Series: Just Desserts #1
Pairing/Character: Dick, Mac, baby steps towards Dick/Mac
Word Count: 3550
Rating: R for sexual innuendo
Summary: Just an average evening on Hearst campus, with drunken students vomiting in bushes. Whatever will Mac do when she discovers an incapacitated Dick?
Spoilers: This fic is set before Show Me The Monkey
, ie before Mac and Bronson have their little rat-enhanced love connection, but it assumes that the audience has seen Poughkeepsie, Tramps and Theives
Disclaimer: I am in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of Veronica Mars. No copyright infringement is intended.
It was a perfect evening, just the hint of cool in the air, but the sun-warmed bricks of the paths across campus made walking through the perfectly manicured grounds, well, perfect. Mac adjusted the bag on her shoulder and breathed deep that almost mist from the shore blowing in, a hint of sea and brine. For some reason, the students that were usually out crawling all over the place were gone and Mac felt a momentary flutter of peace, perfectly in sync with the current Ipod selection serenading her through her earbuds.
She walked along towards her dorm, humming softly under her breath, when she heard a sound loud enough to cut through even the most poetically maudlin Fiona Apple. Not just any sound, the sound that all college students are intimately familiar with: the retching vomit.
The bushes to her left shuddered and rustled. More vomiting. Hating to leave someone molesting the lovely landscaping, she climbed up into the planter and pushed aside the much-abused shrubs.
Only to find Dick Casablancas ass-over-teakettle and covered in what probably had been about six pitchers of margaritas. He glared blearily up at her and attempted to stand only to discover the connection between feet and brain had ended about three pitchers ago.
“My, my, look what the cat threw up in the bushes.”
“Fo guck urgself,” Dick garbled, smashing a hand across his face, to accomplish what exactly, Mac had no idea.
She broke out into a huge smile. “Wow, this day just keeps getting better and better! First a perfect score on my psych exam, then they had my favorite flavor slushie at 7-11, now I find this! What else could I ask for?”
Dick retched again, but nothing came up. He rolled over onto his back, crushing some completely undeserving zinnias, and said, “’S your fault.”
“Oh, somehow I highly doubt I poured all that tequila down your throat.” She grinned. “Even I’m not that good, what with the actual going to school and having a future thing.”
Dick rubbed his face again, wiping his mouth on his sleeve, and sniffled. “”S your fault he’s dead.”
Mac’s smile slid from her lips. “Oh. That.” She swallowed, her heart doing that familiar dying-fish flip-flop that her therapist said was probably not a good thing.
“He toldsme you were--that bastard.” Dick sniffled again.
Trapped between a desire to punch Dick, run sobbing back to her dorm room and collapse, or finally get some semblance of control back into her life, she opted for the latter. Crouching down so she could grab his thankfully clean ear, she said, “Given that your mass-murdering, mental mind-fucking rapist of a brother is deservedly dead as a door-nail, I’m pretty sure he didn’t tell you anything.”
Dick winced when she twisted his ear and whimpered, “I see him all the time, every time I close my eyes. He’s there but he’s not him and he’s always dying.”
Mac looked down at him, the boy not Cassidy, and who never was, and said, “So do I.”
She wasn’t sure how it happened, but somehow she ended up dragging Dick to his car, stuffing him in the passenger seat, and driving him back to the Grand. She conned a luggage cart from a bell-boy and snuck a limp Dick up the service elevator. Using the keycard from his pocket, she let herself into Logan’s suite—all the while praising the Gods for whatever antic Logan was getting himself up to right now—and rolled Dick inside.
He lolled there on the cart, blond hair sticking every-which way, and whimpered softly to himself. The part of her that couldn’t believe she had Dick Casablancas on a luggage cart weeping could barely quash her inner amusement. The other part, the part that was still huddled in a room a few floors down, naked and fractured, wanted to break down right along with him.
She settled for wheeling him into the bathroom, yanking off his shoes, dumping him in the shower, and turning on the water as cold as it would go. Dick sputtered and coughed, flopping around on the slippery stone, but he managed to rinse most of the stink from his face and hair. He wobbled a bit on his knees and tugged at his shirt.
Mac looked at him, shivering and pathetic, and turned the water up to warm. “Here,” she said, unbuttoning Dick’s shirt and sliding it off his back. “I’ll just throw this away then.”
She caught a glimpse of herself in the mirror and saw regular old Mac, the same girl that was always there, and wondered why it didn’t show. The broken bits inside her that pinched and cut away at what she used to be. Over her shoulder, she could see Dick grappling with a shampoo bottle, utterly oblivious to her very existence, and wondered whether he was shattered, too.
She’d never really stopped to consider Dick, other than to note that Dick was, in fact, a dick, and that he had been Cassidy’s older brother. But the guy in the shower was somehow not that Dick, the one with everything handed to him on a silver platter. He was the one that lost his father, his brother, his stepmother and himself.
She wished she could feel something other than this awful empathy, that she could loathe him for all he is and all that he was. Instead, she tossed the shirt in the trash can and handed him his toothbrush laden with an extra helping of toothpaste.
“Do you need help with that?” She asked, waving at the toothbrush.
Dick blinked at her through the spray of water as if he was seeing her there for the first time. “You hate me.”
“Well, duh. You’re not exactly the most likable person, you know.”
“I hate me,” he said, shoving the toothbrush in his mouth and scrubbing away with abandon. He spat down the drain and dropped the toothbrush outside the shower.
“When I’m not drunk, I hate me. When I am drunk, I hate me less.” He looked proud of himself for that statement, and she supposed any higher philosophical thought from Dick was something to be filed under ‘Good Things’.
“That would certainly explain your last few months,” Mac said, handing him another washcloth and a bar of soap. “You had a serious lot of hate-on going on.”
“If you don’t think, it doesn’t hurt,” Dick mumbled, tugging on his belt buckle.
“Pants! Your pants stay on!” Mac squeaked, backing away.
Apparently temporarily deaf, Dick leaned on the wall of the shower and negotiated his pants and boxers off to knee level. “I’m stuck.”
“Well, I’m not helping you!” She closed her eyes. “La, la, la, put your clothes back on!”
“Prude.” He sat down and began trying to remove one pant leg. “No wonder Beaver chose you.”
“I am not a prude,” she snapped, glaring down at him. “And what do you mean, chose me?”
“For a smart chick, you sure are dumb.” He started on the second leg, sneezing when water went up his nose. “You’re nice, you know.”
“You’re nice.” Dick gave up and grabbed the washcloth, pants still stuck on his left leg. “You didn’t know what guys were really like. You were nice.”
“I’m not nice any more,” she whispered, sinking down to crouch next to him. The fact that he was naked and attempting to scrub vomit from his chest with a washcloth didn’t phase her. She could feel the steam seeping through her coat, hot on her skin, so she shed the coat and tossed it on the vanity. Leaning her back on the cool tile outside of the shower, she flicked at the droplets of water spattering the toes of her boot. “Can you be nice again after something like that?”
Dick blinked at her and shook his head, spraying water everywhere. “You think too much.”
“And you don’t think enough,” she snapped. “If you’d think at all you wouldn’t be in this position.”
“Which position is that,” he said, “Naked in a bathroom with you
“I’m not naked,” she said, flushing. It was hot in the bathroom, but she knew her face was warm from something other than the steam.
Slouching against the wall, just outside of the spray, Dick looked her way. He regarded her for a minute, expression curious. “Maybe that’s your problem. Maybe you should be naked.”
“Naked.” She rolled her eyes. “Like that would happen.”
“Have you been naked around anyone since that night?” Dick asked, still working to get his left pant leg over his ankle.
Mac didn’t know how he knew how Cassidy had left her, and wasn’t sure she wanted to. She couldn’t decide if it hurt more that he knew or that he was right. “I don’t see how that’s any of your business.”
“You take yourself too seriously. Come on, you’re still alive. He could have killed you, and he didn’t.”
“Yes he did,” she whispered. “There’s nothing left; I might as well be dead.”
“Bullshit,” Dick said, foot finally free. “You’re just afraid that someone else will do the same thing.”
“What are you afraid of then? That if you were sober you’d discover that you’ve got more of your brother and your father in you than you could stand?” It was mean, and she knew it, but Dick only nodded.
He was watching her then, eyes blue and surprisingly bright for how much alcohol he must have consumed. Mac blushed again and stood up.
“Fine. Naked. I can do that.” Her stomach clenched, a riot of bad ideas, and she started on the buttons of her shirt. “I can’t believe I’m listening to Dick Casablancas. I think stupid is contagious.”
“You know, that’s not the first time someone has said that to me.” Dick wobbled his way to upright again and tugged the shirt from her arm.
“Can you not help me? This is hard enough as it is.” Mac turned so her back was to him, hands hesitating on her pants.
“Fine. But I’m still going to be here, enjoying this lovely hot water when you’re done.” He started singing to himself, something completely tuneless and utterly ridiculous. She could tell he was facing away from her, considerably steadier than he was even twenty minutes before.
She took a deep breath and slid her pants off, kicking her shoes and socks off to one side. She stood there, naked but for her bra and panties and wondered exactly what level of hell this would qualify for.
A very ironic one, she was sure.
“You know, I’ve seen lots of naked chicks before. It’s not like you’ve got anything new and original.” Dick had stopped singing and Mac felt him watching her back again. “Of course, most of them had bigger boobs than you.”
“You’re atrocious, you know that?” Mac said, “Why am I doing this again?”
“Because I might be a dick, but you know I’m right.”
Mac gasped when she felt his hand on her back, sliding the bra strap off of her shoulder. She froze there, like a hunted animal, and wondered if she were having a heart attack. That would certainly explain the dementia involved with allowing Dick to push the strap off the other shoulder and unhook the bra. She loosed her arms and the bra fell to the floor of the bathroom.
“You don’t ever go to a tanning bed, do you?” Dick asked.
“Non sequitor, much? No, I’ve never been to a tanning bed.” Mac heard her voice shake and tried to remember how to breathe.
“Thought not.” Dick sounded so normal, like he wasn’t trying to keep himself from screaming. Of course, he probably wasn’t, since he’d been naked almost from the moment she rolled him into the shower.
He was so close, the heat from his skin radiated, warming her back. His hands were still on her shoulders, holding her there, making her sane.
“I’m really standing here.”
“Uh, yeah, you are,” he said, running his left hand gently down her upper arm to her elbow. He touched her lower back, running his hand along the elastic of her panties, and she was inanely glad she’d decided to go for something other than basic white that day. Pink with little hearts wasn’t much better, but at that moment, she was ridiculously relieved.
“You know, it usually doesn’t take this much effort for me to get a girl out of her pants.”
“Most girls you know are on the lowest rungs of the evolutionary ladder,” Mac snarked, “Bottom feeders don’t need all that much talking to get them out of their skimpy little whore costumes.”
“Fair enough,” he said, “But you’re still wearing underwear.”
She drew a sharp breath as Dick gently tugged her panties down, waiting for her to step out of them before tossing them on the pile of clothes.
There. She was naked. And she hadn’t burst into tears, run away, or had a psychotic break.
Dick stepped back into the shower. “Come on, the water’s warm and I stole Logan’s new shampoo that smells like cookies.”
Mac laughed, sharp and hard, but it was a laugh none the less. She closed her eyes and made herself keep her arms to her side as she turned around to face Dick and his bottle of cookie shampoo. She opened her eyes to see Dick watching her: watching, not judging.
He looked her over, toes to the bright teal streaks in her hair, and gave a drunken little leer. “Okay, now I see what Beaver saw in you. For a flat-chested computer geek, you’re not half bad!”
Her jaw dropped but before she could retort, he reached out and grabbed her hand, yanking her under the water. She snorted, water running in her eyes and down her body. She reached up and shoved her hair off her face to see Dick smiling at her, genuinely amused.
“I think I should be drunker than I am,” Mac said, trying to ignore the fact that a very naked Dick was only inches away, flat planes of his chest at eye level.
“You’re not drunk at all.” Dick grinned. “I can fix that. Don’t go anywhere.”
“As if,” she grumbled, rubbing her arms to warm them, amazed at the water heater the hotel must have lurking in the basement. She watched Dick walk out of the bathroom, only leaning on the wall a little bit for balance. He returned momentarily with a bottle of champagne.
“Logan always keeps this shit around for Veronica. It’s a chick drink, and you’re a chick, so I thought this was a good idea.” He worked the cork out and yelped as the cold foam spilled on his legs.
She tried not to notice exactly where the champagne landed as she grabbed the bottle and guzzled as much as she could stand. It made her eyes water and she gasped as the bubbles went up her nose.
“Slow down there, tiger. I like my girls buzzed, not barfing.”
“Your girls? Your girl
? Since when am I your girl?” She thumped him in the chest with the bottle, satisfied when he grunted and stepped back. “I am no one’s girl, thank you very much—and you’re one to talk about the vomiting, Mr. Yacking in the Bushes.”
“Geez, lighten up.” Dick grabbed the bottle back and took a swig. “Don’t you ever just have fun?”
“Last time I had fun, I ended up nearly giving my virginity to a guy who raped one of my best friends but yet couldn’t get it up for a normal girl, who then went and tried to kill said friend and ended up throwing himself off this very hotel. Yeah, that’s fun.”
“Ouch—wait, you mean you’re a virgin?” Dick looked down at her, shivering despite the heat of the water cascading down her back, and opened his eyes wide. “The Beaver was supposed to be your first? No wonder you’re all fucked up about the way things ended.”
She closed her eyes, pulling the bottle back from Dick, and took another deep drink. And then another. She was completely taken by surprise when two strong arms wrapped around her body and pulled her close. She set the bottle down on the ledge and tentatively wrapped her hands around Dick’s torso. He smelled warm, like sugar cookies with a hint of spice, and she was grateful he managed to clean himself up. They stayed there for a moment, still under the water, before Dick ran his hand up her back to stroke her hair.
“Usually I suck at this consoling thing, but you did drag me out of the bushes,” he said, low and deep, and Mac could feel it rumble through his chest.
“You’re doing fine,” she whispered, relaxing her grip enough to trace the line of Dick’s spine down to his buttocks. His back was lean, muscled from surfing. She felt like she was touching another kind of animal, something as alien as a dolphin out of water.
It was, she realized, a supremely out-of-body experience to be cuddling with Dick Casablancas, naked, in a shower, already buzzed from champagne.
But it was not, she also realized, a bad thing.
She started to giggle, softly at first, but louder and louder until she was laughing outright.
“See? You do know how to have fun.” Dick stepped back and grabbed the shampoo bottle again and spun her around. “This stuff is awesome. Every time I use it I have to go get those snickerdoodle things from the bakery in the lobby.”
He squirted a blob into her hair and dropped the bottle. Dick stroked her hair again, fingers working the shampoo into frothy and sweet-smelling lather. He leaned against her, fitting her body against his as he worked.
Mac froze at first, tensing at the contact, but when Dick didn’t appear to want to throw her against the wall and ravage her against her will, she relaxed. Besides, the shampoo really did smell fantastic.
“I can’t believe you care this much about hair,” she said, moaning as he massaged her scalp.
“How do you think a guy like me gets the ladies? It’s all about the proper application of product.” He tilted her forward under the spray to wash away the suds, running his fingers down her back, caressing her lower back, then lightly smoothing over her butt. She gasped, reaching out support herself against the wall. “That’s a nice ass you’ve got there, sweet cheeks.”
She started to giggle again, then laugh, and finally she had to collapse to her knees from shaking so hard. Dick followed her down to the floor of the shower, grabbing the champagne on the way down.
“What are we doing, Dick? I don’t like you, you don’t like me, yet here we are.”
“Here we are.” He took a drink and passed her the bottle. “I don’t hate you, you know.”
“I know.” She took a few swallows and shook the bottle. “All gone.”
“There’s more in the other room,” he said, splashing in the puddles between their legs.
“Yeah, there probably is. But now that you’re probably not going to choke on your own vomit and die, I should probably get going.”
He gently grabbed her face, tilting it towards him, and leaned forward to give her a kiss. The touch on her lips was light, surprisingly delicate for someone as overblown as Dick, and she kissed him back, softly at first, but rougher when he didn’t to pull away.
They stayed that way for a moment, just breathing, before Mac said, “Thanks. I can’t believe I’m saying this to you, but—thanks.”
“Just what the doctor ordered then! Dick with a side of,” he pointed to his obviously interested crotch, “Dick!”
“Uh, maybe next time,” Mac said, pushing herself off the floor of the shower.
“Next time,” Dick said, nodding. “I’ll remember that.”
She dried herself on one of the hotel’s large and fluffy white towels. “Your car keys are on the bar and I parked you on level three.”
“Bitchin’. I’ll have to pay someone to clean it up.” He wrinkled his nose. “Again.”
She was dressed by the time he managed to get his own towel and follow her to the door. “I’ll catch a cab downstairs, but try not to drink anything else. Sleep, or something.”
He held the door, half-naked and dripping, and said, “Or something. Little buddy has to be taken care of now that he’s all awake.”
Mac dropped her hand from the doorknob like it was on fire. “Ew. I so
didn’t need to know that.” She thought for a moment and said, “But I’m kind of glad I do.”
She reached up on tiptoes to kiss Dick on the cheek. “Thanks again.”
He watched her as she walked away, and was still watching as she waved from the elevator. He clutched the towel around his waist and gave her a salute before shutting the door.
On her way to the cab stand, she decided to stop in the lobby bakery. For some reason, she was in the mood for a snickerdoodle.
Next up in this series is French Toast
. Mmm, desserts...