. Students, non-Greek students, are huddled around tables holding study groups. Moms are holding casual conversations about their children's bowl movements as their children play on the floor with cars and Barbie dolls. An older couple is leafing through brochures about retirement villages. And then there's Casey, whose sitting by the big window staring off into space as she twirls a lock of her blonde hair.
Something he hasn't seen her do in a long time. At least, since freshman year. Maybe even long before the whole all-Greek ball fiasco.
"Hey," she says as he sets the mugs down on the table and takes a seat. His chair doesn't match her chair. The table doesn't match the other empty one next to them. And he decides this is the equivalent of his favorite bar.
The one that's off campus. The one that doesn't hold any memories of Evan putting his soul sucking lips on Casey. The one that reminds him of laughter, attempts to teach her how to play pool, and fun.
Because everything can be fun. And everything should be fun.
Except this place doesn't serve alcohol.
"So how did you find this place?" He asks before taking a sip of his coffee. Casual conversation. Good place to start, right?
"I'm not really sure. But it doesn't have any Greeks, so…"
"It's your equivalent of my bar," he fills in and she nods her head as she takes a sip of her Cappie-cino. "So you broke up with Evan, huh?"
"Did you ask me here to gloat?" She eyeing him supiciously in that whole I-know-your-guilty kind of way.
"First of all, no. And secondly, this is your place. I just followed."
"Well, I don't want to talk about it."
"But you're broken up, right? Because I don't want to try something and then have to go to blows over your honor."
And she smiles. At most, he had been expecting a fleeting smirk. But here's a genuine smile. One that could light all of New England in the event of a blackout. One that melts his heart.
"And what about you and Rebecca Logan?"
"Broken up," he mumbles with the mention of Rebecca's name. "So…why do you need Modern Comparative English to graduate? I thought you were majoring in physiology."
She had spent most of freshman year agonizing over whether or not to go with English or physiology. Many mornings were spent lying against his chest with him feeding her pie for breakfast and her struggling to decide between the two subjects.
In the end, she had chosen physiology and he had spent three weeks mumbling 'Dr. Cartwright' against the crook of her neck, the line of her jaw.
"English is my minor," she replies and he kicks himself for not realizing that earlier. Hadn't she once told him she wanted to write a novel? Set the world on fire?
"That's my major," he exclaims with excitement. Too much excitement in his book.
"For now," she reminds.
"Touché, Miss Cartwright," he says with a nod of his head. "Next I'm thinking photography."
"And what do you plan to do with photography?" She asks with a genuine smile and genuine interest.
"Take photos of you," he finds himself saying before he can stop himself. Word vomit. That repulsive action that occurs when he's around her. Where he can't stop himself from saying what's on his mind. What's rolling around in his brain and on his tongue.
She blushes, which is a neutral sign. Because, really, as long as that hot coffee stays in her cup rather than splashed on his face, or dumped into his lap, things are looking up for him.
"I prefer to keep my clothes on, thank you."
And he's kind of shocked that she would think he would take those type of pictures. (And even if he did, he definitely would not show them to anyone. They'd be his and his alone.)
But he's also shocked that she's joking with him. At least, he really hopes that's a joke.
"Never a virtue, in my opinion," he replies and the comment brings him back to the moment he first met her. He had offered to let her do a shot off of him and instead she asked for the guy with "the boring cup." The guy who had turned out to be Evan. But Casey had grabbed his hand, leaving Evan standing with two cups of beer, and she had danced with him all night. About an inch apart.
(Really, it was about five inches but to Little Cappie, it was close enough.)
And she laughs.
Until her cell phone starts to ring and she digs it out of her purse.
"I have to…" she starts and he dips his head with understanding. "Hello?"
And he sits there uncomfortable as she chats with some ZBZ about ZBZ business and she keeps darting glances at him.
Sort of like she's afraid of being caught. Afraid Macy or Lacy or Stacy will lean out the phone and see that she's getting coffee with him.
A Kappa Tau.
"Okay, Lacy. We can discuss this at the next meeting. Alright. Bye," she says and snaps the phone shut. "Sorry. Clothing bandit strikes again."
"Oh," he says like he understands. But, really, he doesn't because the only phone calls he gets about "official" Greek business are updates of when the keg is supposed to arrive, or that the house or a member has been placed on probation, or that the TriPis are having a wet t-shirt contest. Nobody ever calls about a "clothing bandit" and to tell you the truth, most of the time one of the guys is wearing his shirt and vise versa.
The only thing they all manage to keep separated is their underwear. Because, really, who wants to know that their boys are sitting…resting where someone else's had?
She's glancing at the time on her cell phone and he racks his brain for something witty to say in order to make her stay. But, as whenever he's not suffering from a dire case of word vomit, he can't think of anything to say.
He used to be comfortable around her. Really comfortable. But ever since Evan became the "better guy" and his life became consumed with the idea of winning her back, he thinks before he speaks.
Mrs. Dobson from Child Protective Services would be so proud.
"I have to go," she tells him quietly.
"Sick of me already?"
"No," she quickly replies. Last semester she would have said…screamed 'Yes!' so he's a little taken aback that she's so quick to say no. "My next class starts at noon and I need to get some lunch and grab a book that's back at the ZBZ house."
"Could I come?" He asks pushing his luck.
He hates how needy he sounds. Like he's a puppy who can't bare to let his master out his sight for a minute.
She's biting her lip and he's staring at her a bit too intently.
"I don't think that's such a good idea," she drawls out and he can't help but let his face fall. He might as well have just screamed 'I need you!' at her. "But…"
Really? There's a but.
"…But how about pool tomorrow night? Say eight o'clock?"
In the back of his mind, he knows that there's something going on at the Kappa Tau house tomorrow night but he can't place his finger on it. And, really, Casey's asking him out and he's not about to pick the house over her.
"Why, Miss Cartwright, are you asking me out on a date? Don't you think you're rushing this a bit?"
There's that word vomit again.
And Casey kind of looks like she's going to take the invitation back, so he jumps all over it.
"I'll be there. Eight o'clock."
"Okay," she says smiling and gathers her stuff. "Okay."
He sure as hell isn't going to be late for this engagement.