Dick and Mac can't seem to keep out of one another's way. And, you know how those things go... MaDi. S2 spoilers.
She frowned at the notebook in her lap, puzzling at the numbers and symbols that she knew she must have written during her business calculus class. Somewhere towards the middle of the third page, her small neat hand became scrawling and interrupted. Then, it picked back up again, legible once more. She knew she'd dozed off during the lecture. However, she couldn't remember for how long.
And, unfortunately, the chunk she was missing seemed to contain the answers that would help her complete her the practice exam opened on the iMac beside her on the lush green grass. And, looking at the grass made her start to think she dozed off for good reason. Business calc blew.
Resignedly, she closed the window containing the practice test. She knew enough. As long as the professor didn't include too much of that crap about limits and derivatives, she could pass with a C. Or, a D. Whatever.
Mac flopped backwards on the rich grass, staring up at the pale blue sky as it flickered in and out through an elm's waving branches. Are elm trees even native to Southern California? The idle thought swam through her brain as the hazy process of how to find the interval or domain or whatever it was flipping called slowly melted into the background.
Around her, people were studying and gabbing and sunbathing and tossing Frisbees. And making out. The noise was a volume that could be tuned in or out. Mac tuned out.
She reached down and laid a hand on her bag as she let her eyes drift closed, reveling in the feathery feel of grass on her neck and the backs of her arms. The gentle breeze on her lips and blowing her hair across her cheeks. She concentrated on these things. She concentrated on not remembering.
But, as usual, when you least want it, reality intrudes. And, it does so viciously.
Mac heard an 'Oof' sound come from somewhere near her right ear. Not wanting to come out of her idyllic reverie, she wearily opened her eyes and hazarded a look in the direction of the sound.
And, sadly, there lie Dick Casablancas. A neon green disk was sticking out from beneath his chest and his left arm was twisted at an awkward angle beneath him. His breathing was labored and he was too still.
Against her better judgment, Mac scrambled up and went to him when it seemed his friends were not about to. "Hey? You okay?" she asked, tentatively. She didn't even know if she cared. But, still, she asked.
He muttered something into the ground that she couldn't hear and she knelt closer. "What? Are you okay? Do you need me to get someone?"
He turned his head so that he was facing her. His face was streaked with dirt and grass clung to his over-long blond hair. "I said-" he began, but whatever he'd meant to repeat died on his lips and his clear eyes clouded over and he pulled himself a few inches away from the ground. "Oh, Ghost World. You again? What? Are you stalking me? Can't get enough of the Casablancas man-meat?" From the way the pain crossed his face when he put too much weight on his left arm, she could see he was hurt. But, from the little speech, he made it clear he didn't require her help. And, she was no longer offering it.
She stood to her full height and returned to her belongings, quickly packing the laptop back into her bag and shouldering it. She was about to beat a hasty path toward the relative solitude of her room when his voice came again from behind her. She stiffened.
"Hey! Come on Ghos- er, Mac. Can you just-" he broke off again with a harsh curse. She turned.
He'd rolled onto his right side and was holding the arm close against his chest. Beyond him, she could see a group of guys looking around for something. Obviously, Dick "Life of the Party" Casablancas had not been invited to their little game of Ultimate Frisbee. She rolled her eyes and walked back to him, desiring very much to level a kick to his ribs... or better yet, the aforementioned "man-meat." / That should take his mind off of the arm /.
"What?" Mac demanded, staring him down. She knew it was a little unfair given her sudden physical advantage. But, all is fair in love and war. She was tired of the latter and certainly glad for the former right now. "Can I just what? Wait around for you to throw a few more insults my way? I have a dog that died when I was six. His name was Brownie. Maybe you can work it into a filthy limerick and get back to me. Or, better yet, my roommate was raped while I was in the room. Perhaps we could discuss it over a croissant at the Union?" She seethed a moment and when he just stared up at her, she spat out once more, "What?"
"I could just use a hand here. But, feel free to walk away. I'm sure my wrist will heel on its own eventually," he bit out before looking away. Another grimace crossed his features and it was that, and only that, that kept her from doing just what he suggested. Instead, she knelt next to him and cleared her throat.
"Hospital?" she asked, as he took her offered hand and sat up. He nodded. Indeed, his sun bronzed skin was a shade paler than normal and a sweat had broken out on his forehead, despite the fact that the day was breezy and cool. Without further comment, she helped him stand. And, though he was taller than her by half a foot, she managed to walk him slowly to her car.
He made no comment on her prized Gecko Green Beetle, which she had fully expected, instead sinking into the seat and cradling his arm close. She was slightly worried at his lack of a remark as she made haste to the driver's side and started the vehicle up, pulling out toward the road to take them to the hospital.
"Thanks," he mumbled as they drew further from Hearst.
"No problem," she returned.
"I know I'm a jerk. So, you can just leave off the lecture later, okay," Dick came back. His voice had a hard edge to it that made Mac bite back her retort.
The silence crushed down on them and eventually, Mac dared another glance at her passenger, worried he might have passed out. He hadn't, but his skin was even paler and his eyes were glazed. She drove faster.
As soon as she handed him off to a nurse, she took a seat in the emergency room's waiting area and called up the practice test on her laptop. For once, she was glad to have a mind-numbing assignment to distract her from worrying.
However, she soon found that calculus could not cure what ailed her. She tried not to notice the minutes turn into an hour, but she was painfully aware. How long does it take to set a wrist? What if it's worse? What if they did tests and found out he has some terrible disease. What if they had to operate? What if...
Her thoughts were interrupted as a shadow fell across her keyboard. She looked up to find Dick standing there. "Hey," was all he said.
Mac nodded her head at him, feeling stupid for worrying. He was fine. He looked no worse for the wear, save for a cast on his left wrist. He smiled down at her and wiggled his left fingers out of the end of the white plaster. "Like new," he started. He scratched the back of his neck and looked at the floor. "You didn't have to wait."
"I didn't know how you'd get home," she blurted before she could think. Idiot! He has friends that would have come to get him! And, he's filthy rich! He probably has a driver at his beck and call!
Instead of laughing or retorting, he simply responded, "I would have gotten a cab. But, thanks. I, er, I," he paused, meeting her eyes again, "I appreciate it. I'm sure you have better things to do than play ambulance for the town jackass."
Mac forced a grin as she stowed her laptop, glad for something to do other than stare up at him, "Oh, well, the FBI can wait for those top secret files. No big."
Dick laughed weakly and backed up, giving her room to stand. She picked her keys from a pouch and pointed them toward the door, "Ready?"
He gestured in front of him and looked down once more at the floor. He said nothing, but she knew enough that he wanted her to lead. Chivalrous? Dick? Probably not, Mac. He just can't remember where you parked. She nodded sharply in reply to her silent chastisement and led him to the Bug.
"Cute," Dick said simply as the note sounded from her vehicle, indicating that she'd successfully unlocked it.
She glanced back at him, eyebrows raised.
"The car. It's cute. I remember seeing it in the Neptune High lot," Dick replied, opening his door.
Mac nodded and joined him. Her cheeks were burning for even thinking that he'd meant... Well never mind.
They drove in silence. It was considerably more companionable than the oppressive quiet they'd traveled in on the way to the hospital.
"Where should I take you?" Mac asked as they took the PCH exit toward Neptune.
"The Grand. I'm staying with Logan," Dick offered the second bit of information unsolicited.
Mac nodded in response. Silently, she focused on making the correct series of turns to lead to the hotel.
She pulled up to the door of the Neptune Grand and parked, but did not turn the engine off.
Dick looked at the door and then back at Mac. She watched his Adam's apple bob as he swallowed hard. "Hey, I uh, I know you're not a taxi service, but I really don't want to go up there right now. He's probably with Veronica and I'd just..." he trailed of, looking down at his knees.
Mac shrugged and put the car in drive, pulling away from the revolving doors. "Where do you want to go?"
"Are you sure? I mean, you don't have to..." he trailed off again, swallowing hard. It was an obvious battle for him to keep up the simple conversation.
When Mac came to the edge of the parking lot, she looked at him pointedly for a direction.
"Maybe the marina? I have clothes on my dad's boat and I could hang there for a little while until I want to go back."
Mac nodded and set out in that direction.
"Thanks, again," he added, watching out the front window.
After a long beat, he spoke once more. "You know, what I said to you before? Back at your dorm?"
Mac glanced at him sharply. She wasn't even sure he remembered that, he had been so hammered. He cut his gaze from hers and looked back out the front window.
"I didn't mean it. Beav-" he began before correcting, "Cassidy really liked you a lot," the words tumbled from him in rapid succession.
Mac blanched and gripped the steering wheel, willing herself to calm down.
"Are you okay?" he asked when she didn't respond.
She nodded slowly, pulling into the marina's lot.
He looked down at her knees once more and shook his head, "I'm sorry. I shouldn't have brought it up. I just... I just..." he trailed off once more with a strangled sounding choke.
Mac glanced at him as she pulled her car into a space and shifted into park. He didn't have tears on his face, but she could see his throat working to hold back tears and his eyes were squeezed tight.
Once more denying her better judgment, she crossed the space between them and laid her hand on his left arm, just above his cast. And, unexpectedly, he turned to face her and looked into her eyes.
"Please. Tell me what he was like?" he pleaded. Tears sprung from his eyes and rolled down his cheeks unchecked. He sucked in a sobbing breath and continued when she looked bewildered by his request. "I knew him for seventeen years and I never knew him at all. You did, you must have," he grasped her hands and pleaded with his eyes.
Mac was stunned. She didn't know what to say. What he wanted her to say. So, she told the truth. "He was sweet," and at that admission, her lower lip trembled and tears began to spill from her own eyes unbidden. She'd never said it to the police when they asked about him. Or to her therapist. Or her parents. Not even to Veronica. She was angry at Beaver for leaving her. For killing those innocent kids. For killing his tormentor. Angry for so many things, but she knew what she said was true, "And I loved him."
Dick surprised her again, but in her current state, she had little room for ruminations. He leaned across the console and gathered her into his arms. "Thank you. Thank you," he whispered into her ear and he clutched her close.
The stayed like that for several minutes, just holding one another and rocking back and forth, sobbing loudly, then just quietly crying onto one another's shoulders. And, when they pulled apart, Dick traversed the distance between them once more. He held Mac's face tenderly in his hands and brought her lips to his.
The kiss was soft and tentative at first, but it grew steadily more insistent and urgent. He pulled her to his lap and she didn't resist. They entangled in one another, kissing furiously. Soon, Mac was clawing at his grass-stained shirt, working the buttons with trembling fingers. And she felt her own shirt lifted. She broke the kiss for a moment while he pulled the shirt over her head.
The air on her bare skin, hot though it was from the stuffy car, brought her back to reality. Dick's eyes were glazed again, but this time it was lust rather than pain that filled them.
When he leaned forward to kiss her, she shook her head, "This is wrong."
"Is it?" he asked, resting his forehead on her shoulder.
"I don't know."
"Then it isn't," he murmured, kissing her collarbone and stroking her the bare skin on her back.
She rested her cheek against his hair and closed her eyes, taking in the sensations that he was sending pulsing through her. The lazy kisses, so unlike their frenzied beginning, made her skin sing. And the light touch along the waistband of her jeans sent jolts of electricity to the pooling desire deep in her belly.
"Maybe it isn't," she replied with a shudder as he dipped his head to kiss the skin between her covered breasts.
She tipped her head back and bit back a moan when he finally grasped her hips and kissed a line down her belly.
"Dick," she started to protest shakily.
He looked up at her, his face serious and his eyes tender. "Sometimes things happen for a reason. If you want to stop, I will. But, if you want this like I do, we'll go to the boat and I promise we can be whatever you want after. I promise." He sounded so sincere, she lost her breath for a moment just looking down at him waiting for her decision.
Finally she nodded.
He smiled up at her and opened the door. As an afterthought, he plucked the keys from where they dangled in the ignition and and held her close until he got out of the car. And then he carried her all the way to the boat, wrapped in his grass-stained shirt.