Derek was on his way to Casey's dorm, Coffee for both of them in hand. On Thursdays they had the same lecture at 8:15 am, much too early for Derek's liking, but he enjoyed seeing Casey in the morning. He even came half an hour early just to see her without makeup.
Casey's first few months in college were tough. She was really homesick so Derek decided to spend as much time with her as possible to give her a piece of home. They argued. A lot. But no matter how bad the fight, he never left her alone for more than a day to cool off and he knew Casey was grateful for that. Now they were practically glued together. The days of refusing to admit that he was completely infatuated with Casey are long gone. Well, he didn't really admit it, but he wasn't lying to himself at least.
Casey opened the door and took the coffee from Derek's hand. "Thank god, I slept so badly." With that she took a long sip and made a face. “Why is it still so hot? Did you fly here?“
They quietly went through the living room to Casey's room. It wasn't particularly big and it didn't fit in any more than her bed, a desk, and that little desk with her Make up on it, but Casey had managed to make it look bigger than it actually was.
Derek sat down on her bed and took a sip of coffee himself. "Yeah. Did I never mention that I was Batman? " - "Batman can't fly." She said it faster than she thought about it and Derek smirked. He had made her watch all the superhero movies when they started hanging out. Hannah, Casey's roommate, was a huge Marvel fan and agreed with Derek when he said that seeing the movies is considered a basic knowledge. Casey didn't have a chance against the two of them, but regularly claimed that she wasn't paying attention anyway. Which made Derek test her regularly.
"Stop grinning like that."
Derek took a sip of coffee, still grinning.
Casey sat down in front of her mirror across the bed and was beginning to cover up her dark circles. Derek knew that for a few days now she had been replacing sleep with learning. It wasn't even exam time, but Casey was going nuts. She needed a break.
"We're going out tomorrow night."
"I want to."
"And if I don't want to?"
He laughed. "As if you have a choice."
Casey stopped putting on makeup and looked at Derek through the mirror. "I refuse, thank you. I have a lot to do." Derek leaned forward a little to get a better look at Casey's face in the mirror. "Then I'll go alone with Hannah. She must be interested." He looked Mirror-Casey straight in the eye. She hesitated. "Have fun.", she said and continued to apply the make-up. They both knew, that that won't happen.
Derek leaned back but didn't take his eyes off Casey. Derek had never understood the Hannah thing. Casey made sure that the two spent as little time as possible alone together. The three of them often hung out and everyone knew that Hannah liked girls. It's not that Derek didn't think she was hot, he did, he just obviously had no chance and so they'd built a friendship that Casey didn't seem to approve of. At first, Derek thought he was imagining it until Hannah asked him about it.
They all sat together on the secondhand sofa while Iron-man 2 was on. Derek already saw the film so he looked at Casey next to him. She pretended to text Emily, but Derek saw that she was looking intently at the TV. He grinned, took a popcorn and threw it at her. "De-rek!" He laughed and tossed some popcorn in his own mouth. Casey glared at him and fished the popcorn out of her hair. Hannah smiled at them both from the other end of the sofa.“Derek, how could you?” She said sarcastically. Now Hannah was the one to feel the evil eye. She laughed, Derek laughed, and Casey tried not to smile. She was about to say something when her smartphone rang. “This is mom. I'll be.." She pointed to her room door and got up. "Give my regards," Derek said as he watched her go. She nodded, hesitated for a moment, then closed the door behind her.
Derek wanted to focus on the movie again when Hannah moved closer to him.
"Do you think she's acting weird?" - "Always," he said without taking his eyes off the screen.
"What do you mean specifically?"
Hannah hesitated, looking at the door as if to make sure Casey wasn't listening to them.
"I can't get rid of the feeling that she doesn't like to leave us two alone"
Now Derek was looking at her.
“I mean, she knows I like girls. But.. you know her better. What do you think about?"
Derek considered sharing his thoughts. If Hannah felt the same way, he couldn't have imagined it. There had to be something real about it.
"Yeah. I don't know why either, ”he admitted hesitantly.
"Maybe it's because -"
"No. It's not."
Hannah looked at him blankly, but said nothing more. Instead, she sat further away from him and tied her long black hair into a bun.
“I think we should hang out alone more. Test the theory if you know what I mean."
Derek smirked: "And to bother her a little, you mean?”
Now Hannah was smirking too. "Just a bit"
"Can we?" Casey stood in front of him and waved his hand in front of his face.
"Did you fall asleep again?" She said with a laugh.
"Maybe." He smiled. He always had to when she laughed.
She kept smiling while she put her Jacket on. “Let's go, sleepyhead. Otherwise I won't buy you breakfast."
That was enough threat for him to get up. “I want a chocolate croissant. I insist on it!"