Hey, so this is a sequel to my story This Night. I had written that story before VWD came out, and I was pleased that it could still fit within the movie's events. Anyway, this happens two years later, when Casey returns from New York after living out her dream and comes back to Queen's .. and Derek.
The first time she sees him she's not sure what to think. Though, that's not true. She thinks he hasn't changed at all, and honestly that should infuriate her. She had pipe dreams about him going to college and changing for the better as a person. But that wasn't what she really thought. That's just what she tells herself she would think when she saw him again.
But now seeing him there, standing on the campus grass with his friends with a lazy smirk gracing his features, any kind of thought process becomes null and void. She only feels. She only feels the way her throat seizes, the way her breath hitches and the way suddenly, she's hearing faint sounds of water and waves pushing and pulling beneath the pier.
Like it did that night.
She feels the urgency that she knew he too felt that night, coursing through her veins and she bites her lip worriedly. She thought she had prepared for this moment, but it was clear she was in over her head the moment he turns to meet her gaze.
It kills her when he looks away, his almost girlish eyelashes fanning his cheeks. But then he looks at her again, his eyes darkening in a way they only did once that night and she's back to life. She tries to smile, but it disappears within a second and she's running away.
The second time she sees him, she thinks she's successfully hidden from him but she's horribly wrong.
"Was that you that I saw running like a crazy person?" His eyes are crinkled at the sides and he's smiling. Part of her is relieved because two years doesn't seem to have changed his way of speaking to her, yet part of her is irritated because she's not really sure what she expected him to say.
She's not really sure he expected to ever see her again.
She wouldn't have blamed him - even though she made him promise to always be in each other's lives, she took up and left with Jesse without so much as an explanation or the strained physical contact they practiced in front of their parents. She just stood there with her grandmother, explained that she was going off to New York and she could only avert her gaze when she noticed his hand form a fist and his face blanken.
So yes, she certainly wouldn't blame him if he cursed her existence (for real this time) and only thought of her as his annoying, keener step-sister (he already did, but there had been so much more).
She takes solace in the fact that he's not chewing her out for basically running away from whatever it is they shared that night, even if they had sworn to never talk about it. More importantly, to never repeat it.
It's not like she went with Jesse because of what happened, the choreographer had already approached them and she had been estatic. For some reason, the first person she had wanted to tell was Derek. He would tell her that he'd gladly take her spot at her all girls residence, and that he hopes she and twinkle toes don't fizzle out lest he has to see her again.
However, it went in an entirely different direction that ended up irrevocably changing their relationship.
So for him to call her a crazy person like the last two years didn't happen, is puzzling.
"Oh," she says, slightly out a breath with a nervous laugh, "Hey, Der, didn't see you there." She frowns, did she really have to rhyme?
"I was under the impression you did, seeing as you totally bolted." He crosses his arms, in that typical like, 'jeeze Casey, are you an idiot or something?' motion and she doesn't even feel the urge to roll her eyes like she normally would have. He just looks so handsome and more mature and her current state of breathlessness isn't only caused by her running like a crazy person.
She leans against the beige brick wall, and gazes up at the top of the arch they're standing under. She feels sort of lost, because they're certainly not at home or London and the whole unfamiliarity of the situation is knocking her down a peg or two. She really wants to say something to him, like why she left or why she didn't contact him, or why she's suddenly here (or how her heart is thundering in her chest because of his presence).
But she's nervous. And it's Derek. This doesn't make sense.
"Can you explain something to me?" he says, cutting into the momentarily silence caused by her decidedly lack of a response. She nods quickly, giving him the control because she's clearly lost all of it the moment she ran away.
"If my eyes don't fool me, we're standing in the middle of campus right now. Queen's campus to be exact." he lets his arms fall and begins to pace in front of her. Her eyes fall to his backside and she blushes because she's never blatantly checked him out before. The blush deepens when she looks up and he's smirking.
"And, while I remember a time when you were supposed to be here, that all about changed, didn't it Case?" She's surprised to hear no bitterness in his voice, and her heart falls for a moment before she sees that his eyes have lost some of the warmth he was regarding her with earlier.
"So...?" he waves his arms, gesturing to her and their location, as if to ask her what the hell she's doing there.
"So, I'm back!" she says, and she knows she hasn't mistaken that crack in her voice.
"You're back." he replies dryly, looking at her with a deadpanned expression.
"Yup. Back here. At Queen's of course," she giggles awkwardly, "Starting second year and all."
His eyes narrow and she swallows. This was just weird. Like, they didn't know each other weird, and their conversation was admittedly strained and uncomfortable.
"Where are you staying?"
"You know, where are you going to crash, take up residence, and anally clean everything daily." He explains in a slower voice.
"Ugh! Don't even get me started on that. They're taking a really, really long time to process my residence application - obviously because it's already welcome week and I haven't been assigned a room yet and it's a whole entire mess and I'm not sure what I'm going to do. I mean really, can't the administration be more competent at the university level?" She's breathing hard, her face turning red and he's just watching her amused.
"It's good to see you, Casey." he says in a softer than normal voice, but with an edge to it, and she looks at him directly to see a smile playing at his lips and she can't help but smile back. He completely ignored what she said, but he managed to calm her in about the same time she began to freak out.
She wonders if she should repeat the sentiment, and maybe even reach out to hug him, but she's not certain of the rules of their relationship anymore. Do they act exactly like they did before that night, or are the lines blurred now?
Instead, she opts to nod slowly, a brilliant smile spreading across her face. "It's good to be home, Derek, even if it's not London."
She kind of regrets saying that, because she somehow knows he'll take that to mean she feels at home wherever he is.
And he does.
What she doesn't know is that Derek sort of, kind of, feels exactly the same way about her. He takes in a breath to hide the smile threatening to overtake his face, and he begins to walk.
"Wait, where are you going?" She freaks out for a second because she thinks that maybe he's left her to fend for herself (and left her for good).
He turns and raises his eyebrow, "Girls naturally follow me, so I was kind of expecting..."
She has to roll her eyes this time, and jogs up to catch up with him. Falling into step, she looks up at him and notices the bright September sunlight playing with the amber strands in his hair.
It scares her that her feelings haven't changed.
And it only occurs to her then that she had been scared this entire time, that she had left not only to pursue her dreams, but to throw away the feelings she had for him. Because if she was honest with herself, she'd realize that she couldn't possibly be around Derek, knowing what they both knew about each other.
It wasn't simply about the temptation of repeating what they did that night, it was more about the hurt that accompanied that temptation of knowing that they couldn't.
She's sitting on his couch, and he's a little (a lot) concerned that he's only now checking her out.
She hasn't changed very much, except that she's grown out her hair again and he's really happy about that for some reason. That summer was short haired Casey, and the Casey he said certain things to and could never take back.
Her lips are moving and sounds are coming out he's sure, but he's taking in the way they're glistening and plump and just about making him crazy.
He feels his pants tighten just as she screeches, "Are you even listening to me? God, you haven't changed at all." But that crazy light in her eyes that she gets when she's angry sort of dissipates and she adjusts her position on the couch.
He realizes it's because she knows exactly what he's feeling right now. They're able to read each other just a little too well, especially after, well, that night. It seems exhaustive to think about it so much, but it felt like everything returned to that night, because it was when they opened up to each other and the last time they really spoke to each other, on volumes they'd never gone to before.
Breathing in, Derek clears his throat and looks away. "Look, why don't you just crash here?"
"Do you really think that's a-"
"Don't make this difficult. It's what the family would want me to do anyway."
She's confused, because it's also kind of the opposite of what the family would want, if they knew anything about the situation anyway.
"Okay... but we'll have to set some ground rules." she says, agreeing surprisingly quickly. He looks at her sort of shocked that she didn't put up more of a fight, and his mouth feels dry because he knows what could happen.
This wasn't a fucking movie though, he thinks angrily. His step-sister who he's been in love with for years and confessed to, leaves and returns two years later, and happens to not have a place to live. Then they kiss and make up and live happily ever after.
His hand forms a fist, much like it did that day she announced she was leaving and he feels defeated because he's not sure if he should push for a fairy tale ending, or if he should leave well enough alone and forget it.
Because you know, their reasons for not pursuing their relationship is just as valid now.
But he wants to push, he wants to push so badly it hurts and he feels it spreading in his chest and clawing at his stomach. His want for her, his need for her.
He doesn't know why he doesn't hate her for leaving, for leaving him all alone for the first time since they met. It had been like living a different reality, because she wasn't in it and nothing really made sense.
Then he caught a glimpse of her that morning and he felt all the built up resentment fading away second by second as they stared at each other.
She was so fucking beautiful and as he looked at her in that moment, he felt like an idiot for having to constantly hide his smile. It was harder being aloof and guarded around her now, because she knows. She knows how he feels about her.
Part of him liked it when she didn't know, because he could still act like, you know, he wasn't a girl. But kissing her that night, tasting her and feeling her, telling her finally after all those years; that freedom was worth all the moments he would act like he had grown a uterus in the future.
She's staring at him, and her eyes are really blue right now, and he really wants to kiss her. Clearing his throat, again, he says "Hey, what do you want for lunch?"
She shrugs. "I doubt you have anything, if the way you used to eat is any indication."
He snorts and pulls out fixings for sandwiches. "I'm not an ogre you know." he says a little defensively, and she's quiet because she wasn't expecting that. It seems they both have changed in small ways.
"Hey, what about my ground rules?"
"You know for a keener, you're easily distracted." he smirks, and she just laughs, feeling happy that she can be with him like this.
Slapping mayonnaise on the bread, he looks up at her to find her smiling at him and he smiles back, something he wouldn't have done easily before.
Maybe they could do this, being together without being together.
Okay, maybe she can't do this. It's been a week since she's lived with Derek and to say that things were tense was an understatement.
It wasn't so much a bad tense, as it was a good tense. What is she even talking about? She's so tempted to make a pros and cons list that her fingers are twitching for a pen, but she learned in New York to cool her tendencies to overanalyze everything and to just go with it.
Of course, being around Derek brought out a lot in her that she'd previously left behind.
Classes were starting up too, which also put her on edge and he's always giving her grief for being so wound up. But can he blame her?
They had already gone through the cliche awkward moments, such as reaching into the bowl of popcorn at same time when they were watching a movie the other night. Or running into him in the hallway after she'd taken a shower. Granted, that had happened before and her immediate reaction was the same, a warmth spreading throughout her stomach and embarrassment in the form of red creeping up her face. She didn't miss his look of approval either (both times).
It also didn't help that they seemed to be touching all the time, even more than they used to. His hand seemed to be permanently attached to the small of her back, and her hand sometimes finds itself on his thigh when they're sitting down on the couch together (without an inch between them to speak of). He doesn't even mind hugging her now, which should freak her out and make her wonder if she's just living with someone who looks and speaks like Derek.
So the tension she's talking about? Yeah, it's sexual.
It's always been sexual, but now it's so outrageously blatant and she's not sure what to do with herself or what to do about the situation.
In that regard, it's definitely unresolved but what in god's name can she do? She feels trapped because Derek is pretty much the only person she knows in this town so far, and there isn't an Emily around the corner to lament over her feelings with.
Besides, talking about Derek with Emily would be seriously uncomfortable.
She can't just leave this alone and ignore it, she's not Derek. And hell be damned if she's not going to do something it.
He's just tossed the soiled tissues in the garbage when she comes barging into his room. Quickly zipping up his pants, he tries to look nonchalant and thankfully she's so flustered that she doesn't notice a certain smell in the air.
They've only been together once so the chances of her remembering that smell is slim to none. He frowns because he shouldn't be thinking about something as perverted as this and focus on what she's saying, but now he's thinking about their time together and things are happening in places that they shouldn't be.
"Derek, I think you should start listening."
"What?" He sounds annoyed, but she ignores it.
"We need to talk."
"Are you breaking up with me?"
"Don't-" she stops herself, because she's still getting used to not having to put up as many pretenses.
"Don't call me that, yeah, I don't think you actually care about that." He gets up off the bed, and walks over to where she's standing. She takes a small step back because his smell is a little too intoxicating and she doesn't think she can control herself in her current state of mind.
Her arms are flailing a little bit and he reaches up and wraps his hands gently around her forearms, causing her breathing to stop.
"What are you doing?" She squeaks.
"Preventing the hyperventilation that's about to happen." Her shoulders slump and she looks at the ground because she doesn't want to look at his face right now.
"I'm just fucking tired of this." She says so softly that he only manages to understand what she's said because he was watching her lips. His grip on her arms tighten slightly, then loosen, because he's never heard her swear before and he's confused, turned on and freaking out at the same time.
What is she tired of, why does she sound so defeated, and why is he so afraid of what she's about to say next?
"We should celebrate." He says, trying to keep a smile in his voice. "It's pretty hot when you swear."
She shrugs herself out of his hold on her, and his heart drops.
"This is what I mean, things are way too different between us and I'm not... I just, I don't know. It doesn't feel right." She's got his full attention now, and she looks so pretty right now that it breaks his heart a little more.
"I'm not following." He knows and understands completely, but he can't help but play dumb. She laughs but it sounds broken, and she goes to sit in his chair by his somewhat clean desk. She's not looking at him, but out the window where the sun is setting and there's an orange haze falling over them and the room.
It's completely silent except for the bell on a bicycle that goes by down below, and the whining of the hardwood floor as he walks back to his bed and sits by the edge, not taking his eyes off of her. Some of her hair is spilling onto his desk, and he wishes he could just go over there and touch her, hold her.
"You're not an idiot, Derek." She sighs, almost exasperated, but in a sort of quiet way.
"Thanks for acknowledging that fact, but you're not really getting to the point." He swallows, and his palms are starting to feel clammy.
She slams his hand down on the desk and he jumps slightly, and she looks straight at him, her eyes ablaze with anger.
"Shut up, just shut up for once. You know exactly what I'm talking about. The fact that we haven't talked, AT ALL. About anything. Not about what happened, not about Jesse, not about the fact that everything has just gotten worse since that night. We haven't even told the family we're living together. I mean, come on Derek." She screeches and he can't find it in himself to find any of it amusing.
Because he doesn't know what else to say. Yeah, it's amazing being with her again but it's also super weird that they haven't talked about the actual shit. Or the elephant in the room that embodies the obvious attraction they still have to each other.
"Okay, what Derek?"
"I agree with you."
"Yes, that's quite nice but that doesn't help." She sneers, and he is a little amused at this point because he feels resentment towards her building and it's just funny since she's the one that left without 'talking' about it, or resolving the situation.
"What do you want me to do, Casey? Shut off my feelings, go fuck another girl or something?" And he can't hide the bitterness in his voice anymore.
"Where did that come from?" she asks, her eyes wide with confusion and he can tell she's a little hurt for insinuating something of that nature.
"You brought up Jesse. No girl runs off with someone like twinkle toes and isn't fucking him, it doesn't make sense." He stops and changes his train of thought because he doesn't really want to hurt her. "You ruined me, Casey." And the look on her face indicates that he might have accomplished that anyway.
She stiffens, and her eyes get sort of glassy with unshed tears. Her mouth does that quivering thing when she's about to cry, and he's kind of reminded of when he'd first met her and she and Sam were breaking up every other day. She'd come down the stairs, her face all scrunched up and wet with tears, blaming him for her misfortune.
"What do you mean?" She hides her face behind her hands now, desperately wiping at the tears, trying to wipe away the creeping guilt she feels rising in her stomach and constricting her throat.
He leans back on the bed, and lays down looking straight up at the ceiling. Eying a crack in the off-white paint, he almost laughs because he's remembering how much she'd cried that night as they were making love for the first and last time.
He had bared his soul to her, broken down in front of her, he had simply been. Now she's acting like she's naive and clueless. They'd never really been unsuspecting about each other's feelings throughout the years and that hadn't changed now.
He was fully aware of how she felt about him. That night had been the missing piece of the puzzle of what he knew about her. He knew what she was like when she was in love with him. The thought should make him happy, but now he's miserable. Maybe if he knew that she'd stopped loving him, he'd be able to finally move on.
But part of him has always been holding onto her memory. The last two years had been filled with daydreams, with a hope that she would return and maybe they could work something out. Now she was back and yeah, maybe he was looking for that fairy tale ending, but fuck if that would ever happen without her freaking out.
"Casey, you left. YOU left. You made me promise to never leave you, and you left me. Do you want to know why I don't ask any questions about New York or Jesse? It's because I don't fucking care. You chose that over me, and yeah it's selfish, but you should know that I am by now." His gaze still hasn't left the crack in the paint, but he hears that her quiet sobs have stopped.
"What do you want me to say?" She breathes quietly, her voice cracking with every word.
He sits up and leans over, resting his elbows on his thighs, looking down at the ground. He regards her in the corner of his eye, and he almost breaks at the sight of her.
"I just don't know what you want from me. I don't think I can stop loving you." He mutters, and he shakes his head slowly because he can't believe he just said that. All of a sudden it felt like 'that night' had been one big long production that was still going. That the two years in between was just a prolonged moment of 'oh my god, what did we just do? We can't do this' and now it was going back and forth between 'will they, won't they' with strong emphasis on the 'won't they'.
Because their two year old brother was a living, breathing reality.
"I'm not asking that you do that, not at all. But... maybe I am." She sits next to him on the bed and her smell is infiltrating his senses. He takes a deep breath, and turns to look at her. She's so close that he can feel her warmth radiating onto his skin and her skirt clad thighs are brushing up against his. His heart is thundering in his chest and his arm instinctively goes around her and rests on the bed behind her.
He's positively drunk on the look in her eyes right now. He can tell she's saddened and doesn't want to be here, here with him, but at the same time, she wants him and it's beginning to cloud her judgement.
His hand is on her thigh first, squeezing softly yet urgently. Her breath hitches and she can't bear to move. Then his lips hit her neck, and he's breathing warm tufts of air onto her skin and it raises goosebumps all over her body.
"I never... I mean, nothing happened... with," she trails off because he's just licked a trail from her neck to the back of her ear and his hand is inching up her thigh.
"I know." He answers in a low voice, his fingers sliding against the edge of her underwear.
"Then why did you...?" Her eyes finally fall closed and she submits herself to the rousing and incredible feelings he's giving her. She thinks briefly that no one else could ever make her feel this way, and it's not only because he's a good lover in bed. There's a connection between them, an irreplaceable connection that's brought them to this very moment when they've tried so hard to ignore it.
"Because I hated you," He presses a kiss to her temple, dragging his lips down to her cheek and biting her tenderly. "I didn't know why you left. The last image I had of you was you leaving with him, knowing that he wanted you." He whispers before licking her bottom lip, and giving her a chaste kiss. "The hardest part was knowing that I loved you and wanted you in ways that he never could, yet he could have you and it would be okay." He clenches her thigh almost angrily as he says this, but then he releases his hold and runs a finger down her underwear, smiling against her jaw when he feels that it's wet.
She whimpers under his touch, and finally reaches for his collar and pulling him towards her, slanting her lips over his. They kiss fervently, and it feels like everything is hazy, and far too warm but neither of them wants to stop. They've both dreamt of this moment, thinking it was nothing but a daydream and never a possible reality.
Casey turns and throws her legs over his lap, grounding her hips against his. His reaction is immediate as he bites her bottom lip and grips her sides, sliding his hands over her ass and holding her tightly to him as if he's afraid this is a dream and he'll wake up at any moment.
"We can't do this..." She whispers in between kisses, clutching at his hair while he runs her hands up and down her back.
"We can do this, Casey. I'm so tired of this. I'm so tired of walking on eggshells with you of all people, because we're so afraid of what will happen." He slides her hands into her hair, staring up into her face and lays back, flipping them over so that he's on top of her.
"But it's so hard." And she blushes when she feels evidence something else rubbing on her thighs. He smirks, but then it softens into a smile.
"I need you, Case. I just need you." He sounds so broken, and she feels tears pooling in her eyes because she can hear that same voice in her head. She needed him just as much.
Derek finds Casey sitting at the kitchen island in his gray button shirt and not much else. Her hair is all mussed, her cheeks pink from the morning chill and he thinks he's still falling in love with her.
"Coffee?" He asks, sitting next to her and kissing her hair. She wordlessly gets up, and walks over to the pot to pour him a cup. He feels happy, happier than he's been in a long time.
"I can't stay here." She's leaning with her back against the counter, looking down at the ground, avoiding his eyes.
It's hard for him to look at her now, too.
"Why?" He all but whispers, and he feels like he's 18, standing on the pier, listening to her tell him that he could have her for one night and never again.
"You know why." Casey mutters, her tone resentful and estranged.
He takes a deep breath, and brings the coffee cup to his lips.
"Then get out."
Taking a sip, he sets it down on the island before standing up. "I mean, I don't think I really have time for this."
He doesn't dare look at her face, and enters his room before slamming the door.
And it was true that I was truly failing
You were gone and I was home calling around
But nothing was found worthwhile