By The Way
Chapter One

"What do you mean you can't make it Veronica?" Mac yelled through her cell phone. She couldn't believe this was happening! It was Parker's twenty-first birthday party at the Neptune Grand. Surprisingly Parker and Logan were still together and Veronica was still with Piz.

"I am sorry Mac, but this stake out is still going on and I can't pass up fifteen grand! Come on!"

Mac scoffed. "But, you can leave your best friend here at a party with Parker, PARKER!" Mac sighed and walked out of the way so that a few Parker look a likes could make it into the suite and over to the bar. "Fine, whatever, you so owe me Mars!" Mac talked over the music.

"You know I love ya Mac Attack. Later."

"Yeah, yeah." Mac mumbled and hung up.

"What's wrong Mackie?"

Mac turned around and immediately regretted doing so. "Hi Dick." Mac mumbled and pushed past him to hopefully find Wallace or even Piz.

"Hey Mackie, what is wrong?" He asked again trying to follow Mac through the overcrowded suite. He didn't understand why Logan had to throw all of Parker's parties at their place. Okay, so maybe it was Parker's place as well since she had moved in last year, but still. "Hey Mac, wait up!"

Mac tried to ignore Dick's calls for her to slow down but she was too pissed at Veronica still to deal with Dick. She didn't even realize she had bumped into someone until that someone lent his hand and helped her up. Mac got up and looked at the person before her. "Bronson?" Mac shook her head trying to understand why Bronson was there, he doesn't know Parker. Or does he? She thought. Then she remembered, it was because of Parker that they had gotten together freshman year.

"Hey there Mac, how are you?" Bronson smiled and Mac couldn't help but smile back.

"I am good, and you?" Mac followed Bronson to the balcony where there was no one there.

Dick watched Mac and that Bronson dude walk out to the balcony and couldn't help but feel like he had been sucker punched in the gut. Then he felt some arms link around his waist.

"Hey there stud,"

Dick looked down and saw Bonnie's curly brown hair on his shoulder. "Hey there," Dick said back and wrapped his arm around her shoulder. "Having fun?" He asked as he turned his eyes back on the balcony and clenched his jaw when he saw Bronson's hand on Mac's shoulder and she was laughing.

"Yeah, I guess, but I was wondering if you wanted to go back to your room." Bonnie smiled devilishly.

"I don't want to leave the party just yet." Dick mumbled before taking a sip of his Coke and Rum. He tried not to chuckle at Bonnie's grumble.

"Fine, I am going to go talk to some people. Just find me when you are ready." Bonnie lifted herself onto her toes and gave Dick a quick peck on his cheek and walked off.

Dick closed his eyes and smacked himself for letting the fact that that Bronson dude had his paws all over Mac a few feet away on the balcony. Knowing that what he was about to do was stupid and selfish and completely wrong Dick decided he didn't give a fuck.

He walked over to the balcony and cleared his throat the best way he could and not barf at the site before him: Mac and Bronson kissing.

"Hey, Mac someone is on the phone for you." Dick lied. "Um, you can take it in my room if you need to." Dick hoped that she would believe him.

"Oh yeah sure. Hold on." Mac told Bronson.

Dick breathed in Mac's scent as she brushed past him and then he gave Bronson the look and chuckled at the face it brought to Bronson's face and then followed Mac into his room.

"Hello?" Mac said into the landline phone in Dick's room. "Hello?!" She repeated then hung it up and turned to Dick. "Guess they couldn't wait." She laughed and sat on Dick's bed and sighed, running her hands through her hair.

Dick couldn't move she just looked so beautiful sitting there like that. "Guess so." He finally replied and sat down on the other side of his bed, throwing his head on the pillow. "So, are you thinking about getting back together with that Hormel soup dude?" Dick laughed loudly when he heard Mac gasp.

"I told you to stop calling him that! His name is Bronson." Mac playfully smack Dick's arm, but laid down next to him on the bed. "I don't know."

Dick chuckled but patted her leg, somehow reassuring her that he was there for her. Ever since the summer before their sophomore year they had been pretty close. Not like Wallace Veronica close, but they were really great friends.

Mac turned on her side to face Dick and poked him. "I saw you with Bonnie," She smiled as Dick winced.

"Yeah, and?" Dick tried not to smile.

"And? I had no idea you two were back together!" She punched him and sat up, looking down at him.

"Like you felt the need to tell me you were getting back together with Brawny." Dick rolled his eyes and got up quickly before Mac could punch him again for making fun of Bronson's name.

"Oh my God, his name is Bronson!" Mac yelled.

"And his parents should be shot. Who names their son Bronson?" Dick shot back trying not to laugh at how pissed Mac was with her hands on her hips.

"What kind of messed up parents name their son Dick?" Mac glared.

Damn, she was good. I have to remember that she can give as good as she gets, Dick thought.

"Ha, I win. Again." Mac laughed before walking to the door. "Behave Dickie." Mac smiled coyly before walking out of his room, probably back to Bronson.

"Ugh," Dick threw himself back onto his bed and tried to forget about Mac and how her face looked when she was angry.

"Hello there, I thought you were going to come and get me when you were ready." Bonnie walked in and shut the door behind her. "Mac told me you were in here." Bonnie sat on the bed and took her heels off.

Dick mentally made a note to get Mac back for that. "Sorry, forgot. I am just really tired is all." Dick lied, he really wasn't tired but he didn't want to fool around with Bonnie tonight.

"Oh, well I guess I am just going to go back to my apartment. I have to go to work early anyway." She grabbed her shoes and kissed him. "Bye." And then she walked out of Dick's room.

"Thank God!" Dick said and walked to his bathroom to shower.

--MaDi--

Mac and Bronson were back on the balcony but they were leaning up against the ledge talking about where they were going after graduation.

"Well, there is this Software Company out in Nevada that I applied to, but I really want to move somewhere else; the east coast seems really appealing right now." Mac explained before taking a sip of her water. "How about you?"

Bronson smiled. "I really want to move to Canada, or travel the world before I settle down." He shrugged and faced the beach view.

Mac nodded and did the same thing. "Sounds fun." Was all she could say and she couldn't remember why she had broken up with him in the first place freshmen year. There had been times where they were in the same place; at school functions, but other than that they hadn't kept in touch. "Why didn't we keep talking?" Mac looked at Bronson from the corner of her eye and biting her lip.

"You dated that Max dude, but then I think you broke up with him because about a month later I saw you kissing that Casablancas guy at the beach. And I figured we were over, so…yeah." Bronson let his head drop and then took another sip of his coke.

"Oh," Mac said as she remembered that day far too clearly.

Mac, Piz and Veronica were going with Wallace to Dog Beach to watch him fly his airplane he had made in one of his classes. They had spotted Dick and Logan a ways off and decided to sit with them while Wallace set everything up.

It was getting quite awkward so Mac decided to break the silence. "I feel so bad for Wallace," He was having issues with his airplane. "He needs more thrust."

Everyone looked over at Dick who was laughing and obviously drunk.

"Don't say it," Logan mustered while failing to hide his smile.

Dick shot up and straightened his face. "That's what she said." Then he busted into fits of laughter once more.

Veronica smiled and let her head fall as Logan and Piz both laughed at Dick's joke. Mac on the other hand was disgusted at how Dick could embarrass her that way, all the time; so, she got up. "I think I'm going to go help Wallace." She took off in Wallace's direction.

Mac cringed when she heard Dick tell her to wait up. Stupidly, she did. Once he made it to her side they started walking in step together.

"I know you and me haven't been best buds but, you wanna know why?" Dick pushed some blonde hair out of his face and under his beanie.

"Not really," Mac rolled her eyes seriously wanting Dick to leave her alone.

"Because you both were so smart, you and Beav, and I could tell, ya know? That you thought I was an idiot so I figured my best bet was you know how a best defense is a good offense? So I thought," Dick finally stopped his drunken ramblings and turned towards Mac and grabbed her shoulder so that she would do the same. "The way I treated you and Beav was totally uncool, and I am totally sorry for all those things I said."

Mac looked up into Dicks eyes and knew, even though he was totally drunk, he was totally serious. "Yeah, okay. Accepted." She replied trying not pay attention to the fact that his large, calloused hand was on her shoulder and made her feel warm.

"So cool, you're so cool. I get it now what my brother saw in you." He said and Mac was having trouble reading him again.

Then Mac's breath caught in her throat as Dicks eyes closed and his head headed for her lips. She wanted to move, she did. But she was just so shocked. Then it happened; his incredibly soft lips crashed onto hers and she kissed him back. He tasted of cheap beer and Juicy Fruit gum. Then reality hit her, this was Dick, Dick Casablancas and he was drunk.

"Um, yeah okay." Mac rambled and walked off to help Wallace trying to catch her breath from the kiss.

"Oh that, that was nothing. He was drunk." Mac reassured Bronson, or was it herself? She hadn't given that day much thought afterwards until now. She and Dick decided to put it behind them and opt for friendship.

Bronson nodded and stood up straight, signaling he was ready to go. "I am going to go. Maybe we will see each more often now around campus?" He smiled and gave Mac a hug and whispered, "I've missed you…" Then he let her go and walked away.

Mac turned back to the ocean view and closed her eyes and tried to remember when her life wasn't as complicated.

--MaDi--

Dick had stepped out of his shower and wrapped a towel around his waist. He walked over to his sink and put some baby powder on his chest before grabbing his toothpaste and toothbrush. After putting a tab of toothpaste on the toothbrush he began brushing her teeth while checking his self out in the mirror.

Finally the party seemed to be dying down and Dick never thought he would be so happy for that. Then he heard his phone ringing; spitting out the toothpaste contents out of his mouth and wiping his mouth with the back of his hand hurried over to his bedside table and grabbed his iPhone.

"The hottest man alive speaking," He answered cockily.

"Oh I must have the wrong number then, I was looking for the dumbest boy ever. Damn it,"

Dick rolled his eyes, "Hi Mackie." He walked back into his bathroom and started to comb his hair with one hand, which he found out was harder than he thought so he gave up and threw the comb across the bathroom, it landing in the toilet. "Fuck," He mumbled.

"What was that?" Mac laughed.

"Nothing, what's up? Aren't you still here?" Dick asked while pulling out some sweat pants from American Eagle and a plain black tee shirt from his dresser.

"Yeah I am I was calling to see if you were still here." Mac answered.

"Yeah I am in my room getting dressed, I just took a shower." Dick replied while trying to put his clothes on, proving it to be yet another impossible task without using both hands. "Hold on," He laid the phone on the bed and finished getting dressed. "Back,"

"Well, I was wondering if you wanted to go grab some ice cream and head to the beach." Mac said softly.

Dick knew something was up; she only wanted Maggie Moo's ice cream and the beach when something was on her mind. "Yeah, sure. How about you come in my room instead of talking to me on the phone silly." He laughed before walking over to his door, opening it and grinning at Mac who was sitting on the couch.

"Oh alright," Mac rolled her eyes and grabbed her purse.

Dick bit his tongue slightly as he hung up and watched as Mac walked into his room.

"Ready?" Mac asked, bored, from Dick's bed where she was reading some Sports Magazine.

"Almost," Dick replied as he was delicately combing his hair to the side.

"I could have sworn you were a girl in another life." Mac laughed turning a page.

"I could say the same about you," Dick mumbled under his breath and then put some CarMax on his lips for they were kind of chapped from surfing so much this past week.

"I heard that," Mac snapped and Dick winced.

"I'm sorry?" Dick asked as he walked out and almost fell over at the sight of Mac lying on his bed, her legs crossed, showing off her creamy legs and toned muscles. Holy hell, when did Mac work out? Dick thought. "I am ready." Dick said, mocking SpongeBob Square pants.

"You're such a child." Mac got up, tossing the magazine aside and grabbing Dick's side while walking out of his room.

"But you totally love it and would be so lost without me." Dick held his head up high, ignoring the looks some of the people were shooting at him and Mac.

--MaDi--

"So that is why I am so confused about the whole situation." Mac finished as she also finished her ice cream.

Dick didn't know why girls made things so difficult. If you like someone a lot there shouldn't be anything to stop you from telling that person how you felt. If he had learned anything from Cassidy's death was that life was short. "Well, if you think that you still have feelings for him you should tell him Mac. It's as simple as that." Dick replied, also finishing up his ice cream. "Want my cherry?" Dick held of the cherry by its stem from his ice cream in disgust. He hated cherries. Mac just ate the cherry off his fingers.

"Yum thanks." Mac smiled before laying her head on Dick's shoulder wondering why she was so comfortable around him.

"All I ask is that you never get back together with Max, he is a jerk and idiot." Dick added as he rubbed her back.

"Trust me, never am I going to date him." Mac shook her head.

"Good, because he doesn't deserve you." He kissed the top of her head and wrapped his other arm around her to pull her closer to him.

Mac just smiled glad to know Dick was looking out for her. "Well, when is your first class tomorrow?" Mac asked remembering it was late and they both had classes in the morning.

"I have Accounting at ten o'clock and that's it, my Calculus professor cancelled so we could 'study' more for the final." Dick laughed. "Right,"

Mac punched him in the side. "Dick, you need to study for that final! It is your hardest class!" Mac looked up at Dick.

"I know, I know, don't worry, I will be studying!" Dick nudge Mac playfully then went back to rubbing her back.

"Well I have to go to that interview for the Software Company in Nevada at eight. Thankfully there are holding the interviews here instead of Nevada." Mac said, clearly glad that she didn't have to drive five hours plus to some building where she may or may not get a job at.

"Oh yeah, be sure to tell me how that goes." Dick said. "Well, let me drive you back to the dorms then."

Mac got up, even though she really didn't want to leave. "Yeah, okay thanks." She smiled and then they walked up to his truck.

--MaDi--

The next morning Mac woke up to her phone singing "This is Why I'm Hot". Mac groaned but smiled and answered it. "Hello Dick." She answered, still sleepy.

"Good morning Mac, ready for your interview?" Dick's voice was way too perky for six thirty in the morning.

"Yes I am ready, why are you up, you do know it is six thirty…in the morning?" Mac got up and walked out of her private room and down to the showers.

"Yes Mackers, I know what time it is now since you taught me how to tell time last week." Dick chuckled.

"Whatever, well I am up now." Mac walked into the showers and sat her bag down on the counter.

"You're in the shower aren't you?" Dick asked already knowing the answer.

"Yes, goodbye perv!" Mac said and hung up.

--MaDi-

Dick laughed as he hung up the phone and walked out to the living room.

He grabbed a water bottle from the mini fridge and then took a swig of it. He then stared at the fridge for a while until Logan walked out in jeans and a blue button up shirt.

"Why are you staring at our mini fridge deary?" Logan joked while rolling up his sleeves.

"I was just wondering if I will ever see a real fridge." Dick shrugged and grabbed another water bottle and throwing it to Logan who caught it and threw it in his backpack.

"I am going to class; you wanna go catch some waves later?" Logan asked as he walked backwards to the door.

"Yeah sure bro." Dick answered while walking back into his room.

"Sweet, later!" Logan yelled and shut the door loudly.

"You know I am still sleeping idiot!"

Dick looked around and then sighed. "Parker," He still hadn't gotten used to her living with them. It was like that one T.V. show every day.

He walked into his room and grabbed a clean pair of jeans, a black leather belt, boxers and a light yellow button up dress shirt and walked into his bathroom to shower and get ready for class.

--MaDi--

Mac was sitting in the waiting room in the Student Services and Activities building for her interview nervously. Her leg was shaking uncontrollably and it was seriously pissing her off; yet, she didn't stop.

She was nervous for numerous reasons. One reason was because she was always nervous with job interviews, this one wasn't any different. The second reason was because of Bronson last night. He had talked to her so sweetly and soft, just like he used to. And she would be a liar if she said she didn't miss him, a lot. The last reason was because of Dick. Mac wasn't quite sure why she Dick and nervous belonged in the same sentence but they did and it was constantly making Mac's stomach jump at the thought of him.

"Cindy Mackenzie?" An old lady walked out from behind one of the doors with a clipboard.

Mac cringed at the name. "Here." Mac stood up and placed a smile on her lips and gracefully stood.

"Ah, right this way Ms. Mackenzie." The lady stood aside to let Mac into a long hallway and to a small room. "Sit here and Mr. Kenn should be here shortly."

Mac nodded her head and looked out the window next to the other sofa.

--MaDi--

Dick was walking through the Hearst campus contemplating calling Bonnie to break up with her. Not that they were technically together but, he didn't feel right with her. Come to think of it, he didn't feel right with any woman except Mac and he knew why and he knew that that would never happen because Mac was against it.

He sighed in frustration and walked into the cafeteria in Student Services and Activities building and ordered a coffee with two sugars and three creamers. He paid the man and walked over to where Wallace was sitting with Piz and Veronica.

"Hey Ronnie! Wallace, Piss." Dick nodded at Piz, knowing he said his name wrong and didn't care.

"My name, my name is Piz, Dick." Piz corrected.

"I know." Dick shrugged and sat down in front of Veronica. "How are you doing Ronnie?"

"I was doing great until you walked over here and disturbed my peace." Veronica smiled and tilter her head.

Wallace chuckled and got up. "I would love to stay and enjoy this but I have a final to take. See ya," Wallace saluted and walked away.

"Thanks Wallace," Veronica mumbled and crossed her arms, sitting back in her chair.

"Me too, I have a class in ten minutes." Piz kissed her forehead and got up.

"Awe how adorkable." Dick rolled his eyes. "When are you going to get back with Logan?" Dick folded his arms as well and smirked. "It's been three years."

"I don't really think that is any of your business Dick." Veronica sat up straight and took a sip of her pop. "Come to think of it, why do you care?" Veronica eyed Dick suspiciously.

"Chill V, I was just wondering because you two are like good together or something." Dick got up and winked at Veronica. "Later," Dick tousled her hair and walked off into the direction of the elevators.

Just like on cue, the elevators dinged and out walked Mac.

"Well hello there," Dick handed Mac a bottle of apple juice and an energy bar.

Mac was taken aback, but then calmed down. "Thanks," Mac took the food graciously. "You didn't like stand here for half an hour? Because that would give some people something to talk about, the blonde headed sexy frat boy standing in front of the elevator doors." Mac laughed and took a sip of her apple juice.

"You think I am sexy?" Dick raised an eyebrow as the exited the cafeteria and started to walk towards Dick's class.

Mac about choked on her juice and looked at him through the corner of her eye. "No, that's not what I said." Mac turned her head to hide her blush.

"I beg to differ, you said, and I quote, 'The blonde headed sexy frat boy,'" Dick chuckled and looked down at Mac's face. "You think I'm sexy," He sang.

Mac rolled her eyes but Dick just continued to sing, loudly. "You're not going stop are you?" She quirked.

"Nope, you think I'm sexy, you wanna marry me, and you wanna fu-" Mac slapped her hand across his mouth.

"Alright I think you're sexy, there! Now shut up and go learn." Mac yelled, a little too loudly.

"Alright, alright, later Mackie." Dick grinned and walked into the building leaving Mac shaking her head in disbelief.

As Mac turned around to head off to her dorm her phone rang again. "Yes Dick,"

"You forgot to tell me how the interview went while you were basking in all my sexiness, its okay I have that affect on women."

Mac sighed, trying to conceal the urge to run into the building and punch Dick. "I think I did pretty well, they scheduled me for a second interview next week."

"That's great Mackie, really, really great." Dick tried to sound excited but let's just face it, excitement and Mac leaving Neptune for some little town in Nevada didn't sound well together, at all.

"Really? That emotion is sometimes mistaken as disappointment. What's going on Dick?" Mac felt worried for her friend. She thought he would be ecstatic for her.

"It's nothing Mac, really. I was distracted. I am very happy for you! We should celebrate tonight!"

"Um, yeah that sounds great. Talk to you later. Bye!" Mac hung up and frowned. She knew there was something up with Dick and she intended on finding what it was about.

--MaDi--

"I am so happy for you Mac!" Veronica hugged Mac as she entered the suite. "This is awesome, I have great news too!"

"What is it?" Mac asked as they walked into the suite where Logan, Parker, Piz, Wallace, and Dick were sitting drinking their respected drinks.

"I am going to the FBI!" She screamed and jumped up and down smiling.

Everyone smiled and got up and hugged Veronica, except Piz that is. Mac noticed this and frowned, walking over to him and sat down. "You know one should be happy for Veronica." Mac looked over at Logan who was happy for her even though she knew that it was eating him up inside, at least him was over there.

"I know and we had talked about this but still," Piz looked down at his drink.

"It's still hard, I know." Mac nodded sympathetically and looked over a Dick who was smiling and saying something to Veronica. And she frowned at the pang the site of Dick smiling gave her in her heart.

Dick had just told Veronica that she was going to totally kick ass in the FBI, they had no idea what was coming their way when he felt a pair of eyes on him, burning on his cheek. He didn't have to, but he looked over and saw that it was Mac. He just smiled and winked at her, causing her to roll her eyes. When will she see me the way I see her every day? Dick thought.