When She Wasn't so Perfect

When she'd come to the car door, soaked from head to toe, she'd have this distressed look upon her face. Don't get me wrong, she wasn't happy, but she wasn't mad either.

The rain could do this to her. And it wasn't just Derek who saw it, it was herself as well .

That look, it meant everything. She of course wanted in, away from the rain, but there was also the desire to stay exactly where she was. To let the water drench her more if possible. But because she was Casey, she couldn't just stand there. It was engrained her every fiber to want to be out of the rain. To want perfection: her hair dry, her clothes not clenching to her body in the most random of places and her vision to be crystal.

But in that look that Derek saw in situations like this, there was always a slight hesitation when she went for that door handle. There was that possibility within her that for once she could stay out there and in a perfect world she wouldn't be judged or analyzed for a ridiculous decision like that. Why continue to prevent perfection though?

So no longer than a split second later she would be ducking into his car, squeezing out the water from her hair on the road below before they'd drive off. She'd rid herself of any excess clothing like a jacket or if she was wearing multiple layers. She'd pull down the passenger seat mirror and clear away the smudges of makeup or at least rub them until less noticeable. Then like always, she'd take off her shoes or sandals and curl her feet up on the car seat sitting cross legged before even facing him.

Every item shed, every impurity erased or at least hidden made Derek sigh inside. He would forever be waiting for that day when she didn't race to his car in the middle of a rain shower or even if she did, she'd just sit there once she got in and stay as is. Because if she did that, for at least the car ride back he'd still see her human side. The side of Casey that hasn't planned on a storm. The side with the imperfections. The side he liked best. Because even if it was hard to believe, The Derek Venturi was intimidated by Casey. Every smile, every laugh and every ear piercing yell of his name.

"Der-ek!" Casey screamed as she got in his car. It was pouring outside and Derek just happened to be a few minutes late to picking her up from dance practice.

He was of course, clued out; still focusing on her subtleties. There was the slowing of her pace as she neared his car. There was definite hesitation when reaching for that car handle and when she finally swung the door open, she immediately avoided his eyes. Of course she screamed his name, but that must have been second nature to her at that point.

She didn't close the door immediately as Derek expected. She was going to lean out with her hair gathered in her hands and ring out the water.

Before she had the chance though, Derek stretched his body in front of hers and shut the door.

"Hey," he heard her complain.

"Don't," was all he said to her as he spread her wet hair over her shoulders; some of it hung to the edges of her face.

She shot him a confused look, finally looking at him in the eye with those wide green eyes. But he just smiled back, admiring her.

Finally , he leaned in, gripping her wet cheeks and kissed her right in the middle of the parking lot.

He could hear the sound of the rain picking up in intensity as the tapping sound on his windshield became louder. Her head turned to face his better and he felt more of her soaked hair resting against his dry hands. In that instant, he wanted to feel the rest of her. Her sodden clothes, her damp hands and oddly enough, the water he felt rolling down from her face to his. The water that had probably dripped off her hair or eyelashes as she blinked her eyes closed. He wanted to feel it all. He wanted to take in as much of this Casey as he could. Because the next day at breakfast, her makeup would be perfect and her clothes would be dry and color coordinated. Her hair would be styled, probably straightened, and that loss of fear and timidness he felt towards her now would be gone.

Just as quick and unexpected as it had happened, they drew apart almost mutually. He started the car and the windshield wipers began to clear the rain for a better view of the road. Casey sat back in her seat; a little bit confused, a little bit energized, but speechless for once.

Derek tried not to smile on the ride home, but he couldn't refrain from it. She had of course taken her shoes off and curled up onto the seat. Her wet jacket had also been tossed into the backseat. But to Derek's joy, her hair was almost as soaked as it had been when he first kissed her and her eye liner was already creating dark shadows under her eyes.

This wasn't Casey finally hesitating enough to stand in the rain or pull Derek out there with her, but it was a start.

Amidst the silence on the way home, what alluded Derek though, was the other reason for the hesitations; the most important reason why Casey hesitated. It wasn't that she'd be returning to her normal self and loosing those imperfections, but the idea that The Derek Venturi would be sitting on the other side of that door. He would look up at her before starting the car and just stare. It was the idea that he was about to see Casey not perfect and not put together like she always prided herself on being. Of course, Casey was also completely unaware of what his stares meant as well.

There's just something about Dasey and rain...