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20 July 2009 @ 11:53 pm
the places you have come to fear the most -- part 2/?  
“All that bullshit about soulmates and karmic synergy and yet you won’t even grab her while you have the chance,” she snaps, turning on her heel. “No one else is going to put up with your shit, Cappie. You’re going to end up alone.” greek post finale. cappie/casey.


Ashleigh slides past the group of freshman girls surrounding the kiosk as her eyes fall to the silhouette of her best friend in the shadow beneath the student center’s awning. She reconsiders waiting in line, feet leading her over to Casey instead.

She sits down quickly, eyes staring straight ahead. “Not exactly low key,” she insists, eyeing the people surrounding them. “Why are so many people out here anyway? It’s the weekend.”

Casey shrugs slightly, her face a mixture of nonchalance and agitation. “KT’s are on probation,” she suggests lightly. “No parties tonight.”

“So everyone decides to play frisbee?” Ashleigh scoffs, ducking as an orange disc flies her way. She crinkles her forehead in disgust at a beefy guy who winks at her. She turns to Casey, her voice softening. “Look, I get that you may not want to talk about this, but for what it’s worth, it really is Cappie’s loss.”

As Casey looks up at her, Ashleigh could almost swear her friend looks exhausted with the conversation. Except, Casey never grows bored with words. She loves to talk. She talks people to death. It’s practically the basis of their relationship. This new, quiet, half-alive Casey is beginning to scare her.

“Thanks,” Casey says although the comment sounds forced. “But, it’s not his loss, not really. I’ve tossed him around for three years. I mean, did I really expect him to say that he wanted me after all I’ve put him through?”

Ashleigh scoffs against her better judgment. It would be fine if Casey was just sad, but that’s not the case at all. She’s blaming herself for things that aren’t her fault and basking in a pool of pity. It’s the most unCasey-like action she can think of.

“Case,” she starts before she can stop herself. “If you want to wallow in self pity, then fine, go ahead. But don’t tell me that you’re actually convinced that Cappie’s right. He’s not, Case. You broke up with him for very solid reasons. He’s been the one playing games with you all along. And then he went and dated Rebecca and even then he couldn’t stop obsessing over you. You met Max, and he became jealous, plain and simple. Maybe you didn’t always handle everything as well as you could have, but you haven’t been stringing him along, and you know it. You wanted to be over him.”

Casey looks away quickly, biting her lip in response.

Ashleigh waits a moment before climbing to her feet, perturbed by the unfriendly silence. She’s not sure what to do to help Casey, and without her communicating, she can’t even begin to find out.

“Ash?” she hears as she starts to leave.

“Yeah?” she says, her voice almost desperate.

Casey’s head turns to face hers, her eyes glistening with the hint of fresh tears.

“I’m sorry,” she manages, fighting to keep her face composed, struggling with the desire to fall apart. “I just...I just need some time....” She breaks off, unable to continue.

Ashleigh nods, an awkward smile creeping over her face. She’s always the understanding one. She has to trust that Casey just needs to deal with this on her own, because the only other option is that they’ve outgrown each other. She can’t think that, although the fear tugs at her chest.

“It’s fine,” she insists, and she means it, she really does. “Case, I get it.”

But she doesn’t.

“Hey,” Jordan smiles as he walks back into the bedroom, yawning inadvertently. He grins at the sound of her voice, kicking off his shoes as he stumbles back over to her.

“Hey,” Rusty says back to her, leaning across the bed to kiss her lightly on the lips. Her smile deepens.

“Where’d you go?” she asks curiously, turning onto her side as he slides back under the covers, body bent into a sitting position. Her head slides into his lap, her bright blue eyes gleaming up at him.

“Oh, Cappie called,” he begins, playing with golden strands of her hand. He runs his fingers through silky tendrils, mesmerized by her. “He needed me to help Max home.”

Jordan blinks. “What happened with them?” she asks, bringing her hand to her forehead. “You said something about Casey dumping him?”

He nods, sighing. “That’s all I know,” he admits. “Max was pretty drunk. I’ve never seen him that bad. Something happened with her and Cappie, I think, although I’m not sure what.” He pauses. “Not sure I want to know. But Cappie won’t talk about it and I’m not about to ask Max.”

Jordan sits up suddenly, eyes level with his. “You seem angry,” she notes.

He rolls his eyes, although there’s really no point in evading. He can’t lie to her, and he knows that.

“Maybe I am a little,” he insists, looking away. “Casey just crushed Max. Like it was nothing. Like he was nothing. I mean he gave up grad school for her and she just ended it and now he’s....”

“Whoa, wait,” Jordan interjects, eyeing him curiously. “Rust, I’m not trying to take sides, but you don’t even know what happened.”

Rusty shrugs, looking at her incredulously. “You’re serious? Max saw her and Cappie come out of a closet together. Then she breaks up with him and you think he’s the bad guy?”

Jordan backs away, shaking her head.

“Jordan,” Rusty begins apologetically. “I didn’t mean...”

“No, it’s okay,” she says softly. “I don’t want to fight about your sister. I’m just saying that things aren’t always what they seem, Rust. I don’t know Casey as well as you do, but from what I do know, she’s extremely loyal. I mean, she fought really hard to keep me in the house and she’s always going above and beyond to help everyone in the house.”

Rusty nods, watching her as she leans back against the headboard, pillow nestled in her lap.

“It’s funny,” she continues. “When I first joined ZBZ I thought the girls were going to be fake and lifeless. But Casey’s the most real, alive person I know. I just think that maybe you should give her the benefit of the doubt. Just look at us, Rust. Our relationship didn’t exactly develop innocently. We both hurt someone we really cared about in the process. What if the same thing happened with Casey and Cappie? I mean, was she supposed to pretend with Max if she really loved someone else?”

“Okay,” Rusty remarks at last, his head hanging. “I get what you’re saying. She’s just really easy to blame. I mean, Max was my friend....”

“So was Andy.”

Rusty pauses, considering this. The parallels are uncanny and yet he just can’t let go of the slight sense of anger still lingering. “I know. I should be able to let this go and understand, but I can’t help how I feel about it Jordan. Something about it just isn’t right. I mean, with your theory, Casey would be with Cappie, and yet she left alone, so....”

He stops, considering his words, contemplating possible outcomes. He looks up, eyes meeting Jordan’s, and though she feels the need to comment, there’s really no point. Her look’s saying it all.

“If Casey left alone, then maybe you really should take it easy on her, Rust.”

He’s drowning. He’s sure of it. He’s trying to call out for someone to save him, for someone to listen to him, but he just can’t quite....

His eyes fling open, mouth coughing repeatedly as he jumps out of his chair and makes a beeline for the door. He’d forgotten about the sprinklers, and now he’s soaked and still hungover.

“What the...” he begins frantically as he enters the living room. The guys are surrounding the tv, a rerun of America’s Next Top Model flashing across the screen. “I fall asleep for two hours and you all turn into girls?”

“We’re on probation,” Heath reminds him.

“Yeah,” Beaver joins in, reluctantly turning away from the screen. “Plus, these girls are dealing with real issues Cap. The pressure to stay thin, the constant teasing. I never...I never realized how hard it was to be beautiful.”

Cappie scans the room, bewildered, searching frantically for a scapegoat.

“I thought it was high time these boys gained some insight into the feminine mind,” a familiar voice calls from behind him.

He turns blinking back at Rebecca. “What have you done to them?” he asks playfully. “Beav just used words with more than two syllables! It’s not right! I demand you turn them back at once.”

Rebecca’s smile comes easily. He’s forgotten how well she knows him. Used to know him. Whichever.

“Got a second, Cap?”

He nods, leading her upstairs. It’s not awkward like it is with Casey, because he knows innately that nothing will happen with Rebecca. They’ve long since moved past the tension from their short relationship. Of course, that isn’t making him any less nervous about her presence. Rebecca Logan is an extremely demanding and vocal woman. He’s more than a little bit anxious about whatever it is on her mind.

“So,” he begins, kicking a mountain of beer cans out of the way as he opens his door for her. “Here for some good ole’ fashioned fun, Cappie style?”

He winces at his words. He sounds like a tool. Sometimes he hates the way he deflects, always whipping out a joke or sarcastic retort. Still, he leans expectantly over the bed, winking at Rebecca for good measure.

She rolls her eyes, crossing her arms across her chest and cocking her hip to the side. She’s giving him a look he came to know extremely well. She wants to be serious and he just wants to not be in a room, alone with Rebecca Logan. Well, that’s not entirely true. It’s nothing personal. He just wants to be alone.

“Anything you’d like to talk about?” she asks, eyes narrowing.

He runs through a list of pranks he’s pulled this past week. None of them affected her, and as far as he knows, Rebecca isn’t dating, therefore he couldn’t have offended anyone she’s seeing. He turns to her, bewildered. He tugs at his checkered shirt. “Flannel,” he begins. “Yeigh or neigh? I say yeigh, because honestly it’s more vintagey than farmish, right? Or do I look like I’m trying too hard?”

This time she doesn’t smile.

He blinks. “What?” he says at last. He’s no good at games, at least not Rebecca’s style of mind games. He doesn’t catch onto her subtle hints and clever facial expressions. They’ve never been on the same wavelength.

“I had a nice long chat with Ashleigh this morning,” she says pointedly, eyes jerking up at him.

He freezes. “Becks....”

“No, Cappie listen. I’m not exactly president of the Casey Cartwright fan club, but the fact remains that she’s gone out on a limb for me several times. With that said, I....”

“Rebecca, really, stop,” he insists, shooting her a warning look. “I meant it when I told Ashleigh I didn’t want to talk about it. I don’t want to talk about it with you either.”

“But, Cap....”

“No, I mean it,” he emphasizes, because for the life of him he’s not sure why he can’t get through one conversation without someone dropping Casey’s name. The girl’s haunting him.

Rebecca opens her mouth to protest, but slams it shut deftly, shooting Cappie a spiteful look.

“All that bullshit about soulmates and karmic synergy and yet you won’t even grab her while you have the chance,” she snaps, turning on her heel. “No one else is going to put up with your shit, Cappie. You’re going to end up alone.”

He should feel like he’s been shot— but he doesn’t. He’s not feeling much of anything as Rebecca leaves haughtily, probably muttering under her breath because her plan didn’t work.

He turns back to his disheveled bed, eyes not really focusing in on anything in particular. He knows she’s right. He’s no moron. But what’s he supposed to do; pick Casey just because the alternative is no one? It’s not how he imagined their relationship would work out. Casey’s gesture hadn’t been one of a romantic nature, it was a desperate act.

Sitting down slowly on his bed, he stares out the window, at a loss for what to do next. He can’t think about Casey right now. He can’t let the full weight of Rebecca’s words sink in. And he definitely can’t think about last night.

So he does the only thing left to do; he trudges back down the stairs and joins the boys on the couch just in time for the bathing suit photo shoot.

What she’s come to realize during her spontaneous walk around campus is that Cyprus-Rhodes is much smaller than she’s remembered. There’s really nowhere to go devoid of people, even on a Sunday. She’s already regretting turning her apartment over to Dale and Rusty. She just wants to be alone, for a little while anyway.

She spots her brother at one point, arm around Jordan, heading towards the ZBZ house. She creeps out of view, not wanting to talk to him just yet. She’s not sure how much he knows about her and Max and she knows how emotional he can be. She’s too full of raw emotion to add Rusty’s issues to the mix.

Brushing her little brother from her mind, she tries to concentrate on her schedule for the day. Much as she wants to avoid the Panhellenic meeting, she knows she has to go. She already missed Ashleigh’s big meeting against Frannie. She can’t disappoint her friend again, especially after she woke up before ten to come find her. Ashleigh, of course, isn’t the reason she’s anxious about the meeting. Cappie will be there and she’s not sure she’s ready to face him. Then again, she’s not sure she’ll ever be ready, so she figures she might as well get it over with. Ashleigh would understand her absence this time. She knows this, but it’s not fair to her. Besides, she was the last person to talk to Frannie before her startling departure. She’s sure they’ll want to know what Frannie had in store for the IKI house.

The headache she’s been nursing on and off since waking up rears its head again, and she wrinkles her forehead, trying to ease the pain away.

She slinks over to the coffee cart, grabbing another cup of coffee, her third so far and sitting on the small concrete wall nearby. No matter where she ventures to, she always ends up back at this coffee cart. She smiles. Must be karmic—

She walks away, not wanting to finish that thought, coffee in tow and eyes planted firmly on the ground. She doesn’t look up until she’s a good ten feet away, and even then she wishes she hadn’t.

With a swift lift of her coffee cup she spots a figure in the distance, a tan and black blob dancing over the rim of her coffee lid. She brings the cup back down and there’s no need for squinting. Messy black hair bustles in the wind and a thin figure slowly ambles towards her.

Well, not towards her, she’s sure. But in her direction.

She climbs to her feet, ready to run, but finds that she’s frozen, eyes cemented in terror. Time ticks away loudly inside of her head, numbers filling her mind, one, two, three. Each number corresponding with his steps. One step closer, two steps closer, shit, shit, run.

He’s ordering coffee and he still hasn’t seen her. She pushes herself to peek. He looks just like Rusty did after getting hazed during his pledge stage at Kappa Tau. She winces, because the sight of him in such brutal pain, well, it’s never what she wanted for him. Yet it’s all her doing. No excuses, no blame games. She’s done this to him and for that she hates herself.

His fingers stiffen around the neck of his cup when he sees her, eyes shifting from surprise to sadness to an unreadable expression. She’s cursing her luck. He’s obviously hungover. What the hell is he doing awake right now anyway?

Her lips open to say something to him, to apologize or try to make amends, anything to kill this deadening silence, but his eyes rip away from hers, a powerful gesture, and she thinks she might be sick.

He turns without another word, retreating, walking around the building they’re in front of, even though his dorm is right behind her. He’d rather circle the entire campus than walk past her, or at least, that’s the impression she’s gotten.

Her hands tremble as her cup drops from her hand, a quiet plop on the sidewalk as brown liquid begins to ooze out from the cup, circling around her feet, creeping under her sandals.

The sense of loss and disgust she feels overwhelms any sadness she might have been trying to shake. What Cappie did to her in no way compares to what she’s done to Max, mainly because she’s harder on herself than she is on anyone else. She’s not ready to forgive herself for hurting him, even though she doesn’t regret a single word. It was better to tell him the truth, rather than string him along out of fear, wasn’t it?

She’s doubting everything now. She doesn’t want to be with Max, but she doesn’t want him to be like that. She wants to make everything perfect, because that’s what she does. She’s Casey frickin’ Cartwright and she weaves everything she touches into gold, or so she thought.

Now, she finds that she barely recognizes herself. Cappie hates her, she’s destroyed Max, and after he catches wind of the situation, she’s sure Rusty will blame her. She keeps flaking out on Ashleigh and now that Frannie’s gone, she finds the familiar setting of Cyprus-Rhodes too small, too suffocating.

She stares down in astonishment at the mess of coffee enveloped around her. She’s even ruined her shoes and she doesn’t care, a Casey Cartwright first.

Current Location: home
Current Mood: sleepysleepy
beaked: ◘ i touched your boobbeaked on August 17th, 2009 09:09 pm (UTC)
This was way too short! I really wanna read about the Panhellenic meeting! Any idea when you'll continue this?
Courtneyhelen_halliwell on August 17th, 2009 10:43 pm (UTC)
I'm so glad you enjoyed this! I just posted chapter three, and should be able to post chapter four tonight. I'm currently working on chapter five, but it should be up within the next few days.
beaked: ◘ i touched your boobbeaked on August 18th, 2009 10:57 am (UTC)
Yay! I'll read right away :D