Disclaimer: I'm making this clear now I don't own anything in this story besides the plot.
A/n- Derek and Casey share and apartment thanks to their parents and one night Derek went out to a bar with friends. So it takes place the morning after and George and Derek work together and George gave his business to Derek
So without further ado I present to you "Morning After"… and George and Derek work together and George gave his business to Derek
Derek wakes up feeling better than he has in months. Aside from the slightest hangover pulsing under his temples, this really isn't a bad way to spend a Saturday morning, any morning, really. The room is filled with early morning light, the cool air in the room kept at bay by the warm body pressed—Wait. What?
Then he remembers what happened last night, and why he feels so damn good. It all comes flooding back to the forefront of his mind. Casey. It's Casey in bed with him. Casey's bare back pressed flush against his chest. How they'd gotten into the room and under the covers, he isn't quite sure, but here they are, and they'd… he'd… Oh, boy, this could end badly.
Okay, Derek thinks, options. Option A: Get up, move Casey to her room, pretend nothing happened. Option B: Stay here, in bed, with her. Option A is certainly tempting. Change is not Derek's favorite thing in the world, and not sweeping this thing under the rug will surely lead to change – whether good or bad, he doesn't really want to find out. But, he doubts he can move; much less carry Casey down the hall without waking the other woman. Which brings him to Option B. And, God, he's wanted this for a long time, and he doesn't really want to give it up, either.
Meanwhile, Casey isn't as asleep as Derek seems to think she is. No, Casey is dealing with a mental panic attack.
This will end one of two ways when Derek wakes up, she knows. If she can sneak back to her own room without disturbing Derek, maybe they can pretend nothing had transpired between them last night – although she is certainly never planning to forget it. If she can't, though, Casey will probably be looking at an apartment search in her near future. She quickly dismisses that – Derek wouldn't hurt her – and returns her attention to the matter at hand.
Derek had been drunk. Not thinking clearly… And Casey had taken advantage of that in order to get something she'd never expected to be able to have.
She feels Derek shift behind her, and knows it won't be much longer before one of them will have to do something here. For now, though, she'll stay in bed, it wasn't worth giving up what will most probably be her last chance to enjoy the vice grip of Derek's arms around her chest.
A pounding knock on the front door, however, was an interruption that neither one of them had been expecting. Whoever it is doesn't sound like they plan on giving up any time soon. And they don't seem very patient, either, for that matter. They hear the crash of the front door as it slams open, and then closed again, and, yeah, that gets Derek moving.
Derek is out of bed in a second, and he's pulling a pair of jeans on when the bedroom door slams open. "Derek! You need to—"
The intruder cuts her off, taking in the scene. Then he turns and walks back out.
"Fuck." Derek growls, pulling a t-shirt on over his head as he starts after George. "Get dressed; we'll talk about this later." He pauses to say, then takes off out the door.
Casey, still absorbing the shock that was George's unannounced visit, clumsily climbs out of bed herself, pulling on her own jeans and stealing one of Derek's shirts – as her own is suspiciously absent, probably still out in the hall. Then she slips out the door herself.
She can hear voices from downstairs, so she stops just before the steps to listen.
"—get to barge in here and take over, George!"
"The hell I don't!" George shouts back, followed by the sound of a fist hitting something hard. The edge of the pool table. Whatever topic George has come here to discuss has clearly vanished from his mind, for the moment. "You're sleeping with your step-sister?" George demands, as if he has the right to know that sort of thing – not that he doesn't know that already, anyway, given what he has just walked in on.
Derek folds his arms over his chest, and his brown eyes take on their trademarked Derek look. "I've warned you about-"
But, George cuts him off. "Oh, right. You've warned me. Terrifying. Listen, you," He points at Derek as if scolding a disobedient puppy. "You don't need this. You need to be focusing on the business. Not screwing around with some needy mental case that belongs in a mental hospital."
Stealing himself from giving into the urge to just strangle George now, Derek takes a deep breath. This has been a long time coming. One too many insults combined with one too Many demands mix together to start the insanity that Casey had predicted long ago. "You don't get to tell me what I should be doing, George. You gave me the business, which means I make decisions about it. You don't have a say anymore." He reminds the older Casey, preparing for the reaction he knows he'll get.
Unfortunately, Casey chooses that moment to lose her balance, tripping out from his hiding place to sprawl, very much ungracefully, across the floor at the top of the stairs. "Ugh… hi."
Derek knows George is seething with anger even as he hops up the steps to pull Casey to her feet. He has to wonder just how much Casey has heard, because she seems kind of… shrunken in on herself. He rests a hand on Casey's neck for a moment, eyes fixed on the other until George clears his throat.
"You two finished making eyes at each other?" George mocks, and Casey stays just behind Derek as they near the irate Casey. "Get out of my sight, Casey. Derek and I need to talk business."
Derek watched as Casey shrinks further into herself. "I ask you to-"
"Don't." Derek tells him, trying to prevent an all out gunfight in the living room. He pulls Casey aside." Can you go, just for a while? I'll come find you as soon as I calm him down. Then we can talk about last night." He promises, knowing George will be easier to handle without Casey there to taunt. Hopefully.
Casey nods, and she knows Derek isn't shutting her out. If there's anyone in the world that knows what George's capable of, it's Derek, and if he thinks George is reaching the point of no return, Casey should listen. And, besides, she wants to talk to Emily about all of this. "No problem, Derek. I'll go visit Emily."
Derek nods, and waits until Casey grabs her jacket and is safely in the elevator before turning back to George. Then, he prepares for all hell to break loose.
"What Casey and I do is none of your business."
"It is when it's going to affect your judgment." George retorts, venom in his eyes.
"My judgment? The only one questioning my judgment is you, George." He growls, sick of the double standard George holds over him all the time. "You're allowed to have relationships and I'm not? I'm not seeing how that works."
George shakes his head, throws his hands up in the air in exasperation. "You're beyond help. That girl has brainwashed you or something, gotten to you. You never used to be like this."
Derek sighs and runs a hand over his face. It's going to be a while before he gets to Casey.
"Casey!" Emily calls, marching up to her friend the second he steps into Smelly Nelly's. "You haven't been answering your phone."
She looks sheepish, recalling that her phone is probably wherever her missing in action shirt is, as it was in the pocket. "I apologize. I may have misplaced my phone last night." She offers her one of the coffees she bought on the way over as a second form of apology.
She rolls her eyes, but takes it graciously. "No problem. I'm just glad you're okay."
She nods, a glazed look overtaking her features as she recalls just how okay she and Derek were last night. "Most excellent, in fact." she edits for her. "Aside from the verbal persecution I've one again received courtesy of George."
"What?" She asks, sipping the delicious pumpkin spice latte.
"Derek and George were fighting when I left Casa De Derek." She clarifies, now unsure whether or not Derek would want anyone to know about their night last night. But, as her brain is going to explode if she doesn't have some idea of what is going on before Derek comes to get her, she elaborates. "I… I may be in need of your expertise, however."
Emily motions for him to continue, sitting down across from him at one of the desks positioned in the room. "What about?"
"You know him better than I do. Better than anyone, probably. Maybe with the exception of George." She says, wondering why Casey would come to her, of all people, about Derek.
Casey looks more nervous than before, and she watches her fingers press against something on his neck. Something she doesn't quite recognize immediately. "I believe I might've passed George's knowledge of Derek, in some ways, recently."
She pulls her hand away and she can now clearly tell exactly what is marking Casey's neck. "Is that…? Oh!" She gasps in understanding, staring at the suction bruise at the juncture of her neck and collarbone. "Way to go Casey!" She reaches across the table to tilt her head, admiring the mark. "Derek seriously did that to you?"
She can't help but grin at that particular memory. "Affirmative."
"I knew you liked him!" She declares, looking quite pleased with herself, as well as suitably impressed.
"Also an affirmative." she admits, the first time she's really said as much aloud.
"So, what's up?" Emily asks, and then she thinks she has an idea. "He didn't freak out on you, did he? Because if he did, I think I have a few dozen choice words for him…" She growls, prepared to defend her best friend, already reaching for the phone.
Casey shakes her head, stopping her. "No, well, no. There was no freak out. Not that either of us had the opportunity to freak out about much at all…"
"What do you mean?"
"This, "she points to the darkening bruise on her neck. "Is from last night. George came barging in early this morning, and caught Derek and I in bed."
"Whoa, wait. Last night? In bed? Just how far did the two of you go?" She'd been operating under the assumption of a pretty heated make-out session, but it seems she was underestimating.
Casey bites her lip, "The reason I was not answering his phone was because my shirt has seemingly disappeared somewhere between the hallway and the bedroom… Which also accounts for the fact that I have stolen one of Derek's shirts, even though it is entirely too big."
She's surprised she hadn't noticed the plain black t-shirt the second Casey walked in. It's not her usual style at all. "Wow, Derek works fast."
"That… is what I am most gravely concerned about. Derek was… rather intoxicated when he prompted last night's events." she stands, pacing back and forth across the room like a caged animal. She looks up at Emily after a moment, hands moving a mile a minute as he talks. "What if Derek regrets what occurred last night? What if he's upset that I didn't try harder to prevent things from getting so out of hand?"
"Is Derek even affected by alcohol? If he started all of that last night, he probably knew what she was doing." She rationalizes. Derek doesn't seem the type to risk getting smashed out of his mind when he has a very lucrative and demanding business to run. Or, for that matter, to get drunk and take his best friend to bed if he didn't mean to.
Casey takes that into account, pausing in his incessant pacing. "Perhaps you are right. It was just all so sudden. One moment we were playing pool and the next…"
"I think you need to talk to him." Emily insists. "Derek's mind is something far too complicated for me to try to get inside. And sitting here wondering whether he meant it or not isn't going to help, either."
She nods, resigning herself to sitting there not thinking about Derek until Derek shows up to get her.
"Get out." Derek finally demands. He's had enough. George just cannot comprehend the hardly new, but recently strictly enforced, 'Casey is to be respected, not mocked', clause of there strained friendship. Since the start of the conversation, Casey's name has come up numerous times, never followed by anything good when it's George making the comment.
"Derek, damn it, we need to-"
He opens the front door. "No, there is no 'we'. I don't have to listen to a damn thing you say. Now, get out. Come back when you can accept Casey's place here, or don't come back at all." He says, with a note of finality even George won't question.
"Keep in mind that the more people you have close to you, the more targets you have on your back." George warns him cryptically as he steps out of the door. And Derek makes a mental note that Casey is not leaving his sight for a very long time, and a second one that involved changing the locks and upping security.
"What a fantastic start to the day." He groans, preparing to go find Casey.
He knows she will be at one of four places. Emily's house, Smelly Nelly's, Amber's house, or the coffee shop – dependent upon Emily's current location. The latter three places he could run into George, which would be a very bad thing right now. So, he takes off on his Harley Davidson, and heads to check those first.
The coffee shop is clear, as is Amber's. He tries calling Casey's cell, but gets no answer, which only furthers his paranoia. He speeds toward Smelly Nelly's on his bike, throwing it into park outside the front doors, despite the no parking sign. And he's racing into Smelly Nelly's seconds later.
"Casey?" she hears Emily say, in a tone that suggests it's not the first time. "Ahem. Casey!" She finally barks, and then she hears Casey stammer out an apology.
"Sorry, my head is elsewhere, it seems."
Emily spots Derek hovering in the doorway and turns to her best friend. "Well, elsewhere is now here." She marches over to Derek before Casey can and folds her arms across her chest, fixing the Lawyer with a deathly glare. "Hurt her, and you'll pay…" She growls, so low that he barely hears it.
Derek nods; glad that at least someone is threatening to injure him in defense of Casey as opposed to just injuring Casey.
"Derek." Casey says, with her hands shoved deep in her pockets, looking all kinds of nervous. "Were you able to placate George's untimely wrath?"
Derek shakes his head. "If George bothers either one of you, I want to know about it." He warns both of them, pointedly. Then he motions toward Casey. "You ready to go?"
"Of course, Derek." Casey falls into step behind him after bidding Emily farewell.
"I, ugh, brought the bike. I know you don't like it, but I didn't want you running into George." He explains, when she spots the vehicle he hasn't touched since she crashed it so long ago.
"No worries, Derek. I can't crash it if I'm not driving It." she smiles, and climbs on behind Derek.
Derek waits for her to get settled, but notes that Casey's hold isn't going to keep him on the bike; he adjusts the other's hands until they're in places that won't suffocate him when Casey finally does start hanging on. "Ready?" He asks, knowing that once the engine starts they won't be able to hear each other – which may have been another reason he'd chosen the bike over a car. No awkward conversations to be had on a motorcycle.
He feels Casey nod against his back and he takes off. As predicted, Casey's arms start grabbing onto him for dear life.
It's over quickly enough, though, and Casey reluctantly relinquishes her hold once the motorcycle comes to a stop in the apartment's garage. Derek can feel her hesitation in letting go, her hands linger just a few seconds longer than necessary; not that he's complaining. But it does give him a mental piece of evidence for the conversation they'll have to have once they get upstairs.
They go upstairs in an awkward silence, the possible outcomes of their actions last night weighing heavily on the minds of both men. Both want more, but neither knows how the other feels, which makes for this uncomfortable desire to delay the conversation as much as possible.
Finally, after stalling as much as they can justify, Derek takes a seat across from Casey – who is perched on the arm of the couch. "I guess we should talk, huh?"
Casey nods. "An awkward conversation if one ever did exist." she muses, looking as if they've already had this conversation, as if she already knows the outcome.
Derek shifts, moving unconsciously closer to Casey woman. "What do you want to happen?" He asks.
"Not to be thrown out on my ass?" Casey says, in a sad attempt at a joke. Derek knows her too well, though, can detect the note of seriousness under it. And, really, it kind of hurts that Casey thinks he'd do that to her.
The look on Derek's face must tell him as much, because then Casey is gesturing apologetically. "Not to imply, of course, that you would do such a thing to me. My mouth is simply running away with."
A sigh and then the Derek asks again, more directly this time. "Do you regret what happened last night?"
Casey suddenly seems to find his shoes very fascinating. "May I inquire as to what happened with George?"
Derek is not oblivious to the tactical topic change, but he answers anyway. "I told him to stay away until he can respect that you're here to stay. He didn't take it well."
"You didn't have to do that. Invoking the horror that is George's testy temperament was an unnecessary risk." Casey says. "I know George doesn't like me. I can deal with that."
"No." Derek steps in before any self-deprecating thoughts can worm their way into Casey's head. "George has no reason to treat you the way he does. And it would have only gotten worse now that he walked in on us this morning. No." A deep sigh, as if a thousand pound weight has lifted off his shoulders. "I'm done enabling him."
Casey is still watching him intently, gauging reactions, as if waiting for the bomb to drop. Looking about as anxious as Derek has ever seen her, he speaks up. "Last night… you were… somewhat inebriated."
Derek, catching on as to where Casey was going with that thought, interrupted. "I wasn't drunk. I knew what I was doing." He says, and he watches Casey visibly relax as he does.
She slides off the arm of the couch, moving instead to sit on the arm of the seat Derek is in.
She's comfortable again, Derek thinks, glad they're past most of the awkward part of this conversation. Obviously, Casey had been pretty convinced that those four beers had seriously impacted Derek's judgment last night.
"I thought you might be rather upset with I for taking advantage of the situation last night, if you had indeed been too intoxicated, for not stopping you." she explains, eyes downcast once again.
Derek's hand lands on her leg, which is enough to snap her back into the conversation. "I'm… not mad at you. Did you want me to stop?" Casey gives him another opening to figure out just what Casey wants out of this.
A long moment of silence passes, and Derek fears they're drifting back into awkward territory before Casey finally speaks again. "No." she shakes her head, hand moving toward that bruise on his neck, which Derek only just now notices.
"What do you want to happen?" He repeats, now noting that Casey is wearing one of his shirts. How did he not notice that before? Wow, that's certainly a bit of a turn-on. He focuses on Casey again, though; they'll be time for that later, hopefully. Right now they need to get through this conversation. Derek knows he wants this to go on, but he won't tell Casey as much until he knows where Casey stands. She seems to be at a loss for words, though, so Derek asks again. "Do you want it to happen again?"
That, evidently, is a question Casey can answer. "Yes."
Her answer is enough for Derek, who gives a slight tug on Casey's arm, enough to send her off balance and close enough to kiss. But, he doesn't just yet, though. They have one last thing to get through.
"You know the risks of being involved with me. That you'll be even more of a target for anyone who wants to get to me." A pause, they're inches apart. "If you can't deal with that, you need to tell me now. I'll keep you as safe as I can, but there are no guarantees in this business. You know that."
Casey nods. "I know. I… I still want this."
With that, Derek pulls her that last bit closer, and everything falls into place. George doesn't matter, the business doesn't matter, and nothing matters except this. And they both know this is going to work out.