Casey/Dennis Slice of Life AU

Date: 2017-02-10 10:56 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
AU like one of those contemporary angst filled Sundance films where Casey is a high school student who makes friends with the schools angry and strange maintenance man, Dennis. Also I could see Dennis being suspected as a creep, watching the cheerleaders practicing while he's repairing some bleachers. Casey is still living with her uncle and being continually abused. Dennis, knowing how terrible abuse is but also not wanting to get too involved, begrudgingly helps Casey find the strength to tell someone. He makes her feel like a person again. Casey gives Dennis a reason to see there can be happiness for him, that not everything is so bad. Cue a metric TON of angst, because underage, age difference, csa themes, UST, unrequited feeling, maybe Dennis losing it and almost beating the shit out of her uncle. Dennis feeling sick with himself over all the filthy dreams and fantasies he's having about Casey, knowing the things she's gone through, what her uncle's done. But what he doesn't know, is Casey is having vivid dirty dreams about him too. Casey being so confused about her feelings for Dennis, but at the same time so desperate for real affection. She knows he wants her, it's not hard to tell, but it's the first time she's felt anything for someone and she doesn't want it ruined.

I was listening to a few songs when I thought of this, so if you want the vibe I was feeling check out Let Me Down Easy by Max Frost, Summer Skeletons by Radical Face, and Hello My Old Heart by the Oh Hellos.

Re: Casey/Dennis Slice of Life AU

Date: 2017-02-14 12:15 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
anon- i've been thinking about this ever since you've posted it. gonna try and start working on a fill for it

Re: Casey/Dennis Slice of Life AU - FILL (1/?)

Date: 2017-02-24 12:07 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Whew! Finally got around to finishing up the first part of this! I have like, six parts already outlined just have to finish writing everything. Still trying to get back into writing so be gentle haha. Was totally obsessed with this idea and the vibe these songs give.





  Class comes to an end after a brief explanation of next weeks assignment and the classroom becomes busy with noise once again. Casey doesn’t hurry to grab her things, checking the time on her phone before putting away her books in her bag and gathering her things. There’s no rush to head home. There never is. There’s nothing to go home for. She decides to procrastinate and take the time to study for an upcoming geometry test, pushing past a couple of students lingering in the doorway to make her way to the library. The library is quiet and secluded, the door doing its best to seal away the noise from the hallway outside. There’s a few groups of students sitting around different tables, talking and joking quietly among each other. She finds an empty spot before pulling her notes out of her bag and setting them on the table.
  
  It hasn’t been more than 15 minutes before the door to the library swings open, the loud clatter from a step-ladder catching her attention. It’s the school’s maintenance man Dennis who’s made the noise and he quietly proceeds to his goal, a dead fluorescent bulb in the tiled ceiling that’s been flickering for several days now. He’s deep-chested and tall with broad shoulders, dressed in a grey button-up work shirt that hugs his form. His hair is close-shaven and it gives him a very authoritarian look. Dennis’ steely eyes glance over his glasses only momentarily towards her direction before turning back to his task, ascending the ladder to discard the bulb. Casey has only one earphone in, but she’s not paying attention to the music now. The students across from her at the other table are glancing sideways at Dennis, murmuring quietly among themselves.
  
  “That guy has some sort of sharp, splintery stick up his ass.” A boy scoffs, twirling a well-worn pencil skillfully. The girl beside him frowns, flipping her long, dark hair to her other shoulder. “He’s honestly kind of a creep. He was definitely checking out the cheerleaders last week when he was working on that hole in the fence.” Her voice is hushed and low. Casey isn’t a fan of eavesdropping, or gossip in general, but she finds herself almost curious about Dennis. There’s a truth in what they say, regardless if it’s cruel or not. Casey’s heard stories about him from students and teachers alike, his meticulousness, his obsession with cleanliness and how it’s impossible to even hold small talk with him. She recalls hearing her english teacher comment to someone about how closely he keeps to himself. Casey glances back down to her notebook, page still empty save for a few eraser shavings, and inwardly finds it stupid to think about the man that much. He’s weird, but he fixes things when they break and that’s all that matters. It’s no one’s business but his own, she guesses.
  
  Minutes soon gather into an hour and a half and the library slowly begins to empty out. Dennis has left long ago, something as simple as changing a light bulb only takes a few minutes and the once dim corner now is filled with pale light from the new one. There’s notes and problems scrawled across her notebook now, and she’s already texted her uncle that she’d be staying a little later to study, so for now she has all the time in the world. Casey reveres this time when she’s alone, quiet with nothing but her thoughts. She doesn’t mind being alone like this. Sometimes, in the past, Casey would find herself longing for friends, for a group to attach herself to and surround herself with. But she almost prefers it this way now, it’s peaceful and the solitude almost comes as a blessing to her.
  
  Casey’s attention is snagged by the soft tinkling sound of keys and looks up, the door to the library swinging open. It’s Dennis once again, and she realizes how late it’s gotten. He’s making the rounds now, making sure everything’s locked. His hand pauses over the light switch when he notices her, brows knitted together in his usual neutral expression. There’s a look in his eye that’s almost anxious when he notices her sitting in there still. “Uh... Excuse me, Miss?” He asks, clearing his throat. He immediately looks down when she looks up at him to speak. “Sorry. Lost track of time.” Casey states plainly before compliantly gathering her things and stuffing them away into her bag. “What are you still doing here? Are you waiting on someone?” Dennis asks, and up close she can take in the finer details of him.
  
  His eyes are a stone blue, cold and almost criticizing in appearance. He adjusts his glasses before folding his arms, shifting his weight from one foot to the other. “No, I’ll get out of your way. I can just call my ride, it’s no big deal.” Casey said, slinging the strap to her bag over her shoulder and rising from the chair. Dennis pauses, like he wants to say something, but doesn’t and quickly moves out of her way. “Goodnight.” Casey calls casually over her shoulder as she walks out of the door. Her house isn’t that far from the school, she’ll call her uncle and just wait outside for him. A familiar feeling rises in her stomach as she thinks about going home. It starts deep in the pit of her stomach and feels heavier than lead, a thick seed of dread and anxiety. Casey pushes it away as soon as it manifests and steps outside of the school into the late afternoon sun.
  
  Returning home for Casey is an idea that invokes dread in her, no matter how many years have passed. She can manage better now than she used to, it’s more of a numb feeling now than the sharp sense of panic that used to overcome her. The panic still comes now and then but Casey has evolved to manage it accordingly. It’s taken years of practice and it’s still not perfect but she’s refined it now. There’s not so many ups-and-downs, just a steady dead feeling. Home is sanctuary, a safe place to return to when the world outside is sharp and dangerous. Family is there to protect you and guide you through life. None of these things were this for Casey. She leans against the red brick of the school building and draws her phone out of her pocket, pulling up her recent calls and dialing her uncle.

Re: Casey/Dennis Slice of Life AU - FILL (1/?)

Date: 2017-02-24 01:09 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Great start, anon!

Re: Casey/Dennis Slice of Life AU - FILL (1/?)

Date: 2017-02-24 03:24 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
OP here! I love love love it so far! It's got exactly the atmosphere I was seeing in my head. I'm glad you like the song vibes too ^-^ I've actually got a playlist that I keep adding to, check it out if you want!

https://open.spotify.com/user/thedesertviking/playlist/77Amm5QbfZBEKW9k6EqCu0

Re: Casey/Dennis Slice of Life AU - FILL (1/?)

Date: 2017-02-25 02:34 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Love it!!

Re: Casey/Dennis Slice of Life AU - FILL (1/2)

Date: 2017-03-03 05:09 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
  It’s mid-afternoon when Casey makes her way to the library again the next day. The halls are busy and noisy and she feels dread mixed with faint agitation when she peers through the glass doors of the library to see that it’s crowded today. She purses her lips and thinks for a moment before turning away and walking towards the exit. Even though it’s only September there’s already a faint chill beginning to settle in the air and the entire atmosphere seems like it’s changed, welcoming autumn. It’s much quieter outside and Casey sits down at one of the few tables that are lined up along the side of the school building, setting her bag down beside her feet and pulling out her phone. She doesn’t really have any work to do or really much to study for today, but there’s no point in heading straight home just yet. Her phone buzzes quietly in her palm and her eyes glance down to see a text from her uncle.
  
   ”Hey, car’s busted again. Will be late to pick you up, sorry.” The notification on her screen displays the text and her eyes linger on it until her screen dims again and she breathes in deeply. The weather was nice and she had all the time in the world to wait as far as she was concerned. Casey sets her elbow on the table, resting her chin on the palm of her hand as she looked upwards at the sky. This time of year, the transition from late summer into fall was always special. Every year around this time she still manages to feel the nostalgic prickle of excitement, October marking the beginning of deer season. Once her father died, Casey quickly lost her interest in hunting. Perhaps it wasn’t so much a loss of interest, but her lack of desire to go on extended trips into the forest with uncle John. But still, her internal clock still ticks quietly and gives a faint reminder every fall, an echo in the back of her mind. The wind gusts quietly and sends leaves stirring in a lazy circle where they’ve gathered in the corner of the brick walls, drawing her attention to the present moment.
  
  The warmth of the sun fades slowly from her back as one of the many puffy clouds in the sky rolls across it and she looks up to notice someone familiar. She recognizes Dennis, once again clad in his neatly pressed work uniform. Broom in one hand and the long handle of a dustpan in his other, his concentration is centered on a stray can that rolls a few lazy inches with the gentle push of the breeze. Casey doesn’t say anything to him, simply watches as he clinically sweeps the can into the dustpan and inspects a little further up the sidewalk. She briefly recalls his obsession with order and cleanliness and thinks it’s almost a little interesting to see it in action. When he looks up and catches her eye he almost appears startled like he didn’t realize she had been sitting there. The silence quickly becomes awkward but not unbearable. “You’re alone again?” Dennis finally speaks and the words that come out surprise Casey. It wasn’t too unusual to see people sitting by themselves and minding their own business and there were certainly other students who were usually by themselves as well.
  
  Casey quietly nods her head, tucking a strand of dark brown hair back behind her ear where it had fallen from. “Um, yeah. I guess so.” She said, the toes of her shoes scuffling idly on the concrete. “No ones... Giving you trouble are they?” Dennis asks her and Casey has to stop herself from snorting with amusement. “No, nothing like that. I just really don’t mind being by myself, honestly.” Casey assures him, finding it strange that he’s even concerned about it in the first place. She wonders if he’s overheard teachers discussing her. It wasn’t that she wasn’t intelligent, she just didn’t care for any of her classes or anyone in it. Getting into trouble just gave her more time to be by herself, despite the reputation that came with it. Dennis wasn’t the only one people gossiped about. He nods slowly and runs a hand across the top of his shaven head before letting it fall to his side. “Um.. I’m Dennis.” He introduces himself despite the fact he’s wearing an embroidered name patch over his left breast, and extends his hand to her. She hesitates for only a moment before she lets a thin smile cross her lips then takes his hand in her much smaller one, shaking it gently. “Casey.” She says quietly. It’s odd, suddenly finding yourself talking to the schools anti-social maintenance man, let alone becoming his acquaintance
  
  “You must get good grades if you’re always staying late to study.” Dennis comments, shifting his weight uneasily from one leg to the next. “Not really.. I only study if I really need to pass something.” Casey speaks carefully. “And there’s not much of a reason to go home.” She adds, straightening her shoulders momentarily to stretch her back before slumping again, elbows resting on the table. Dennis seems to absorb her last words, brow twitching. “I... Can understand that.” His voice is quiet and he seems to pick and choose his words. She smiles politely yet again when he empathizes with her and part of Casey almost looks down on him. Casey knew most people couldn’t empathize with her. It wasn’t a matter of being an ungrateful kid and not giving a hell about your parents who bent over backwards for you, it was because home was a muddy, slippery pit that she had to return to every night. Memories of home and childhood were a cross she had to bear that many wouldn’t understand. She’d run away several times, but never made it very far and the consequences were too much for her to ever attempt again and she had simply settled on waiting until she had a way out.
  
  But another part of Casey wondered if maybe he really could understand. She wasn’t dense enough to believe that she was the only person who had ever suffered any kind of anguish in her life, but it was easy enough to shrug your shoulders and tell someone you knew how they feel. Something about Dennis made her indecisive, curious almost. She would have made up some excuse to walk away from anyone else after this sort of conversation and yet she was still here, staring back into his eyes as he stood before her wondering if he really did understand. She glances at her phone to check and see if her uncle has texted her again and sighs quietly when she sees nothing on her screen. “If you want, I can wait out here with you.” Dennis breaks the silence she hadn’t realized had fallen on them once again. When she glances back at him he almost looks anxious, like he was instantly regretting the offer. “It’s just- It’s getting darker earlier and I wouldn’t feel comfortable... Leaving you out here in the dark and all.” He adds quickly, looking away and habitually rubs the back of his neck. “Sorry. I shouldn’t have asked you.” Dennis clears his throat and turns to walk away. “No-” Casey blurts out. Dennis pauses, slowly turning back to face her with tense shoulders, left hand gripping the handle of the broom and dustpan with bright white knuckles. “I would like that.” She stammers, nodding her head.
  
  Dennis has a faint look of genuine surprise across his stoic features and Casey shifts a little, the grid pattern of the table’s seat becoming uncomfortable. “It’s nice to have someone to wait with once in a while.” Casey speaks again like she’s almost trying to reassure him and he slowly takes a seat beside her. He’s not unbearably close, and carefully leans the dustpan and broom against the table before knitting his fingers together and letting them fall between his knees. It’s suddenly quiet between them again and Casey feels like kicking herself in the head. She could have easily just blown him off and found somewhere else to wait and now she’s forced herself into this situation. Casey bites her lip gently before turning to face him. She had to deal with it, she guessed. “It must suck having to clean up after highschoolers all day.” She shuffles her feet quietly, clawing for any subject to talk about. He glances momentarily at her and nods subtly. “It’s not so bad. I’m... used to cleaning a lot.” Dennis elaborates, eyes drifting from Casey across the table and to the ground. “There’s worse habits, I guess.” Casey says casually before tucking the same strand of hair back behind her ear. A faint smile, or what looks like one, pulls at the corners of Dennis’ mouth and he adjusts his glasses. “What did you do before you came here?” Casey is straining to keep the conversation going, but she is genuinely curious about where he had been before here. His muscular build and shaved head makes her wonder if he had been in the military at one point or another. “Same job, just at the zoo.” He answers quietly. “The pay is a little better here.” Dennis adds to answer what would be a potential next question. “That must have been nice. I would love to work with animals.” Casey feels like she sounds stupid, like some sort of middle school kid rambling about how bad she wants to grow up and be a vet or something. She’d thought about it before. “I’m better with fixing machines.” Dennis presses his thumbs together, idly fidgeting.
  
  He’s really strange, there’s no doubt in Casey’s mind, but she really cant help the fact that she finds herself enjoying his company. She’s hung out with a couple of girls from her class before and it wasn’t like she thought they were bad people, but it just felt they were on a completely different plane of existence like that. She often felt like an alien, coming down to everyone’s strange planet to make awkward contact whenever she made attempts to befriend other kids from the school. And suddenly there was a man, probably double her age, sitting beside her having a painfully awkward conversation with her and she felt like she’d met someone from her own planet, in a way. It was weird. He was weird. Casey herself felt like that was okay, she was a little weird too. Headlights suddenly come into view as the calm, familiar rumble of her uncles truck purrs into earshot. Casey grabs her book bag and heaves the strap across her shoulder before turning to Dennis. “That’s my ride, I have to get going now...” She pauses, brown eyes fixated on Dennis’ blue ones. “It was nice to meet you Dennis. Thanks for waiting with me.” She adds, the corners of her mouth twitching slightly upwards and he nods. “Mmhmm. Goodnight.” He says, also rising from his seat and grabbing his broom. A surprising amount of time had passed with their encounter and it was about time for him to start locking up anyways, her uncle had made good timing. Casey makes her way to the old Ford and the hinges on the door squeal stubbornly as she climbs in. “Hey Casey-bear.” Her uncle greets her normally and she says nothing as she buckles herself in, resting her elbow on the ledge on the door. “Sorry I’m late, I really need to get this thing traded in for something better.” Casey only half listens as he speaks, the truck growling away down the parking lot. “Yeah.” She offers a half-hearted answer, her gaze turning out the window.
  
  Rows of pine trees speed past the window as they turn out onto the main road and she rests her head against the thin pane of glass, eyes slipping shut. She thinks about Dennis, muscular and strange, conscientious and focused. Peculiar Dennis who offered to sit with her while the sky turned from blue to duskier bruised colors. It feels silly thinking this much about someone who she had just met, and barely knew. She internally chastises herself for looking too deeply into it, but it was refreshing. It was refreshing for someone to want to look out for you instead of wanting to hurt you. Part of her wonders if he’s thinking as much as she’s thinking about him. It’s doubtful, he probably goes home to a wife and kids every evening and has probably already forgotten about the late afternoon’s events. She sits up straight in her chair, pulling away from the window and pulls her thoughts away from Dennis.



i've posted this on AO3 by the way! http://archiveofourown.org/works/9946223

Re: Casey/Dennis Slice of Life AU - FILL (1/2)

Date: 2017-03-03 05:09 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
whoops. meant to make that (2/?) oh well haha.

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