On an unrelated note: this is (probably) going to be a series, mostly connected only by the fact that each piece is going to take place in college (and the Dasey college has a NAME now! because I just saw the last episode a few hours ago! and it was GLORIOUS. and hugely disappointing. but mostly GLORIOUS!), but otherwise they'll probably all be stand-alones. There will also (likely) be some sort of gradual, traceable 'progress' in the Derek-Casey relationship, but I make no promises that I won't just arbitrarily decide to throw them into the shower together. (Previous fic I have written involving these two inevitably seem to degenerate into the raw human-alleyway business, so I suppose I can't count out the possibility of that happening again...) The plan is to go about developing them into a couple incrementally, via a series of vignettes in which they will argue lots and, over time, begin to realize that they (want to sex each other) belong together, but I promise to warn you ahead of time if they jump the gun and accidentally --and simultaneously-- misplace all of their clothing.
THAT being said.
In the first of the one-shots...I figured Derek would probably still require someone to keep his mind off of his nerves immediately preceding hockey games (see S2 ep, 'Freaked Out Friday'), and I suppose the idea I came up with (the one where Casey comes over the day before and argues with him to keep him occupied) to address that made some sort of sense when I started writing it. (Incidentally. I don't know what day college hockey games take place in Canada. I suppose I could find out, but I think I'd rather go with the Derek Procrastination Method and do that later. Or, you know, never.)
So. Don't own the show, can't explain the fic, have violent fear of Shasta Cola.
Read at your own peril.
::in which it is Not A Routine::
It's not like it's routine or anything.
Even though, because it's Casey, she shows up (all-too-predictably) at the same time every Friday afternoon after her last class of the day, backpack (and massive, bag-lady sized 'purse' –he still insists on calling it the 'McDonald Landfill,' or just 'the Landfill' for short) filled to bursting with all manner of Casey Paraphernalia (CD's, health food, school books, 3x5s, a full contingent of writing utensils –and their back-ups—travel board games, a toothbrush, a change of clothes, etc).
Even though, because it's Derek, he doesn't realize that he always opens with,
"The hell you doing here, McDonald? Oh, you've come to let me know that our parents are splitting up and we never have to see each other again? Well, that's the best news I've heard all week --nay, all my life." Casey is never, ever impressed, having by now established an Automatic Response on the order of rolling her eyes and shouldering her way past him, depositing her luggage (not her 'things,' that is far too innocuous a term) on his coffee table (where it often ends up blocking the view of the television, and even though he always shoves her stuff to the floor –and she always yells at him for doing it—she never seems to learn not to keep putting the bulky obstructions there –or, maybe she's trying to get him to eventually give up and just leave it all there, and just being uselessly pig-headed) and then heading straight for the kitchen to throw together some nauseatingly nutritious concoction while he slams the door shut and dogs her heels all the way there, verbally accosting her all the while in the hopes she'll Get the Message and Leave. (This always turns out to be too much to hope for.)
Even though, because it's them, it never manages to take longer than one-half to three-fourths of the way through Casey's snack engineering before he finally gets a rise out of her and they start arguing about everything from hygiene and study habits to who has the better taste in music and the opposite sex.
Just because they have a familiar, somewhat-maybe-vaguely-established 'script,' that doesn't mean it's 'routine.' It just means that it happens far more often than he would like, far more often than she realizes, and definitely far more often than either of them can stand.
Not that any of that ever seems to stop it from happening.
"Sure, of course, come right in, make yourself at home." He says to her back as she shuffles into the living room, ignoring the sarcasm as she dumps her (many, very heavy-looking) burdens on the coffee table. "I love that we're 'avoiding each other at all times at university' together now." He hears her rolling her eyes and lets the door fall shut while she starts unloading Tupperware (which, if their variously-colored lids are any indication, are probably color-coded --he is at once incredulous and unsurprised).
"Oh, please. You're allowed to hunt me down everyday at lunch so you can shamelessly –and lamely—flirt with my friends –most of whom are currently in serious, long-term relationships which it would be nice of you to try to not actively undermine, by the way—but I'm not allowed to stop by every once in a while –where no one can see us so that we can both deny that this unspeakable thing is happening at all—and check up on you for your father? I have instructions to come over at least once a week and poke you with a stick to make sure you're still alive." Derek doesn't know what part of the speech to address first: he would like to know how she manages to cover such a broad range of topics in such a short amount of time without losing track of where she's going, definitely, but there's also the question of how she can say so much without needing to pause to breathe…
"Yeah? What's in it for you?" She affects outrage.
"Don't be stupid. Oh, no, wait, I forgot that's impossible. Carry on, then." He narrows his eyes and grins derisively.
"Come on, ol' MacDonald." She hates it when he does that to her name. (It doesn't help that he after he'd realized how much it bugs her, he'd started leaving plastic farm animal figurines all over the place with her name markered onto them. She had not taken that well at all.) "As truly terrifying as it'd be to believe you'd actually come to check up on me for dear old dad, I'm not buying it. Nah, they've gotta be paying you to annoy me. That seems like the sort of payback they'd think to inflict on me after years of doing nothing but being on my very best behavior." She barks out a laugh and flounces toward the kitchen. After a beat, he follows her. "So, what is it?" She throws an eyebrow over her shoulder at him.
"What is what?" Pah. And she's always accusing him of never listening...
"The payment, Case. Is your allowance bigger than mine? They promise you a shopping spree? Oooh, or d'you work on commission? If I pass all my classes, are they gonna throw in a car?" She's making a bigger effort than usual not to rise to his baiting, because instead of yelling at his deliberate slander, she takes a deep breath and starts carefully uncapping the plastic containers as she lays them out on the counter, in an obviously calculated configuration.
The attempt at self-restraint amuses him. He's looking forward to chipping away at it till she inevitably cracks.
"Shockingly, the only 'payment' I'm receiving is the gratitude of our parents—"
"'Gratitude?' For real? I'd definitely've held out for the car." He scoffs.
"Gratitude is its own reward!" Derek shakes his head, chagrinned. The girl just refuses to be taught. "And now, of course, I'm also getting a migraine. Perhaps I should consider asking for compensation, after all. If only to cover the extensive psychotherapy I'm going to eventually need after having to endure you for so long."
"Be honest now, Case. You've always needed extensive psychological help." He's eventually going to learn not to goad her when she's got a large, flesh-gouging knife in her hand. Because the look she's giving him? Not as encouragingly non-homicidal as he'd like.
"The blender, Venturi. Before I commit a crime of passion and disembowel you." She continues chopping (meaningfully) on the cutting board and he decides it can't hurt to pull out the appliance for her.
Several minutes and a bathroom break later,
"Casey. What is that supposed to be?"
"It's a superfood medley! We've got blueberries and pomegranate seeds, apples, bananas, and blue-green algae—"
"Excuse me, what?"
"It's really very good for you –and tasty, too! And here's some broccoli and…" He tunes her out because he's not entirely sure he wants to know what some of this stuff is. How she can stomach the idea of eating algae…yech. Casey, Keener Connoisseur (--and just when exactly had that word managed to sneak into his vocabulary?).
"I can't eat any of that, you realize." Even as he reaches out and pops a blueberry into his mouth. "I do have principles." He says very importantly, and Casey rolls her eyes. Again. She does that a lot around him.
"Principles that forbid you to eat things your body won't later hate you for?"
"Hey, now. I do plenty of things to keep my body happy." She gives him a dubious 'oh, really?' look and picks up her artfully-arranged snack tray, circling the tiny island in the kitchen and making her way back into the living room.
"I'm sure your body will appreciate the reminder when your pee starts to burn." Derek actually snickers a bit at this, a little surprised (and impressed) at the spiteful nature of the comment.
"Naughty, naughty Casey." Something about the way he says it makes him pause, and she almost-doesn't catch herself when she trips over the floor in front of him. Moving on… "You've got a dirty mind, McDonald. It just so happens that I was referring to hockey."
She reaches the coffee table and bends at the waist to set the tray beside her mountain of belongings, and he catches the tag of her pants flipped out in sharp relief against her skin. Casey has this Thing about needing to have her clothes in perfect order, and he reflects briefly on tucking it back under the hem for her before he catches the impulse by the throat and quietly murders it.
"Right. Of course you were." She doesn't look nearly as flustered as he wants her to be. "But since we're on the subject, I'd say the inherent risks of playing such a fundamentally violent sport far outweigh any health benefits you might be receiving for engaging in such a demanding physical activity." Ugh. Textbook Casey. It was a deft, swift change of subject, though, he has to give her that. "And even if that weren't true, you undo any good that might be accomplished by participating in a competitive sport when you constantly stuff your face with pizza and chips and cake and candy and more pizza and now alcohol –don't try to deny it—and fast food at 3 am and—"
"Think I got it, Case." She takes a nibble out of a wedge of banana and he doesn't make the obvious joke.
"You're in trouble when your metabolism slows down, Venturi." She looks like she can't wait for the day. "Those boyish good looks will be gone forever…" She sighs mock-wistfully and then catches his gaze and freezes.
"'Boyish good looks,' huh?" She smacks her gaze away from his face and starts backtracking. This is more like it.
"I was just joking –no one really thinks you're handsome—"
"Now I'm 'handsome?' Well, Case. Didn't know you cared—"
"No, no, no! Agh! You know I'm not serious!"
"Yeah, but you weren't uncomfortable a moment ago, either. You're more amusing this way." She slices him a look sharp enough to cut glass. He rolls her a boyish grin.
"I am not here for your amusement, Derek."
"I wish you weren't here at all, or at least doing something useful, like…oh, say, ordering me a pizza, or doing my laundry, or! Ordering me a pizza while doing my laundry."
"Yeah, who knew I had it in me to be so efficient? Hey! Maybe I'll even pull out my old note cards and make a list of all the things you could do for me while you're here. I'll put them in order of their priority, and then see which ones can be consolidated—"
"Don't you ever SHUT UP?"
"Legends tell of a time before Derek Venturi, a Dark, Uncertain Time—"
"A time when fathers needed not fear for the virtue of their daughters—"
"Unimaginable, isn't it?" Despite herself, she laughs, and he takes the opportunity to sweep her all her bags off of the table with his leg, which he then props up beside the platter.
They end up watching a movie that neither of them want to watch (the only compromise they're capable of making is one in which neither of them win), so he isn't surprised that they argue throughout the entirety of it and that he can't even remember what the name of the flick was, let alone who any of the actors were or if there'd been any plot of which to speak.
He complains a lot about her 'Superfood Medley,' but he eats it anyway (well, the fruit at the very least –she couldn't really have expected him to munch on broccoli and algae), and even though he knows she wants to roll her eyes when he breaks out a bag of potato chips, she doesn't.
She does snag a few later, though, and neither of them realize it because they're watching an infomercial about a 'male enhancement' drug and teaming up to make fun of it. Derek is careful to avoid any real sort of solidarity, though, and scrupulously takes an occasional shot at Casey in between the cooperative joking.
As it's nearing one a.m., Derek has to nudge her awake a couple times before she pulls herself to her feet and declares that it's the perfect time to study.
When two a.m. rolls around, he finally gets Casey to relent and she pulls out a deck of cards instead. She suggests they play Speed, doesn't wait for him to either endorse or refuse the proposition, and starts laying out the cards. Trouble is, he's always been more a BS kinda guy, so he makes his objection and they end up playing War.
At three-thirty in the morning, Derek is drooling on the sofa cushions and after Casey carelessly throws (not gently drapes) a blanket over him, she goes to steal his bed.
She wakes him in the morning (after she makes his bed –but only because she knows he hates it when she does) and refuses to make him breakfast when he groggily attempts to order her around, which is the beginning of a short-lived, if especially confused, argument over who decided Casey could stay the night without properly compensating her host.
He eventually makes a bowl of cereal for himself, grumbling all the while about 'disloyal younger brothers' and their 'total lack of altruism' for refusing to come be his live-in, volunteer servant. Casey generously offers to take care of the dishes when he trudges grumpily to his room to get his things ready for his hockey game. He doesn't thank her and she doesn't ask him to.
She cleans the morning's dishes (and a few of the ones that've been piling up throughout the week, but only a few –she's not his maid, after all) and sets them on the drying rack before she heads into the little living room unit and starts packing up her own things.
Some ten minutes later, Derek emerges looking totally self-possessed (not that that's unusual) and casually confident, hockey stick in one hand and massive equipment bag slung over the opposite shoulder.
"Ready?" She asks patronizingly, and his jaw tightens. There's one integral piece of this puzzle that's still missing…
"As if I could be anything else." He says, and that's when he gets the Panicked Look on his face. She smirks as his stick and bag clatter noisily to the ground at very nearly the same instant, and then she's following him as he sprints into the kitchen to vomit into the sink. She's in no hurry to get there (he definitely doesn't like people to witness these moments, even though everyone who knows him is aware that they happen –and no one judges him for it), so she arrives just in time to watch him straighten and Not Look at her. She quietly hands him a hand towel and a glass of water and leaves the kitchen without a word, and it's like nothing at all has happened when he reemerges and tells her that she's looking particularly Alice Cooper today.
"Call later and lemme know how badly you lost so I can tell our parents when they inevitably contact me to know the score of the game since you, apparently, are incapable of answering your own cell phone."
Then, after the Obligatory Parting Snark, they leave together and separate with a farewell glare the moment their feet hit the landing.
It isn't routine because Casey likes routine, and she usually ascribes anything involving time spent with Derek to the list of things she does not like.
It's just…something she happens to do. Occasionally. Okay, most Fridays (only the ones before hockey games!). But only when she doesn't already have plans. Or...plans she can't reschedule.
Anyway, it's…it's volunteer work. Helping the (jerk-ish and insufferable) needy in times of desperation. After all, George had asked her to keep an eye on his perennially obnoxious son, and (no matter how loathsome and generally exasperating he is) Derek is a familiar face, a tenuous link to the home she misses, and he's (sort-of-not-really) family, besides.
And even if he seems anything-but-thrilled to have her over to his apartment, he never asks her to leave (he never asks her over, either, but she suspects that's just because his ego won't allow it), so she stays. In a sick sort of way, he keeps her sharp, and she keeps him…well. Distracted.
Which is the kind of the point, anyway.
(He doesn't have to know that she goes to his hockey games. Because their parents do pay her to film them.)
(I should probably confess that I came perilously close to having Casey keep Derek distracted in a more...interesting sort of way. Although the suggestion would totally have been Derek's idea. The slut.)
Anywho. One down. Who knows how many more to go. And one Very Sexy Sundae to thoughtlessly murder.