From the free encyclopedia: This article is related to Pavlov's Dog is Chasing Schrodinger's Cat.


Upon spotting the graphics Emily had printed on her place cards, Casey inhaled sharply.

"Wedding bells." She murmured.

Soft red-brown hair, unfamiliar white gowns, a hotel room bed and bad country music came to mind.

Emily glanced at her friend, nodded curtly, and returned her gaze to the cards and paperwork in front of her, eyebrow raised.

"Yes, wedding bells," she said, then added sarcastically, "Does that work for you?"

Casey feigned a bright grin. "Emily, I'm here to help you! I just…you know what a romantic I am."

This made Emily grin right back. "I totally understand."

Then her hand came up, poised for another showing of the ring: the cushion-cut diamond posy ring, inscribed with the words: "Forever with you". It oozed hope, uber-romanticism, and reminders of the puppy who, with that ring, bought his own leash---Sheldon Schlepper.

"Let's figure out what floral arrangements to have at every table!" Emily said, almost squealing with delight.

That's when Casey blinked repeatedly, trying to be rid of the barrage of memories inspired by her friend's engagement ring. A year and four months had to have fixed something in her wiring, right?

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"Should I have to deal with you right now? I mean, is this retaliation for actually abiding by your wishes?"

"Derek, it was Emily's idea that I call you about this, so could you just answer the question?"

"If I don't, what happens?"

"This doesn't have to be difficult---"

Derek chuckled, holding the phone away.

"Are you bothering me just to get a laugh?" Casey demanded.

"What're you talking about?" was his flat reply (an obvious lie). "Case, I don't care if I eat chicken or beef at the wedding. I do not care, but don't give me anything vegan."

"What if it will impress a girl, Derek?"

"Are you hoping I'll do just that?"

Casey took that sudden inhale again. "I don't see why you shouldn't. Some girls seem to have a thing for weddings. Not just faulty wiring."

Derek's brow crinkled briefly. "We're talking about girls, not electronics, Casey, even if many of them are easy to turn on. God, you're such a weirdo. Look, if we're eating beef and vegan respectively and sitting side-by-side, it'll make for good contrast and draw some people in. Emily told me that her cousin's going to be in the wedding, and that girl looked really good the last time I saw her---"

"That's wonderful," Casey cut in, "So beef is the choice, right?"

"Case, I'm sure there'll be a reedy bookworm in the throngs of people for you."

"Enough!"

"One who knows what the wedding cake frosting is made of---down to a science--- and professes his love with equations and---"

Casey failed to fight her smile, but felt relieved to be on the phone with Derek instead of face-to-face (dangerous), which would eventually happen. Thinking of their behavioral pattern over the last fourteen months made Ohm's law come to mind: the electrical current between two points is inversely proportional to the resistance between them. She nearly shivered.

"Derek, I'm putting you down for beef. I have to go and make more calls."

"Casey---"

"No, I really have things to do. I have to help Emily---"

"Okay, fine!" Derek wiped his hand down his face. "But you better not stick me at a kids' table, eating tofu, or I'll make you pay."

"Too strong of a circuit," she muttered. "It's definitely time to disconnect."

Derek shook his hair out of his eyes and stared in pure confusion at his phone.

"What do you mean, 'disconnect'?" he asked.

The answer was the dial tone.

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The bride had hired a DJ for the reception of her wedding, and Casey couldn't help but stare, for a moment, at the cables attaching the equipment to the outlet in the wall. They were too exposed, in her opinion, to small children with limited motor skills, and to spilled drinks. The electricity could cause some sort of accident, which Casey would hate to have occur at her own friend Emily's wedding (a memorable night indeed), and she could have easily gone to a hardware store well before the ceremony or the reception to---

"Case, I don't know if you've recently developed a love for Soul Decision songs, but the DJ thinks you're staring at him, and it's creeping him out."

She turned to the shiny-eyed Venturi seated across the table from her, and those large blue eyes narrowed, her mouth pouted, and she reached for her champagne flute.

"Be quiet Derek."

He leaned back smoothly and folded his arms on his chest.

"I don't blame the poor guy for---"

"Okay Derek, have your laugh. I'm looking out for general safety, and all you can do is---"

His eyes gained spark, and she ordered herself to ignore the sudden buzz feeling in her bloodstream.

"Relax and tell yourself that guy has it all under control. You might just make it worse by tripping over a power strip and sending this whole room into the dark."

The man beside Casey seemed to be squirming with discomfort. She leaned over.

"I'm sorry." She whispered.

He visibly relaxed and nodded. "No problem. Attraction is what it is, but…this is just the reverse of what I'm used to, so…I'm the one who's sorry."

Casey's bewildered expression drove the stranger to clear his throat and promptly leave the table. Derek was smiling in her peripheral vision. She very slowly turned her face in his direction, doing her best to scowl.

"Stop picturing me shirtless," He said. "This is a family event for god's sake."

There went that buzzing again. Casey was secretly very glad that everyone else assigned to their table was off at the buffet or the dance floor or open bar.

She sighed. "Derek, this has to stop somewhere, somehow. You annoy the heck out of me, and yet look at how things are between us."

His smile lessened significantly. "What's between us?"

"You don't seem to mind that…that we…" she felt her face heating up. "We end up alone and…and do things, and…Derek, I told myself I had two years to come up with a whole other system, but I came to this wedding without a date and without horse blinders, as if this is perfectly fine, and…" she fanned herself, tried not to shake, gulped some champagne. "It isn't fine, Derek. I'm tired of making excuses. This isn't fine."

"You were really unoriginal."

"Thank you," was her sarcastic reply, "I know."

"You would've put it down to hypnotism or insanity next, and really, the latter of the two wouldn't just be believable; it would---"

Casey's lips twitched, wanting to smile, but she shook her head, sending the urge away.

"So this is the attempt to disconnect?" he inquired, his expression now closer to serious.

She bit her lip and nodded. "I hope so."

He exhaled noisily and slowly, sat up in his chair and set his forearms against the table. Casey couldn't guess what he was preparing for.

"If there's a disconnection, how am I going to get excellent Internet access, hmm?"

She blinked. "What's your real point, Derek?"

"If every time you see me at a wedding, you want to jump me, then…maybe you're done for. Maybe the current shouldn't be broken," he licked his lips. "Don't you think friction is fun, Casey?"

She felt a prickling in her chest.

"I think that if it's between me and a smirking, immaturely self-righteous dummy, I've short-circuited."

Derek suddenly stood and moved to the seat beside hers.

"Sparks are good, Case."

There went the buzzing and the tingling.

"We can finish this discussion later," he insisted then, his eyes twinkling. "After we wake up tomorrow morning, we can rewrite the entire instruction manual."

Not consciously leaning toward him, but doing it all the same, Casey muttered, "What manual?"

"Don't you know?" he teased, head tilted, as he, too, leaned forward. "I mean the one about conductance and resistance."

His lips met hers, and she gave herself to the electricity, letting it flow between them.

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Three months later, at the center of a sea of plastic stereo parts and batteries and step-by-step guidelines, there occurred two hours of staunch resistance, and finally, another discussion.

"We're not calling an electrician," Derek proclaimed.

"Why? Give me one reasonable explanation."

He grinned then---fully, confidently, with feeling.

"We can handle the electricity by ourselves," he said. "especially now that we won't be able to afford that kind of luxury for a while."

Casey raised her eyebrows, curious. He removed something from his pocket: a phoenix-cut diamond on a platinum ring, followed on each side by sapphires. Never before had Casey felt more of a spark.


11.02.09