A/N - This is the final chapter! I know, it took forever, but at least I finished it, right? Right?
*crickets* Okay then...
Thank you to everyone who read, favourited and reviewed this story. I'm so sorry that my muse took it's own sweet time. The ending is a different approach to how other fics in this fandom are, so I ask that you don't light the pitchforks just yet.
Thanks all :)
Cappie sighed. There was nothing better than placing a bag of frozen peas on a bruised eye. It made him feel like a warrior who had just survived a particularly dangerous battle against Dr Evil who is essentially the Doctor of all things evil; which is, in his mind, worse than a dentist armed with a drill. He pressed the bag lightly against the top of his cheek, letting the cool soothing feeling of numbness take over the throbbing pain. Slowly, he leaned to the side so his head could fall against the staircase railings, his eyes closing in relaxation.
"What is wrong with you?"
He winced. Yup, that's not a nice sound to wake up to. Looking up, he viewed a very unhappy, a very annoyed, a very pissed Casey. "You know," he groaned out, "many people have asked that same question while none have found the right answer."
She simply pursed her lips. "Don't joke. This is not the time for joking."
He blinked at her. "I was being serious."
She glared at him before she let out a tired sigh, her shoulders slumping in defeat. "Scoot over."
Determined not to incur further wrath from this woman, Cappie shifted on the steps of ZBZ, allowing her to sit right beside him.
Casey sighed as she shook her head in disbelief. "Every time I turn around you and Evan are having it out. Is there some alpha male tendency that you both have to beat the crap out of each other? Because ruining my life so the two of you could limp on home doesn't sound like the best way to spend your time."
Cappie smiled. "If you thought this is bad, you should have seen the other guy."
She glared at him. "I did see the other guy. And he looked just as bad as you."
"Are you kidding me? He doesn't have this face."
Her lips quirked at his obvious snide remark that hinted not so subtly at his looks as compared to Chambers. He liked when she did that, it meant he could still make her smile. But when her glance fell on him, that small smile was gone. "I just don't get it. After all these years why can't you and Evan go back to being friends?"
"Are you and Evan friends?"
"Yes," she said with an earnest nod.
Cappie swallowed, hoping the lump in his throat would go down. "Are we friends?"
She suddenly looked at him with her eyes wide. "We...I would like us to be friends."
"And only friends?"
She looked away. "Cap..."
"Because if it's only friends..." He dropped the bag of frozen peas so he could look at her, really look at her. "I can do that. Just friends."
She stared at him in a way that he could have sworn that she seemed upset by his answer. "Good. That's good."
"Great." He shifted towards her. "Just one thing. As your friend, can I request something?"
She shrugged half-heartedly, her expression curious. "Sure. Anything."
Channelling every single Superman movie in his arsenal, Cappie leaned forward and gently brushed his lips against hers. Her lips parted with a gasp but he didn't take the invitation, he leaned back instead, already regretting the decision not to kiss her in such a way that she would forget her name. "Don't let anyone treat you the way I did." Dropping his gaze away from hers, he stood up shakily and started heading towards the door to let himself out; all the while determined not to look back at her.
Cappie groaned as he stepped out into the sun, blinking at the ridiculous hundred watt light that was streaming through his eyelids to burn the retinas of his eyes. After so many hours of staring at a paper with words dancing along like tiny black smirfs, the sunlight did nothing to ease his way back into the life of the living. Smacking his lips with the need for coffee, Cappie adjusted the leather strap of his backpack on his shoulders and started heading for the coffee cart on campus. He was so zoned into that one kid with the apron and the wondrous mug he was holding that he didn't notice the blonde who was standing right next that said kid, getting her own coffee.
He blinked, automatically shifting from one foot to the other. "Hey."
They both looked away, he to give his order and she to stir the darn thing in her hand.
"So I-" "Is it-"
They stopped, a nervous laugh escaping them both.
"You first," Cappie said with a bow.
Casey's smile was unsure. "Is it true you're graduating?"
He suddenly looked away, finding the progress of his coffee extremely interesting. "If that is what the school board says."
"That's what everyone says."
He stayed silent, his eyes scanning the grounds for possible distractions.
He looked at her. "What?"
"What changed? What made you think to yourself, 'I need to graduate this year'?"
He opened his mouth, and then closed it. Opened it again, closed it again, and then smiled sheepishly. "It's just time." He shrugged.
She narrowed her eyes at him. "Time? It's just...time?"
Her eyes narrowed further as she glared at him suspiciously. "You're lying."
He let out a nervous laugh. "No, I'm not.
"Yes, you are."
"No, I'm not."
"Yes, you are."
"No, I'm not."
"No you're not."
"Yes, I'm...Ha-ha...You nearly had me there, Cartwright." Her smile was small but it made him want to kiss her nonetheless.
Casey shifted suddenly. "I got into Law school."
"Oh?" he asked in fake surprise.
"Yeah. Here actually. Good ol' Cyprus Rhodes."
He smiled at her sincerely. "That's great, Case. Congrats."
"Thanks." She shifted again, her eyes meeting his cautiously. "And what are you going to do now that you're finally done? Are you leaving?"
He took the cup of coffee from the kid and stared at it in contemplation. "Err...I guess will be going to graduate school too."
Casey chose that moment to take a sip; a sip that she choked down to stare at him incredulously. "You're going to Graduate school? You? Where? To study what?"
"Well," he began in his best logical tone. "I'll be studying Philosophy and I will be studying it...here." He took a quick sip as he watched her eyes widen.
"You...You will be...Here and...I will be..." Casey eyed him in confusion. "So for the next few years we will both be in Cyprus. Together. Studying. In Cyprus. Together?"
Cappie grinned, absolutely loving the fact that he could make her speechless without having to kiss her. "I guess that's how it's going to be." He paused. "Friend."
The sparkle that had come into her eyes during those past few seconds dimmed slightly. "That's great...friend." She suddenly looked around, her whole demeanour edgy. "So I guess I better go."
She glanced at him one last time before turning to leave. "Bye."
Cappie tried to hold it in, but he couldn't. "Case..."
She stopped, her eyes studying him hopefully. "Yeah?"
"Do you want to get dinner some time? As friends?"
Maybe it was the cheeky grin he sported or the fact that he was showing her that he had not really changed at all, but whatever it was, it made her laugh. "Sure, Cap. Dinner."
Saluting his coffee at her, he waited until she saluted back and started heading off. Cappie watched her as he took a sip of the coffee that was too bitter. But he didn't quite notice. He was looking forward to starting it all from the beginning with Casey, but with no fraternities or sororities and no Chambers. He had a feeling he was going to like opening this new chapter in his life. And he couldn't have done it without one Rusty Cartwright. Had Spitter never pushed him into it, he would have never had such a brilliant plan to get the girl.
And get the girl he would, or his name wasn't Cappie The Great, the true President of Kappa Tau Gamma! (He had another name, but he rather not think about that right now)