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21 June 2018 @ 06:23 pm
SMASH: take apart your head  
Take Apart Your Head
Derek/Karen (Derek/Ivy implied)
Takes place in Season 1, after Ivy steals the shadowbox song.





He sends her a blunt text, as rehearsal is ending, as he watches Ivy’s throaty laugh, he understands it’s all been a ploy. He’s not even as pissed as he thought he would be, because fuck Ivy’s fantastic and how can he fault her for clawing after what’s rightfully hers?

Still, he can’t get the sight of Karen’s doe-eyed look of betrayal out of his head while Ivy’s singing. He sees her standing there, watching him while he lets Ivy take her song.

“How could you?” her Marilyn asks softly, and he swears to God he’s going to burst at the seams. It’s unhealthy, honestly, the pull this girl has over him.

Where are you – it’s all he writes. No punctuation, no explanation. Nothing more. He knows she’ll respond, quickly, but in his mind he’s already on his way to her apartment.

He leaves without a word to Ivy and he’s walking off his frustrations about the musical cuts, Rebecca’s new direction, the damn shadowbox song. The entire show is unraveling in front of him and he’ll be damned if he lets Karen just slip into the shadows.

Even her text is timid.

Home. But don’t – meet me around the corner. O’Malley’s.

He doesn’t respond, because he knows she’ll run there. He knows she’ll be waiting.

What he doesn’t catch on to, the thing he doesn’t realize is that she’s on to him as well, already presuming he needs to see her.


“Are you an idiot?” he asks loudly, sitting down across from her.

She does her best to shoot him daggers, but succeeds only in looking like a wounded animal. How could you? – resounds in his head.

“What did I do now?” she asks and it’s earnest and utterly pathetic. He wants to grab her neck and shake her awake. He wants to grab her and…

He doesn’t go there. He orders a scotch on the rocks for both of them, and interrupts as she tries to protest. “She’ll take the damn drink. Throw a god damn cherry in hers,” he demands, shooting Karen an infuriating look.

Karen flinches. “Seriously, what the hell is going on?”

He almost laughs at her, but he knows this will break her further, and damn it, isn’t this exactly what he loves about her? He doesn’t answer at first, waiting until the waitress slides the glasses in front of them.

“Bottoms up, love,” he says carefully, downing his before she sees it coming. He nods to her to drink and is complacent when she obliges. Good girl, he thinks, but doesn’t say it. That would be the end of all of this.

“Derek, why am I…”

“You’re here because I told you to be and that’s your job,” he says directly, waiting for her to challenge him. She sits quietly, and he assumes she’s choosing her battles carefully. “The drink,” he continues, “is for the unfortunate news that you lost your song today.”

Karen blinks. “My song? But I – what did I do wrong?”

He shakes his head and nods to the waitress. “Another, love,” he says quickly. He turns back to Karen, all big eyes and porcelain skin. “You don’t ever leave a rehearsal unless you hear it from me. Do you understand me?”

Karen opens her mouth to protest, her mind reeling. She hesitates, running through possibilities. She shakes her head, fingers clasping her glass as the waitress returns. “It wasn’t cancelled.” She connects the dots. “God, she’s such a –”

“She saw an opportunity and she took it,” Derek comments. “Just like you’ve been prowling around with Rebecca.”

“I like her,” Karen starts.

Derek rolls his eyes. “I don’t give a damn about who you like and don’t like, Karen.”

Karen pauses, waiting for him to continue, but he doesn’t. He just stares at her, waiting for her to make her next move. She looks down quietly, then slowly peeks up at him.

“What do you give a damn about?” she asks softly, eyes dancing over his.

He fucking dissolves. He squints, but she’s Marilyn now, seducing him with her soft eyes and desperation.

Derek looks away. “I care about Bombshell,” he says simply. “I care about making the best show I can and I’m not about to let your naivety get in the way of my production.”

“So give me my song back,” she says sincerely. “You know I would never have left if…”

“Well, it’s too late for that, isn’t it Karen?” he retorts, glaring at her.

She blinks back in surprise. “You’re mad at me,” she realizes. “I didn’t realize…I didn’t…”

“You’ve got to stop,” he insists. “Nobody there is your friend, Karen. Every single person on that stage would just as soon as push you off it for their five seconds in the spotlight. Do you get that?”

She nods quickly, looking down at the table.

“You’re not mad at me,” she says slowly.

“Jesus, did you even hear…”

“You’re mad at Ivy,” she nods. She tilts her head and meets his eye. “You’re mad at Ivy, but you can’t be, so you’re taking it out on me.” She hesitates. “You didn’t want to give her that song.”

“I had to,” he insists, desperately trying to maintain his hard edge.

She nods. “Why?" she asks earnestly. “Why are you so upset about one song?”

He wants to throw the table across the room. How can she be so still, so calm, when inside he’s absolutely reeling? He takes a moment to calm himself, then sighs.

“Because you’re in my head,” he says quickly.

She blinks. “In your head,” she repeats. “What does – what does that mean?”

He shakes his head and rubs his temples. “It means you’re bloody Marilyn Monroe. It means that I can’t see her as anyone but you. For fuck’s sake, even Marilyn herself would fall short.”

The surprise registers slowly and he watches as she blinks, parts her lips, and stifles a smile.

He stops her before she can begin. “Anyway, I just thought you should know.” He says it more softly than he intends, but before she can respond, he stands up, dropping a $20 on the table. “Tell Dex I said hi,” he says coldly, before turning to leave.

She doesn’t correct him and he doesn’t say goodbye.

 
 
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