a/n This almost classifies as…fluff…in my vocabulary
In retrospect, (not that he knew the word before she thesaurus-ed his life) it should have rained the first time he met her at school that day. Or maybe there should've been a storm. With loud thunder and lightning flashes. Because there's always a warning in the movies- You are about to be royally screwed; kindly take note.
"I'm the step-sister you always wanted."
No. She's really not.
The thing about college is- nobody gives a damn. He doesn't have teachers breathing down his neck about grades, and parents constantly at guard outside when the door is locked for a little too long.
He also doesn't have an utterly neurotic stepsister constantly banging on about something. Which is totally hilarious. And funny. (Which probably mean the same thing, but hello, he's totally trying to emphasize the hilarity of the situation). Because that was one aspect he'd thought wouldn't change. After all, the said neurotic stepsister also happened to be in the same college.
(Maybe she went back to the alternate dimension she obviously was from).
The point is; there are parties. And girls. And party girls. Which obviously equates to "life". And as long as there isn't a klutzy step-sister in the scenario, he can totally live it up. And he can't really help it if the hottest girl in campus is also a roommate of hers.
(She isn't even home when he goes to pick her roommate up. The gods are on his side).
Before he manages to slam the door in her face, she's already wedged her foot in. (Yeah, he knows he has quicker reflexes than her from hockey. Your point?)
"You're home," she notes, "On a Friday night. What's the matter, Derek? Girls no longer queuing up for dates?"
He has several retorts at the tip of his tongue, most of them about her "queuing up" for (other) guys because nobody in their right minds would ever look at her twice otherwise.
But his throat is suddenly dry because she's wearing her bunny slippers. Those stupid bunny slippers which make her look like she's ten. And it's the way she says it, a sort of small, defeated, I'm-going-to-make-small-talk sort of way, and her face is all scrunched up like she's trying very hard not to…oh shit.
"I'm not giving up anything," he says and does a great job at keeping his food down.
She looks at him with that I-got-a-half-retarded-idiot-for-a-step-brother look, "What?"
"For homeless people." He clarifies, "Or maybe it's for the 'Save the Ugly!' foundation. I sympathize with the cause, but I'm a college-going guy and the price of condoms is off the roof in times of recession."
He waits a moment to let it sink in… "Are you calling me unattractive?"
He puts his hand to his chest in an 'I'm hurt' imitation, "Yes."
She's glaring at him, but while glaring she can't also simultaneously keep her face scrunched up in…in that way.
They both look back and…oh fuck.
(The thing is it's a common phenomenon that he's noticed. When both of them are in the room together, he finds his thoughts don't ever stray to anything/one else. Because thinking of ways to prank/mock/insult her seems to take up all his mental prowess).
He dimly registers the irony of the fact that he'd chosen Cassie at the party that day because of her…comfortableness in her…skin. That also apparently extended to appearing before (step) sisters in the briefest blue underwear possible.
(He's turned on, so what? He's a guy and that girl is just his type. Hot).
"I'm Cassie," she says brightly (and this is where the pre-recorded laugh track should be playing. His life totally deserves one).
"Pleased to…meet you, I'm…" Casey's staring at her bra which isn't really…bra-ing anything.
"…joining us?" Cassie's voice is pleasant, "Derek didn't tell me."
It takes a moment for him to process what she means (because Casey is staring at another girls' chest and-).
"No," he says, the horror not coming through like it had in his head, "She's my…"
"…Step-sister," finishes Casey catching on, her voice high.
Cassie looks between them. "Really? Is that legal?"
"No," and he can tell by her tone she's a second away from a Casey-freak-out, "We're not…I just came to…we're family."
Cassie sends him an unmistakable look, "Well in that case, maybe we could continue-"
"Yeah," says Casey brightly, "Continue. I'll just go. I have to…I have…" her voice trails off and she's cheerily waving goodbye (but her hands are shaking and her lower lip is trembling and her eyes are too bright and he's an idiot).
In two minutes he's shut the door behind a disgruntled Cassie.
Casey sitting in his chair when he comes down.
She immediately slides off (since when does she listen to him)?
"Where were you?" (And he thought they were past the small-talk).
She registers surprise, "At one in the morning. Are you trying to get pneumonia?"
"Cold shower." He's frustrated as hell, it's a specialty Casey has always offered.
Her face is a deep brick red, and she's practically radiating heat. He bets all that she knows about cold showers is from those trashy romance novels she hides behind newspaper covers.
"I…I should be going. Because it's late. And I need to…get back."
He sighs with irritation, "Look, you've already thrown Cassie out. And it's not like I'm going to be doing anything else tonight. So just say whatever you had to."
"Truman broke up with me. Over the phone."
She says it in a rushed, rip-the-band-aid-out voice, her tone even.
(And immediately bursts into tears).
He jumps back in dismay, "No. No. No. You don't. You don't come into my residence at one in the night, throwing out my lay of the day and then start crying, 'kay."
She immediately takes the other route (Casey McPredictable), "So that's what you're doing in college. Bringing blonde bimbos home every night."
"Hello, stereotyping much? She's a major in Marine Biology with a minor in Feminist Theory."
She forgets to even give that look (the one which doesn't tie his stomach up in knots. He really, really hates it when she- any girl- cries) "But then…what is she…you…?"
"What is she doing with me?" his mouth sets into a grim line (what, he isn't good enough for girls like her?) "Casey, Casey, Casey. Grow up. Not everyone wants satin sheets and champagne. It's just sex. Girls enjoy it just as much as guys do. She was perfectly happy with what I was offering her."
"A grand total of nothing?"
"At least I have the decency to make the stakes clear unlike your boyfriend."
She's shaking and he wants to make her stop, but he can't touch her, "You're right." She says quietly, "I wasn't doing enough. Obviously he'd get bored with the…teasing."
"He called you a tease," it's more of a statement.
She doesn't look up, "Maybe I do need to grow up."
(They are so not having this conversation).
"Look," he slides down beside her, "You're crazy," he speaks over her sound of indignation, "but it's ...you. Those girls for instance, want to sleep with me. It's their thing. Your insanely neurotic freaking out about everything in the universe, including sex is your thing. And no guy has any right to…whatever."
(No, he's not good at this. Actually, 'not good' is practically a legally culpable alteration of the facts).
"So if I wanted to…hypothetically…sleep with you, you wouldn't do it?"
It's a moment before he can breathe, because she can't know, she just…can't.
"Not unless I wanted to end up in jail."
"That's not what I meant, you know. I mean, if…hypothetically speaking…I wasn't your step-sister."
His eyes darken (because there's that one line that she's crossed miles back), "Then hypothetically speaking you'd be under me this very moment and you wouldn't remember who Truman is."
"I should go." She says again (he'd known she would). "Sleep."
(He doesn't tell her to stay the night).
She's in his arms before he's even closed the door behind Kaisey.
He pushes her away (standard, that's his motto, go for the standard stuff). "What is the matter with you? You're like a broken faucet."
But there's an odd clenching of his gut at the realization that she's crying for him. Still.
"He…he's talking to Jayla on the phone?"
"You know why he broke up with me? Because I wasn't home one day and…and Jayla picked up…and he thought she was more…everything. And they talk through nights."
He tries to make sense, but he doesn't do Casey's crazy, so he's stumped, "What do they talk about?"
It's only when she blushes and looks away that it hits him. "Phone sex? Truman's having phone sex with your roommate?"
She doesn't look at him but then again she doesn't need to.
He allows her inside, once again effectively ruining a night that had promised pleasure and is about to turn into a Casey cry-fest.
(Did he mention he's an idiot?)
It's an hour later and they've been finished with round one of her beating herself up with her shortcomings, and his agreeing on every negative thing she says.
"I need to learn." She says dramatically.
"Yes. I know. However, nursery schools have an age limit. That might prove a problem."
She ignore him (it's familiar), "Phone sex."
He doesn't have any words for that because his salivatory glands seem to have stopped functioning, and his throat is completely dry.
She looks at him and clasps her hands, her eyes bright, (no, god, this can't…), "Teach me, Derek. Please?"
He (should) say no. Because… (their new brother has her eyes and his hair).
(But her smile is too wide)
He goes to the other room to pick up the second phone.
In the first thirty seconds he realizes it's a bad idea. A very what-the-hell-was-he-thinking, he-should-look-up-a-psychiatrist kind of a bad idea.
(Because her voice is low, and he's never hear her say…. And he never realized Casey's shrieky-drama-queen voice could ever sound like...like this. Her words make all the blood in his body flow to a specific region and…and she's his step-sister).
"Am I doing it right?" And this is what Truman has reduced her to, a self-doubting, phone-sexing-her-stepbrother kind of a pod person.
(But her voice is so…vulnerable).
"Fine." He manages, "You're doing…fine."
She continues, and he finds his hand slipping lower till her words and (it's Casey) and his hand render him temporarily speechless. He comes just as her "De-rek (are you listening)" comes through the phone.
(He throws up later, when she finally leaves).
"Do you know Jason…? She's sitting on the ground, toying with the side of the hem of the carpet (and no, she's not fooling anyone).
"Jason Weiss? He's a winger in the team." She doesn't look up and her forehead is clear of the frown he's used to seeing her with, it irritates him. "He was benched for excessive obstruction last game," he adds unnecessarily.
"He's in the debating society," she says (Seeing through 'Pretend Casual Casey' is one of the services he does offer), "I…I was thinking of joining."
"I thought you didn't want to because the timings clashed with your poetry club."
She stares at him for a moment, obviously surprised that he remembers.
"You only freaked about it five hundred and twenty three times" (Twice. In three sentences).
"I know," she goes back to her appraisal of the fantastic carpeting (seriously, it's like each strand is different). "But, I thought…I thought debating might be more useful. Just in case I want to run for… an important governmental post someday."
"You mean, just in case, Jason decides to give you second glance." It comes out sharper than something he's pretending he couldn't care less about.
She flushes and she does this every single fucking time.
"At least you're keeping true to character."
She glares at him, "What is that supposed to mean? All your Psych Major girlfriends rubbing off on you?"
"No," he schools his expression to the standard 'bored', "The shy and sensitive girl with Sam. The perfect cheerleader girlfriend for Max. The rebellious, anti-rules girlfriend for Truman. Now," he ticks off his fingers, looking scornfully at her hockey sweatshirt (how could she fucking do this to him), "The sporty, confident girl for Weiss."
(He doesn't think any -other- guy has ever known the real Casey McDonald).
She picks up her bag, "I promised Lyra I'd be home before eleven. We're going out."
"To scope out Jason?" he doesn't care that he's coming off sounding like a bastard.
"Maybe." She said, "I would tell you, except the 'No Interference in Private Matters' clause in our joint McDonald-Venturi policy forbids it. Why do you care anyway?"
And then she's gone.
(He does. N't. Doesn't. Wait, what was the question again?)
Her glance slides past him to the girl behind. (And this isn't familiar or anything).
She's standing there, as if waiting for something, but he's done playing the fool.
"Is there a problem?" says the girl from behind.
"No, Kasse. Just a minute."
(And she's been placing him second best -if he's on the list at all - all along, he's just repaying the favor).
Her hand is trembling violently and she's biting her lower lip, "It's okay. I'm going. It wasn't…anything. I just came over…because."
"Because?" he prompts.
"Just because." She walks away
(Twenty minutes later, he's calling her for help with English).
She picks up the CD lying innocuously in the drawer. "What's this?"
He looks over briefly from the game on T.V. "Porn."
She drops it immediately and wipes her hand, "De-rek."
He allows himself a grin, "Home movie."
"The one we made in sociology in school?"
"Let's watch it." She claps her hand excitedly, and at these times he feels so much older than her.
"I think it might have escaped your attention, but there's a game on."
"Please Derek," her eyes are wide and innocent and…blue…fuck, this isn't playing fair. "Please? I never saw the behind-the-scenes."
(He's not sure his 'Man' card is still valid).
She's not saying anything. In fact she hasn't even looked at him since it ended (which is surprising since he's captured 'Top Ten Ugly Moments of Casey McDonald' in this gem, and he'd have thought that was worth a comment or a freak-out or a De-rek at the very least).
"That video", she begins and his stomach clenches because her voice is very, very wrong, "In which I was sleeping…" (why would she have a problem with that? That was the only halfway decentvideo of hers) "Do you remember that day?"
"You mean when you woke up two seconds later, and followed me downstairs and tried to tackle me and tripped over Edwin, who dropped his entire milk-cereal bowl on you? Yeah, I remember." He grins, "Good times."
She turns to look him straight in the eye, "Why isn't that there?"
"Derek," she reaches forward, "That's the stuff you live for. You filmed me sleeping and you didn't film that. Why?"
(It would've spoiled the video. She looked so…hideous while sleeping and the other scene would have lessened the impact of her hideousness)
He's not kidding anyone. Not even himself now.
"Do you want to know why," and now he's moving closer, his mouth set in a grim line, eyes dark (she's pushing him), "It's because…" (The same reason he's always home on Friday nights. The same reason his fridge is always filled with her stupid girly chocolate ice-cream. The same reason he prank calls her and ends up insulting her for an hour. The same reason all his girls have the same sounding name. The same fucking reason).
"You're my brother," she chirrups in, her smile hurting his eyes with its brightness, "And family…doesn't spoil important videos. And someone might have seen it, and my socio project would have been ruined."
(The next frat party she introduces him as her brother).
She opens the door, and can't hide her dismay at seeing him on the doorstep.
"Derek, I was just…going out."
He glances pointedly at her bunny slippers, "…In ten minutes."
"Why do you come to me?"
She stops while making her list of places she has to go to (he can give her points for speed), "Come where to you?"
"It's not because I'm compassionate. It's not because I always have the right thing to say. We end up fighting for the remote every single fucking time. And yet you come to me like I'm supposed to...I dunno...make everything better or something. So, why me, Casey?"
"Why did you always have those girls over?"
"Why do you care?"
She stares at him for a full minute, "I don't. I only came to you, because…because you were the only family I had here."
(...Aaand cut. A little more feeling please).
He doesn't fight (he's not sure he ever had anything to fight for).
He's going back (and now there'll be no more Friday Night Interruptions- A Weekly Series. Now he can finally satisfy himself with the Kaisey's, Cassie's, Casee's of the world).
She still wearing those stupid bunny slippers, on the cold sidewalk, in the middle of the night, "You didn't come visit me."
"Yeah, because you told me not to." He adopts a high-pitched voice, "Whenever you see me in the Quad, pretend you don't know me."
"…and I broke up with Truman."
She glances up at him, and the moonlight makes her look...stupidly shiny.
"I broke up with Truman."
He gapes at her, "But you said…"
"You didn't come visit," she says in frustration, "I couldn't just come. And then…Cassie…and the rest."
"The phone sex."
She blushes, "I was…trying to…live dangerously."
And he's kissing her before she's finished, and her mouth is opening beneath his, and her hands are…oh god, yes…and her skin tastes like he (never) imagined. And then his name is falling off her lips half broken, her breathing laboring. And then they're…yes, just there. Don't…stop.
They don't say much. that was their problem, they always said too much.
"That completes the sequence," he's counting on his fingers.
She glares at him, "What sequence. I swear to you, if you don't stop talking…"
"Casee Kace Caisie Kacey Cacy Caisee Kaycee Casie Cacey Kasey…and now Casey."
She hits him. Hard. "Derek, you are the most annoying step-brother."
"I thought it was brother."
And then he's not thinking anymore because she's kissing him, "Only if you're a moron."