Hey, everyone! I thought, I'd take a shot at Dasey fanfic. Let me know what you guys think, if it's worth continuing.
A/N: This a future fic, so a lot's taken place since Casey and Derek graduated. What you need to know now: Casey's in residency, Derek's a hockey coach, and they're both living in the the old house. Hopefully, everything will make more sense as the story unfolds...
Part 1: Home, Sweet Home
Why am I here?
She was in her bedroom, which usually made sense. But, she was ninety-nine percent sure she'd passed out on the couch last night. She'd been so exhausted after another long, grueling, soul sucking shift at the E.R., she'd barely made it through the front door. Literally, she'd taken a few steps, faltered, and reached desperately for the couch. Then her head had hit the cushion and it was 'lights out.'
Casey shifted, feeling the familiar ache of overworked muscles, and looked blearily at the alarm clock: 9 am.
She couldn't remember the last time she'd slept until 9. She couldn't remember the last time she'd slept well, period. Ah, the joys of medicine, she thought dryly.
She turned back to her other side, ignoring the clock, the nosey sunlight sneaking through her blinds, and all the thoughts of chores and bills and papers she'd have to handle on her day off. She just wanted more sleep. She just wanted to curl up into a ball and sleep herself into oblivion.
There was clanging and she started, body jerking on the bed.
What the hell…?
Oh, Derek, she thought dimly. He must have gotten back in town early.
That would explain her miraculous bed relocation. It would also explain why she wasn't wearing socks and shoes. She reached up to her hair. Her clip, the trusty gatekeeper of her tight, neat work 'do' was gone, too.
Wow, she thought. He could be really attentive. Even to the smallest, most random details. An angry pile of dishes in the sink….no, he wouldn't notice that. But, apparently he'd picked up on the fact that she hated sleeping with her socks on, or with her hair bound up.
There was more clanging, accompanied by muffled cursing, and she moaned, leaned up on a tired elbow and whined, "DEREK!"
Okay, so she'd been planning on being much nicer to him when he came back. All bright-eyed and supportive and wondering how the training camp went –(not to mention he'd been sweet taking care of her last night, and, god knows, Derek needed all the encouragement to be sweet she could possibly muster). But, seriously, she was trying to sleep here.
And, what in the world was he doing anyway? It sounded like pots and pans, but it was Derek, so that obviously couldn't be the case. Not on planet normal anyway.
"YOU AWAKE?" he cried back at her.
"Ugh, moron," she muttered under her breath, "IF I SAY 'NO' WILL YOU KEEP IT DOWN?"
"SORRY! STAY IN BED!"
He actually sounded sorry. Derek Venturi actually sounded sorry. What the hell was he up to? She narrowed her eyes, considering, before pulling the covers from on top of her, and sliding to the edge of the bed. She was damn tired. But, she was also suspicious. And, when Casey MacDonald was suspicious, there was no slowing her down.
Her feet searched blindly for pink, piggy slippers, found them and then she stood—sore, but determined.
First clue? On the outside of her door. A post-it with Derek's sloppy script: "I'm back."
"Well, duh, dumbass," she whispered, rolling her eyes.
She turned away, and Derek's bedroom door caught her attention. It was cracked open, a hockey bag, and other luggage scattered at his door and spilling out into the hallway. She frowned. Derek was messy, he'd always been. But, he at least usually kept the chaos leashed within his own bedroom. Her eyes focused in on one worn, red bag in particular. It was his old practice bag. He hadn't used that since he sprained his knee.
Okay. She was beyond suspicious now. "DEREK! WHY IS YOUR BAG OUT?"
No answer. Just more shuffling and banging, and it really did sound like pots now. She was so going to bust him.
She ran down the stairs—covertness abandoned—as her feet traveled the familiar path of the steps. She hit the foyer, pivoted, and sprinted to the kitchen.
"Gotcha!" she cried.
She'd caught him. Red handed. Right in the act of…cooking?
She looked at the small pot, the boiling water, the smirking man, standing there wearing her pink apron.
"Well, good to see you, too, Case."
It was good to see him.
She never told him, but she always missed him a little when he traveled. Sure, she wasn't at home a lot—what with the constant, endless rotations—but when she was the house always felt so big, and empty. And, she just didn't have the energy, the raw him-ness to fill it up by herself.
She let her secret happiness about him subdue her suspicion, let him reach for a brief squeeze of a side hug. "Sleep well?"
She slipped away and pouted at him. "Great. Until you started banging things."
He opened his mouth and she tugged at the apron, silencing him.
"What are you doing?" she asked him softly, but with firmness, "And, why are you pretend cooking?"
He cocked his brow. "There's no such thing as pretend cooking."
"I know; that's why it's pretend."
Derek sighed as Casey's hands slipped around him, like she was frisking him, until one finally reached out from the pocket of the apron, unveiling a small, plastic package.
"Custom mouth guard," she read, "Molds right to your teeth."
"I uh…" He looked sheepish, "Needed to boil it to uh, mold it."
She rolled her eyes. "Do they make these specifically for idiots, too?"
"Derek . You're supposed to stay off of your knee for at least another week. And, last time I checked, you kind of need your knees to play hockey. And, what…?" she couldn't stop herself, couldn't stop her voice from rising in bemusement as she took in the scene: pots and pans scattered about. "…You are so non-domestic that you couldn't even find the right pot to boil water?"
"You have a complicated system."
"I had a complicated system. Now, I have a complicated mess, and no food to show for it."
She sighed and walked towards the fridge. Someone had to cook or they'd both die hungry and annoyed.
"And you're not playing hockey," she said over her shoulder, "Not on my watch."
He tensed, pulled jerkily at the apron, and yanked it off. Casey, meanwhile, tried to pretend she wasn't bothered that he was so bothered with her only minutes after seeing her again.
"Home, sweet home," he grumbled.
"Oh, stop being a baby."
"I'm not a baby," he said petulantly. He slumped down unto the nearest kitchen chair, a soft pout riding his rough, stubbled face. "I'm a man. And, I'm hungry. Now cook for me, woman."
She arched a brow at him, testing him with warning blue eyes, but Derek shrugged it off and leaned back lazily in his chair. "Then I'm going to play hockey."
No, he wasn't. Casey would make sure of that. But, she was too tired--and again secretly jazzed he was back--to confront it head on. She'd take care of that after bantering with a side of breakfast.
"Okay, idiot," she said sweetly, head snooping around the fridge, "What would you like for breakfast?"
He took a moment and she turned back to him, apparently catching him off guard; because there was an odd quirk to his lips, which he instantly hid away when his eyes met hers.
"French toast and bacon."
"French toast and bacon what…?"
She waved her hand at him expectantly, like at a five year old, and he rolled his eyes and muttered, "Please."
"Thank you," she said prissily.
She began methodically taking out ingredients: eggs, milk, bread…where was the bread, did she eat all of it? Oh, it must have been behind the...why was he looking at her like that?
"Why are you looking at me like that?" she asked instantly, bumping the fridge door shut with her hip.
Derek raised his brows, surprised at her interrogation, and shrugged with bemusement. "You're still wearing your scrubs."
She glanced over her apparel self-consciously, over the loose unfeminine hang of worn green, and frowned. Sure it was just Derek, but that didn't mean she liked looking like a train wreck.
"You look like a train wreck," he said with a laugh.
"And, what? You're Brad Pitt?" she said instantly, suppressing any offense, "You look like crap. And, you probably smell like it, too--as always."
Okay, so the smelling thing was unfair. Derek, had stopped reeking--for the most part--sometime in college. But, he did look pretty tired. And a bit unkempt. His hair, which he'd kept relatively short over the last year, had become shaggier again, messy. His infamous baby face was peppered with stubble. And, under his eyes were the beginning of bags.
He stretched lazily, nonplussed, and continued watching her. "Ah, well the kids were crazy. Worst than girls: 'Aww, Coach D, I'm thirsty'; "Aww, coach, I'm exhausted'; "Aww, coach, I can't feel my legs.'"
"And, you're telling a future pediatrician this…why, exactly?"
"Eh, just for kicks."
Casey hid her smile from him by turning back to the cupboards. She opened a drawer to her left, pulled out a large mixing bowl, and grabbed a whisk.
"How was the fifth circle of hell?" She heard Derek ask behind her.
She snorted. 'Hell' was Derek's 'affectionate' nickname for her residency at St. John's. She was a third year, could almost see the light at the end of the tunnel before her training was done, but nonetheless it had been and remained to be a pretty grueling process.
"Hell was fine," she said dryly, "Only moderately hellacious. And now, I get a day off."
Derek rolled his eyes and muttered, "Whoopie."
"Hey, it's a big deal for me, butthead."
She reached over to smack his head, but he read her and swiftly dodged her hand.
"Of course, it's a big deal," Derek said when he was resettled in his chair, "You have no life."
"I have a life."
"Yeah, sleeping, eating, and crying… how lively."
"I do not cry."
Okay, so that was a lie. She'd cried more than once. But, that was pretty much an unavoidable part of medicine as far she knew. She'd seen an ex-marine burst into hysterical tears in the break room yesterday. It was a tough job.
She heard chair legs screech, heard the thuds of Derek's feet on tiles, and then she turned to find Derek behind her. He reached for her chin, his thumb tipping her head up so her confused gaze was aligned with his.
"What are you doing?"
"Looking deep into your eyes." He smirked, kind of; it didn't reach his gaze, "I can tell when you've been crying a lot."
"How?" She asked.
He dropped his hand, and she shrugged, tried to sound casual. "Well? Have I?"
"Yeah," he answered.
That's strange, she thought. Since when had Derek Venturi become psychic?
She ducked her head and tried to busy herself with mixing. "Meh, well, you know…"
"You've been working really hard lately," he murmured.
"I always work hard. I'm Casey."
"I know, but…"
His cell phone went off, some generic ring tone running through the air, and Casey was happy for the interruption.
"One of the parents," he mumbled, his eyes shifting between her and the phone.
"Take it," she said breezily. She turned her back to him so he couldn't see just how unbreezy she was, "It'll be easier to cook without you distracting me."
The phone rang another time, and Derek hesitated before shuffling out the room.
Casey set the kitchen island for two, which was still-even after a year of living in the old house again--a weird sensation. Her memories there were filled with laughter and screaming, cereal bowls and rushed meals, dirty dishes and scattered work supplies. It was eerie to see it so…peaceful. It felt like déjà vu, like new experiences crawling over old ones.
But, then again, that's how she felt a lot in the old house. Like déjà vu, except….not somehow.
She could hear Derek in the next room, still talking down one of the player's parents. She hadn't caught all of the conversation, just parts: Bad grades…detention…groundings. Casey couldn't help but think how ironic it was, couldn't help but think of all the times George had been on the opposite side of such conversations.
She shook her head, unable to keep the tiny smile from her lips and set the juice pitcher on the table.
"Well that was the most fun I've ever not had," Derek said, groaning as he stalked back into the kitchen.
Casey scrunched her nose. "That bad, huh?"
"Worst. Looks like Josh is off the team for at least a month."
Josh. No surprise there. He was like a little Derek junior: never doing homework, skipping class, pulling pranks, sneaking out with girls. And, of course, he was the star hockey player.
Derek sighed and slipped back into his chair and Casey joined him, shrugging. "Well, at least it's early on and not the playoffs."
"Yeah, now there's just that tiny little itty bitty getting to the playoffs part."
He grunted, which she knew meant he didn't want to discuss it any further, and pulled his plate close, almost protectively.
"Um…you're welcome?" Casey said after he took his first silent bites.
"The thank you's implied."
"I'm a woman, Derek. Nothing's ever implied."
"Fine," he said, eyes flashing with annoyance as he glanced up from his bacon, "Then it's ex-plied, happy?"
"Explied 's not a word, Mo Mo."
He groaned again, a near whine. "I told you to stop calling me that."
('Mo mo' was short for 'moron', a name for him that was about as old as their relationship. A few years back, she'd shortened it to something even more aggravating, just for fun.)
"And, I knew it wasn't a word…Co Co."
"That doesn't even make any sense." She rolled her eyes and filled his cup with juice, then hers. "It sounds like you're calling me hot chocolate."
"No, see, I actually like hot chocolate, that'd be the difference."
He smirked at her, the corner of his eyes crinkling with amusement and she leaned over, staring at him.
"Does hot chocolate cook you warm meals?" she asked him, "Does hot chocolate do your taxes for you? Does hot chocolate…"
"…ever shut up?" he finished, exasperated.
Casey glowered at him, but Derek tried his best to ignore her and get back to his plate.
"You know, over the last few weeks, I almost, almost, in the darkest, most insane, most ridiculous recesses of my brain--almost--missed you. Almost." Casey said, shaking her head with disbelief. Derek quirked his eyebrows, finally looking up as she continued, "Which obviously means either: (a) you're finally driving me insane along with you in the smelly car of your life, or (b) I had Derek amnesia."
"Derek amnesia is a very serious disease," he said, pointing his fork at her, "It's no joking matter."
Casey rolled her eyes, and smacked away the fork. Then she grabbed her own and started on her food. She felt Derek watch her for a moment, and she could sense the wheels moving in his head.
"You're one to talk though, about not being in the house, " he said, cutting into his French toast, "I can have Casey amnesia when we're in the same town."
What? Casey thought. What did that even mean? Was he actually, kind of, sort of saying he missed her, too, when she was on her rounds? Or was he just being Derek, and saying nothing at all, just taking up air space. She squinted, considering, when a strip of bacon hit her square in the face.
"What?" He shrugged, that stupid, fake innocent smile on his mouth, "You looked confused, like you'd forgotten how to eat? I was just trying to help."
"Oh, I'll 'help' you, alright," She growled, leaning menacingly towards him.
"Oh, well that I'd love to see: Casey MacDonald, actually helping me and not annoying me."
"You won't see at all when I hit you in your face!"
She was smacking at his head before she even finished, and Derek took exactly one hit, before reaching for her arm, above her elbow, and pulling her to him, the chair legs screeching along.
"Oh, I just hate you!" Casey shrieked, as Derek bound her wrists effortlessly with one hand.
He smirked. "I thought pediatricians were supposed to be nice?"
"To kids," she cried back, "Is that what you are, a little baby?"
"Oh, oh, got me there, 'Doc'."
"You are so insufferable…"
She pried free and smacked him--again. Derek caught her and held her--again, both of them battling as laughter filled the kitchen.
That's it for now. Please let me know what you think :)