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More iTunes. Punky style.

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Crystal.  Stevie Nicks.  DWP.  Andy/Caroline and Andy/Miranda.  PG for cursing.  979 words.  Bad!Andy & totes AU.

“You.”  Cassidy shook her head.  “You can’t go, Car.  You can’t.”  The tears were tickling down her face.  This wasn’t how it was supposed to go.

“I can’t stay, Cass.  You know there’s no way.”  Reaching into her backpack, Caroline pulled out her NYC hoodie.  It had been through so much in such a short amount of time; similar to a pair of twins who jumped into the deep end of adulthood in the city that never sleeps.  “She broke my heart, Cass.”

“We can tell her.  We can tell, mom.  She’d never want you to go, Car.”  Cassidy hugged her sister tightly mashing the treasured hooded sweatshirt between them.

Losing herself in the embrace of her twin, Caroline clutched her sister enough that they both wouldn’t be able to breathe.  She needed her like air and water both.  For long minutes, the tears flowed faster than their breathing.  Then squeezing tight and sucking in a fortifying breath, Caroline pulled back.  Catching the watery eyes that were mirrors of her own, she shook her head.  “For once in her life, she’s happy.  I can’t take that away from her.”

“Car.  She’s a cheat.  Mom can’t go through that again.”  Cassidy wiped at her face with one hand.

Caroline shook her head.  “Ships in the night, Cass.  She didn’t know.  We are so out of the public eye.”  She shrugged.  “I used dad’s name for uni for that reason.”  

Swallowing her own sadness, Cassidy crossed her arms over her chest.  “What are you going to do?”

Fingers tucked into her backpack straps, Caroline frowned.  “I can still accept the Ph.D offer in Los Angeles.  Jessica is already out there.  I have a couple of options.”

Trying one last attempt, Cassidy asked, “Won’t you even say bye to Mom?”

Caroline shifted her weight back and forth in thought, but in the end she turned for the door.  “I can’t be here, Cass.”

***   ***   ***

Curled up on the couch, Cassidy lost track of the hours.  The voices on the tv along with the cuddles from Caroline’s hoodie and her extra blanket were her cocoon.  Even though Caroline lived mostly with three of her friends, she had always been in New York.  There could always be a dinner or meeting up for a coffee or well, anything really.  Just a text or a call and the sisters would be reunited.  It still didn’t quite feel real that her twin was gone.  Who the hell leaves in just a backpack?  It wasn’t like she was going on a summer abroad to Europe.  Cassidy couldn’t imagine.

Cassidy was only half aware when she felt someone sit in the curve of her body on the couch and reach out to trail gentle fingers on her cheek.

“Caro, baby.”  

That was NOT her mother’s voice.  Cassidy reached up and caught the hand on her face and shifted so that she was face to face with the startled woman her mother had finally introduced her daughters to after months of dating.

“Not your baby.”  Cassidy infused all the low volume poison that she could into the words.  She would be her mother’s daughter if that is what it took to protect her from this woman.

Eyes widening and body jolting and trying to shift away, Andrea eyed the younger woman she had mistook.

“Do you love my mother?”  Cassidy asked while sizing up her potential enemy.

When Andrea tried to pull her hand away, Cassidy fairly pinched it until she could feel its component parts.  “It is a yes or no question.”

Swallowing hard, Andrea quickly replied.  “I love Miranda.”

Raising an eyebrow, Cassidy further wondered, “And only her?”

Wincing as if Cassidy had struck her, Andrea replied.  “I love your mother and only her.  I did not mean to pursue or be pursued by two people at the same time.  Certainly not related to each other.  I care deeply for your sister, but I realize that I don’t love her.”

“If you fuck up.”  Cassidy closed her eyes and inwardly cursed her phrasing.  “If you fuck up more than you already have.  I will ruin you.”  Cassidy let go of Andrea’s hand as she dismissed her.  “I’m not going to be okay with you for a while.  I’m not going to advise you about what to do or say to either of them.  I will advise you to be absolutely honest with yourself and your feelings and then to act with honor from this point forward.”

Andrea stood and smoothed her trousers down.  “Please tell Caroline, that I am sorry.  If she ever wanted to talk it out, I would do that.  I want to be friends if such a thing is possible.  I will also make myself scarce for family time if that is needed.  It’s really unbelievable, but I am so very sorry.”

Cassidy nodded and watched as the brunette left the room.  The tall brunette had kept steady eye contact with her and seemed to have truly spoken from the heart.  Grudgingly, she had to admit—it was unbelievable.  Damn her sister and her mother both for being so secretive with their feelings and their love lives.  Even a picture or a coffee date or something and Cassidy could have intervened in a different way.

Instead, Andrea came meet the daughters and have appetizers, before going out for the couple’s first public appearance together.  Once the door had closed behind the happy couple, Caroline had bolted for the stairs.  Their mother wouldn’t even know that Caroline was leaving New York until she was already gone.  Knowing her sister, she had gone straight to JFK without even swinging by her apartment.  Whatever she would miss, they could mail to her or she could buy a new one.  Cassidy checked the program that was still on the television and then burrowed deeper into the blankets.  Unbelievable.