A/N: This is a story I dedicate to my dear friend Fiesa, who is the main writer for Nightschool fanfiction and who does a fantastic job and wrote me a lovely story for Christmas. This is her Christmas gift! I am sorry it is not my best work, I have another Cassidy/Teresa idea, which will hopefully turn out better, but in the meantime I hope you enjoy this one
Disclaimer: Does anyone actually care that I write this? I feel like no. But for proper etiquette sake I will say I am not Svetlana. Though she has an AWESOME name.
Teresa liked being in charge. She liked knowing what was going on and how to deal with it. Her biggest weakness, she would hardly even admit to herself, was her fear of instability. Not knowing what was happening, not knowing how to deal with it or just plain not knowing, was chaos personified in her mind.
She prided herself on knowing all that she could about her teammates. She knew their strengths, their weakness, what they liked doing and what they hated. There were few things they did that could throw her off or surprise her in the least, and that was part of the reason she loved them. They were stable, they were reliable, they were predictable.
Until one fateful night that overturned this calm reserve of her family.
The neighborhood they were currently patrolling was old and run down, the streetlights flickering and stoops sloping with age and exhaustion. From chipping doors and bending pipes hung the occasional flag of orange, white and green, left over nationalism from settlers who never quite got the hang of America, sticking with others of their own race and never leaving.
On a porch they were approaching a few teenagers stood outside, speaking rapid-fire in a language Teresa couldn't understand. She hated other languages. It wasn't right she knew, but she hated not understanding, not knowing what they were saying.
It was the greatest of her problems tonight though, which she was fortunate for. If the dialect of a few human teenagers was her greatest annoyance, the night was a success.
"Féach ar dó," a girl with long brown hair and heart shaped face whispered to her friends, pulling a cigarette from her lips and staring at the hunters as they passed. Teresa tensed, she hated being looked at and talked about by humans, they had no right.
He friend looked up and gasped. "Dia. Is féidir liom é a bheith." The girls' eyes were flashing in the porch light, both pretty faces turned towards Cassidy, glances appreciative.
"Looks like you've got fans…I think," Jay commented in a whisper to Cassidy.
"They see a fellow Irishman," Ten joked.
Cassidy didn't say anything to them, but then he turned to the girls and smiled. "B'fhéidir níos déanaí, cailíní. Tá mé gnóthach ceart anois."
Teresa felt her jaw fall in shock. The words flew from his mouth perfectly and without hesitation. The words were formed with a sharp Irish accent as if he never spoke a word of English in his life.
Meanwhile the girls on the porch erupted into giggles of elated shock, thrilled and embarrassed all at once that he had understood them.
Teresa froze on the sidewalk a minute, passed by Ten and Jay before she composed herself, lengthening her stride to catch up to Cassidy. She opened her mouth to ask, but Ten beat her to it.
"What was that?"
Cassidy looked over his shoulder, nonchalantly, a little too nonchalantly; he knew he had just impressed them all. His grin was easy, but Teresa could see the cocky twist of his lips. "Irish."
"Yes," Ten continued, eyes wide with awe. "I figured that, but since when do you speak it?"
He shrugged, "always. English is my second language."
One thing Teresa had always been taught, always been known to follow through on, was to never let emotion show through. She barely caught herself in time to stop the shock from widening her eyes and parting her lips. Gracefully she held herself together.
"Where," her contempt ticked inside of her, furious at herself for having to ask a question she realized she should know, but had no idea "where are you from?"
Cassidy smiled, obviously pleased that she didn't know. She ground her teeth together hard, practically seething. Really she had no reason to be mad at Cassidy, he wasn't obligated to tell her all about his life. If she thought about it, she knew so little about any of her teammates lives before they started hunting. Cassidy's entire childhood was an enigma to her, indeed it seemed a strange thought to imagine that he was ever at a child at all. She couldn't picture him as anything less than he was right at that moment.
It shouldn't have bothered her as much as it did. But the sudden realization of her ignorance of such a large part of Cassidy's life seemed rather like a betrayal.
"Where do you think?" He asked. His tone wasn't mocking, or sarcastic, but it was like he had kicked her again.
"Well Ireland, obviously, I suppose," she snapped, tired of this; tired of the feelings of hurt this conversation was oddly making her feel.
"No," he was enjoying himself far too much "Northern Ireland. Separate country. Rather different than Ireland. It's part of the UK."
"Cassidy's British!" Jay accused and Ten laughed.
"Hey," Cassidy snapped, pretending to be angry, but a smile was fighting its way onto his face "that could get you shot back in my country."
"Oh, so now it's your country?" Ten crossed her arms and tilted her head as they crossed another deserted street. "America not good enough for you?"
Cassidy sighed, long and suffering. "Yeah, I mean it was good crack for a while, but I think it may be about time for me to go home. You American's are just too bizarre." His words were laced with a heavy and fake accent. He smiled at them, obviously kidding, but Teresa didn't think it was funny.
"How come we never knew that you spoke Irish?" Jay asked the question that had been eating Teresa.
Cassidy paused as they were approached the new safe house. "I guess it never came up."
"How does that never come up?" Teresa snapped.
Cassidy looked rather surprised at her tone, eyebrows arched in surprise. The moonlight reflected off of his glasses, making his eyes impossible to read. "I don't know. I mean, I never had a reason to speak it…"
Teresa rolled her eyes, pushing past him. "Alright, whatever. We're home now, I am heading off to train, I'll see you guys later."
Foolishly, Teresa had thought that was the end of it.
Not that by any stretch of the imagination had she forgotten it had happened. It was such a trivial detail, such a small thing in the grand scheme of things. Teresa knew all of the things about Cassidy that were important to know. She knew how he fought, how he acted and reacted in situations, she knew all of his scars and how he had gotten them. But suddenly, that all seemed so small in comparison to the bulk of his life that had been his childhood.
And she would be lying if she didn't admit that the memory of those words, Cassidy's voice accented so perfectly around foreign syllables, didn't echo in her head as she lay in bed at night. That they didn't make her clutch the pillow a bit tighter and her blood move a little quicker through her veins. It was horrible and embarrassing, and she wanted it to end. Though the longer time went on, the harder it was to remember the words, the accent and the shape of his lips as he made them happen.
Soon Teresa couldn't remember anymore.
She felt relieved, or something like it. Until one day, three weeks later during a sparing session. He ducked under her roundhouse kick, his back to the mat before popping back up and catching her in the rib. Thrown off guard she stumbled sideways and he went for another punch to the other side but she leaned quickly out of the way. Panting she fell back, analyzing the situation.
"An é gur féidir le gach leat a dhéanamh?" He spat with a smile, taunting her.
Her eyes went wide with shock and aggravation. There it was, another string of incomprehensible words, twisting over his tongue, hanging in the air to taunt her for the next weeks to come.
With a cry of frustration she lunged suddenly, catching him off guard, slamming into his torso and throwing him to the ground. He curled and rolled out from under her as she hit the mat with her palms, thrusting back and landing on her feet in an inhuman maneuver.
"What's the matter Teresa? You don't like Irish?"
Without a word she struck out again, satisfied with his grunt of pain as her heel hit his stomach, though she had been a few inches North of her mark. Flipping over she easily pinned him beneath her, crouched down on his chest and holding him still beneath her.
She thrust her fingers harshly into his neck. "I pull up and your neck snaps, I win."
He paused, accepting defeat and then his eyes narrowed and the corners of his mouth twisted up in a playfully cocky grin. "Tá tú álainn nuair a bhíonn tú feargach."
With a growl of disgust she pushed roughly off of him, stalking away, but it was too late. The damage had been done and he had realized what taunting her in another language did to her.
For the rest of the week it continued.
An alien word thrown in here and there, a phrase mumbled under his breath. It was all things she couldn't yell at him for, couldn't strike out for. He was speaking another language, it wasn't a crime and Teacher certainly wouldn't be happy if she attacked Cassidy and that was her reason.
It was always mumbled, never quite said aloud, a breath or a sigh. But it was always loud enough for her to hear.
She was making breakfast one morning and he stood in the doorway, just looking around. His eyes met hers and she gave him a smile and greeted him. "Cailín álainn," he responded and her face flushed angrily as she turned away.
One night they were patrolling together, just them wandering through an old graveyard in an arbitrary route when in the silence he whispered "Tá cuma álainn anocht."
She yelled at him for not letting her go after a rouge werewolf, the discussion was heated and their words angry and personal. They were almost nose-to-nose, weapons unknowingly drawn in their hands and teammates standing back to give them room. For a few minutes it went on until they finally backed down.
With a hiss he had muttered. "Tá tú ádh tá tú álainn."
Fury was beginning to burn in her gut. She hated not knowing, hated the uncertainty and hated the way every time he said anything in that strange way she felt an odd little chill run up her spine.
They were sitting in the main room, just Cassidy and Teresa in their down time relaxing about. Even in free time they were working though, Teresa's chemistry book open on the couch and Cassidy's math papers strewn about. She felt his gaze before she saw it, burning against the side of her face. For a minute she fought the urge to look, purposefully ignoring him and staring unseeingly at the equation before her.
"What?" she demanded finally, looking up.
He smirked, winning. "Tá tú álainn."
With a snap she closed her book, absolutely seething at this point. "What the HELL does that mean?"
Cassidy stared back, trying to keep his smile from growing, and shrugged.
"What does álainn mean?"
That made his smile falter. "What?"
"You use that word all the time, álainn, what does it mean?"
"Nothing, it's a taunt in Irish."
Her eyes narrowed and eyebrows rising. She may not have known much about Cassidy's past, but she knew when he was lying. He was terrible at it.
"Why are you lying?"
"I'm not," he insisted, looking confused. "Why would I lie?"
Her hostility was growing. She would not stand for being lied to. "You are. What does it mean?" Almost without meaning to she had crossed her arms across her chest, glaring him down hard.
Cassidy was starting to look flustered as well. "It doesn't have a translation, but it's like a friendly taunt. Like an insult, but a friendly one. I don't know how to explain." He threw his hands up in defeat, but Teresa knew him well and she could read him now. His posture was easy, as if he didn't see the big deal, but she could see the lines in his arms where he was tensing. His eyes were darting around the room, purposefully not meeting hers and his foot was tapping sporadically in a nervous tick.
Her eyes narrowed threateningly, temper rising to dangerous levels. He was tempting fate, taunting the already agitated dog on a too short leash. Involuntarily her lip was pulled in between her teeth and her fingers were drumming on the fabric. Blood was boiling beneath her skin.
She hated not knowing things.
Again she felt it swelling, that bizarre and unplaced feeling of betrayal at not knowing that he had been born and raised in another country. That he spoke another language and that there were about a hundred other things she didn't know about him. It wasn't his fault; in fact she really had no business knowing such things. She didn't need to.
Teresa couldn't shake that feeling though, that deep hurt that was digging under her skin and growing more and more irritating as the days went on and finally it had reached a point that she couldn't handle. Him lying to her face was the deepest wound he could have possibly inflicted upon her. But more than anything, even more than the lying, she hated how much it bothered her.
In that moment she realized, she hated him.
She parted her lips, wanting to insult him, to threaten him, to say anything clever and hurtful, but nothing came out. There were no words or threats, nothing she could say that could make her feel better or ease her suffering. Quietly, and possibly for the first time ever she closed her mouth.
"Teresa?" Cassidy's eyes were wide and brow furrowed in concern.
Without a word Teresa gathered her things and rose, not looking at Cassidy as he called her name again and left. Every muscle in her body was taught, stiff with fury and hurt as she made her way as steadily as she could to her room.
Calmly as she pleased she turned the knob and entered, delicately shutting the door behind her and listening for the click before she tossed her books as hard as she could at the wall. Hands reached through her hair, clutching and pulling at black locks. Teeth ground together as she held back a scream of rage within her lips so as not to draw attention. She grabbed the nearest object, not even registering what it was, and threw it. And then another, and another, and another.
After she ran out of objects within reach she stormed to her bed and flopped vengefully upon the covers. Her face flat upon the pillow she let loose a scream, muffled by the cotton and down. Hands covered her head, pushing down and getting louder so she could try to pretend that the tears were from yelling, and nothing else.
Teresa didn't remember falling asleep, but suddenly she was being pulled from dreams of pretty and soft nonsense words and found herself lying in her bed, the sun slinking beneath her windowsill. Startled she looked at the clock. It had been just about five hours since her childish fit. Her room was still in shambles, things tossed about and a lamp broken. She winced, she hadn't even remembered doing that.
There was a knock at the door, and she realized quickly that it must have been what had originally woken her up.
Without thinking she rushed over, afraid of how long they had been there and if they had realized she had been sleeping or not, and wasn't quite prepared for when she opened the door to find Cassidy standing on the other side. Her face flushed, embarrassed as she recalled her earlier meltdown. What was she supposed to do? She had reacted stupidly she knew, immaturely and rashly, but she didn't want to apologize. He had still hurt her, even if it didn't make any sense. And regardless, she still had her pride.
"Do you need something?" She asked, trying to keep all emotion from her voice without being cold at the same time. The end result wasn't quite what she had wanted.
Cassidy's eyes were hooded with guilt, his face drawn with lines he was too young to have. "Teresa…have you been crying?" His blue eyes widened in shock and a stroke of what resembled horror.
"What?" She gasped back indignantly.
"You're eyes are all red." He took a step closer, too close in her space.
"I was not," she scoffed as if it was the most ridiculous thing she had ever heard. In disgust she leaned back out of his way, but his feet didn't move. Uncomfortably she thought about her hair and remembered running her fingers roughly through it. It had to be a mess. "What did you come here for?" Quickly she tried to turn the conversation around.
"Oh," he pulled back, remembrance flashing behind his glasses "yeah." Awkwardly he looked past her, gathering his thoughts when his forehead wrinkled again. "What happened to your room?"
Teresa turned without thinking, taking in the current state of her room again. "Uhhh…nothing."
He pushed past her lightly, stepping into the room and scanning in shock. "Shit Teresa, you really killed it." He smiled at her, but it was forced and looked painful.
"What did you come here for?" She demanded again, giving up on defending herself and closing the door.
For a long minute Cassidy didn't say anything, just stared at the chaos and devastation, his bright hair and skin almost glowing in the fading light from the window. "I'm sorry." It was hardly a whisper, just above a breath and it made Teresa's heart slam against her chest so hard she was certain he had heard it.
Trying to keep her voice steady she started across the room, sitting down on her bed and collecting a few books under the rouse of organizing. "For what?" She forced an eye roll.
Another minute passed in tense silence and Teresa flipped through a few pages, not even realizing what book she was looking at. Cautiously she looked up under her lashes at him. He was standing stone still, eyes still glued to the mess unblinking.
"For making you sad." His eyes flickered up to hers.
Teresa stopped breathing. Had she heard correctly? She had, she knew. He hadn't said mad, he had said sad.
He had seen her pain.
"Sad?" She cocked her head. "What makes you think you made me sad?" A sarcastic smile twisted her lip darkly, mocking him.
And again he said nothing, just staring at her intently, eyes heavy with guilt and regret. She held his gaze for as long as she could, staring back hard and unwavering before finally breaking it to look back at her book.
"Look, it's cute of you to apologize, but there's really nothing to say. You certainly didn't make me sad." She snorted. Another page flipped.
She forced herself not to look as she heard him move, not even as his footsteps approached. The bed sagged beneath his weight as he sat next to her and she flipped another page, scanning the words to keep up the act. His leg brushed hers and she felt it burn, and then his arm was reaching across her, his palm grabbing her elbow and other hand resting against her back.
Shock made her forget her act, fear striking her hard and unhinging her jaw as she looked up to find his nose a centimeter from hers. He leaned forward even closer, brushing her face until his lips met hers.
Never in her entire life, had she been more afraid than she was at that moment. Blood was pulsing through her veins as her heart tried to fight it's way out of her chest and she had completely forgotten how to breathe. Her eyes had gone so wide it hurt as she tried to process what was going on and figure out what to do.
Cassidy radiated warmth, even where he wasn't touching her he was close enough that she could feel it, and nowhere was it stronger than on her mouth. She should have punched him, should have thrown him off of her and kicked him out, but she couldn't move. After a few seconds went by and she hadn't beaten him to a pulp, Cassidy pushed a little harder, leaning in closer.
Without thinking Teresa let her eyes fall shut and pressed back, unsure what she was doing as she kissed him in return.
He pulled away just as suddenly, leaning back until they weren't touching anymore. She almost didn't want to open her eyes, but finally did, a little afraid of what she was going to see. Cassidy was staring at her, for once not a single emotion to be read upon his face. And then he was leaning in again and she followed his lead, letting her eyes fall closed, but the contact didn't come. He stopped with his breath on her lips and let his forehead rest against hers.
Teresa opened her eyes to meet his.
"Tá tú álainn," he kissed her quickly before pulling back again, his breathe on her mouth, "means you're beautiful."
A/N: To anyone who actually speaks Irish, I apologize, you probably noticed very quickly that I do not speak it and that these phrases and are probably very broken and may not even make any sense, since I used Google translate to construct them. Anyway I am banking on most of you not speaking Irish so we should be good. Also 'crack' in Ireland means fun.