: French ToastAuthor:
Just Desserts #2. #1 Snickerdoodles.Pairing/Character:
Dick, Mac, falling head-long into Dick/MacWord Count:
R for snarking and frisky situations Summary
: Mac just can’t seem to walk away when Dick Casablancas needs her help. Then again, maybe she doesn’t want to.Spoilers
: Mac and Bronson have had their front-porch smootch in Show Me The Monkey
, but this fic can be seen to fall during the events of Poughkeepsie, Tramps and Thieves
: I am in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of Veronica Mars. No copyright infringement is intended.
“There’s my girl.”
“I thought I told you I’m no one’s girl.” Mac looked up from her Java textbook to glare at Dick. He slid into the chair across the Commons table from her with a winning smile; she ignored him and turned back to her book. It was a Sunday evening and the room was mostly empty. She wondered how he knew where she was, since she hadn’t seen him in nearly two weeks.
Not that she was counting.
“Okay, so you’re not my girl,” he said hurriedly, “But you’re just the girl I’m looking for.”
The silence hung between them as Mac was decidedly not thinking about how Dick might be picturing her wet and naked, before she glanced up again. “Did you need something?”
“Actually, yes.” The customary smile was gone from his face, making him look older than his 19 years. The past few months had not been kind to him; she saw for the first time the chinks in his persona, the ragged edges where nothing but smooth-talking 09er used to be.
She leaned back and put her pencil down. It rolled to the center of her open book, a thin line of red against the black and white. “So, what did you need? I can’t believe you’d search me out for company what with your fellow Pi Sigs doing the dance of reinstatement these days.”
“Ordinarily, no.” He laid his hands flat on the formica table top. “But I’ve got a … situation.”
Mac crossed her arms, skeptical. The last situation she’d helped Dick out with ended up with a ridiculous amount of nakedness and kissage.
“Um, so, there’s this math class that I’m, uh, failing. And you’re a math chick, right? So, maybe you’d like to help me, um, pass the class.”
“You want me to tutor you in math?” Mac was almost relieved that was all he wanted. Almost.
“It’s Fundamentals of Mathematics or some shit.” Dick frowned. “It’s totally stupid, like, boring as hell, but I have to pass it. And I’m not.”
“What happens if you don’t,” she asked, relaxing enough to pick up her pencil again.
“Then I fail this semester. If I fail this semester, I get kicked out, and if I get kicked out, I lose my trust fund until I turn 22.” If anything, Dick looked spooked. He said, “Do you know what that means? If I lose my trust fund, I have to find a job
“And that would be like, totally
the worst thing in the world,” Mac said, smiling.
Dick, however, wasn’t smiling at all. “The absolute worst.”
“What makes you think I’ll help you? After all, there is a free tutoring service available through the library.”
He actually appeared to think about the question. “Because you don’t actually want me to fail.”
Somehow, Dick didn’t look surprised—and even a bit satisfied—when she said, “Fine, I can help, but you have to do something for me.”
“What’s that? I can do anything, pay you even.” Dick was as earnest as a puppy, blue eyes wide.
“No money, but you have to buy me breakfast.” Mac leaned forward, and jabbed her pointer finger onto the table. “Every day.”
“Dude, I can do breakfast!” Dick was beaming as he scooted his chair next to hers. “Anything for my girl!”
Mac rolled her eyes as he wrapped his arm around her shoulders. “French toast, and I like extra maple syrup. The real kind. Meet me here at nine.”
Dick planted a kiss on her cheek, making her squeak with surprise. “French toast it is!”
She’d been at the Commons drinking espresso like a maniac since 7:45 that morning. She tried to tell herself it was because of the programming practical she had in her C++ class, but she knew herself well enough to know when she was lying.
So there she was, buzzed off of six shots of espresso at nine sharp, checking out the clock like some nervous virgin on her first date. Which totally didn’t even begin to deserve thinking about.
The minute hand clicked to nine-oh-one and she prepared herself to be disappointed, though why Dick not showing up would be a disappointment she refused to consider. Turning the page in her textbook, she almost missed Dick’s characteristically chaotic entrance to the open room, carrying three Styrofoam boxes and a small white paper bag.
He slid the boxes onto the table, pushing aside her books, and handed her the bag. “Did you know that the dining hall doesn’t make French toast to order? What pudwhakers.”
Dick opened one deliciously steaming box. “Good thing that I’m resourceful and had the hotel kitchens make some up for us.”
Mac peeked into the bag and pulled out a bottle of Grade A Vermont Maple Syrup. “Thanks, Dick, this is…nice, if a bit surreal.”
“I know,” he said, beaming, “Logan said it was ridiculous, but I told him to piss off.”
Mac blinked. “Uh, that’s interesting. So what’s this math class you’re having problems with?”
Dick shoved the text book her way, opening it to the current chapter he was working on. “This sucks, you know? When am I ever going to use math?” he whined, flipping pages.
“Oh, I dunno, how about every day?” Mac skimmed the page. “When was the last time you actually did math, Dick?”
“Eighth grade, maybe? Then Beaver switched to my year and he did all our math homework.” Dick frowned, and said, “Now that I think about it, that’s probably the problem.”
“Eeyeahh,” Mac said, looking the scribbles in the margin. “That might be it. Did you guys have a plan for college? I know your dad was making you both go.”
Dick shrugged, all easy disinterest. “Not really. We were just going to keep going on like we always did.”
“And Cassidy was okay with that?” Mac’s stomach twisted when she said his name, but much to her delight, the ground didn’t open up and swallow her whole, nor was she struck by lightning.
“Beaver wasn’t ever okay with anything, in case you didn’t notice.” Dick took a huge bite of French toast. “Except you. He was sometimes okay with you.”
Mac couldn’t meet his eyes as she took her own bite. Just the perfect amount of crisp with soft, luscious interior. “Mmm, Dick, these are actually good!”
“I know. Much better than the crap in the cafeteria, or what we get fed at Pi Sig.” He opened the bottle of syrup for her. “Here, try this. Kendall used to have this stuff imported, but I think she used it as a facial mask or some shit.”
He poured a dollop into her Styrofoam box. Mac swirled her next slice in the golden pool of syrup, closing her eyes as she took the bite. The maple tang was just perfect and she couldn’t help the little groan of delight. “Okay, that was just sublime.”
Dick was grinning at her as he took another bite, powdered sugar dusting his nose and cheek. Mac stopped herself from reaching out with entirely too much mental effort. You see a guy naked and you think you can do anything, she thought. “You’ve got some sugar…there,” she said, waving at his cheek.
Dick wiped with the napkin and pointed at the book. “So what’s the diagnosis, Doc?”
She flipped through a few more pages and pulled out the teacher’s syllabus that was tucked into the back cover. “Quadratic equations are the test next week? Look, this stuff isn’t as hard as you think it is. Just think of it like a children’s song. Do you know ‘Pop goes the Weasel?”
Dick nodded and proceeded to hum a few bars.
“Great! Now, instead of the usual words, use ‘X equals opposite B, plus or minus the squa-aare root of B squared minus fo-our A C, all over two A’,” she sang, tapping her pencil along with the beats.
Dick was looking at her with raised eyebrows as he said, “You are one weird chica, you know that?”
“Yeah, I know,” Mac said with a sigh.
“But it’s all cool!” He spread his hands out, palms up. “Okay, now sing that again.”
So she did.
Four days of math tutorials and Dick actually seemed to be getting the hang of things, more or less. He could sing the song, do the examples, and had handed her his homework the day before to be graded before he turned it in. So there she sat, waiting for whatever breakfast he’d show up with that day, wondering what it could be.
French toast, waffles, pancakes and muffins to date.
But it was nothing. She waited until nine thirty before closing up her own text books, quashing the empty feeling in her chest. Their morning sessions were progressing from surreally bizarre to just plain weird and Dick had stopped being quite such a caricature.
Oh, sure, he wanted her opinion on the tits on one girl (obviously fake, you can see the padding on the push-up bra), the ass on the next (microminis and Ugg boots are not a valid fashion choice ever
), but he kept most of the comments to PG-ish. And he actually seemed to be trying with the math stuff; that had to be why she felt disappointed when she dropped her empty coffee cup in the trash can and walked out into the morning sunshine.
The thing about going to school in SoCal was pretty much every day was going to be a nice day, whether you wanted it to be or not. She had a while before her first class and debated between going back to sleep or stopping in to see if Veronica was in the library. Library it was, since she needed to check out some Nietzsche while she was there; nothing like a lithe happy-go-lucky philosophy to brighten her morning.
She was done at the library, sadly sans Veronica, and headed to her first class when she thought she heard someone calling her name, a male someone. Expecting Piz, or even Bronson, she was floored to see a damp and scattered looking Dick bounding down the path behind her, trailing papers from a mostly open bag like college-ruled snowfall.
“Uh, Dick, I think you’re leaking.” She pointed to the papers.
“Whatever. Look, I was surfing and lost track of the time.” He pushed his damp bangs out of his eyes and gasped for breath. “But I’m here! And I brought danishes!”
She took the bag of danishes he shoved into her hands, but said, “I’m sorry, but I have to get to class.”
Mac was surprised to see something like disappointment in his eyes before he dropped his bag and started picking up the papers, shoving them in willy-nilly. “Oh. Right.”
“You did pretty well on your homework, though.”
He looked up from where he’d dropped to his knees and said, “Yeah? That’s cool. Um, want to go over it with me later?”
“When? I’ve got class until four thirty today, and I’ve got some consulting work tomorrow.”
“How about tonight?” He made it sound casual, but he wouldn’t meet her eyes.
“As in Friday night?” And Mac found herself unaccountably checking out the detail in the paving stones that bordered the walking path.
“What, you have plans?” He smirked, “Like with that loser animal rights dude; gonna go free some hamsters at the pet store?”
Mac just glared and turned away. She’d only taken a few steps before Dick’s hand was on her arm, warm through her sweatshirt. “Wait.”
“Why?” Mac said, “Why should I wait?”
“Um, because I’m sorry.” He shrugged. “Or I’m working on it, at least. So, what do you think?”
“About tonight?” Mac stacked the bag of dansishes on top of her Nietzsche and ignored the fact that Dick’s hand was still on her arm.
“It’d be like a math date, only not that dorky,” Dick quickly added. “You can come over, we’ll have some brewskies, you can tell me what I did wrong, and it’ll be, like, fun.”
“I can’t believe you just used the words ‘math’ ‘date’ and ‘fun’ all in the same concept.” Mac shook her head and said, “Aren’t you supposed to be out killing your brain cells with your frat brothers or something tonight?”
“Supposed to?” He grinned. “The great Dick Casablancas is supposed to do whatever the hell he wants!”
“Oh, really,” she said flatly.
Dick lost the smile. “That and we got sanctions for the party when everything went down and we’re not allowed to ‘socialize’ on weekends any more.”
Mac sighed, wondering just where the hell her
brain cells were that day and said, “Sure. Um, I’ll be there at seven thirty.”
Dick clapped his hands with delight. “Excellent!”
So there she was, seven thirty on the nose, standing outside Logan’s hotel room—funny how she never thought of it as Dick’s hotel room—and debating on the best etiquette for knocking.
She ended up with the classic shave and a hair-cut approach, muttering, “I’ve lost my mind. I have well and truly lost my mind.”
Mac managed a smile when Dick threw open the door. “Welcome to my humble abode! Casa Casablancas at your service.”
She ducked under his arm and walked in, setting her bag on the end table. The door to the patio was open and a light breeze fluttered the leaves of the potted plants that she was sure neither Dick nor Logan remembered to water. She looked around, and said, “Where’s Logan? Do he and Veronica have a thing tonight?”
“A thing? That boy and his things,” Dick shook his head and clucked his tongue as he strode over to the bar. “He’s never going to learn, is he?”
“Is she?” Mac countered, sitting on the edge of the sofa.
“Probably not. Veronica Mars will go on poking her nose where it’s not wanted until the day she dies, which should have been a few years ago, but who’s counting.”
“Uh, obviously you are,” Mac said, accepting the unopened bottle of Shiner Bock, wondering where he found it, what with not being in Texas and all.
Dick handed her the opener, handle side toward her. “Never let it be said that I can’t learn from my mistakes.”
“I’m glad someone can,” Mac answered, popping the top.
“So, math first, or do you want to kill some zombies?” Dick asked, flopping down on the couch next to her. “Tell me O Wise One, in my quest to reinvent myself as someone who doesn’t have to work to get the newest Razr, am I supposed to study first or last?”
Mac took a swig of beer and wondered what karmic wheel just fell off its axel and was suicidally rolling away downhill if she was now responsible for guiding Dick Casablancas back to the fold of the idle rich.
“I think we work first, Dick, then we kill zombies.” She winked at him. “But you are going to regret the zombie thing. I kick ass at zombie annihilation. Give me a shotgun and a blowtorch and I’m all over it.”
Dick sat up, rubbing his hands together. “You are on like Donkey Kong, my overconfident friend. The ways of the zombie killings are a secret art, practiced by only a select few.”
“Yeah, and Cassidy was one of them.” Mac’s eyes glittered with challenge. “You’re so on, beeotch.”
The math work lasted all of about an hour and a half, with frequent breaks for beer, whining, beer and Chinese food, then the eventual exasperated slamming of the textbooks on the floor.
The zombie killings went much smoother.
Dick, it appeared, really did have an affinity for mutilating ambulatory corpses, with or without the aid of a shotgun, but Mac mastered the art of mass murdering the things. She tried not think about just who she learned that particular skill from.
“Take that,” Dick yelped, twisting the controller like it really was a chainsaw, and Mac had to giggle.
“You guys really get into this stuff.”
“And most girls don’t. What’s up with you?”
“It’s fun, I guess, and I do a lot with computers anyway. Not something I do all the time, but I can get behind some random Xbox violence.” She yawned loud enough to hear her own jaw crack. “Ow. What time is it anyway?”
Dick glanced at his watch. “Two in the morning. Guess Logan found an elsewhere to be tonight.”
“I’m exhausted.” She stood up to stretch, leaning woozily on the sofa. “Urgh. No driving for me.”
Mac looked at the beer bottles littering the coffee table and floor, not to mention the cartons of Chinese food they had delivered a few hours before. It looked like normal college fun, and she had to smile. “Sorry, Master Beheader, but I’ve got to go.”
“Not really,” Dick said, giving her a once-over that reminded her all too much of a recent very naked, wet one.
Swallowing the little twist of excitement deep in her belly, Mac shook her head. “Dick, I’m not going to have sex with you.”
“That’s what they all say,” he said, waggling his eyebrows suggestively. “But they’re usually wrong.”
“Oh, really.” Mac yawned again and shook her head. “I mean it. Want to ring the cab stand for me on my way down?”
Dick stood up, dropping the controller to the couch. “Look, I’ll behave myself, I promise. But, please…stay.”
The air was still now, no more breeze through the doors, but the night still smelled of ocean. Mac glanced out the open doors to the brightly lit town outside, the faint noise of traffic and music from the night scene floating up to the penthouse. And somehow, that world seemed just a little bit too bright, too real, and she wanted nothing more than just to stay there where things like whether your mother was really your mother, or whether your murderous dead ex-boyfriend really loved you, just weren’t important anymore.
She looked back at Dick, watching her with eyes just a little too frightened of the dreams that came at night, and said, “Okay.”
Dick grabbed her hand and pulled her from the room, flicking off the TV on the way. His room was neat, the benefit of daily maid service she thought, and surprisingly impersonal. There was almost nothing that showed that Dick lived there, however transiently. She had expected surfer pics on the walls and indie band posters, but aside from his surfboard in the corner and a pile of rumpled clothes, there was nothing.
“This is nice. Quiet, and nice.” The bed was fluffy and white, piled with pillows, and she fell on it with a sigh as she kicked off her shoes. “I could get used to not having a roommate, though Parker’s not so bad once you get to know her.”
Dick shimmied out of his shirt and shoes and lay down beside her, head pillowed on his arm. “It’s okay. I kinda like having people around—makes me think less.”
“And your perpetual pursuit in life is to think less,” she said, rolling over to face him.
He grinned, “Yup. Guess you
listen to me, at least.”
“Funny, you’re not the first Casablancas to say that to me,” Mac whispered, crossing her arms across her chest. Dick was only a few inches away, golden tan and perfectly Californian. All she had to do was reach out her fingers to touch his bare chest, but she couldn’t. His voice was just a tone too familiar, with too many echoes, and she could only blink away tears.
His arm snaked around her waist and pulled her closer. He kissed her forehead, then her cheek, finally her lips. He tasted of beer and mu shu pork and she smiled despite herself.
“I thought you said you sucked at this comforting thing.”
“Never really seemed important before. But you’re here, and now I’m not alone anymore.”
This time it was Mac who kissed him first, running her fingers through that sun-bright hair. Faint stubble against her palm on his jaw, the fine pulse of his throat, down to the lean muscles of his shoulder. He slid a knee between her legs and used his hands on her ass to draw her up, nipping her bottom lip.
“What are we doing, Dick?” she whispered, arching her back has he ran his had down her side, fingers sliding under her shirt to trace the lines of her ribs.
“We’re not thinking at all, that’s what we’re doing.” He nuzzled her neck, kissing a line from collarbone to jaw. “You can’t tell me this isn’t fun.”
“We’re all mad here, Alice,” she sighed, “And I’m still not having sex with you tonight.”
The rumble of Dick’s mutter vibrated through her chest. “And if that’s all I wanted, I’d call Madison Sinclair.”
At Mac’s shocked laugh, Dick said, “What?”
She drew him down for another kiss, harder than the first and full of that fire she thought she’s lost along with her clothes all those long nights ago, and said, “That is a can of worms that maybe one day you’ll get to fish with. Now, tell me this.”
He left off trying to unbutton her shirt long enough to look up.
“Can we order French toast in the morning?”
Dick’s smile was brighter than the lights on the strip outside, full of sparkle just for her. “For my girl, anything.”
~~~ The End ~~~
This story will continue in the next adventure Caramel Sundaes