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I Like That You're Broken, Broken Like Me

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Johnny knew every bar within a five-block radius of his apartment. He knew which ones carried his beer of choice and which one had the best music, a juke box full of classic 80’s rock. He, unfortunately, also had a collection of places he wasn’t allowed into anymore, but there were still a few where he’d managed to keep a low profile and not start fights. He went to The Red Rooster when he wanted to be alone with no one to hassle him or cut him off after he had a few too many; as long as he was still paying for his drinks and not causing a problem, no one there cared what he did or how much he drank. It was a hole in the wall tucked away at the edge of an old brick building that housed a Mexican restaurant and a dry cleaner; it was one of those places that if you didn’t know it was there, you’d walk right by none the wiser.

He was in a mood. Just as he was starting to find Daniel LaRusso tolerable, the asshole betrayed him, again. Johnny found out that LaRusso had been teaching his son, Robbie, Karate. That was something he felt Robbie should learn from him, not LaRusso with his dirty tricks and illegal kicks. His blood boiled; whatever buzz he had going from their happy hour drinks was gone and he needed more to drown his anger.

He stepped inside The Red Rooster and gave it a quick once over. It was usually pretty light on customers and tonight was no exception. There were a couple of biker guys dressed in leather with bandanas around their heads at a table in the corner and a couple flirting at the bar. He chose a spot at the very end of the bar, as far away as he could get from anyone. He didn’t want to socialize, just drink and be left alone.

He didn’t make it a habit to know the bartenders at his regular spots, but he’d been there enough times to know that this one was new. Most of the dives in Reseda had older guys manning the bars while the hot chicks worked in the Hills or Hollywood where they could make a more livable wage or find a sugar daddy. Not this one. She slid a couple of drinks in front of the couple and then started his way. She had dark hair pulled back into a tight French braid and green eyes you could spot from a mile away. She wore dark jeans with a rip in the knee, and a black tank top showing just enough cleavage to garner some good tips. Any other time he may try to shoot his shot, but he was in no mood for that tonight.

It was only her second night working at the bar. Dale and Tyke were regulars she met on her shift last night, nice guys despite their rough outer appearance. The couple at the bar was clearly a dating app hook-up that she was eavesdropping on for her own amusement. Were they really getting hot talking about Pokémon? A new customer had appeared at the end of the bar. He looked like he had been through it today—shoulders slumped, eyes heavy with bags and defeat. Life must have kicked him hard today, she thought.

“What’ll it be?” She asked him. He looked up at her; he was a good-looking guy, blond hair, blue eyes she could drown in, everything she expected a California guy to look like.

“Coors Banquet,” he muttered.

Cute but horrible taste in beer, she thought as she got a bottle out of the refrigerator. She popped off the top and put the cold bottle in front of him. “Are we starting a tab tonight, handsome?” He looked up with a mildly shocked expression at the term of endearment.

“Uh, yeah, sure.” He said, shaking it off as her likely way of getting better tips.

“Alright, what’s the name?” She asked, taking a pad of paper and pen from her back pocket to track his drinks.

“Johnny.”

“Johnny, I’m Casey. I’m here all night so just let me know what you need.” She said.

He looked up to thank her for the drink. Yep, he definitely earned the handsome superlative. She tried to remember the last time she really found a man attractive, maybe her last boyfriend but that was almost 7 years ago. She’d hooked up and had her fair share of one nighters since then but they were just distractions, no genuine attraction at all and she was always drunk or high during. She kept an eye on him as he went between ordering Banquets and whiskey shots.

Johnny kept to himself which she appreciated. He wasn’t trying to hit on her, and he hadn’t tried to touch her unlike a guy last night who thought it was okay to grab her forearm and practically pull her over the bar. She grabbed his hair and slammed his head down before he even realized what had happened. She got a halfhearted reprimand for it from the bar owner, Laney, who was also her aunt. Casey knew she wasn’t in too much trouble thanks to the blatant nepotism, but it wasn’t a great start to a new job.

“You want to talk about it, Johnny?” She asked after dropping off his fourth beer.

“I’m not in a talking mood.”

“Okay,” she nodded.

He knew he shouldn’t be here; he should be at his shitty apartment getting ready for the tournament tomorrow. He didn’t want to let his students down. He never wanted to let Robbie down either but somehow that’s what he kept doing, it seemed like there was no end to the pain he caused no matter how hard he tried to avoid it. Johnny finished his beer and paid his tab in crumpled bills, leaving a meager tip. He’d go home and prepare like a good sensei…after stopping at the mini-mart for another bottle. Casey watched as he walked with a slight sway out of the bar, wondering if she’d see him again.

Chapter Text

For the next few weeks Johnny would make an appearance at The Red Rooster at least once a week. He became one of Casey’s regulars; as soon as she saw him walk in, she had a Banquet out and open for him. “Here you go, handsome,” she’d say kindly as she placed it in front of him. On better days it would make him smirk which she found endearing; on bad days it was like he didn’t even hear it. Unlike some of her customers who seemed eager to share their life stories, Johnny kept quiet. He’d yet to share anything outside of the typical bartender-patron pleasantries: ‘Hey, how are things? How about this weather? Go local sports team.’ She couldn’t help the juvenile crush she had on him; she’d always had a thing for the moody, broody ones and the fact that he was objectively good looking didn’t hurt either. Laney noticed it immediately.

“Bug, you lean on that bar and put your tits any further into that man’s face you’re going to be nursing him,” Laney had chastised her. Casey hoped she wasn’t that obvious, after all it was just a silly crush, no reason to appear needy and desperate especially since the last thing she wanted was a regular man in her life.

For his part, Johnny was oblivious to anything other than his own pain and stress. He still hated the fact that Robbie was training with LaRusso. Now his old Sensei was back and he wasn’t sure he how much he trusted him, but he really wanted to give him the benefit of the doubt. He had painful memories of Cobra Kai and Kreese but there was no denying the good that came from it too: confidence, camaraderie, and strength. That’s the Cobra Kai he wanted but questioned if he could actually give to his students. After all, once an ace degenerate, always an ace degenerate he heard Sid say in his head. He needed some whiskey.

Casey took away his empty beer bottle and replaced it with a fresh one and a shot of his preferred whiskey. “Shit,” she muttered, as the door opened and 3 young frat guys walked in like they owned the place. She considered them unfortunate regulars. Two of them came in often and always brought a random third guy. They’d do some shots and then challenge the newbie to say something rude to her or try to touch her and then just sit back and laugh while she got riled up and gave them a tongue lashing.

The most brazen was the last stooge they brought who bumped into her while she was carrying a tray of beers and then groped her breast as she tried to keep everything balanced. She dropped the beers and bent back his wrist, almost to the point of fracture, and gave him an elbow to the ribs which dropped him to his knees. She grabbed a fork that was on a nearby table and held it to his jugular. “Put hands on a female in here and see what happens to you, asshole.” She growled at him.

Laney was furious. At 5 foot nothing, the aging redhead didn’t look like much, but Casey knew first-hand the terror of her wrath. She banned the groper from the bar and seriously threatened to fire Casey for coming close to killing a paying customer. The only reason Casey wasn’t fire was because no one wanted to press charges. It was easily one of the top-five the angriest times she had ever seen her aunt, even more angry than when she took Laney’s vintage mustang for a joyride when she was 14 and crashed it into a telephone pole.

Now, here the two instigators were again with a new guppy to torture. It was times like this she wished there were other bartenders with her at night, so they could swap the challenging patrons. She mentioned it to Laney once who insisted she didn’t have the money to pay two nighttime bartenders for one shift, especially when one could easily cover the whole bar at any given time.

Johnny noticed her shift as she walked over to the trio of men who had seated themselves in the center of the bar. She had straightened up her posture and became visibly tense as if she was bracing for a fight.

“What do you want?” She asked them sharply.

“Ooh, easy there, sweetheart,” the guy on the right said, putting his hands up defensively. “We’re your favorite customers, right?” God, even his voice, made her skin crawl. “Why don’t you get us three Coronas and three tequila shooters.” She turned her back to get the beers and spotted Laney in the doorway between the bar and the kitchen, watching things closely. She slid the beers in front of the three men and started pouring their shooters.

“Hey Laney,” the one on the left called to the older woman. “These are on the house because of that little incident last time, right?”

“Sure, but first round only and just this once, guys,” Casey looked back at Laney and gave her an incredulous look. “Just leave my bartender alone.” Laney said, nodding towards Casey. It was something but Casey wished she would just ban these guys outright instead of giving them free rounds and second chances.

Johnny watched the interaction closely as he sipped his beer. He despised pricks like this; guys who just think they can do and get away with anything. He hated to think that he was just like them at one point in his life.

Casey set their shots in front of them and turned to walk away. “Hey sugar tits,” the new guy in the middle called out to her, his words already slightly slurred. She froze in her tracks, her fists clenched at her side, “what kind of food you have on the menu here?” She turned around slowly, his smug smile only making her blood hotter.

“That’s not my name asshole,” she replied as she pulled out a menu from under the bar and tossed it in his face.

“Calm down sweet cheeks, we just want some food.” The one on the right said with mock sincerity.

“Then order your food, drink your drinks and get the hell out.” She said through gritted teeth.

They took their time looking through the menu that only had a handful of items on it, and all of which were a variation of burger and fries. “We’ll take three bacon cheeseburgers with fries with your hot ass on the side.” The new guy said as he leered at her like a cat toying with its prey.

“That’s not on the menu,” she hissed as she went into the kitchen to place the food order with Laney.

“You have got to kick them out of here Laney, I can’t deal with it, do you hear them?” She was starting to tremble and tears threatened to spill, something she absolutely could not allow to happen in front of those dickheads.

A rare look of compassion crossed Laney’s face as she walked over to the younger woman. “I know Bug. I’ll make their food quick and then tell them to hit the road. I just can’t afford to turn away every paying customer who’s an asshole, as much as I wish I could. We’re hanging on by a thread.” Casey nodded her understanding. She knew money was tight and Laney was just trying to keep her business afloat. Laney grabbed her chin and made Casey meet her gaze. “Chin up and remember that you don’t let assholes like that under your skin, got it?”

Casey reluctantly nodded and walked back to the bar. The three were huddled in quiet conversation, Johnny was nursing his beer, but Dale and Tyke were almost empty in their corner table. “Refills, guys?” She asked the bikers.

“Yeah, thanks, Case. Don’t let those idiots get to you.”

“Thanks Dale, I’ll try.” She said as she picked up the two beer bottles and started back towards the bar. She tried to go wide past the frat boys but it wasn’t far enough as the middle guy reached behind her and grabbed a handful of her ass.

“Motherfucker!” she yelled as she spun around and punched him in the face, his nose immediately spouting with bright red blood. She grabbed the back of his neck and threw him to the ground, landing a solid kick to his stomach before feeling a pair of strong arms wrap around her and pull her back.

“It’s not worth it, Case,” She heard Tyke saying next to her ear.

“Crazy bitch.” The guy on the left shouted as he took a step towards her, his arm cocked back to swing, but before he could release it he dropped to a knee, groaning in pain with Johnny standing behind him. He had landed a quick strike to the kidney, kid never saw it coming. The guy on the right turned to hit him but Johnny leaned back, just out of his reach, before coming forward and giving him a front kick to the stomach, launching the guy back several feet and landing hard on his back.

“What in the holy hell is happening out here?!” Laney roared as she ran out of the kitchen.

“I-“ Casey started but was interrupted by Johnny.

“These pussies grabbed her ass so I laid into them.”

Tyke loosened his grasp on Casey as she protested. “No, Laney, it was-“

“They had it coming, complete assholes since they walked in.” Johnny said over her.

“Yeah, that’s what happened, we saw it all, right Tyke?” Dale said confidently. Casey looked at them all dumbfounded. Laney walked over to the three men who were holding various parts of themselves while moaning in pain.

“You are all three banned for life. I ever see you in here again, you’ll be walking out in handcuffs for trespassing!” She yelled at them.

“Last time I ever let you guys buy me drinks.” The newbie muttered as they stumbled out of the bar.

Laney turned to Casey and cupped her cheek affectionately, “Go take a few breaths in the back.” Casey nodded, she was on the brink of a panic attack; she turned and walked quickly to the back before the tears and shortness of breath started. “Alright boys, next round is on me.” Laney said as she walked behind the bar to take over. She took Dale and Tyke a couple of fresh beers before popping open a new Banquet for Johnny.

“I know what you did there.” She said, Johnny looked at her blankly. “She took out the first guy, right? You probably did the other two but took credit for all of them because you didn’t want me getting on her ass.”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about, I put out all three of those assholes.” He said coolly, taking a swig of his beer.

“Yeah, you could have, I don’t doubt that. But I know my niece, I know her handiwork, and I know she started it, but you finished it.”

“They started it when they walked in and started giving her shit.”

“All I’m saying is I know what you did, and I appreciate it. She does too. Not many people have had her back like that. You’re a good one.” She said as she patted his forearm. A good one. Johnny couldn’t remember the last time he was called a good one or even felt like a good one.

Casey came back out about 30 minutes later, trying to act like nothing had happened. “On me.” She said softly as she put a fresh beer and shot in front of him, hoping this would suffice to show her appreciation. Johnny raised his beer in thanks and took her in carefully. Her cheeks were flush and there was some pink around her eyes, the tell-tale sign of crying. Yeah, life is shit, he thought to himself as he downed his drinks, threw down some cash and left.

He thought about her laying the first asshole out, wishing he had done exactly what he told Laney and had taken out all three of them. But he had to admit, it was hot seeing a chick who could handle herself like that. And what was with her always calling him handsome? He’d never heard her call anyone else that. For just a few moments he let his mind stay on the hot bartender before it wandered back to reality.

Chapter Text

Since bringing Kreese into Cobra Kai, classes had become more intense. He’d never admit it aloud, but Johnny wanted his sensei’s seal of approval; he wanted to prove that even though he was doing things differently, Cobra Kai was still as bad ass as ever. So Johnny was stepping up his own game with more working out and less drinking. But, whenever he was having a bad day he’d still wander into The Red Rooster. He’d occupy his usual spot, off to the side, where no one would bother him except Casey. Sometimes she’d ask if he wanted to talk but he’d decline, and she never pressed which he appreciated.

After the Cobra Kai demo at Valley Fest, Kreese insisted they get a drink and, out of habit, Johnny led him to his favorite watering hole.

“We need to celebrate, Johnny. Did you see the pathetic look on LaRusso’s face? He knows he’s done for. Cobra Kai is back on top where we belong.”

“Yeah, it did feel good to show him up, especially after all the shit he’s pulled lately.”

“Now we just have to get that boy of yours back where he belongs.”

“One thing at a time.” Johnny sighed.

“Cobra Kai is his legacy, we have to remind him of that. You know, he reminds me of some special ops guys I trained in Afghanistan…”

Johnny zoned out, something he did whenever Kreese started a new war story since he assumed most of them were exaggerations or pure bullshit. Of course he wanted his son in Cobra Kai but he knew Robbie well and the more they pushed, the more distant he would become. He opened the door and was struck with disappointment as he saw a wiry, younger guy working behind the bar instead of Casey. He didn’t say anything, just let Kreese ramble until the new guy came over to get their drink order. Kreese left to go to the men’s room just before the bartender brought the drinks over.

“Where’s the chick bartender that’s usually working?” Johnny asked, trying to sound casual.

“Casey? Night off, man. She’ll be back in tomorrow.”

They only had a couple of drinks before Johnny called it a night. No point in hanging around if the main attraction isn’t here, he thought.

 

He returned the next night, alone, relieved to see Casey back behind the bar. Was he imagining things or did she smile at him when he came in? He took his seat and she quickly plucked a Banquet from the fridge. “Long time, no see, handsome.” She said, placing his beer in front of him.

Johnny tried to hide his smirk, but he couldn’t hide the slight pink tinge that warmed his face. “Yeah, been busy.”

“Good busy, I hope.”

He looked up and met her green eyes. Her lips were pressed in a gentle smile, dark hair pulled up into a single braid going down the center of her scalp and the loose pony tail hanging over her shoulder. She was pretty, too pretty to be slumming it in a dive in Reseda, he wondered if she knew that especially since she didn’t swagger like other women who were hyper aware of their attractiveness.

“Yeah,” he said, when he realized he had probably gone too long without responding. “Good busy, my business is doing well and things are looking up.”

“What’s your business?”

“I own a karate dojo.” He said proudly.

“No way, what made you do that?” She asked, her interest piqued.

I got fired from my shitty job, beat up some shitty kids and realized karate was the only thing in life I’m good at, he thought. “I did Karate as a teenager and wanted to pass along those lessons to the next generation.”

She raised an eyebrow at his clearly rehearsed answer but didn’t say anything. “I get it, I used to do Jiu Jitsu, martial arts are great for kids.”

“Jiu Jitsu?” Johnny replied, unable to hide the contempt in his voice. “Man, I thought you were cool, that’s just a lame karate knock off.”

“Oh, yeah?” She laughed, “It taught me enough to throw guys bigger than you when I was in the Army.” A confused look crossed Johnny’s face. “What?”

Johnny shook his head, he didn’t want to admit that it was only recently he learned that women were in the Army. Miguel had to show him a video on the internet and even then he didn’t really believe it, he thought it was all faked like the moon landing. “Nothing, I’ve just never met a woman who was in the Army.”

“Well, now you have. I’m glad your dojo is doing well.”

“Thanks, let me know if you want to learn a real martial art, I’ll show you a few things.”

“Those days are behind me.” She said, trying to hide sadness with a smile. Johnny knew that game. He remembered Shannon doing the same thing when Robbie would catch them fighting as a little kid. He wasn’t sure what went through Casey’s head in that moment, but he could see something in her eyes dim, like she was shutting down.

Johnny opened his mouth to ask why but the bell over the door rang and Casey had new customers. “I’ll be back in a bit to check on you.” She said, suddenly all business. Johnny was left confused. For a second he thought she liked him, it even seemed like they were flirting a bit. Did he say something?

Casey went to work making cocktails for the group of college girls that came in. She was surprised at how easily she mentioned her past. It had been at least 3 years since she even mentioned Jiu Jitsu or the Army to anyone; two things that were once so dear to her and now she actively avoided thinking about. The familiar feeling of dread mixed with panic began to flood her system. She took a deep breath to steady herself as she began pouring and mixing drinks. She heard the door and looked over just in time to see Johnny leaving, a few crumpled bills sitting on the bar in front of his now empty chair. “Way to go, bitch,” she muttered to herself. They were finally starting to flirt and she had to ruin it. She poured herself a double shot of tequila and threw it back; the sharp burn was a punishment for almost remembering what she didn’t want to but the buzz that followed was a welcome comfort.

Chapter Text

Johnny was dangerously to having everything he wanted. It pained him to make Kreese leave, more than he’d ever admit; he was the closest thing to a father Johnny had ever known. He wanted Kreese’s change to be genuine, it hurt that it wasn’t and that the students were exposed to those same toxic teachings. It hurt, but his students deserved better, and Johnny wanted to give them that. So with Kreese gone he was able to make Cobra Kai into the dojo he wanted, or so he thought.

Johnny went to the Red Rooster less and less. A disappointment sat in his chest from his last visit, and he didn’t know why. He liked Casey. He liked that she kept his beers coming and didn’t pester him to open and talk like some women do. There was also no denying she was fun to look at and watch when customers got out of hand. He liked a woman who didn’t take shit off other people, but he wouldn’t mind another chance to jump in and save the day. And there was no denying the quick serotonin boost he got whenever she called him handsome. But she didn’t seem interested, so, his attention went to Carmen. Sweet, kind Carmen who didn’t judge him no matter how low he got.

But it all went wrong so fast.

He taught his students to show mercy, something Kreese never bothered to do and Johnny paid for throughout his life. The school fight was a brutal shock to his system and the ripple effect of it felt like it would never end. The two dojos going after each other like feral animals, Miguel showing mercy only to end up in the hospital fighting for his life which sent Robbie on the run, Carmen ending things with him before they even got started, Kreese taking over Cobra Kai. It was all gone now.

A week after the fight and he was a useless shell of a person. He didn’t know what to do with himself. He had no dojo, couldn’t see Miguel, couldn’t find Robbie, so he drank. He drank until he passed out and then, when he came to, he drank some more. No longer welcome at the bars closest to his apartment, he made his way down a few blocks to his old go-to spot. It didn’t matter that it was early in the afternoon or that he could smell yesterday’s beer in his pores, he needed a drink.

Casey walked in the back door a few minutes before her shift. She hung up her bag and started for the bar while shouting a quick hello to Laney.

“Come here, Bug!” Laney called to her.

“What’s up?”

“I got something for you.” Laney said as she walked to her small desk in the corner. She opened the drawer and tossed Casey a small clear cup.

“What’s this?”

“Drug test.”

“Seriously?!”

“That’s our deal, remember? I give you a job and you give me clean piss.”

“I thought you were joking.” Casey muttered as she turned the empty cup in her hands.

“Something you want to tell me?” Laney asked seriously.

Casey sighed, there would be no denying it after she peed in the cup. “I’ve been taking weed gummies before bed, it helps me sleep and makes the nightmares less intense.”

“Anything else?” Casey shook her head. “Alright, I can accept a little therapeutic weed but nothing else. I really wish you’d talk to someone, Bug; start exorcising those demons.”

“I tried that, it didn’t help anything.” Casey said as she went to the tiny employee bathroom.

She came back a few minutes later and started for the bar, it seemed quiet but what else was new. Kyle, the day shift bartender, pushed her easily back into the kitchen. “Blondie at the far left of the bar, is that the guy you’re in love with?”

Casey rolled her eyes, “I’m not in love with him, he just saved my ass and he’s easy on the eyes. Besides he hasn’t been here for weeks.” She peered out the door, a rough looking Johnny was perched in his usual spot. “Oh, he looks like shit.”

“Yeah, smells like it too. He’s been here all day.”

“Damn, that’s not like him.”

“He hasn’t caused problems, stays quiet and just keeps ordering beers.”

“Thanks Kyle,” she said as she walked out to start working. She did a quick once over before heading Johnny’s way. It was still early in the evening, Dale and Tyke were the only other customers, they were at their corner table nursing their beers. She nodded a hello at them as she went towards Johnny. He looked even worse up close: unshaven, heavy bags under his eyes, unkempt hair, stained clothes, wreaking of body odor and stale beer.

“Hey handsome, what’s going on?” She asked gently.

“I’m out of beer.” Johnny mumbled.

“Why don’t you take a break from the beer for a bit. I’ll have Laney throw together some food for you.”

“I’ll take another,” Johnny said, sliding the empty bottle towards her. There was no point in arguing with an unreasonable person and that’s clearly what Johnny was in this moment, unreasonable. She reluctantly put a fresh beer in front of him along with a glass of water, hoping he’d put some real hydration in his body. Customers came and went during the evening, but Casey kept a close eye on him. In her spare moments she tried to make conversation, but he wasn’t having it. At one point she placed a plate of burger and fries in front of him saying that they were part of a to-go order that never showed, on the house so they didn’t go to waste. It was a complete lie but she didn’t think he’d take it otherwise. She was no stranger to binge drinking or benders but it was different seeing it in someone else who clearly had no fucks left to give; it worried her.

He sat and drank all night, only getting up to use the bathroom a couple of times and then stumbling back to his seat like Bambi walking for the first time. Last call came and he was the last man standing in the bar. “Closing time, Johnny. You ready to settle up?” Casey asked. He pulled out his wallet and flipped a card, smacking her in the chest. She bit her tongue. Johnny had come in enough that she knew this wasn’t him, it was drunk him who didn’t care about anyone, just his own pain.

“How are you getting home?” She asked.

“I walked.” He slurred as he stood up, legs immediately going weak from the alcohol, making him fall to the ground.

She hurried over to him and helped him back on to the stool. “I’m not sure that’s a good idea, can you call someone to come get you?”

Johnny laughed bitterly. “No, I don’t have anyone to call, everyone’s missing or dying or not talking to me or stabbing me in the back.”

“Okay, I don’t know what all that means, but I’ve got a couple things to wrap up and I’ll take you home, okay?” He grunted and jerked his head which she took as an ‘okay’. She put away the half empty bottles and closed out the cash drawer. As she got her stuff from the back she wondered if this was a smart thing to do. Typically she avoided putting herself in precarious situations with strange men. Trust and security were delicate things, and while she wanted to believe that she was safe with Johnny, she’d been wrong before. But, he was so drunk right now she could easily knock him out if she needed. She double checked her bag for her pepper spray just in case.

She walked back out to the bar where Johnny was talking to himself, but she couldn’t make out his words. “Alright, Johnny, let’s go.” He came off the stool and started to crumble again. She wrapped an arm around his torso and took some of his weight to try and steady him. His arm came around her shoulders as he let her hold him up. She was glad she was decently fit because she never realized how big Johnny was; she'd be turned on if she wasn't so focused on not letting him fall again. “That’s it, big guy, just baby steps.” Johnny swayed, but she managed to keep him upright until he was able to get in the car.

He gave her his address and started mumbling to himself while she pulled up directions on her phone. “What are you saying?”

“Bullshit, it’s bullshit!” he yelled.

“What’s bullshit?” She asked calmly.

“Everything is bullshit! I tried, I tried so hard to make things different and nothing’s changed. Miguel got hurt, Robbie’s on the lam, my dojo is gone.”

“Who are Miguel and Robbie?”

“Miguel’s my student, he’s like…like my son. But Robbie is my son and he…he kicked Miguel over a railing and now he’s in a coma and Robbie is just gone, no one can find him.”

“That big school fight, that was your kid? You students?” She asked, putting the pieces together in her head, remembering that the fight had been covered extensively by the local news.

“Yeah.” He mumbled.

“Oh shit, Johnny I’m so sorry, I had no idea.” She reached over for his hand, but he pulled it away quickly, he didn’t deserve comfort.

The car ride was quiet and it was only a few minutes before she pulled in front of his apartment building. “Can you make it inside?” She asked. Johnny grunted and nodded as he opened the door and immediately fell out of the car.

Casey jumped out and ran to his side. He was sitting on the ground looking around like a lost child. “Why am I down here?” He slurred. She helped him up and kept him steady as he walked to his door and unlocked it. Her muscles were already starting to ache from taking on so much of his weight, she’d be feeling this for the next few days.

“I need a beer!” Johnny shouted as he pulled towards his kitchen.

“No, no, no,” Casey said, keeping a hold on him and angling him back towards her. “Let’s get you to bed.” Johnny didn’t resist and led her to his bedroom. She eased him onto the bed and left him sitting there while she went to get him a glass of water. When she returned, he was lying on his back on the bed. “Sit up,” she ordered and handed him the water. He took a sip and put it on his nightstand.

“You’re hot.” He blurted out. Even though he was drunk, and a little crazy at the moment, she couldn’t help the blush that came over her cheeks. Of course, it would mean more if he weren’t three sheets to the wind and in desperate need of a shower.

“Thanks, now lay down. Do you have any aspirin or anything for a headache? You’re going to need it in the morning.” He pointed towards the bathroom across the small hallway. Definitely a man’s bathroom, she thought. Towels littered the floor, the toilet paper sat on the side of the bathtub, and it looked like it hadn’t been cleaned in a year, at least.
He was lying on his back again when she returned with the pill bottle. He couldn’t be left like this, it seemed inevitable that he’d throw up and if he was on his back he’d aspirate on his vomit.

“Hey handsome, roll towards me,” she instructed. He did as told and looked at her through his blurry vision.

“You should stay the night, baby, I can show you a good time.” He reached a hand to her waist as she tucked a couple pillows behind his back, making it harder for him to lay flat. She took his hand and laid it back on the bed.

“Honey, if you weren’t completely shitfaced, I’d take you up on that.” She confessed, confident he wouldn’t remember it tomorrow anyways. When she was certain he couldn’t roll to his back without a fight she kneeled in front of him, bringing her face level to his. His eyes were slipping shut and a moment of peace crossed his face. “Sweet dreams Johnny, I hope tomorrow is better for you.” She whispered, brushing her fingers through his hair. She couldn’t resist giving him a soft kiss on his cheek before leaving him there for the night.

Chapter Text

Guilt and embarrassment weren’t things Johnny felt often and he was typically unapologetic for his drinking behaviors. But after getting so sloppy drunk that Casey had to take him home and put him into bed, Johnny felt it all, so much so that he steered clear of the bar for a couple of weeks and went to the kitschy chain diner down the street instead. After Miguel came out of the coma and his epic two week bender came to an end, he started to pick up the pieces of his mess, one of which was to apologize to Casey. He bought her an apology drink during her shift but it hardly seemed like enough.

“I’m sorry about that night, I was in a really bad place.” He said.

“I could tell. Are you doing better?”

“I don’t know, things are still all over the place.”

“I’m sorry. But don’t worry about that night, I’ve been there. Hell, probably every person that walks into this bar has been there.” Her eyes shone with a sincerity
that warmed something in Johnny. There was no judgement or shaming, just understanding.

“Do you have to do that often, take drunk customers home?”

“Uh, no, that was a first and, hopefully, a last, but it seemed better than letting you pass out in a gutter.”

“Yeah, thanks.” He said, raising his drink to her.

“No problem,” she replied, clinking her glass with his before they both threw them back.

 

Days passed slowly for Johnny without Cobra Kai. Even though he was a big part of Miguel’s physical therapy it felt like something was missing. Some nights he found himself parked in front of the dojo wondering what would’ve happened if he didn’t let Kreese come back, or if he hadn’t opened it to begin with, or if he hadn’t been drowning his sorrows in mini-mart pizza the same time Miguel was there. He wondered how different things would be if he just changed one thing somewhere along the way.

He was rebuilding his relationship with Miguel, but Carmen was still cold to him which he couldn’t blame her for. With Miguel was losing hope in ever walking again Johnny knew he had to do something. The Dee Snider concert was perfect, so perfect that he decided to press his luck afterwards.

“Johnny, I know he’s in high school.” Casey protested after Johnny tried ordering them two beers from the bar.

“So?”

“So, he’s not 21 and unless he has ID to prove me wrong, you know I can’t. He shouldn’t even be in here.” Casey said firmly, her hand planted on her hips. It was impossible for Johnny to not notice how pretty she was even when she being a bit of a buzzkill.

“Come on, Casey.” Johnny said, leaning across the bar. “The kid may not make it to 21 and all he wants is to have a beer in a bar before his numbers up.” Casey glanced over at Miguel, his brown eyes wide and sad as he coughed weakly.

“You two are so full of shit.” She laughed, leaning across the bar, bringing her face only inches from Johnny. She opened her mouth to speak but froze as she inhaled his scent; clean and just a little smokey but much better than the last time they were this close. It was a distinct Johnny aroma and she had to shake her head to break its spell. “Look, I can’t give him a beer in here otherwise Laney could lose her liquor license but meet me out in the parking lot in a couple minutes.”

Johnny looked down at Miguel who nodded his approval. “We’ll take it, let’s roll hot wheels.” He said as they went out the door. They waited by the back of the minivan until Casey emerged from behind the building carrying two beers and a Styrofoam container.

“Your beers, boys, but you didn’t get these from me.” She said handing Johnny the beers. “And some cheese fries on the house.” She said, handing Miguel the Styrofoam clamshell.

“Aw thanks!” Miguel said as he opened the lid and plucked out a fry.

“No problem, consider it my donation to the dying children’s fund, right?” She winked at Johnny as she pulled a bottle opener from her back pocket. Without thinking she put her hand on his to steady the bottles as she opened them. It was warm and big under her fingers, she wondered how they would feel touching her, having those big hands everywhere on her body. Thank God it’s dark because I’m definitely blushing, she thought.

“Thanks,” Johnny said with a small smile. Was it just him or was there an actual spark when she touched him? The warmth of her hand lingered on his even after she pulled it away.

“No problem,” she said before turning her attention just behind him. “I never took you for a minivan guy.”

“Oh, yeah, that’s a long story.” He said sheepishly. He couldn’t help but think how much more impressive this moment would be if he still had the Challenger.

“I got to get back inside, but I’ll see you later, handsome. Good luck, Miguel.” She said as she turned to go back inside.

“She’s hot,” Miguel said as Johnny handed him a beer.

“Yeah, she’s alright.” Johnny said, trying to sound cool even though his heart was racing.

“Alright? Sensei, that is a superhot babe, just your type. You should ask her out!”

“Man, what did you think about Dee?” Johnny asked excitedly, desperate to change the topic. He smiled as he listened to Miguel recount his favorite parts of the concert as they drank their beers. Carmen smelled the beer on Miguel right away but her anger faded as soon as she saw him move his foot. It wouldn’t be enough to rekindle things between them but hopefully it made it possible for them to be friends again.

That night Johnny laid in bed replaying the evening. It was one of the best he’s had in months, maybe years. Great concert, Miguel was happy and finally making progress, Carmen was happy, and, somehow, he still felt Casey’s hand on his.

Chapter Text

Casey shivered as she stepped out of her car and into the chilly California night. This shift had been long, filled with demanding customers who left little to no tips. Her eyes struggled to stay open and her muscles ached after being on her feet for so long. All she wanted was her bed.

The parking lot and courtyard of her apartment were dark, almost pitch black. A couple of the security lights went out a few weeks ago and the landlord was in no rush to fix them. She pulled her jacket tight around her as she moved briskly towards the stairs.

Thud.

She stopped, frozen, just as her hand touched the railing. She wasn’t alone. Peering over her shoulder she scanned the shadows and dark corners but there was no sign of anyone. She took a deep breath and ran up the steps, taking them two at a time. She got to the top and looked around her. All the doors were closed, lights were off. She looked back down the stairs and into the courtyard but still saw no one. At least now if someone charged up the stairs or came out from one of the other apartments, she’d hear them coming. She let out a sigh of relief and walked towards her door. The lock clicked open and she took a step inside.

Before she could close the door it was shoved all the way open, and it was too late to react. Strong arms came around her, pinning her own to her side rendering them useless. She tried to scream but her throat was too dry, no sound came out. She kicked, tried to take out her assailants’ legs with her own but nothing worked, they were too big, too strong.

“Time for round two,” that voice growled into her ear.

Casey bolted up in her bed, gasping for air and frantically looking around her room. It was too dark to make anything out, she groped blindly for her bedside lamp, knocking almost everything off the nightstand until she found the switch. She pulled out the hunting knife she kept tucked between her mattress and box spring before getting out of bed and searching her room. She checked the closet, under the bed, even looking behind her dresser where it would be impossible for a person to hide, she just had to be sure. She moved through her apartment turning on every light, checking every corner and every lock.

When she was satisfied that she was alone and as secure as she could be, she went back to her bed. Her sheets were soaked with sweat so she stripped them from the bed before flopping back on her mattress. There was no point in trying to sleep, it wouldn’t come now. But it wasn’t even light out yet, so she laid on her mattress and stared at the ceiling until light began creeping in.

She finally got up to begin her day which now included a call to the landlord, asking him, yet again, to replace the dead security lights in the parking lot and courtyard. “Yeah, yeah, they’ll get fixed when they get fixed,” he said, brushing off the concern.

She sat down at her laptop to look at Facebook while she ate breakfast and was surprised to see she had a message:

Hey Monroe, I know it’s been a while and I wish I was reaching out to catch up but…Stats gone. She committed suicide, suck started her firearm a couple days ago while on deployment. She’s being sent home to be buried with full honors. I can keep you posted on the arrangements if you want but I’m not sure where you are anymore. Let me know how you’re doing. -Reed

Without thinking she threw her laptop across the room where it hit the wall, leaving a small hole before crashing to the ground. She shoved her plate off the table, covering the floor with eggs and toast. Her hands came to her face as she sobbed. Her chest was heavy with emotion, guilt and rage, sadness and frustration, it overwhelmed her as she struggled to catch her breath. She pulled a bottle of vodka from her freezer and took a long swig. It wasn’t enough. She tore her place apart, opened every bottle, checked every crevice, hoping she had stashed a few pills somewhere; her deal with Laney be damned, she needed something. She finally gave up and collapsed to the floor, pulling her knees to her chest and weeping for her lost friend.

She lost track of time, only breaking from her stupor when her alarm went off, reminding her that she should be waking up now. “Shit,” she muttered as she looked at her phone. She’d forgotten that she switched shifts with Kyle so she’d be working the day crowd. She moved slowly as she cleaned up herself and her trashed apartment. A fog descended over her, between the lack of sleep and shock of the news, nothing felt real, but it also felt too real.

The day shift was like torture for Casey. It was always slow, slower than the night shift which was saying something. But it was after the New Year’s so things were extra quiet. Most people were still trying to hang on to their New Years Resolution to drink less or practicing Dry January. She turned on the small T.V. that hung in the corner for some noise, anything was better than the silence. She cleaned the counter and almost every glass twice. When she was sure no one was looking, she’d take a shot of whatever was closest, determined to keep herself buzzed until she could get home and really black out to forget everything about this day: the nightmare, the shitty landlord, the loss.

More customers trickled in as the day turned to evening and she was surprised to see Johnny walk in just before the end of her shift. He hadn’t been around as much which, she assumed, was a good thing for him, but kind of a letdown for her. The few times he did come in, he didn’t stay long, and he seemed like he was in a better place, not as beat up by life, but still trying to escape his thoughts for a moment. Casey noticed him as soon as he walked in, and it wasn’t good. His shoulders were slumped, head hung low, eyes rimmed with red. He’d either been crying, drinking, or both.

“You doing okay, handsome?” Casey asked as she placed a Banquet in front of him.

“No,” he shook his head and didn’t offer anything else. What was he supposed to say? No matter how hard he tried he just couldn’t pull his shit together and he was at his wits end. LaRusso was driving him crazy, Robbie still refused to talk to him, and he and Carmen were over for good. They tried things out but there was certain things Carmen couldn’t get past including the bad blood between Robbie and Miguel as well as Johnny spending the whole day with Ali after they’d hooked up. It didn’t help that she only found out because of photos that Johnny was tagged in on Facebook rather than from Johnny himself. He knew he’d find a way to mess things up, that’s just what he did in relationships.

Casey walked away but kept her eye on him. It was a complete 180 from the Johnny that came in last time; the one who seemed almost happy. A thought popped in her head. She was borderline drunk and had no fucks left to give, it was as good a time as any to shoot her shot. If he rejected her it would not be the worst thing to happen today and if he didn’t, maybe a fun distraction for them both. She scribbled on a napkin and walked over to him. She leaned on the bar giving him a good, intentional, view of her cleavage in her black tank top.

“Hey Johnny,” she said softly, he grunted but didn’t look up from the beer in his hands. “I’ve had a really shit day and I think you have too. My shift is over, and I really don’t want to be alone tonight. This is my address, if you don’t want to be alone tonight either, you should follow me or meet me there in a little bit.” She slid the napkin in front of him. “If you don’t show up, though, no hard feelings.”

He looked up at her, his brow furrowed with confusion. She didn’t wait for him to answer, just walked away and gave her good nights to Kyle and Laney. She tried to not look for him as she left or while she drove to her apartment, trying her best to keep her car straight in spite of the alcohol coursing through her. She didn’t want to seem desperate, just wanted some physical comfort. Anything to stop from feeling the emotion that was simmering in her. Yes, a good, no strings attached fuck sounded great right now and hopefully Johnny would feel the same.

She was unlocking her apartment door when she heard footsteps behind her. She jumped, having a quick flash of the nightmare, and glanced over her shoulder. Johnny came up the stairs and stopped right behind her, so close she could feel his heat which quickly calmed her. “I wasn’t sure you’d come.” She said softly as she turned the key.

“I wasn’t sure you were serious.” He said, his hands resting tentatively on her hips. She leaned back into him, the back of her head landing on his shoulder.

“Very serious,” She purred as she looked up at him. He leaned down to kiss her lips. It was soft at first, just getting a feel for each other, then quickly became more demanding. He teased her mouth open and flicked his tongue against hers. He tasted good, she thought, a hint of mint behind the alcohol on his breath which she was in no position to judge, she also popped a mint in the car just in case but she knew still tasted of her own liquor.

He moved a hand up to her breast and squeezed softly. He wanted to know just how serious this was. Did she bring him here just to tease him? Based on the moan escaping her lips it didn’t seem like it. She pulled away from his lips to open the door and drag him in behind her. He kicked the door shut, she dropped her bag and keys to the floor and turned to face him. She pushed him roughly against the door and kissed him hard.

“How do you like it, babe?” His voice raspy in her ear.

“Fuck me hard, handsome.” She said, biting his ear lobe. She wasn’t looking for anything soft and gentle, she wanted this day fucked right out of her system which he was eager to do.

He wrapped a hand in her ponytail and gave a hard yank to expose her neck, a gasp of approval escaping her lips. He planted warm kisses and bites on her while she raked her hands down his back and found the hem of his shirt, lifting it up. He pulled back just enough to take off his shirt and allow her to do the same before he went back to kissing her, his tongue rough and demanding, hers submitting to him fully. His arms snaked around her waist and lifted her off her feet. She wrapped her legs around his waist while his hand moved to her ass to keep her steady as he carried her further into the small apartment. She undid her bra and tossed it aside as he sat her on the first level surface he found, the small, round kitchen table.

She grabbed his hair and moved his head to her chest. He buried his face in her tits, licking, biting, taking a nipple between his teeth and giving it a flick of his tongue. She gasped and arched her back, her hands moved to his pants and began tugging at his belt. With a few flicks of her fingers his jeans hit the floor and she cupped him through his boxers. His big dick energy was accurate, she thought to herself.

He moved his hand to her neck and pushed her back, letting his free hand roam her body, over her breasts, down her stomach until they came to the top of her black leggings. She kicked off her boots while he pulled off her leggings and panties. He stood up and dropped his boxers before rubbing her between her legs, where she most wanted, making her sigh with pleasure.

His fingers were instantly wet from her. He reveled in causing this reaction in women, it gave him a sense of power he rarely felt, a reminder that at least he was good at this. He aligned himself with her and thrust in fast and hard, starting an intense pace. “Harder Johnny,” she encouraged and he happily obliged. It was good but she needed more, so she moved a hand between her legs and began rubbing her clit while his hands held her hips in place.

Without a word he pulled out and flipped her around to take her from behind. He grabbed her hips, pulling her ass up and back until he was back at her entrance. He pounded into her fast, fingers digging painfully into her hips, his anger building the harder he went. Everything felt lost, nothing left in his life. He gave no shits about her pleasure, only his rage. Besides, he was giving it to her hard, just like she wanted. He pulled out and came with guttural groan, spilling on to her back. His anger at himself taking hold followed by a moment of clarity.

What the hell was he doing? He was balls deep in a bartender he barely knew, same shit he did when was in his 20’s and 30’s, of course he was messing things up, he hasn’t changed at all. He stepped back and collected his clothes as he made his way towards the door. All she saw was his back walking away. She heard the jingle of his belt as he pulled his pants back on followed by the slamming of her front door. Her hands drifted between her legs to finish herself off since he neglected it. She came fast but It wasn’t as good as it could have been with him. Her day was ending just as it started, staring at her ceiling wondering what the hell just happened.

Chapter Text

Casey woke up the next morning and examined herself in the mirror. She had finger-shaped bruises on her hips, and she sat with an ice pack between her legs for a few minutes to ease the throbbing from her hard pounded pussy. What would she do the next time Johnny came into the bar? It was never supposed to be anything more than a convenient one-night stand, but his lack of consideration for her orgasm and quick exit was pretty offensive. She wouldn’t be rude, but she was definitely over whatever infatuation she may have had with him.

 

Since nothing else was going right in his life, Johnny was dedicating everything he had to Miyagi-Do. He still wasn’t thrilled to be working together with LaRusso but this was bigger than their personal issues, this was about getting rid of Kreese and keeping the students, especially Robbie, safe. Johnny was showing up early to set up the classes and even relented to letting LaRusso teach all the kids his kata, even though Johnny still refused learn it himself. He was in early setting up boards for kicks and headbutts when Amanda LaRusso walked in.

“Hey Johnny, I’m looking for Daniel but I guess he isn’t here yet.”

“No, but class starts in an hour so he should be here soon.” Johnny said. He liked Amanda, she was the most tolerable LaRusso.

“Alright I’m just going to leave this here for him, just some paperwork from the dealership.” She said, setting a yellow envelope on the side table. “Hey, I’m sorry to hear about you and Carmen.”

“Thanks, it was inevitable, I guess.” Johnny said sadly.

“What do you mean?”

“Nothing, I’m just not good at relationships, shouldn’t be surprised when I mess them up.”

Amanda put a soft hand on Johnny’s arm. “Maybe it just wasn’t a good fit. You can’t force something if it’s not right.”

“Yeah, it just seemed so perfect, I wanted it to be perfect for Carmen, Miguel, and myself.”

“They’ll always be in your life, you’re Miguel’s mentor and role model, that won’t change. You just need to find someone that can accept you as the good and imperfect man that you are.”

“Thanks,” Johnny muttered. Casey immediately came into his mind. He wasn’t proud of how he left things after the other night. He just left without a word, it was such a pussy move. He was angry with himself and he took it out on her. She deserved better than that.

He finally swallowed his shame and went back to the bar a week after their tryst. A Banquet would usually appear in front of him within seconds of sitting down but she wasn’t feeling that accommodating anymore. She took her time getting his beer and then quickly turned away.

“Hey Casey.”

“I’m busy,” she barked before taking another patron’s order. The bar was busier than usual thanks to a local band playing at a club on the corner. She was alone dealing with the post-show crowd who wanted cheaper alcohol than the club. When she’d been busy like this before she still made sure to have a fresh beer in front of him, but not tonight; he had to wait and vie for her attention like everyone else. She ignored his attempts to talk until the bar started to empty and she had nothing else to keep her busy, only a couple of customers left and over an hour until last call.

He had watched her through the night and noticed faded bruises on the top of her hips when her tank top would rise slightly, they were faint but noticeable on her pale skin. She put another beer in front of him but he spoke before she could turn away.

“You want to talk now? There’s no one else here for you to ignore me for.” She stopped in front of him, arms braced on the bar top.

“What do you want to talk about Johnny?” she asked with a hard glare.

“Are those bruises on your hip from me?”

“Yeah.”

“Shit. I’m sorry I was so rough, I didn’t mean to hurt you.” His blue eyes shone with sincere regret.

“I like the rough stuff, Johnny, I just like it more when the guy actually tries to get me off too.” Johnny’s eyes widened in horror.

“You didn’t—” she shook her head. “Oh shit, I’m such an asshole! I’m really sorry. Why didn’t you say anything?” If it was one thing Johnny Lawrence prided himself on when it came to women, it was getting them off. He may be shit at relationships, but he was determined to be a good fuck.

“It was just a one-night stand Johnny. Besides, you hit it and quit it pretty quick, so I didn’t have much chance.”

“There was a lot going on, I was not on my A-game.” He defended.

“I’m sure.” She scoffed as she turned away.

“Let me make it up to you.”

“No thanks, fool me once, Johnny.”

“Casey, I had just got dumped, my son won’t speak to me, and a sociopath is training him and my former students.” She stopped and turned around to look at him. “I was lost and I just—I wasn’t myself.”

She walked back over to him but less defensive this time. “I’m sorry, now I feel like the asshole. I shouldn’t have propositioned you.”

Johnny grinned, it sounded so indecent. “I didn’t mind the proposition; I was flattered actually. I just should have taken a raincheck, or just not been such a dick about it.” She chuckled lightly in agreement. “So, can I make it up to you? Dinner and a do-over? If you’re feeling forgiving.”

She sighed and bit her lip. She didn’t want another disappointing sexual encounter but the look he was giving her told her it would be different a second time. “Okay.” She said with a nod. “You better bring your A-game though.”

Chapter Text

Casey glanced at her phone 6:47 p.m., Johnny would be there soon to pick her up. Her stomach was doing flips, out of excitement or nerves she couldn’t tell, probably a bit of both. If there was a silver lining to their first time together its that it took some of the pressure off this date, as long as she got off and he didn’t storm off without a word after, it would be an improvement.

She took a quick shot of tequila and went back to the bathroom to give herself a final look. Her hair was in two dutch braids that met at the nape of her neck and come together into a loose ponytail hanging down her back. She wasn’t one for a lot of make-up, but she’d done just enough to even her skin and enhance her features. Vanity wasn’t a strong trait of hers but she had to admit, she looked damn good.

She went back out for another shot when there was a knock on the door. “Just a minute!” She shouted, quickly pouring herself another shot and downing it, then stashing the bottle back into a cabinet before running to open the door.

“Hey,” she said, opening the door to a devilishly handsome Johnny.

“Hey, you look great.” He said, looking her up and down in her dark skinny jeans, loose dark red sweater and black boots.

“Thank you,” she blushed. “So do you. Come on in, I just need a couple more minutes.”
Johnny followed her in and looked around her apartment since he didn’t remember much from the last time he was there. The walls were white and bare, with the exception of her modest flat screen television, no pictures or mementos anywhere. There was a bookcase in a corner that held messy stacks of books, next to it a deep brown couch pointed at the T.V.

“Sorry about that, I’m ready when you are.” She said, emerging from the bathroom after brushing her teeth to hide the tequila on her breath.

“I can’t believe I’m about to go out with a nerd.” Johnny said, pointing at her bookcase.

“That’s right, a big nerd, the kind that reads. Hope it doesn’t ruin your rep.” She joked as she poked him in the side playfully.

 

Casey insisted on going someplace fun and casual so Johnny took her to a small burger joint near the beach. They sat in a small corner booth towards the back where it felt like they were hidden from the world. Their conversation came and went easier than she expected.

“How long have you lived here?” Casey asked.

“My whole life, California born and bred.” Johnny stated proudly. “What about you, where are you from?”

“Middle of nowhere Missouri.”

“Sounds nice,” Johnny said sarcastically.

“Yeah, it’s not.” She said with a laugh. “Growing up there wasn’t much to do except drink, fuck, and tip cows.”

Johnny cocked his head to the side. “Tip cows?”

“Yep, cow tipping is the great midwestern past time,” she said matter-of-factly. “You go into the pasture at night and try to sneak up on a cow while it’s sleeping and push it over.”

“That was your idea of a good time?” He laughed.

“Hey, when you’re a bored and drunk teenager you do what you can to entertain yourself. What did you do to pass the time around here as a teenager?” She asked.

“Hung out at the beach, rode dirt bikes, did karate with my friends.”

“Sounds way better than cow tipping.” She said, taking a sip of the beer their waitress just dropped off.

“I was kind of a dickhead kid, actually. But karate was where I found my place. It’s why I started my own dojo.” His eyes lit up as he talked about karate but then slowly dimmed. The waitress brought their food and broke through his unspoken sadness which Johnny appreciated.

“How’d you end up in California from Missouri?” Johnny asked before taking a bite of his burger.

“I enlisted in the Army for a while, left that and didn’t want to go back home. So, I’ve been bouncing around the last few years crashing with random friends and family members for a few weeks here, a couple months there. I was staying with Laney when she got tired of me and told me I could move on to someone else’s couch or she could give me a job and help me get my own place here. So that’s what I did.”

“What did you do in the Army?”

Her heart started to race, she hated talking about the Army. “I was a medic.” She said slowly, trying to keep her breathing steady and praying he didn’t notice the slight tremble in her hands.

“Did you get to go anywhere cool?” He asked casually. She knew he was making conversation, but she couldn’t go down this road.

“Not really. So, what did you do before opening your dojo?” She asked, not caring that her subject change was obvious, it just had to be done.

The rest of their conversation was casual and relaxed. He told her about his teenage karate career and competitions, he mentioned Robby but spared the more harrowing details of their fractured relationship. She excused herself to the ladies room while Johnny paid the bill even though she insisted on splitting it. It was clear where this was going when they left and it made her nervous. Her shots from earlier were wearing off and the beer wasn’t enough to dull her anxiety so she pulled a couple travel bottles of tequila from her bag and downed them quickly before popping a couple of mints.

They left just as the sun disappeared into the ocean. He drove her back to her place and walked her to her door. “You want to come in?” She asked.

“Yeah,” he smirked, there was no use in playing coy.

“You want a beer?” She asked as she started towards her kitchen. He grabbed her wrist and pulled her into his chest.

“No.” He said firmly as he took her face in his hands and brought her lips to his. Casey moaned softly against him as he licked her lips, she opened her mouth and let him in. His memory of the last time he was here with her was fuzzy, eroded by his own overwhelming emotions. He really wanted to remember this time. He didn’t know if this would be a one-time thing or not, but he wanted to make up for the last time he was here and, if he only got one chance for that, he’d make it count.

She wrapped her arms around his neck, her nails gently scraping the back of his head. He slowly backed her down the hall and let her lead the way to her bedroom. His hands grazed just under the hem of her sweater finding smooth skin. His fingertips were calloused from manual labor and fighting but they moved gently over her. He lifted her sweater and she raised her arms for him to take it off. He made quick work of his own jacket and shirt while she discarded her bra. Their lips found each other again while one of his hands held her waist and the other cupped her breast, his thumb moving over her nipple earning him a soft moan.

He lowered her onto the bed but hovered over her, moving his lips to her neck and then her breasts. He took a nipple into his mouth and bit lightly. “Yes,” she gasped, arching into him. He nipped down her stomach and stopped just above her jeans. He let his breath dance over her stomach while he slowly undid her jeans, kissing the newly exposed flesh. He pulled her jeans and panties down and off her in a swift motion. His hands ran up her legs while he kneeled between them. She looked down at him, the determined look in his blue eyes causing her to shiver in anticipation. He placed a soft kiss on each thigh before bringing his tongue to her clit and giving her lick. She moaned deeply and arched into him. He took his time, relishing every moment in her pussy and watching her react to him as he drove her crazy.

One of her hands moved down and ran fingers through his hair, encouraging him more. He slowly picked up his pace while she tried to move against him but he held her hips down making her fully at his whim. She could feel it building in her. He went from licking to sucking her clit into his mouth. “Oh God, Johnny,” she moaned as he put a finger into her. She moved a hand to her breast and pinched her nipple as he kept sucking. He could feel his erection pressing in his jeans and just willed himself not to cum just from this wanton sight. Her body shook as her orgasm overwhelmed her.

“Oh holy shit,” she sighed as he slowed his ministration and pulled back from her. She opened her eyes and watched him as he stood and took off his jeans. The room was dim but she could make out the tone on his body and the bulk of his muscles, especially in his arms, he was an impressive man. He dropped his boxers and she couldn’t help but smile as she drank him in completely. He pulled a condom from his jeans and slipped it on before he leaned over her and kissed her while pushing inside. Warmth and wetness surrounded his dick, how did he not appreciate this the last time they were together? He thrust in and out of her in long strokes, determined to bring her back to her brink.

“You got another in you, beautiful?” He asked hotly in her ear.

She’d never tried for multiple orgasms but, damn, what he was doing felt so good. “Yeah, keep going,” she panted. She brought her legs around his waist so he was hitting just right. He picked up his pace and she moaned, probably loud enough to wake the neighbors but she didn’t care.

“I’m so close,” she gasped. He bit her shoulder and thrust hard into her as her body tensed and found it’s second release. He let go and let his pace get erratic until he came a few moments later. He laid on top of her while they caught their breath, her very own Johnny blanket and she wasn’t complaining. He kissed her languidly and pushed the strands of stray, damp hair from her face. He pulled back slightly and rested his forehead on hers. He liked her like this, flushed and breathless with a satisfied grin on her face. He was a man that needed second chances, he rarely did things right the first time, he was especially grateful for this one.

Chapter Text

Since she typically worked at night and slept into the day, one of Casey’s first investments was blackout curtains. So she was particularly annoyed to be woken the next morning by a bright beam of sunlight that managed to break through a small space between the curtains. The light landed directly on her eyes, rousing her from a blissful dream where she and Johnny had fucked each other silly. She groaned at the annoying ray of light and rolled to her other side, straight into a large, warm arm. Not a dream, she realized. That means that second time…oh that second time.

They had dozed off after, both relaxed and satiated. But Casey woke up a while later to fingers running over her ribs, into the dip of her waist, over the curve of her hip, down her outer thigh, into her inner thigh giving a shy berth to her pussy, and then starting the slow journey back up over her stomach, between her breasts. Soft lips pressed over her shoulder, up her neck, to her ear and back down. She sighed and nestled back into him, grinding her ass teasingly into his hard dick.

“Sorry, did I wake you?” He whispered in her ear.

“Liar, you’re not sorry.” She said as she shifted to her back and pulled his lips to hers.

She put a hand on his shoulder and pushed him onto his back, straddling his hips; she leaned down, kissing him once more before leaving his mouth and peppering kisses on his chest, giving his nipples a slight pinch making him jump and gasp. She kissed and licked down his firm stomach, stopping just above his patch of curlies. She looked up at him, his chest moved quickly. She situated herself between his legs and leaned closer to his cock. She licked from the base up to the head. A loud moan escaped Johnny, filling her with pride that she was evoking that reaction from him. She put just the tip in her mouth and gave it a quick suck. “God, babe.” Johnny sighed.

She took him completely into her mouth and began sucking him slowly while massaging his balls. She soon picked up her pace, his breathing getting heavier. “Stop, I’m not going to last much longer,” he said. She pulled off of him and retrieved one of his condoms from the floor. Johnny watched her intently as she rolled it on him, he seemed so big in her petite hands. She moved up to straddle his and held his cock firmly as she lowered herself. She moaned as he filled her and started to move on him. One of his hands held tightly to her hip while the other found her breast, rolling her nipple.

“Yes,” she hissed feeling her orgasm build. He watched her in awe as she rode him, taking exactly what she needed to get herself off. There was nothing hotter than a woman using him for her pleasure, he would let her ride him all night if she wanted, or at least, for as long as he could last. The way she moved on him, the way her breast felt in his hand, the way she looked down at him, it probably wouldn’t be long.

She moved faster until she tensed and her head fell back. He lifted his hips quickly, hitting her clit again, trying to keep her orgasm rolling as long as possible. “Fuck!” she shouted as she started to come down from her high. Johnny grabbed her waist and turned them quickly so she was on her back again. He hooked one of her legs around his waist and pounded into her hard, chasing his own release which came after just a few thrusts.

Now she looked at the man who was sleeping so peacefully next to her, snoring softly. It was reassuring that, on top of being hot, he did know what he was doing when he brought his A-game. However, she couldn’t help but notice there was a constant sadness in him. That was a given considering that happy, well-adjusted people don’t usually frequent dive bars alone. Some were running from broken homes, broken relationships, trauma. She wondered what he was running from. His sorrow became obvious when he talked about certain things like his son or his former dojo, but, other times it still lingered silently behind his eyes.

Casey’s phone dinged loudly from her bag that was dropped haphazardly by the door. She glanced at Johnny but he just slept on. She slipped from her bed and moved quietly out of the bedroom, closing the door behind her. She picked up his t-shirt in the hallway and pulled it over her head to keep off the morning chill. She fished her phone out of her bag, a message notification stared up at her.

Hey Monroe, we buried Stat yesterday. It was a nice service, her family seems like they’re doing well, all things considered. I know you read my last message, I wish you’d respond and let me know how you’re doing. You’re probably blaming yourself, don’t. Don’t you dare. This was not your fault, none of it is your fault. This is all on him.  -Reed

She re-read the message, tears in her eyes. She knew her friend meant well but it was her fault and she wouldn’t be convinced otherwise, that guilt was hers alone to bear. Lost in her thoughts she didn’t hear the bedroom door creak open or the footsteps behind her. The warm hand on her shoulder made her jump to her feet, with her heart pounding. She looked at Johnny with his hands up. “Whoa, it’s just me.”

“Sorry,” she said, letting out a deep breath, “I didn’t hear you coming.”

“I think you did, we were pretty loud last night,” he joked. She giggled and put her phone on the table. She walked over to him and wrapped her arms around his bare torso as his came around her waist.

“Yeah, last night was pretty good.” She said, biting his chest playfully and hoping to distract herself just a bit longer.

“Good enough to make up for my first visit here?”

“Hmmm,” she said, pretending to think it over. “I don’t know if it was that good, you may need to stick around a little longer to be sure you’ve really made it up to me.” She said with a sly smile.

“Oh, is that right?” He asked before leaning in to claim her lips again.

Chapter Text

Johnny slid into his usual seat at the bar. Casey’s back was to him while she served the biker guys at the other side of the room. It had been two days since their night together and he couldn’t stop his mind from wandering back to it. How good she felt against him and the sounds she made, it had all hit him just right. She turned and looked at him over her shoulder, that look. That smile with a hint of something in her eye, what was that look? He didn’t know but he liked it.

She sauntered over to him, stopping to pick up his beer on the way. “Heya handsome.” She purred as she slid it front of him.

“Hey beautiful.” He said making her cheeks turn a warm pink; he liked that, too. Things were left unspoken the morning after their date. After a great round of morning sex Johnny got ready to leave. He hesitated and seemed unsure of what to say, after all, was this a first date? A fun one nighter?

“I’ll see you around at the bar.” Casey said before giving him a quick peck. She didn’t want him to feel obligated to ask for another date. This one was fun and maybe that was enough. A small part of her worried he’d stop coming around altogether to avoid the awkwardness so she was pleased to see, just a couple of days later, that wasn’t the case.

“How you doing?” He asked.

“Good,” she said, “how about you, how was your day?”

“It was alright, just teaching classes.” She watched his face, that smirk of his, the way his eyes glistened at her. She wouldn’t mind another round and she was feeling a little tipsy and frisky.

“Yeah, I wasn’t very productive today at all. I had this really hot date the other night and I can’t stop thinking about it.” She leaned over the counter, coming closer to Johnny’s face, her cleavage pressing up and out causing Johnny’s eyes to obviously wander south which gave her a confidence boost.

“Oh yeah,” he asked taking a swig of his beer. “What can’t you stop thinking about?”

“He just fucked me so good.” She whispered. She was inflating his ego and he may be insufferable later, but she was too keyed up to care. “The way he ate my pussy,” Johnny almost choked on his beer, “was amazing, he definitely knew what he was doing.” It wasn’t easy to make Johnny blush but here he was turning redder than a beet. He glanced around quick to see if anyone else was hearing this but, thankfully, no one was close enough. “I wonder if he’s thought of me since then?”

“Oh he has.” Johnny admitted. She tried hide her smile by biting her lip. “He’s thought about your lips, how sweet they tasted and how good they felt on his dick.” It was Casey’s turn to blush as she raised an eyebrow at him. His whisper, the fact that they were in public, where she worked, she was getting so wet and wondered if this was effecting him at all.

“Well, if he were here, I’d ask if he wanted to meet in the bathroom to help me get rid of some of this sexual frustration.”

Johnny’s eyes turned dark. This was so hot and he was beyond turned on. “Hell yeah, babe,” he growled.

“Around the corner,” she nodded to her left, “it’s all guys here so head to the ladies and I’ll meet you there.” She turned and walked away, heading to the back to tell Laney she was taking her break. Laney looked at her with confusion but before she could question it Casey was walking quickly back out the door past Johnny’s empty.

She walked into the ladies room and found Johnny leaning against the wall waiting for her, a bulge in his jeans. Casey locked the door before taking a step to Johnny and meeting his lips hungrily. She moaned as their tongues met, she’d have to be quiet, the walls were thin in this place. Johnny pressed her back into the wall, kissing her, massaging her breasts over her bra and tank top. One of his hands slid over her breast and stomach until it found the button of her jeans. He flipped it open easily and pulled down the zipper before slipping his hand into her panties.

“You’re wet for me already.” He rasped in her ear causing her to sigh in affirmation. He knew they were on a time crunch so he didn’t want to waste any. He withdrew his hand and fell to a knee. He roughly pulled off her boots before pulling on her jeans and panties. She watched him through lidded eyes, he was so focused on her. Before she knew it his mouth was latched to her clit and she was arching against him. He grabbed one of her legs and put it over his shoulder, his hands then moving to her ass to keep her pressed against his face.

Her fingers stroked through his hair, nails scraping his scalp in encouragement. Her hips rolled against him hard and fast, he could tell she was getting close. He moved a finger inside of her and curled. She was on the edge when he stopped, causing her to groan in disappointment. He quickly undid his belt and dropped his boxers and jeans to the floor. With a swiftness she wasn’t expecting he leaned into her, wrapped his arms around her thighs and hoisted her easily up and back into the wall causing her to squeal in surprise.

He lowered her a bit, lining them up perfectly before thrusting up fast. “Yes,” she exclaimed louder than intended. Johnny moved a hand over her mouth.

“Quiet this time baby, but next time I want you screaming.” She moaned into his hand, next time…. He relied on his other arm and the wall to keep her up and steady while he thrust quickly into her. It wasn’t the most romantic setting but she was so turned on that nothing else mattered except the two of them. He was pressed flush into her, when he wasn’t planting kisses and nips on her neck and shoulder, his face lingered inches from hers, their eyes locked. The intensity of it hit her hard, she moved his hand away and leaned forward and captured his lips. Her orgasm rolled through her, making her tense and tighten around him. She moaned in his mouth as her eyes screwed shut. Johnny watched her in awe before his own release came on and he thrust into her two more times before slowing to catch his breath.

He held her up while they panted for a long moment. He slowly lowered her to the ground and held onto her hips until he was sure she was steady. She picked up her jeans and panties and took them into a stall to clean herself up and put herself back together. They fell into a comfortable silence while they each composed themself. Casey stepped out of the stall and reached for her boots. “Well, that was an adventure.” She said happily.

Johnny grinned. “You are something else, babe. When can I see you again?”

Casey looked in the mirror to make sure she wasn’t a complete mess. She didn’t wear much make up so nothing was too smudged. She wet her hands to put back a few errant hairs. “I work tomorrow night.”

“No, I mean outside of here.” She looked up and met his eyes in the mirror. Her stomach flipped and she wasn’t sure if that was good or bad. She hadn’t dated anyone in a long time, perfectly content with hook-ups and one night stands. Johnny didn’t strike her as a relationship guy either yet, here he was asking to see her, but for sex or a date, or both? She bit her lip and decided to give it a shot, what was the worst that could happen.

“I’m off on Sunday,” she said hesitantly.

“I’ll pick you up at 7.” Johnny said before turning to walk out the door.

Chapter Text

One of the first things Casey learned about Johnny was just how old fashioned he was. As a modern feminist she was perfectly fine opening her own doors and pulling out her own chairs, but soon realized that Johnny enjoyed doing them. Where she did become irked was at his insistence to always pay the bill. It was okay the first time but the second time it got under her skin, after all, she was no delicate flower that needed caring for. They reached a compromise that for their next hang out, Casey would cook at her place. Hang out. That’s what Casey called it and Johnny followed suit. Their time together had all the components of a date which is part of the reason it irked her that Johnny always paid. This was not dating, she told herself. It was two people hanging out and then fucking. There was no cute texting in between or good night phone calls or gifts being exchanged; that was how she wanted to keep it and Johnny showed no interest in changing that either.

She opened the door for him and their lips immediately met, kissing him was like a drug she couldn’t get enough of. His arms wrapped around and pulled her to him. It would be so easy to let him take her right here and now but the smell of meatballs brought her back to reality. “Johnny, I have to get to the kitchen before everything overcooks.” She said, struggling to pull out of his embrace. He groaned in protest but let her go anyways.

“Smells good,” Johnny said as he walked into the kitchen rotating his sore left shoulder.

“Thanks, nothing fancy just spaghetti and meatballs,” Casey said. “How was your day?”

“It was alright, everyone was fired up today. LaRusso got a cheap shot into my shoulder while we were sparring.” Johnny said, rotating his shoulder again.

“The other sensei? Why would he do that, you’re on the same side.”

“You don’t know this guy, babe. He’s been taking cheap shots since high school, never passes up a chance to take one even though he swears he only does it defense.” As they ate dinner Casey listened to Johnny rehash every encounter he and LaRusso had since they were teenagers from their first encounter at the beach up to the starting separate dojos and lighting cars on fire, it felt so melodramatic for two middle aged men.

“So, if you guys really can’t stand each other why are you still in each other’s lives? And why are you even teaching together?” Casey asked.

Because my old sensei tried to kill me for a second time and now he’s brainwashed my son, Johnny thought. But, instead he just sighed and said, “that’s a story for another time.”

Johnny started to help her clear off the table but she swatted his hand away. “No sir, you go lay on the bed and take your shirt off.” Johnny’s eyes turned dark with lust.

“Ooh, bossy, I like it.” He growled, nipping her shoulder.

“Calm down, loverboy, I’m going to massage that shoulder for you.”

“Nah, it’s not that bad.” He tried to brush off, rotating his shoulder again.

“So, you don’t want a free back rub that’s likely to have a happy ending?” She asked with a sly smile.

“If that’s how it is…” he said, turning towards the bedroom and taking off his shirt, careful of his shoulder.

Casey got her dishes in the sink and then followed him into her bedroom. She picked up a bottle of lotion and straddled Johnny’s lower back. “Let me know if I hurt anything.” She said.

“Baby, your tiny little hands can’t hurt me.” He chuckled. She raised an eyebrow, taking that as a challenge for another time. She rubbed some lotion between her hands before applying pressure to his shoulder.

“Let me know when I hit the tender part.” She instructed. She ran her fingers over his shoulder, applying moderate pressure.

“There.” Johnny hissed as her hand pressed just below his shoulder blade. She lightened her pressure and used her thumbs to rub easy circles around the spot. Johnny let out a content sigh as tension slowly left his shoulder. She only focused on the shoulder for a few minutes, not wanting to make anything worse, just relax the muscle.

Her hands ran over his back, applying moderate pressure again. She found a few tense spots that she worked on lightly before moving on somewhere else. She loved the feeling of him underneath her like this, where she could really focus on just feeling him. His skin was softer than she expected, and he was strong and toned, his muscles flexed and relaxed under her fingers. His quiet sighs and moans only encouraged her, she must have been doing something right.

“Roll over,” she said, as she got off his back. He did as told and she resumed her position on his lower stomach. She felt him harden as she began rubbing his torso. Johnny wasn’t sure what was happening but he liked it. He couldn’t remember the last time a woman cared enough to massage him, explore him like this. He was always in charge and that’s how he liked it, but it was nice to hand the reins to someone else, even just for a few minutes. As she straddled him again, they were face to face. The way she looked down at him, it was sweet, there was no judgement, just warmth; no tension, just them.

His fingertips grazed her thighs and a slight blush bloomed over her face at his touch. She leaned over him as she ran her hands up his torso, chest and to his shoulders. He leaned up to kiss her but she sat up and smirked before he could get her. She ran her hands down from his shoulder, chest, torso, stopping just above his jeans.

She popped open the button and pulled off his jeans and boxers. She ran her hands lower as her mouth slowly came to his hard tip. Johnny watched her, mouth open and panting. She gave his head a quick lick, he groaned and fell back on the bed. She giggled before taking him in deeper. She built an easy rhythm that had him moaning and whispering her name. His hand came down and ran through her hair.

She picked up her pace and began massaging his balls. “Oh yeah babe.” He groaned as his body tightened. “I’m close.” He said, giving her a chance to back away, but she didn’t. He came hard in her mouth as she sucked him through it.

He caught his breath as she crawled up next to him on the bed. He leaned up to finally kiss her deeply, not caring that he tasted himself on her. “Why are you still dressed?” He asked, realizing that he was the only one naked. She laughed as she stood up and lifted off her shirt, throwing it at his face. She watched him watch her get undressed. She didn’t like this level of exposure and vulnerability but something about the look in Johnny’s eye right now made her feel safe, and sexy. She removed her bra and dropped it the floor before undoing her shorts and pulling them along with her wet panties down her legs.

Johnny sat up as she stepped towards him and straddled his lap. He kissed her before rolling her to her back. He kneeled on the floor and pulled her by the legs until she was lined directly in front of him. He put her legs over his shoulders before diving into her pussy. He’d had dinner and this was his dessert. He took his time licking her slowly, determined to drive her crazy. He flicked his tongue over her clit making her arch off the bed and shout his name. He put his fingers inside her and curled them, hitting just the spot that made her climax come hard and fast.

Both satisfied, they moved to the top of the bed and Johnny pulled Casey into his arms. She listened to his heartbeat, slow and steady, as she drew small circles on his chest. She was starting to think that maybe dating Johnny, if that’s where this was going, wouldn’t be so bad.

Chapter Text

Casey walked in the bar at the start of her Friday night shift. There were a few girls gossiping over drinks at the bar but other than that the place was quiet. She gave a nod to Kyle as she entered the place.

“How are things going with blondie?” Kyle asked, giving Casey a small shoulder nudge.

“They’re okay I guess.”

“You guess?”

Casey shrugged. “It’s been a couple of months, we see each other a few times a week to hang out, it is what it is. We don’t even have each other’s phone number.”

“What?” Kyle asked, his face twisting in confusion. “That’s so dark ages, how do you make plans? How do you sext?”

“We make plans after a night together or when he comes in for a beer. As for sexting, the man still listens to cassette tapes, he’s not exactly with the times.” 

Kyle nodded. “So, casual dating, casual sex, no real commitment beyond the next date; I thought that was the kind of set up you liked?”

“It is,” Casey said halfheartedly.

“Bullshit. You can say that, but you sound disappointed by it.”

Casey shrugged. “I don’t know, I like him. I think I like him more than I’ve liked anyone in a long time, but I don’t want to label things.”

“Ah,” Kyle said as if a light bulb went off over his head, “because labelling things makes it real and leaves you vulnerable. And we all know how much Casey hates feeling vulnerable.”

Casey glared up at him. “Yeah, be angry little dog, just means I’m right.” He quipped with a smirk.

“Okay, Dr. Phil, you want to analyze me some more or go home?” Kyle laughed and turned to go.

Johnny came into the bar a few hours later and found it busier than usual. “Bachelor party,” Casey told him, “I heard one of them say this is their pregame before heading to the strip club.” From the looks of it the pre-game was turning into the actual game, there were 7 of them and with each beer they were getting louder, with each shot rowdier.

“They behaving themselves?” Johnny asked seriously. A warm feeling flooded Casey as she met Johnny’s gaze. She was used to being on her own, looking out for herself. To have someone else concerned for her safety was a new feeling and one she didn’t mind.

“Yeah, so far,” she said. Johnny drank his beer and eyed each member of the loud group. No one looked imposing, they were all pretty tipsy, he could take them if needed.

“Hey beautiful, we need more beer.” One of the guys shouted. Casey closed her eyes and exhaled deeply as she braced herself to head back into the onslaught of drunk testosterone. Something twisted in Johnny’s chest hearing another guy call her beautiful. She was, but he didn’t like another man telling her that, especially not a drunk one with low inhibitions. He noticed she didn’t seem to like it either. When he said it to her she blushed, this guy made her cringe.

“You got a boyfriend, baby girl?” The guy asked as she refilled their drinks.

“That’s not my name and I’m not a baby girl.” She said coldly.

The guy laughed and put his hands up, “I’m sorry. Miss Bartender lady, do you have a boyfriend?”

Casey flinched, unsure what to say considering how loud this guy was and that Johnny was right there. “That’s none of your business.”

“Come on, I’m shooting my shot here. Give a guy a chance?” He said earnestly. He was cute and he didn’t seem offended by her correcting him a second ago, but if he wasn’t a 6 foot tall blonde sensei, she wasn’t going to be into it.

“That’s very sweet of you but I’m not interested.” She said as kindly as she could before turning away to help a new customer that walked in.

Johnny watched as the younger guy hit on Casey. His blood turned hot when he asked her if she had a boyfriend. They hadn’t had any kind of relationship talk and were just enjoying each other’s company, but he didn’t like seeing another man flirt with her and make her smile. A part of him wished she would’ve just said yes, and he could’ve been the boyfriend in question. He wondered if he weren’t sitting there what she would say to this guy. There was an almost 20 year age gap between him and Casey and she could easily be with any guy she wanted. This drunk guy looked closer to her age and, from the clothes he wore, was probably making better money than a sensei who worked in a dojo offering free karate.  

Johnny watched the bachelor party like a hawk, waiting for one inappropriate comment or moment to be able to step in and put them in their place. They finally cleared out just before midnight. “Be safe guys, make good choices.” Casey told them as they left.

“Bye! Thanks Casey!” They called out to her.

“They weren’t so bad, nice guys, and good tippers.” Casey said, putting a fresh beer in front of Johnny who just grunted in response.

“You okay, handsome?” She asked, putting a hand on his.

Between her touch and endearment, he softened. He was frustrated at seeing her give so much attention to other guys, seeing them give her so much attention. He knew she was working but it still didn’t feel good. Jealousy, it was jealousy and it was something he hadn’t felt in a long time.

He opened his hand and intertwined their fingers. The warmth of her hand a welcome comfort. “When’s your next night off?” Johnny asked.

“Monday.”

“Why don’t you come over to my place, we’ll order take out and watch a movie.”

Casey couldn’t fight her smile. “Yeah, I'd like that.” Most of the time they were at her place so to spend an evening at Johnny’s felt exciting.

 

After a long, busy weekend at the bar, Casey was relieved for Monday to arrive. She showed up to Johnny’s place with beer and a bottle of whiskey. Since he was paying for dinner, again, the least she  could do was bring the drinks. She’d only seen his place once when she brought him home after getting completely wasted at the bar. She didn’t remember much of it, just that it was messy with beer cans and food containers strewn everywhere but it was much cleaner now. She looked around his living room while he was on his landline placing their food order. She didn’t know people did that anymore or still had personal landline phones at all, she thought everyone used their mobile phone apps for everything but, as she learned, Johnny Lawrence wasn’t everyone. So much of him seemed like a relic of past times which she appreciated and sometimes found amusing.

A framed picture of a woman caught her attention He didn’t have any sentimental items or personal mementos around so it stuck out like a sore thumb. She picked it up and looked at it, the woman looked kind, she had the same big smile and bright blue eyes that Johnny did. He came into the room announcing the food would be there in an hour.

“Who’s this?” Casey asked, showing him the picture.

“That’s my mom.” Johnny said as he came to stand by her.

“She’s beautiful.” Casey said, setting the picture back down carefully.

“Yeah, she was. She died in 2001.” He said sadly as he moved to sit on the couch.

“I’m sorry.” Casey said, taking a seat next to him. “What was she like?”

“She was the best. I didn’t know my dad and she was all I had. She married my stepdad when I was a kid, trying to give me a better life but he was a bullying piece of shit, always putting me down. But she believed in me, and always saw the good in me. She may have been the only one to ever see good in me.”

Casey watched him, his eyes were sad and filled with memories. “Sounds like she was a great mom, you were lucky to have each other.”

“Yeah, well I don’t know how lucky she was to get me. What about you? What’s your family like?”

Casey sighed . “My dad ran off and started a new family when I was 5, I don’t remember much of him but from what I hear he liked to knock my mom around so probably not much of a loss. She had her own issues, got hooked on pills after he left and I got in the way of that. CPS took me away after her third overdose when I was 9 and put me with Laney since she was the only relative they could find.”

“You two must be close.”

“We are now but I was not an easy kid. I made her life hell when I was a teenager, bad in school, sneaking out and running away, getting drunk and high. If it wasn’t for her husband, Rooster, she probably would’ve sent my ass straight into the foster system. He was like your mom, he saw something good in me that it seems like no one else did.”

“Does he own the bar with Laney?”

“No, he passed 6 years ago. That’s when Laney packed up and moved out here. They’d been together since they were 13 so there was nowhere in the state she could go without thinking about him, I think it was too much and she wanted to get as far away as she could.”

Johnny looked at the woman next to him. He could see the wall of protection falling slowly around her, he wondered if she could see the same in him because he sure felt it, and it scared the shit out of him. Here they were, just two ex-degenerates.

“Have you ever seen Iron Eagle?” Johnny asked, reaching for his remote.

Chapter Text

 Johnny stopped at the mini-mart next to Cobra Kai before heading to Casey’s apartment. He’d actively avoided it since Kreese took over, but it was on the way to her place and he wanted to get snacks before they went to the drive-in theatre. He picked out a couple of candy bars, a small bag of chips and a bag peanut butter M&M’s; he saw Casey eating them at the bar once so he figured they were a safe bet. He  rounded the corner to check out and bumped into a smaller person.

“Robby,” he said, surprised to see his son in front him.

“Johnny.” A cold, sharp feeling hit Johnny’s heart at the venom in his voice. His boy always knew just how to hit him where it hurt.

“How are you doing?” Johnny asked.

“Like you care.” Robby spat, pushing past him.

“You know I do.” Johnny said, following his son. “I’m worried about you.”

“Don’t. I’m fine. Sensei Kreese is looking out for me.”

Just the mention of his former sensei raised Johnny’s blood pressure. “Kreese is dangerous and he’s going to get you hurt; he’s the one who doesn’t care about you.”

“Really?” Robby said angrily. “He has done more for me in the last few months than you’ve done my whole life. He’s more of a father to me than you’ve ever been.”

“That’s what he wants you to think. I thought the same thing about Kreese when I was your age and look where it got me. You really want to be better than me, walk away now instead of after he tries to kill you.”

“You’re full of shit. I’m done with you.” Robby said, bumping Johnny with his shoulder as he stormed out of the store. Johnny watched helplessly as his son retreated back into the Cobra Kai dojo. He thought about following him in there, dealing with Kreese right now and just being done with it. But there was no point, Robby wouldn’t understand anyways. Tears of anger began welling in Johnny’s eyes, but he refused to let them out. Instead, he threw down the snacks, grabbed a bottle of whisky and went to the cash register.

 

Casey was giving herself a quick once over in her mirror. The more time she spent with Johnny the safer she was feeling; not just with him but with herself. He was so excited to take her to the drive-in so she decided to put a little extra effort in her look. Instead of her usual outfit of leggings, top, and boots, she pulled out a black skirt that she had thrown in the back of her closet when she first moved in. It hit her mid-thigh so it showed her legs off and also provided easy access for when things got frisky, which, given their track record so far, was inevitable. She also decided to let her hair down, literally. Her hair was always up when she left home; it felt safe, like part of her armor against the world. She decided to let it fall into its natural waves over her shoulders. She smiled at herself in the mirror. A version of herself she hadn’t seen in a long time looked back: happy and confident.

She went out to the living room to wait for Johnny and glanced at the clock on her cable box: 7:07 p.m. It wasn’t like him to be late, but she’d learned fast that California traffic was unpredictable, so he was probably stuck somewhere. She turned on the T.V. to distract herself until he showed up.

7:30 came and went and there was no Johnny. Her anxiety spiked. Did he have an accident? Did he forget their plans? Was he ghosting her? She checked her phone even though she knew there wasn’t going to be anything there.

8…8:30…8:45. The sun had set and the movie would have already started. The hint had become obvious, he wasn’t coming. A heavy disappointment settled on her chest and tears stung her eyes, but she wouldn’t cry, not for him if this was how he was going to end things. It was fun while it lasted, she thought as she washed her face, pulled back her hair, and changed from her date clothes into sweatpants and a tank top. That stupid black skirt was thrown back into the closet.  

In the kitchen she blasted angry chick metal while she made herself a late dinner and took swigs of tequila.

I hate you for the sacrifices you made for me
I hate you for every time you ever bled for me
I hate you for the way you smile when you look at me
I hate you for never taking control of me
I hate you for always saving me from myself
I hate you for always choosing me and not someone else
I hate you for always pulling me back from the edge
I hate you for every kind word you ever said

She was doing her best violent headbanging when there came a heavy pounding on her door. Johnny.

Relief flooded her but it quickly turned into more anger. “What are you doing here?” She asked as she tanked open the door. She sighed when she saw him, his breath reeked of whiskey which explained the flush of his face and the way he swayed on his feet.

“I’m here to pick you up.” He slurred while looking her up and down. “You look hot.”

“You’re over two hours late and shitfaced.” She said, crossing her arms in front of her.

“Am I?” He asked, checking his wrist for a watch that wasn’t there. “I’m sorry babe, I ran into Robby and I…I don’t think I can ever make things right.” He mumbled. Her heart tugged slightly. “I’ll just go,” he turned to leave, pulling his keys from his pocket. Shit, there was no way she could let him get on the streets like this.

“Johnny!” She called after him. He turned and looked at her hopefully. “Come inside.”

He turned and walked shakily into the apartment. She led him to the couch before going to the kitchen to finish making dinner. “What happened between you two?” She asked.

“He’s been training with my old sensei who’s…not who I thought he was, or not who I wanted him to be, I’m not really sure. I tried to tell Robby that and he just…” he looked down as his words trailed off.

She put a plate of rice and chicken in front of him and sat next to him. “I’m really sorry.”

She listened patiently as he talked about his fractured relationship with his son. It was hard to blame Robby for the resentment he carried towards his father, but Johnny’s pain was heartbreaking. His voice wavered as he spoke, emotion brewing under the surface that desperately needed release if only he would let it. Casey listened patiently, wishing she could take his pain away but still smarting from her own hurt this evening.

He leaned back on the couch, his eyes getting heavy. She got up and brought him a pillow and a blanket for the couch. “Sleep it off here, handsome. I’m not letting you out the door like this.”

“I can’t sleep in your bed?” He asked innocently, leaning towards her. His hands came up and cupped her ass as he planted hot kisses on the exposed skin between her tank top and sweats. “I’ll make it worth your while.”

Temptation flooded her system, his hands moving over her ass, the way his lips pressed into her. It took almost all her strength to step back from his reach. “No, the bed is for men who show up on time for dates, the couch is for drunk guys who stand me up.”

“I didn’t stand you up!” Johnny protested. “I’m here!”

“Yeah, two hours later and with no phone call to tell me what’s going on because you refuse to use a cell phone. That’s standing me up and it hurts!” She didn’t mean to say it, it just flew out of her mouth. It was true, and she didn’t want Johnny or anyone to know just how capable they were of hurting her. Johnny sat there dumbfounded watching her grab his car keys before going to her bedroom and slamming the door.

 

Johnny was still passed out on the couch when Casey woke up the next morning. She watched his chest for a minute to make sure he was breathing. She moved quietly as she made herself a tea and a bowl of cereal. Johnny groaned and rubbed his hand over his face as he slowly came to. He sat up and looked around him, the memories of slowly last night coming back to him.

“Good morning,” Casey said to him, her face stony and unreadable which felt unnerving.

“Morning.” He grumbled. “Coffee?”

“I don’t have any. Tea?” Johnny shook his head and laid back on the couch.

“What happened last night, Johnny? Why’d you stand me up like that?”

Johnny groaned, “I told you, I didn’t stand you up.”

“You did!” She insisted. “Showing up shitfaced at my door over two hours late is not cool.”

“I don’t need a lecture.” He mumbled.

“Okay, then get your shit together and talk to me when you’re ready to have a real conversation.” She said firmly before heading back to her bedroom. She was getting ready to take a shower when she saw his keys still on her nightstand. She picked them up and walked out to the kitchen, tossing them on to the counter with a clink. She looked over and saw Johnny still laying on the couch, she wondered if he passed out again.

She showered hoping that the water would wash some of the hurt and anger off her. She had empathy for Johnny and hated seeing him in such pain but it didn’t take away her own feelings of rejection. Did he even think about her before he went straight into the bottle and stood her up? She got out of the shower and put herself together for the day. When she went back out to the living room, Johnny was gone, the blanket folded and the pillow placed on top of it. She didn’t know what this meant, maybe they really were over.

 

Chapter Text

Johnny left Casey’s apartment feeling angry and frustrated with himself. He was messing things up again, he knew it was just a matter of time, like always. He sped back to his place, weaving dangerously through morning traffic, squealing the tires of the minivan as he pulled into his parking space. He was walking towards his apartment as Carmen and Miguel were leaving theirs.

“Hey, Sensei! You just getting home?” Miguel asked. Johnny nodded sullenly. “Must’ve been a wild night, were you with the bar babe?”

Johnny instantly regretted telling Miguel about Casey, especially since he wasn’t sure where they stood right now. He looked at Carmen and felt unsure what to say since they hadn’t spoken much since their breakup. The few times they did it was about Miguel and his training, nothing personal. The feelings he had for Carmen had faded from amorous into platonic with hopes they’d one day be friends again, but he wasn’t sure if she felt the same after everything he’d put her through. It was a relief to see kindness in her eyes at the mention of a new chick in his life.

“Uh, yeah.” Johnny said, it was technically the truth even if he was forced on to the couch.

“Is everything okay?” Miguel asked, hearing the uncertainty that dripped in Johnny’s voice.

“I think it’s over, I messed up.”

“What? Why? What happened?”

“Miggy!” Carmen chided him, “leave him alone, he doesn’t need a hundred questions right now.”

“Sorry, Sensei. See you at class.” Miguel said.

“Yeah, see ya.” Johnny waved.

“Go wait in the car, I’ll be right there.” Carmen said, handing her keys to Miguel. “Hey Johnny,” she called before he could escape into his apartment. Johnny faced her despite wanting nothing more than to go inside and get a beer. “I don’t know anything about this ‘bar babe’ but you’ve seemed happier lately so I hope you two can work things out.”

Johnny shook his head. “There’s no point. I just can’t stop screwing things up. I did it with Robby, and you, and now this.”

Carmen stepped closer and placed a comforting hand on his arm. “You didn’t screw things up with me. It was never going to work with us. Miguel would’ve been the glue of our relationship and he’s already living his own life, he’ll be completely on his own before we know it. I…I looked for reasons to end it early so it would be easier for both of us. I should’ve been more honest with you and I’m sorry.”

It was rare that he was on the receiving end of an apology since he was the one constantly having to face mistakes made. A calming feeling came over him, she was right. He did love Carmen when they started dating but he wasn’t in love with her. Hearing her acknowledge the truth of their relationship, and that it’s demise wasn’t entirely his fault, eased a guilt that he’d been carrying for months. “Thank you.” He said.

She gave his arm an affectionate squeeze, an unspoken sign that there was no reason to dwell on this any longer. “You’re welcome, I should’ve told you a long time ago. If this woman is special to you then fight for her.”

Carmen’s words repeated in Johnny’s head all day, so did Casey’s. After all, she wasn’t the first person to tell him to get his shit together. But how many more times could he mess up and expect her forgiveness, especially when they weren’t even in a serious relationship. He didn’t even know if she wanted a relationship with him or anyone else for that matter. He decided to take Carmen’s advice; he was going to fight.

 

Casey sat on her couch trying to read but couldn’t stop thinking about Johnny. Things felt so uncertain after this morning and she hated that. Was she too hard on him? It’s clear how hurt he is by his poor relationship with Robby but her feelings matter too and last night he didn’t care about them at all. But she knew the pain of not being able to handle intense feelings and hiding in a bottle. She was lost in her thoughts when there was a familiar knock on her door that made her heart skip. She opened the door to a cleaned-up Johnny.

“I’m sorry about last night,” he said before she could say anything. “I went off the rails after my run-in with Robby and I didn’t think about how it would hurt you. I do that a lot, forget that I can hurt people.” He looked down at his feet and shuffled them a bit, he looked like a little boy who was waiting for his punishment; the challenge of this moment obvious, it required a level of humility and vulnerability that was lost to him. “Anyways, I threw away my smart phone a while ago and haven’t bothered to replace it because there was no point, but maybe that’s changing. Since I owe you for last night, I was hoping you’d come with me to get a new one and then let me take you somewhere special.”

Casey studied him for a moment. He looked sincere and contrite; she had to give him this, lying wasn’t really his thing anyways, he was honest to a fault. He also looked sober, a far cry from the hot mess that occupied her couch this morning. It was impressive that he could pull it together so quickly, he must have a liver of steel.

“Okay,” she agreed and opened the door for him to step inside. “I need a few minutes to get ready, does this somewhere special have a dress code?”

“Fun and casual.” He said with a smirk. She turned from him to go change but he reached for her wrist and pulled her into him. He brought his hands to her face and kissed her, his lips cradling hers ever so softly. When they separated her head was spinning, had they ever kissed like that before? It felt so intense even though it was rather chaste compared to how they’ve mauled each other in the past.

She tried to hide her smile as she turned and went to her bedroom. She pulled on a pair of  ripped, black skinny jeans, a loose dark purple tank and a black cardigan over it along with her black boots. She dutch braided her hair into two neat rows and put on just enough make up to make herself feel good. As she got ready she wondered if she was making a huge mistake. She didn’t expect perfection from anyone but she also didn’t like to put herself on the line after being hurt and here she was doing just that. It paid off the first time she gave him a second chance, he had more than made up for his poor treatment of her the first time they had sex, but this wasn’t sex, this was something more. Maybe this would be a mistake, but a small internal voice told her not to give up on Johnny Lawrence just yet.

They hopped in Johnny’s minivan and went to the phone store. He was oddly proud of his last phone--an Ericsson. Casey convinced him to get an older model IPhone by promising to show him how to use it and that she would send him the occasional dirty picture when they weren’t together. After the phone store Johnny played coy on his ‘someplace special’. Her jaw dropped as they pulled into Golf and Stuff. “What is this?” she asked, a smile spread wide across her face.

“Best spot in the Valley,” Johnny declared as they got out of his minivan. They spent all night riding rides, playing games, and making each other laugh. He beat her in air hockey but she demolished him in skee ball. There was no denying the high she felt when his hand found hers as they got off the Ferris wheel and he led her to mini golf where she’s certain he let her win. For the first time in a long time, years, Casey felt light, almost carefree.

“What do you think?” Johnny asked as they sat on a bench sharing a funnel cake and drinking beers.

“This is the best night I’ve had in a long time…maybe ever.” She said happily.

“Only the best for my girl.” Johnny replied. Casey looked up at him inquisitively.

“I’m your girl?”

“Yeah, you didn’t know that?” He asked with a cheeky smile. She nudged him playfully. “You okay with being my girl?” He asked more seriously after a moment.

“Yeah,” she said and bit her lip. “You okay with being my guy?”

“Hell yeah,” he said, leaning down to kiss her. “So, did I pay you back for messing up last night?” He asked sheepishly.

Casey sighed and looked over at him. “Johnny, aren’t you tired of that?” He looked at her with confusion. “I mean, it feels like you’re always saying you owe me for something. Let’s wipe that clean. You don’t owe me for anything, not for any mistake you’ve made. Instead of owing each other, let’s just talk about shit and move on, learn from it. I’m not great at relationships but keeping a score card of who owes who for what, doesn’t seem healthy or fun.”

Johnny smiled and kissed her again. It was a level of understanding he’d never felt with anyone before and he liked it. “Okay. Deal.”

“So, what do you say we end this night with a movie and sleepover?” She asked him, raising an eyebrow as she popped a piece of funnel cake into her mouth.

“Your place or mine?” He smirked.

“Yours, so we can get breakfast at the diner on your corner?”

“Sounds great.”

“I need to stop by my place to get a change of clothes though. I’m not going to do a walk of shame tomorrow.” She insisted.

“I’d never let you walk with shame, babe. I’d drive you so you’d be a passenger of shame.” She laughed out loud and elbowed him in the ribs before they got up to leave.

 

They got to his apartment and she settled on the couch while he put on a DVD of Iron Eagle 2. He sat himself behind her so she could recline into the nook between his arm and chest. She let her fingertips draw small circles on his inner thigh just above his knee as the movie started.

She did it absent mindedly, but it drove him crazy, like she just had to be touching him at all times. He let his fingers stroke up and down her bicep, occasionally drifting close enough for his knuckles to graze her breast. She ignored it the first time and bit back her aroused grin the second time, but the third time she had to say something.

“Watch that hand there, buddy.”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about, I’m just watching the movie.” He replied innocently.

“Okay, sure,” she said. His hand came up her arm to her shoulder and he gently rubbed her neck eliciting a pleased sigh from her. He drifted down the way he came up but instead of going down her arm, he openly went over her breast, rubbing her nipple, just slightly protruding under her tank top and bra. She moaned and fidgeted under his touch. “I thought you were just watching the movie,” She said, turning her face up to him. He looked down at her hungrily.

“I’ve already seen it,” he growled before claiming her lips. The force of his kiss pushed her so she was on her back on the couch with him leaning over her kissing her thoroughly. She could still taste the funnel cake and beer on his tongue. He slid a hand under her shirt, thumb tracing her ribs as it moved slowly up and over her bra.

It was a great end to an emotional day. After the tumultuous morning, they spent all evening feeling like a couple of kids, now they were making out on the couch like horny teenagers. Johnny kissed her neck, her chest, biting and sucking, no doubt leaving some noticeable marks. His hand slid down her stomach and stopped just above her jeans. He ran a finger just under the edge of them when Casey grabbed his wrist, stilling him. He looked up at her with concern but eased when he saw the devilish grin on her face.

“You gotta earn that.” She purred.

“Yeah,” Johnny said, intrigued. “How do I do that?” He was so entranced looking at her dark eyes, her swollen lips, her flush cheeks, he didn’t notice her foot dropping to the floor or her hand tightening on his wrist.

“You have to…” she paused as he leaned in, ready to kiss her again, “catch me!” she yelled, throwing his hand off her stomach and using her planted foot to slither off the couch and dash to the other side of the room. Johnny raised an eyebrow at her.

“You really want to play that game, babe?” He asked as he got up from the couch.

“You don’t scare me.” She said as she pulled her t shirt over her head and threw it at his face.

“Oh, you’re going to get it!” He roared as he lunged towards her. She squealed and moved quickly by the front door, Johnny rushed over to her but she slipped between the arm chair and couch and jumped over the coffee table. She had Johnny at a disadvantage since she was smaller and more agile, easily moving through spaces he could only get through clumsily. She giggled as he stopped at the side of the coffee table. She watched him, eyes squinting, waiting to see what his next move would be.

“Come on Sensei,” She egged.

Johnny squinted back at her lunging again, just barely missing her waist as she turned and sprinted down the hall to the bedroom. He gave chase and rounded the corner as she leapt on to the bed, braced for his next move. Rather than pausing he moved head on towards the bed, she started to jump off the edge and back for the door but Johnny was too big. He moved to the side just in time to grab her by the waist, causing her to scream in surprise. He lifted her off her feet and threw her onto the bed so hard she bounced with an ‘oof’ before giggling uncontrollably.

He crawled on top of her and pinned her wrists above her head while holding her down with his own weight. “You’re going to pay for that.” He growled, just inches from her lips.

“I hope so,” she whispered, breathless as she leaned up to capture his lips with hers. Their tongues moved together, tasting each other as he slid a hand down her arm and groped her through her bra making her moan and arch already. He tore his lips from hers and kissed from her neck to the top of her jeans. He hastily undid her jeans and roughly pulled them, along with the panties, from her legs before tossing them aside. He stood and pulled his shirt over his head. He grabbed Casey’s ankles and gave them a sharp tug, pulling her to the edge of the bed, causing her to inhale sharply. He grasped her hips as he knelt on the floor and hovered just above her wet core. She laid her legs over his shoulders as he breathed hotly over her pussy.

“Johnny,” she pleaded.

“Something you want?” He asked teasingly as he ran his hands over her thighs.

“Please.” She murmured.

“Please, what?” He asked, looking up at her sweetly, licking gently just above her well trimmed mons.

“Please eat my pussy.” She sighed.

He became unbearably hard at her request, but it’d have to wait. He dove between her legs, licking her, tasting her, sucking her. She ran her fingers through his hair in encouragement as she moaned her pleasure at what he was doing to her. “Yes, babe, just like that…you’re so good.”

He inserted two fingers, she started to roll her hips but he held her down. This was payback after all. Her moans got louder, her movement stronger, she was getting closer. Her breathing became hitched and heavy.

“I’m so close.” She gasped. Johnny pulled back and stopped his ministrations. He looked up at her with a sly grin. “Johnny,” she scolded.

He stood up and undid his jeans. “I told you I was going to make you pay.” He dropped his jeans and boxers and rolled on a condom. As frustrated as she was, she still openly drank in the sight of him, something she had yet to get bored of. “Scoot up,” he said with a nod. Casey scooted back to the head of the bed, eyes heavy with lust.

“You’ll cum when I want you too.” He grumbled, crawling over her. He settled himself on top of her as her legs bent to cradle his waist. He looked at the woman below him, and froze, suddenly overwhelmed. He didn’t know what to call this feeling in his chest as he looked at her; how did he even get so lucky to have her here with him? The feeling was indescribable, too intense and unfamiliar. The lust in her eyes turned to concern as Johnny gazed at her. Before she could ask if he was okay he leaned down and kissed her slowly, moving his mouth over hers, turning it slightly so her lips parted to him. He rolled his tongue over hers while his hands came up and ran over her soft hair.

She wasn’t sure what happened. They were speeding along, and suddenly, he was moving slow with her. Kissing her in a way he hadn’t done before, his touch more tender. Usually they were fast and hard in their sex but this was slow and intimate which made her stomach twist in fear, but she didn’t want to stop him and she didn’t want to run away, it was scary but felt so good to have him with her like this.

He pulled away from her lips and rested his forehead on hers as he eased inside of her. She let out a deep exhale as he filled her, his hand lifting her thigh for a deeper angle. He looked in her eyes as he started to move slowly in her. There was something different in his eyes but she couldn’t tell what it was. He kissed her softly on the lips before moving to her neck. His kisses were usually hard and insistent but now they were delicate, she whimpered at the gentleness he was showing her. It had been a long time since she felt this from a man and had begun to write it off as ‘boring’ sex, maybe that’s just because she needed Johnny to remind her how amazing it could be to just take your time and really feel a partner.

He wasn’t hitting her in quite the right spot but it still felt so good. He picked up his pace, his climax growing closer and slipped his hand between them, his thumb rubbing her clit just how he knew she liked it. She moaned and arched, that was what she needed to get things going. “Keep doing that,” she whispered. Johnny smiled, he loved that she voiced what she liked, it made it even hotter. He brought his free hand up and found hers, laying them over her head with their fingers interlocked as he moved faster. He felt his orgasm building and he kept the pressure on her clit. “Oh god, babe, I’m so close, I want to,”

“Do it.” He encouraged. She cried out his name as she let her orgasm overtake her, making her tense and tremble. A few more thrusts and he joined her in release. Casey held him close to her, running her fingers through his sweat dampened hair as they caught their breath. Johnny eventually got up to throw out the condom and when he returned, he pulled Casey into him, relishing her warmth against him, glad he decided to put up a fight today. They both fell into a blissful sleep, tangled up in each other.

Chapter Text

Johnny woke up the next morning with a weight on him. He was on his side, the sunlight hitting his face. A small arm was wrapped around his waist, a gentle warmth pressed against him. He had gone to sleep on his back, Casey tucked into his side, but he had rolled over at some point and become the little spoon to her big spoon. He wasn’t one to be held, after all, he was the man, the protector--the holder not the held. But it felt nice, and safe, having her around him like this, keeping him close. He ran his fingers over her hand, it would be so easy to stay like this all day but there was movement behind him as soft lips pressed between his shoulders. If there was ever a perfect way to wake up, this may be it, he thought.

“Morning,” Casey murmured against his back.

“Morning.”

“You smell like sex.” She blurted making Johnny laughed out loud. She wasn’t wrong, the whole room held its own unique aroma; her citrus shampoo and body wash mixed with his woody cologne mingled with their sweat and the heady scent of great sex.

He raised her forearm to his nose and took a sniff. “So do you.”

Casey giggled. “We should take a shower before breakfast, otherwise we’ll make people jealous.”

“Then let them be jealous.”

After a little pouting she finally managed to get Johnny in the shower with her. His small tub-shower combo wasn’t built for two, they had to alternate turns under the spray and soaping each other up, letting their hands wander over the curves and plains of the other. Since the tight space didn’t really allow for shower sex, they got out quick. Johnny moved Casey to the sink, turning her so her back was to him and bracing her arms on the sink. Johnny quickly rolled on the condom and lined himself with her entrance.

“Oh God,” Casey cried as he entered her from behind. Johnny held her hips tightly as he moved inside her.

“You feel so good, babe,” he said, biting her shoulder just hard enough to leave a pink mark. He brought a hand up to her breast, rolling the nipple between his fingers. Casey brought a hand to her legs and started rubbing her clit. Johnny’s eyes were glued to her in the mirror watching her touch herself, it may have been the hottest thing he’d ever seen. He quickened his pace, Casey panted as every thrust took her breath away. Her orgasm hit her fast, the combination of Johnny’s hand on her breast, his cock, and her own hand bringing stars to her eyes as she cried out his name. Her walls clamped on Johnny pushing him over the edge with her. He wrapped both arms around her waist and rested his forehead on her shoulder.

“So much for not smelling of sex.” Casey sighed as they caught their breath. Johnny could only chuckle, he didn’t care, maybe people should be jealous of them.

 

They got dressed a while later and left for breakfast. Johnny’s hand reached for hers as they took the short walk to around the corner to the diner. Casey insisted it was the best French Toast in the city, but Johnny argued that was a bold statement for a newcomer.

They sat across from each other in a booth off to the side of the diner. Their feet found each other under the table as their hands reconnected on top, suddenly impossible for them to not touch or smile. Johnny’s face was starting to get sore from his constant grin.

The waitress had just taken their order when a familiar odor hit Casey’s nose and made her wince. The lingering smell of her and Johnny was replaced with the distinct smell of cigar smoke, not the fresh smoke, the old smoke that clung to the smoker’s clothes and skin, preceding their presence everywhere they went. She hated that smell and the memories that came with it. She took a deep breath, trying to steady herself in the moment, but became worried when Johnny’s hand left hers and his face fell from his usual smirk into a grimace. “What’s wrong?” She asked.

Before he could answer, she heard his voice—that fucking voice. It was distinct, not a voice you’d mistake with someone else, only one man had that gravelly tone that coated with evil.

“Hey, Johnny.”

Her blood chilled. No, she thought, it’s not possible, it had to be someone else, it couldn’t be. She looked up at the man now standing at the edge of their booth. It was him—goddammit it was him. Still the same nasty leer and gleam in his eyes.

“What do you want, Kreese?” Johnny asked, his arms crossed in front of him.

“I just, uh- hey, I know you.” He looked over at Casey, “How you doing, dollface?” She had gone completely pale and cold. How was this man standing in front of her here? His lips curled back in a cruel smile, his teeth sparkling like fangs.

“What, how do you-“ Johnny stopped when he saw the pure fear on her face, her color gone, eyes wet and wide, hands trembling on the table, chest rising and falling like she was sprinting a marathon. “Casey, what’s wrong?” He asked, reaching for her hand. Nothing registered for her. Not Johnny’s touch, his words, or anything else around her. All she saw was his face; all she felt was the pain he caused in her body, the terror he caused in her soul. She didn’t know how it happened but the next thing she knew she was outside running as fast as she could to get away from him.

Johnny watched, lost in confusion as she practically leapt from the booth and ran out the door of the diner. He followed, shoving Kreese aside, ignoring the shouts of the wait staff as he chased her out the door. She was too fast and when he got outside there was no way for him to tell what direction she went, he called her name but got no response. He went back inside to look for Kreese who had sat himself at their booth.

“What the fuck was that? How do you know Casey?” He demanded.

“Casey, is that her name? I know her as Sgt. Monroe. We, uh, had a thing together one night while I was a contractor overseas.”

“You’re lying.” Johnny spat.

“She your girl now?” Kreese asked, gleeful malice written in his face. Johnny glared down at the old man, his fists clenched tightly at his sides. “How are my sloppy seconds?” Johnny lunged for Kreese who put his arms up in defense.

“Sir! Sir! You’re going to have to leave.” A waiter shouted as he and a couple busboys pulled Johnny back. “Sir do you want us to call the police?” the waiter asked Kreese.

“Don’t bother, I’m leaving.” Johnny said, rage coursing through him. As much as he wanted another round with Kreese, he wanted to find Casey more. He pulled the diner door open violently. He scanned the street again but there was still no sign of her. He jogged back to his apartment and got in the minivan; he drove around for almost two hours looking for her but turned up nothing. The bar wasn’t open yet and she wasn’t at her apartment. Her phone number was the only one in his new smart phone and he redialed it until the green battery icon turned red. He finally left her a voicemail, hoping she’d hear it and call him back soon.

“Babe, it’s Johnny. Call me, I’m looking for you and I’m…I’m worried about you. What happened back there?”

Chapter Text

Day 1

“Casey, Johnny again, talk to me, babe. What’s going on?”

After driving all over the Valley looking for Casey with no luck, Johnny parked in front of her apartment building, hoping she’d come back soon. She didn’t. He reminded himself that she was a grown woman and a veteran Army medic who knew jiu jitsu, she could handle herself, he’d seen it firsthand. But he couldn’t shake the look on her face before she ran out of the diner…he’d never seen someone so scared.

He reluctantly pulled away from her apartment building. Maybe she just needed space to deal with whatever Kreese did to her. He had a class to teach anyways, that should take his mind off things for a bit. He stopped by his place to get his gym bag, hoping that she’d be there waiting for him at his door. She wasn’t.

After class he went to the bar and was surprised to find it dark. A handwritten sign was taped inside the door: Closed for family emergency. Sorry for the inconvenience.

Shit. He pulled out his phone and called her number. Voicemail again.

“Babe, where are you? Please let me know you’re okay.”

Day 2

“Casey, what’s going on? You get mad at me for standing you up, then you run off, ditch me at breakfast and won’t answer my calls?! What the hell?!”

He barely slept thanks to hours of tossing and turning, going through every bad-case scenario in his head. He was furious by the time the sun came up. There were so many unanswered questions, and it didn’t seem fair that he was a few hours late for a date and Casey got upset but then she disappeared for almost a whole day now. Kreese was obviously lying when he said he had a thing with her, right? But, Johnny also thought he was lying about all the military missions he’d done in the last 30 years and clearly that was at least partly true. But the fear in her eyes…

He grabbed a Slim Jim and drove to Casey’s apartment to find her car was still there. He knocked on her door, silently praying to whatever God would have him that she’d answer. She didn’t. He knocked again and pressed his ear to the door, hoping to hear some sign of life inside, but nothing.

“Babe, I’m sorry about my last voicemail, I’m just—I don’t know what I am, I just want to know that you’re okay. You don’t even have to call me, send me a text or something, anything, please.”

He drove past her apartment and the bar again before heading to Miyagi-do. Nothing had changed.

He drove by again after class; this time her car was gone. Fuck. He punched his steering wheel, angry that she’d been here, and he missed her; angry that clearly she was alive, and ignoring his calls. What was happening?

Day 3

“Casey, I can’t find you anywhere and I don’t know what to do.” Her phone had stopped ringing and was now going straight to voicemail, that didn’t feel like a good sign.

Johnny caught Carmen before she left for work and asked her to check if Casey had been admitted to the hospital. She agreed after reminding him that she could only check for names, if Casey was there she couldn’t tell him why. He was irritated but understood. Carmen sent him a text a couple hours later, no Casey Monroe at her hospital or any others in the Valley.

Johnny was on a warpath. His worry had evolved into anxious fury and he was taking it out on whoever was closest to him at a given moment. While teaching class LaRusso wanted to demonstrate a new defensive block for the students. Johnny intentionally faked him out and landed a hard kick to his ribs, taking the breath straight out of his lungs. It took every ounce of discipline for LaRusso to not strangle him right then and there. When the students started practicing, he couldn’t keep his patience.

“Hawk, open your stance, you know that shit.”

“Dimitri, stop kicking like a bitch.”

 “Bert, what the fuck is wrong with you, that was pathetic!”

“Penis breathe, hook your fucking leg!”

“Johnny!” LaRusso yelled. “Stop, what’s wrong with you?”

“What’s wrong with you?! I’m just correcting my students.”

“Our students, and your being abusive. Take it down a notch.” When they combined dojos they agreed to not fight in front of the students but Johnny was taking things too far, even for him.

“I know what the fuck I’m doing. Little LaRusso, how the fuck-“

“No!” LaRusso yelled, refusing to let Johnny aim his vitriol at his daughter. “Go home Johnny! Go get your head straight and I’ll finish class.” Johnny leveled him with his glare as the dojo fell silent, the students watching with wide eyes. He didn’t want to be here anyways. If he wasn’t here yesterday he may have caught Casey at her place and that pissed him off. He shoulder checked LaRusso as he grabbed his bag and headed for the van.

“Sensei!” Miguel chased after him. “What’s wrong?” Johnny ignored him and drove off towards the bar.

Relief washed over him when he saw the open sign finally lit up. He walked in and looked around. He didn’t often see the place in broad daylight, was it always this grungey? The two biker guys were in their typical corner drinking, did they ever leave this place? Kyle came walking out of the back. “What can I get you?” Johnny’s heart sank that it wasn’t who he wanted it to be.

“I’m looking for Casey.” Johnny replied. Kyle eyed at him suspiciously.

“She’s not here.”

“Where is she?”

“None of your business, bro.”

“I’m making it my business, bro.” Johnny spat as he walked closer to the bar. He had a few inches and at least 30 lbs on Kyle, he knew he could easily take him, Karate or not.

“Too bad, I’m not telling you shit.” Kyle said, also advancing on the bigger man. Johnny’s fists clenched, preparing for a fight.

“Hey, hey, break this dick swinging match up!” Laney barked as she came out from the back. “Kyle, go finish doing inventory, I’ll cover the front for a while.”

“You sure?” He asked her.

“Yes, go do it, I’ll take care of blondie here. You can’t take him, but I can.” She said looking Johnny dead in the eye almost making him crack a smile. The brassy bitch was probably right, at barely 5 feet tall she had more fire in her than people half her age, that was a dangerous quality in anyone, let alone an aging red head. Kyle gave Johnny one more hard glare before disappearing into the back of the bar. “You looking for my Bug?” She asked Johnny who suddenly looked confused. “Casey?” She said, clarifying the pet name.

“Yeah. She ran out on me while we were having breakfast the other day and I haven’t seen or heard from her since. I want to make sure she’s okay.”

Laney nodded slowly as she studied the his face. “You’re worried about her, that’s sweet. Sit down.” She gestured to the stool in front of her.

“I’m not sta-“

“Sit down, blondie. We’re talking before I tell you where she is--if I tell you where she is.” She commanded. Johnny did as he was told, who knew he’d be cowed into taking orders from someone half his size. “Do you like my niece? Or do you just like fucking her?” She asked plainly. Johnny’s eyes widened in shock. “Oh, don’t blush like a schoolgirl, you’re an adult, she’s an adult, I’m an adult and not stupid. I know you two’ve been knocking boots for a while now, so I want to know how you feel about her.”

Johnny took a deep breath. “I like her.” He said, his tone betraying his words. It was obviously deeper than ‘like’, but he wasn’t ready to admit that to himself let alone a relative stranger.

“Not just because of the sex.”

“That’s great but no, not because of that.”

“You care about her.” Laney said, the defensive edge of her voice fading.

“Yeah, I care about her. I wouldn’t have been tearing up the Valley looking for her for the last three days if I didn’t.” She continued to study him, looking for signs of insincerity. His eyes stayed connected with hers, there was no hesitancy in his voice, and he was willing to withstand her interrogation; yep, he had it bad.

“She’s fine, dealing with some shit but she’s fine.” Laney stated.

“Okay, can you tell me where she is? She’s not at her apartment, she’s not here, I’d like to see for myself that she’s fine.”

“Johnny,” she said leaning closer to him, “She’s been through a lot. A lot of shit and a lot of trauma. She’s in a bad place in her mind right now and needs someone that can stay by her side and support her though it, even when things get really bad. She can’t have someone rush in to save the day only to get spooked by it all and leave when it becomes too much. Do you understand what I’m saying?”

Johnny nodded. He was reading between the lines but he did understand. “It’s nice that you care for her, but it’s going to take a very strong man to be with her and not just when things are fun, but when shit has hit the fan, like it has now. And that’s not a challenge to you to see how much you can take, that’s letting you know the true stakes here.” She took a breath, a little surprised he was still here, listening to her so intently. “You can walk out of here now, walk away from Casey and whatever you two had and I’ll completely understand, and, so will she. You’ll still be a welcomed customer here, no harm done.” She paused, but he didn’t move, just sat waiting for her next words. “Or, I can tell you where she is, and you can be that man she needs right now. You can go see her, bring her back here. But if you do that, if you go to her and then decide to pussy out because you can’t handle it, you’re banned for life and I’ll have a hit put on your dick. I know that’s the favorite body part for a guy like you, right?”

“That’s quite the threat.” He said, amused for the first time in three days.

“Blondie,” he looked up and met her hard gaze. “Do I strike you as a woman who makes idle threats?”

He went serious fast. “No, ma’am.”

“So what’ll it be?” She asked.

He heard everything she said, and everything she didn’t say. A year ago he would’ve been out the door after the first question, if he had bothered to come in looking for her at all. He missed her, missed her presence in his life after only a few days. He missed her smile and the warmth of her just being close to him. And it hurt him that something was hurting her so deeply that she had to run away from it, and him. “I want to go see her.” He said firmly, holding Laney’s gaze.

“Alright,” Laney said with a nod. She pulled a pad and pencil out from under the counter and began scribbling directions. “Do you have 4-wheel drive?” She asked.

“No, I drive a fucking minivan.”

She reached under the counter again and pulled out a key. “You’re going to need a 4-wheel drive to get there.” She said, still writing. “Leave your minivan keys and take the black jeep out front. You may want to pack a bag just in case it takes a couple days to dry her out.” Johnny had been on enough benders to understand that.  She ripped off the paper and handed it to him. “And don’t come back here without her.”

Chapter Text

Johnny took the keys from the older woman and made his way to the beat-up Jeep in the far corner of the parking lot. He went to his apartment, packed an overnight bag with a change of clothes before leaving.

Following Laney’s directions, he left the Valley, drove through Los Angeles, began the ascent into the forest. A paved road, turned into a gravel road, turned in to a narrow dirt road that twisted around the mountain. He made it to the end of road and stopped in front of a small cabin just as the sun was starting to set.

He double checked the directions and then the wooden structure in front of him. It was small and looked like a strong wind could knock it over at any moment. He climbed out of the jeep and walked the creaky steps to the front door, suddenly nervous about what he might find on the other side. Laney said she was fine but in a bad place in her mind and drinking. She liked a drink, maybe as much as he did, but he’d never seen her sloppy drunk and wasn’t sure what to expect.

He knocked twice and listened for movement. He heard something dull and heavy hit the floor, someone was definitely inside. He knocked again. “Casey? You in there? Laney sent me here, said I shouldn’t leave without you, and she’s not a woman I want to piss off.” He heard more movement inside and footsteps coming towards the door. He took a step back as the lock clicked and the door swayed open.

He pushed it open further and saw Casey’s back as she walked towards a dingey couch with something dark in her hand, he couldn’t quite make it what it was. He stepped in and pushed the door shut as he scanned the cabin. It was bigger than it looked and filled with a musty smell, probably closed up for a long time before she got here. A couple weak lightbulbs dimly lit the space that was scattered with dirty dishes and bottles. A kitchenette was off to the right, he was standing in the living room and he could see a small bedroom to the left.

His attention went back to her, he’d never seen her like this before; she was a mess, but still a beautiful mess.

Her hair, usually pulled back into a braid or pony tail, fell in messy, dirty waves over her shoulders, eyes bloodshot, and cheeks flushed pink. She wore black shorts and a black tank top, her legs pulled to her chest as she sat on the couch. The object in her hand obvious now: a gun, standard 9 mil. She held it casually as she slung her arm over her knees, finger off the trigger but only barely. Her face was like stone and her green eyes watching him so closely it was clear she was on high alert.

“What’s with the gun?” He asked, trying to sound calm even though, given the circumstances, it kind of freaked him out. After all, no amount of Karate could stop a bullet.

“Protection. World’s a dangerous place with dangerous people.” She slurred slightly, the look on her face sending chills down his spine.

He was taken aback. “Casey, do you think I would hurt you?”

“How do you know that man at the diner?” She asked, rage flowing from her voice.

“I asked you first.” Johnny replied sharply.

“I can’t answer your question until you answer mine.”

His brow furrowed. “Kreese, he was my sensei when I was kid. He taught me almost everything I know about karate. He was like a father to me growing up.” Her hand unconsciously tightened on the pistol grip, he clocked it immediately and continued. “But, uh, we had a falling out after my last tournament in high school, lost contact up until about a year ago when he walked into the dojo. I gave him a second chance since he seemed to be on hard times, but he took it from me and—he took everything from me.“ He said sadly, remembering Kreese calling Robby ‘son’ after he tried to kill him for the second time in his life.

“He’s a monster. And you’re fucking naïve if you believed that he had anything in him worth redeeming.”

Johnny glanced from the gun to her eyes, they were wet with fresh tears ready to spill. “Why? What don’t I know?” He asked. “I’m not leaving here until you tell me what’s going on.” He moved to a chair that sat across from the couch and sat with his attention fixed on her, determined to hear her story.

She reached over to the small side table next to her and lifted the half full bottle of whiskey to her lips. She swallowed heavily and kept the bottle next to her, gripping it like a security blanket. “I deployed to Afghanistan in Fall 2012. It was supposed to be a 15-month tour; I was one of the medics assigned to a special ops unit. Medics did everything with those guys short of going on some of their more dangerous missions. For physical training we would do some hand-to-hand combat drills and the guys hated that I could throw their asses. I had years of Jiu Jitsu and they had the basic self-defense taught by the military, it didn’t compare. They took it in stride though, it was like a running joke in the unit. Then, about 3 months in…he showed up.”

“Kreese?” Johnny asked. She nodded.

“He came in as a contractor to train all the special ops and delta units more advanced hand-to-hand techniques. He started in on me and the other women right away with the ‘dollface’ and ‘sweethearts;’ we hated it, but the guys thought it was hilarious to see how upset it made us. I called him ‘Snake Man’ because of that stupid fucking tattoo on his arm.” Johnny almost laughed.  “When we trained, he paired me up with the biggest dudes because he thought they’d lay me out but then he got…weird when I would roll or throw them. He’d give me shit, I’d give him shit back. He’d say I wasn’t a bad fighter for a little girl, I’d say that I’d beat every guy there in hand-to-hand so that must make me a better fighter than any of those guys, he’d say I should learn what a woman’s mouth is really for and which made all those dumbasses laugh. Eventually they started treating me like shit, constant sexual innuendos and harassment. When I tried to speak up the leadership told me to just suck it up, stop being so sensitive.” She paused. “It felt like they were predators just waiting to pounce and he was the king, everyone worshipped him.” She lifted the bottle to her lips and took another big gulp. She looked at Johnny, his face unreadable. She wanted to look at him directly for this next part, wanted him to know her truth but she opened her mouth and lowered her eyes. She couldn’t see his reaction to this, hhe didn’t know if she could survive it.

“I had a late shift one night and went to the dining hall for midnight chow. He was there, I saw him and he saw me. He just kept watching me, staring, I thought he was trying to psyche me out or something. I walked back to my dorm and didn’t even realize he had followed me until I unlocked my door, and next thing I know I’m being pushed inside. I turn around and it’s him, shoving me in the room, trying to knock me down. I landed a few solid punches, a good kick to the stomach but he, uh—” she turned her head away, tears began rolling down her cheeks. “He was too strong. He got the upper hand and pinned me down.” Her voice began to shake. “He raped me. Violently and painfully, in every way possible.” Her body trembled.

“He said if I told anyone he would do it all over again but with his knife.” She swallowed hard. “I had to see him everywhere, all the time. I think he came around the medic trailer just to torment me some days. I wasn’t safe there anymore, all the guys in the unit turned against me, called me a slut because he told them it was all consensual. I had 8 months left there and I couldn’t do it.” Her heart raced and breath caught in her chest. No amount of alcohol could numb this pain. “I took a handful of pills in the medic trailer. I wanted to die but I knew, even if I didn’t, at least they’d send me home. I would have died there but one of the other medics, my friend Reed, came in and found me. They flew me out of there a day later and 6 months later I was forced out of the service. I reported it when I got back to the states but no one believed me, they said it sounded like I just had a one night stand that I regretted. Even my boyfriend of 2 years accused me of lying about it because, to him, it was more likely that I cheated even though I’d never done that before. That asshole’s reputation preceded him, and it was sterling, I was no one compared to him. I stopped doing Jiu Jitsu after that because what fucking good was it if I couldn’t protect myself.”

“After I was returned home from deployment, they sent another medic to take my place. Her name was Statter but we called her Stat for short. I went through basic training and medic training with her, we even had our first duty assignment together. When she got there, he started doing the same thing to her, harassment and turning the guys against her. Right before his contract ended and he left, he got her too. Before, she was so bubbly and light but after, she was just barely hanging on until she couldn’t any longer. She killed herself a few months ago and it was my fau-“ She was hyperventilating, gasping for air. “He took…everything from me. Respect, dignity, the military, jiu jitsu, my safety, my friend. I…I—” She couldn’t speak anymore. She buried her face in her arms and let out of a loud sob. Her face was wet with tears, body shaking uncontrollably from reliving the trauma. Johnny moved next to her on the couch and put an arm around her shoulder while taking the gun dangling from her fingers and laying it on the other side of the couch after making sure the safety was on. His free arm came around her knees and he pulled her into his chest. Instinct told her to push him away but she had no energy for it, besides she didn’t really want to. She’d relived this so many times in her mind but always alone, never receiving comfort from someone else but it was a welcome, surprising change. He hadn’t run out of the cabin in horror, he was still there comforting her.

He held her close to him, stroking her hair while she sobbed into his chest, soaking his Van Halen t-shirt. She cried until she had no more tears and was exhausted. Her body was heavy and her soul empty. She looked up at him, seeing his face clearly for the first time since he walked in. His blue eyes were wet and red and looked at her with an empathy she hadn’t seen before. “Do you believe me Johnny?” she asked quietly, her throat raw from crying.

“Of course, I do. I know, maybe better than most, what he’s capable of and…yeah, I believe you.” He stroked her cheek softly, deciding that he would hold her like this as long as she wanted. It was for both their benefit since he badly wanted to haul that jeep back into the city, find Kreese and beat the shit out of him, kill him really. But as long as she was here, needing him, he couldn’t do that and that was probably saving him some jail time.

He felt her breathing become slow and steady, he looked down and her eyes were closed. Between the alcohol and emotional exhaustion, she’d passed out. He kept one arm firm on her back, looped the other under her legs and carried her easily into the small bedroom.

He laid her gently on the bed and took off the small duffle bag she’d left there. As he moved the duffle to the ground, he saw something familiar in it, his Zebra t-shirt. He lost it a few weeks ago and assumed it got swiped from the apartment building laundry room, who wouldn’t want that collectible? He smirked as he put it back into the bag, it was hers now. He pulled the blankets up to her shoulders and brushed back a strand of hair from her face before turning off the light and closing the door.

Johnny went to the kitchenette and looked around until he found a roll of garbage bags. He started picking up bottles and trash while collecting dishes to be washed. He had so much angry adrenaline and had to do something. Kreese. Fucking Kreese. He knew he was a violent asshole but this was something he never imagined. How could he have once idolized that man, sought his approval? There was a moment of panic as he realized all the females who had been alone with Kreese: Tory, Aisha, LaRusso’s wife, who knows how many others. He tossed the garbage bag on the couch and pulled out his cell phone, relieved to still have a signal.

A groggy sounding LaRusso answered on the third ring. “Hello?”

“Hey man, I know it’s late but I gotta give you a heads up about Kreese.”

“What’s going on? Is everything okay?” Daniel asked suddenly sounding more alert at the mention of Kreese.

“Look, I can’t tell you how I know this but Kreese is dangerous, more dangerous than we realized.”

“What are you talking about? What do you mean more dangerous?”

“Uh…” Johnny hesitated, Casey and LaRusso didn’t know each other but he still didn’t want to share a story that wasn’t his to share. “I heard from a reliable source that Kreese has raped women.”

“What?!” Daniel exclaimed. “We have to report this to the police, he has female students.”

“I don’t think we can, man. It was like 7 years ago and it didn’t happen here.”

“How did you even find this out, Johnny? Does this have anything to do with how crazy you were acting today?”

“Something like that. I can’t tell you how I know, you just have to trust me. We need to keep an eye on him and our kids, and tell Amanda no more smackdowns at Cobra Kai. I’m going to be away for a few days but maybe I can give you more info when I get back.”

Daniel sighed. “Yeah, this just keeps getting more terrifying. Thanks for the heads up.”

Johnny ended the call. His mind raced thinking of what Kreese could be teaching his students and Robbie. And what about his female students? Were they safe? He tried to distract himself with cleaning the small cabin but it didn’t help.

A while later he surveyed his work; it wasn’t spotless but it was a vast improvement. He laid on the couch, prepared for a restless night and sore back in the morning. He thought about getting in bed with Casey but wasn’t sure if she’d be okay with that right now. Laney wasn’t kidding when she said she was going through some shit.

His eyes were starting to flutter shut when Casey screamed. He sprang to his feet, almost knocking the bedroom door off the hinges to get to her. She was sitting up in bed, chest heaving, trying to catch her breath. “What’s wrong?” he asked, flicking on the light before sitting on the bed in front of her.

“I had a bad dream,” she said breathlessly, “and now I’m having a panic attack.” Her body shook as she struggled to steady her breathing. He wrapped his hand around hers and brought it to his chest, stroking her arm with his other hand.

“Look at me,” he said softly. Her eyes, wild with fear, met his. “It’s okay, it was just a dream, you’re safe, I won’t let anyone hurt you.” She nodded and tried to take a deep breath. He held her hand close to his heart and after a few minutes she calmed down and was starting to breathe normally.

“I’m sorry,” she said weakly, “that probably scared the shit out of you.”

He shook his head, “Takes more than some screaming to scare me. I’ll get you some water.” He went to the kitchen and found a glass to fill with water from the tap before returning to her. She drank it slowly and put it on the nightstand next to her. Johnny started to get up to leave but she grabbed his arm.

“Stay?” She looked so different from the guarded woman who used to keep him in beers at the bar. She now looked so scared and vulnerable, it was heartbreaking, but he knew he was seeing a truer version of her.

“You sure?” He asked. She nodded. He toed off his shoes and took off his jeans, leaving him in his Van Halen shirt and boxers. He got under the covers but left it to her how much contact she wanted. She rolled directly into his side and laid her head on his chest. His arm tightened around her waist while his free hand covered hers on his chest. Before she slipped back to sleep, she heard him whisper to her. “He’s never going to hurt you again, I promise.”

Chapter Text

The late morning sun poured into the small cabin and flooded every surface with light but made Casey wake up and groan. She had slept fitfully, and, even though there were no dreams so bad they caused panic attacks, they were bad enough that she woke up feeling unrested and tense. She had moved around, kicking and moaning, and not in a way that Johnny was flattered by. When she would get restless, he tightened his hold on her and whispered in her ear, reminding her he was there and she was safe. It seemed to settle her a bit, but they were both going to wake up with bags under their eyes.

Her stomach churned, her head ached, and her whole body felt heavy with exhaustion. She buried her face into Johnny’s chest, trying to block the sun light from her eyes. He slowly stirred, opened his eyes, and looked down at her. For once he wasn’t the one waking up feeling like shit. He brushed a strand of hair behind her ear and stroked her cheek with his thumb.

“Morning,” he murmured before dropping a kiss to the top of her head. She could only groan in response. “How are you feeling?” He asked. She groaned again, her head to sore to form words. There was a sudden rise of bile and heat in her throat and without warning she jumped from the bed and ran into the small connected bathroom. She made it to the toilet just in time to vomit the vast amount of alcohol in her stomach. She sank to the side of her knees and laid her head on crossed arms as she worshipped the porcelain God. Warm, strong hands ran through her hair, collecting it and holding it at the nape of her neck so she wouldn’t get vomit in it. He rubbed circles on her back while quietly encouraging her. He had no idea what he was doing, it was just what others had done for him when he was this hungover. “There you go, get it all out and you’ll feel better.”

When she finally felt empty, she collapsed to the floor in front of the toilet, the coolness of the old tile soothing her pounding head, too weak to get up. Johnny refilled her glass of water and brought it to her, helping her to sit up and drink. After she was done, he carefully picked her up and brought her back to bed. She whined as her head hit the pillow and he covered her with the blanket.

As the fog of alcohol began clearing, she had a sudden realization. “Oh God, Johnny, between last night and this morning you’re never going to want to fuck me again, are you?”

Johnny chuckled as he reclined beside her on the bed and looked down at her. “Why, because you’re hungover? Baby, I’m the king of the hangover, that little bit of vomit is nothing.” He said, his fingers threading through her hair.

“What about what I told you last night?” she asked, suddenly nervous for his response.

“I’m really sorry that happened to you, it never should have and I- I wish I had done something about Kreese sooner so he wouldn’t have-“ His fists were clenching and his face was reddening with rage. Casey reached up and cupped his stubbly cheek.

“You can’t start that, you can’t start doing the what-ifs, you’ll drive yourself crazy, I know from experience.”

Johnny turned his face to kiss her palm. She needed his reassurance now, not his anger. “Babe, I always want to fuck you but if you need some time to work this out, I get it. I don’t want to push you if you’re not 100% into it, that’s no fun for anyone. So, for now, you take the lead on that and when you’re ready for it,” he leaned in closer to her, “baby, I’m going to fuck you stupid.” He gave her a small kiss on the lips, she smiled and bit her bottom lip as he pulled back. There she was, he thought. “I’m going to make you some food,” he said, getting up from the bed.

“No, you don’t have to, I don’t know that I can eat anyways.” She protested.

“You need to eat and soak up that alcohol. Just stay there and I’ll see what I can find.” He rummaged through the kitchen. It was decently stocked but no bologna, much to his disappointment. He made scrambled eggs and toast with a cup of tea for her, coffee for him. She propped herself up on her side as he put the plate of food between them, taking a triangle of toast for himself.

“Are you going back today?” Casey asked.

“I promised Laney I wouldn’t come back without you, so I’ll go back when you go back.”

“You don’t have to do that, I know you have classes to teach.”

“I talked to LaRusso, he’ll cover them. I told him about Kreese and what he did, I didn’t mention you just that I had the information.”

She looked up at him. “Why did you do that?”

“Because we both need to be keeping an eye on him especially since he has female students, I don’t want him anywhere near those kids. We have a deal that when we win the All Valley he’s out of here but he’s gone as soon as I get back, one way or another.”

She sat up as she swallowed a bite of eggs and took his face in her hands. “Listen to me, Johnny Lawrence. You are a hot-tempered man, and he is a violent asshole and I know that look in your eye that says you want to smash his face in. You’re a good man, he’s not; he’s certainly not worth your freedom. So, nothing crazy, okay?”

She knew him well, she knew he wanted to beat that man senseless, if not lifeless. It was unrealistic to ask him not to confront this or to think that punches wouldn’t be thrown, but he did promise to keep her safe and he can’t do that from prison. “Nothing crazy.” He agreed. She leaned forward and kissed him, resting their foreheads together for a moment.

They ate their breakfast in a peaceful quiet for a while before Johnny asked, “so what do you do when you come up here?”

“Drink and hide out. When my head isn’t spinning, I’ll go get lost in the woods. It just makes me feel safe here, like no one can find me. Well, no one without 4-wheel drive and directions.” A small smile crossed his lips. “I am not up for the woods today though. Wanna lay in bed and watch movies with me while I sleep off this hangover?” She asked half-heartedly.

“You get cable here?” He asked, his brow furrowed.

She chuckled softly. “No, I’ve got movies downloaded on my laptop. This place is almost completely off the grid, Laney bought it from a customer a couple years ago, he gave it to her dirt cheap in exchange for free drinks.”

“How do you have water and electricity?”

“Water is some kind of irrigation system, electricity is solar.” He was impressed, it was like their own little world completely removed from everything.

Casey took a shower while Johnny got his bag from his car and looked for a movie to watch. She put on a pair of shorts and a clean tank top, finally starting to feel human again after the rough few days. Johnny looked up and ogled her openly; her skin pink from the hot water, hair wet and wavy falling around her, the smell of her shampoo and bodywash filling the room with a sweetness he had missed. Under different circumstances he would take her right now, in the woods where they could be as loud as they wanted without worry.

He kept his commentary to himself but she could feel his eyes raking over her body, making her blush as she sat next to him. “Feeling better?” He asked.

“Feeling cleaner so that’s something.” He smiled and put an arm around her, bringing her closer to him. She glanced at the nightstand and saw that Johnny had brought in snacks from the kitchen and the few remaining beers. He held one out to her, “hair of the dog?” She put a hand up and cringed. She didn’t want anything in her body except maybe some water. He handed her a fresh glass which she drank happily.

“You got some lame movies.” Johnny commented, earning him a sideways glance.

“What are you talking about, I have great movies.” She laid her head on his shoulder and looked at the screen.

“It’s all new shit, where’s the classics? Rocky, Rambo, Commando?”

She took control of the scrolling and found something she thought he would like. “Here, let’s try this one. Iron Man.” She clicked on it and placed her laptop on a pillow at the end of the bed. It wasn’t a perfect set up, but it was better than nothing. She snuggled into him and her eyes quickly started to flutter shut. She didn’t fight it, in the cabin and in Johnny’s arms, it was the safest she’s felt in a long time. If she could, she’d stay here forever, hiding from the world with him.

Johnny relaxed as the opening of the movie started and looked down at a sleeping Casey. They’d been seeing each other outside of the bar for a few months now and he was only now feeling like he was seeing the real her. He’d met the tough bartender chick, the hellcat, the tough confident chick. He was finally seeing what was underneath that, her vulnerability, her pain, her without the wall up. Here she was fresh faced, hair down, willing to show him her pain.

A loud explosion made him turn his attention back to the movie and Casey stirred next to him, cuddling him closer, her hand fisting in his shirt as if she was afraid of him leaving while she slept. He looked back at the screen, maybe this was finally getting good.

At one point Casey started to twitch while she slept. The fist on his shirt getting tighter, her eyelids fluttering. “No,” she whined softly, her body tensing next to him. He put his hand over hers, stroking it softly.

“Hey, you’re okay, babe.” He whispered.

“No,” she muttered again. He pulled her tighter.

“Casey, it’s Johnny, I got you, you’re safe, he can’t hurt you.” She let out a deep exhale and her body slowly started to relax. His blood turned hot at the thought of her having nightmares about him. He watched her face as it seemed to relax back into a soft slumber. He thought about Kreese. He’d held a lot of ill feelings about the man but this was different. Johnny always thought that he had taken the brunt of his abuse, he’d never thought about others who had the misfortune of falling victim to his manipulations and violence. He wondered if there were others. Were there other men out there who had mistakenly looked to him as a father figure only to realize they were nothing more than a pawn? Were there other women who had been harassed and even assaulted by him? It would be ignorant to think not.

He knew Kreese wouldn’t go easily, clearly, Casey did too. He’d never had the desire to kill someone before, no matter what he’d said in moments of anger. But he suddenly wanted to make sure Kreese never hurt anyone ever again. He looked down at Casey. Jail and legal issues weren’t new to him, hard prison time was, and he didn’t want that. He didn’t want to leave Robby, the dojo…her.

She slowly opened her eyes as the credits rolled and looked up at him, “Sorry, I didn’t mean to sleep through the whole movie.”

“Don’t worry about it,” he said, “you needed it.”

“Yeah, I guess. Did you like the movie?”

“It was no Iron Eagle but it wasn’t bad.” She rolled her eyes as she sat up next to him and stretched. She looked at him and noticed the way he was looking at her, it was something she wasn’t ready to admit yet but saw it reflected back in his eyes. She leaned forward and met his lips, moving slowly, licking his top lip letting him know she wanted more. He opened his mouth and let out an involuntary moan. It had been just a few days but he missed this. Casey pulled back slowly, licking her lips.

“What was that for?” He asked with smirk.

“Just wanted a taste,” she said with a shrug.

“Babe, you can taste me anytime,” he smirked, leaning in for another kiss. She giggled as they broke apart. She looked up at the clock on the wall. It was later than she realized, they had completely missed lunch and her stomach was starting rumble.

“You want some dinner? I think I can scrounge up something half decent.”

“You feeling up to that?”

“Yeah, I need to move a little bit.” She insisted.

Poking through the kitchen she found just enough random ingredients to make basic burrito bowls. Johnny tried to help but had to admit he was pretty useless in the kitchen, so she put him in charge of chopping the few vegetables she had brought while she made the beans and rice. She stayed quiet while they cooked. When they weren’t in amicable silence she listened as Johnny talked about classes or why 80’s rock is the best music ever. In the back of her mind, she wondered if he meant what he said earlier about still wanting to be with her while she dealt with things. She knew Laney must have vetted him in her own way to let him come up here and see her. Did he really want to be here with her? Was he doing this out of obligation?

Dinner was quiet and she did dishes while Johnny took a shower and cleaned up a bit. She was so lost in her own thoughts she didn’t hear the shower stop, the bedroom door open, or his footsteps on that particularly creaky board in the living room. She screamed when she felt hands on her hips, Johnny stepped back immediately, hands up.

“Sorry, babe, just me,” he said.

“Shit, Johnny.” She scolded. “You scared me.”

“I’m sorry babe, I shouldn’t have-“

“No, you didn’t do anything wrong.” She interrupted him, the guilt in his eyes breaking her heart. “I’m just…fuck, I don’t know what I am right now.” She said, frustrated as she looked at the ground. What she wouldn’t give to be any other person right now, someone who wasn’t carrying the weight of this on their shoulders. She didn’t want Johnny to be afraid to touch her, but she didn’t want to panic whenever he did either. “Johnny, you don’t deserve this,” she muttered.

“I don’t deserve what?” he asked, keeping some distance between them.

“You don’t deserve to have to deal with this, with my shit, with-“ She paused, a realization coming to her. “Why did Laney tell you where I was?”

Johnny furrowed his brow in confusion. “I went to the bar to look for you and she gave me the address.”

“No, that’s not the whole truth is it?” she asked. Laney had a protective streak a mile long, she wouldn’t have let just anyone come up here. “I know Laney and she wouldn’t have let you come up here with some sort of interrogation first, so what did she say?”

“She said that you were dealing with some heavy shit and if I came up here to look for you, I better be able to handle it.” He said seriously.

Casey laughed sarcastically. “What did she threaten you with?”

Johnny sighed. “She said if I come up here and then cut out on you she’ll cut off my dick and ban me from the bar.”

Casey hoisted herself up on the countertop behind her, her mind racing. Laney meant well but sometimes she wished she’d take it easy on the threats. “She shouldn’t have said that to you. She shouldn’t have interfered like that.”

Johnny cocked his head, “do you want me to leave?” He asked, unsure of how to read her at that moment.

“I don’t want you to be here if you don’t want to be. Laney thinks she’s protecting me but you didn’t know what you were getting into when you came up here and it’s unfair for you to stick around out of some kind of obligation.” She took a deep breath. “What Laney threatened you with is garbage. If you want to end things then they end but don’t hang around because you think you lose bar privileges or your cock, it won’t happen, I’ll say I ended things.” She struggled to hold in tears as she spoke.

Johnny took a step towards her slowly. “Do you want to break up?” He asked, his voice shaking almost imperceptibly.

“No, but I don’t want you to feel trapped here because of my shit.” She said. She saw him clench his hands into fists at his side, he started to pace in the small space.

“I don’t want to break up either,” he said firmly. “I don’t want to leave you here and I don’t feel trapped. I feel pissed off. Pissed off at what happened to you, that I wasn’t there to protect you even though it was long before we met. I’m pissed off that I didn’t do something about Kreese years ago when I had a chance. I’m-“ he stopped a few feet in front of her, looking at the ground like he was looking for words. “I’m sad. I’m sad that you have to deal with this and all I can do is tell you it wasn’t your fault and you didn’t deserve it. I can’t take it away from you and that pisses me off too!” he yelled.

She didn’t bother stopping the tears anymore as she jumped off the counter and wrapped her arms his torso, his arms embracing her back. “After it happened I was told it was all my own fault and called a slut. I used to think no one would ever care about me after I told them the truth. So being here, reassuring me, it isn’t nothing. It’s more than I ever thought possible.” She said as she cried into his t-shirt, his hand stroking her hair gently.

“I’m not going anywhere.” He whispered, “I don’t want to.”

Chapter Text

Casey woke up the next morning tangled up in Johnny and a little uncertain about whose limbs were whose until she started to move. Carefully, she pulled herself from his arms, feeling much better than she did the previous morning. She looked down at his face, his brow just slightly creased, she wondered what he was worrying about as he slept.

She went to the kitchen and started making pancakes. There was a lightness in her now that Johnny knew everything and was still there. Maybe this was what she needed, to know that she could be cared for despite her damage, this could be the healing she needed.

She heard the bedroom door creak open and saw Johnny emerge in his boxers and t-shirt. “Morning,” she greeted, he gave a nod in response.

“How are you feeling?” He asked as he put a hand on her hip and kissed her on the neck.

“Better.” She said, placing a stack of pancakes on the table. “Food’s getting low, so I need to go back soon, but I think I want one more day here.” Johnny just nodded as he shoved a forkful of food in his mouth. “You can go back today if you need to, I’m okay.”

Johnny reached over and took her hand in his. “One more day here sounds great.”

She smiled--man, did he love that smile. “You down for a hike?” Casey asked.

 

A couple of hours later, Casey was leading Johnny through the forest on a narrow trail. Despite the path being overgrown she moved confidently and it was obvious this wasn’t her first time on it. “Just a little further,” she kept promising even though that seemed to be a relative concept. Johnny was beginning to get winded, stopping more to take swigs from the water bottle she had put in his charge. “We’re here,” she finally declared, holding aside a thorny branch so Johnny could step onto the rocky ledge. The blue sky stretched before them without a cloud in sight. Varying shades of green covered the forest below and they could see for miles. “This may be my favorite place in the world; when the sun starts to set you can see a thin blue line on the horizon, I think it’s the ocean.”

“This is amazing,” Johnny said. His fingers intertwined with hers as they looked out at the vista. He was so accustomed to the constant ambient noise of the city he forget how quiet the world could be, it was so quiet he thought he could hear her heartbeat. Casey grew tense as she looked out and Johnny picked up on it quickly. He looked down at her, jaw tight and lips set in a firm line.

“You alright?” He asked.

“I feel like she should be here.”

“Who?”

“Statten.” She took a deep breath. “It was my fault.” She admitted quietly.

“No--”

“Yes. All of it, especially everything that happened to her. If I hadn’t tried to kill myself then she wouldn’t have been sent to take my place and…she’d still be here. One of the first things we’re taught in basic training is to never let your guard down. I let my guard down, I thought he was just a creepy old man, someone I could easily subdue if needed. That night, I was so tired I didn’t even hear or see him following me.” Her lip quivered as she spoke. “It’s all my fault.”

“Casey, no. He hurt you, you did what you had to do to survive. You did nothing wrong.” He put his hand on her chin to make her meet his gaze, but she refused.

“I survived, and sacrificed her in the process.” She paused, “It’s done. It’s my cross to bear now,” she said. “We should head back.” They hiked back to the cabin in silence. Johnny tried to think of something to say, something comforting that would make her see that this wasn’t her fault but nothing came to him. He felt helpless and he hated it.

 

It was early afternoon when they got back and began to pack and clean the small cabin together. Casey’s mood seemed to lift as she put on an 80’s playlist to listen to while they worked. She took a moment to enjoy what was happening; she had spent the last few days with this man, shared her most painful moment and now, here they were, practically a picture of domestic bliss. She could get used to this, she thought before chastising herself that it hadn’t been long enough to start thinking like that.

She made an easy dinner of soup and sandwiches, leaving just enough in the kitchen that they could have breakfast before they left in the morning. They cleaned up and laid in the bed watching Captain American, Casey determined to bring Johnny into this century as far as movies go. They both laid on their side, her back pressed to his stomach. Her head laid on a pillow while he propped his up on an arm. He wanted to watch the movie, it seemed alright, but he kept looking down at her. She was warm and soft against him, she seemed so relaxed. When they had laid down, he casually slung his arm over her waist and it grazed the line of bare skin between her t-shirt and sweat pants, he left it there and at some point, as if acting on its own accord, his thumb began making small circles around her belly button. She sighed happily and burrowed into his embrace more.

He told her she would set the tone for the physical part of their relationship and he meant that but he so badly wanted to kiss her. He leaned over and placed a soft kiss where her ear met her jaw. If that was all she wanted that was all he would do, but she turned her face up to his. He leaned over and kissed her almost chastely on her lips. He pulled away, as she rolled onto her back, took his face in her hands and pulled his lips back down to hers. She kissed him heatedly, licking his top lip and making him open to her as they tasted each other.

His hand moved back to the bare spot on her stomach and ran over her waist and hip and tightened. Casey knew where he really wanted to go but he was resisting because he didn’t want to push her. She grabbed his wrist and moved him further under her shirt until he reached her bare breast. She gasped as he held her there, pinching her nipple and rolling it.

She reached a hand down to his crotch and could feel him hardening. He took her hand placed it up by her head. She broke the kiss and looked at him with a confused expression. “I just want to take care of you tonight,” he whispered. If she wasn’t wet before, she was now. He leaned down and kissed her again before pulling back. “Tell me to stop and I will, I promise.” The sincerity in his voice brought tears to her eyes. As hot tempered as he could be, she knew he would never hurt her. She nodded and brought his lips back to hers.

He began planting kisses along her jaw and neck. He raised her shirt over her chest and began to kiss along her clavicle. Casey removed the shirt to allow him better access, her fingers moving through his soft hair in encouragement. He sucked in a nipple causing her to arch into him and moan loudly. Yes, Johnny thought, no one can hear us, scream, baby.

His hand grazed over the plane of her stomach until it came to the low seated waist band of her sweats. He moved to the other nipple, giving it the same treatment while his fingers danced just underneath the waistband. He looked at her seriously. “Can I?” He asked softly, she nodded, her breathing coming out in heavy pants as she anticipated his fingers right where she wanted him. His hand slid below her sweats and panties and gently stroked her wet folds, both gasping at the feeling. She began rolling her hips into him wantonly. He smiled seeing her completely at his mercy, completely trusting him with her body and her pleasure. He was so hard, but he meant what he said, he wanted this to be about her, he’d go jerk off in the shower when she was done and satisfied.

He worked her clit gently, just how she liked it. “Babe,” she purred as she ran her hand over his head and shoulders.

He hooked his fingers into her sweats and panties and gave a small tug. She lifted her hips to let him pull them from her legs. He ran his hands over her legs, leaving kisses over her calves, licking up the inside of her thighs. She looked down at him as he slowly moved further towards her center. The way his hands held her gently, the way his mouth moved on her, applying pressure in just the right spots; she felt so safe, like he was worshipping her and all her broken pieces.

His eyes were hungry as they locked on hers just before he licked from her opening over her clit, causing her to moan salaciously. He loved doing this to her, the sounds she made. Normally he’d hold her hips down, set his own pace to drive her crazy but this time, his hands roamed tenderly over her hips, her waist, over her breasts and back down while he tasted her thoroughly. He sucked and flicked at her clit, drawing her closer to the edge only to ease her off it and then build her back up again.

“Oh God, Johnny, make me cum,” she demanded as he began to suck her clit hungrily. “Yes, babe,” she moaned, she was so close. He reached up, rolled her nipple, it was just enough to push her over the edge, she screamed his name as she came, hard and intense. He watched her, the way she contorted, her mouth open, his name on her sweet lips. He went back to licking her gently as she began to come down from her high. Feeling pleased with himself for making her let go like that.

He was so incredibly hard, part of him wished he could just cum right now. She all but purred as she basked in the post orgasm bliss. He leaned up and kissed her lightly, “I’ll be right back, beautiful,” he said.

“Mkay, handsome,” she said. He knew he wouldn’t need long, the memory was so fresh. He stepped under the shower spray, gripped his cock firmly and gave it a hard stroke, his hold slickened by water and pre cum. He licked his lips, still tasting her. He kept tugging, thinking of the feel of her, the way she arched and moaned when he sucked her nipple, the way she said his name when she came. He came in his hand with a stifled groan. He was sure she knew what he was doing but he didn’t want to be obvious about it. He cleaned himself quickly and turned off the shower. He wrapped a towel around his waist and went back to the bedroom where she was still lying naked with an easy smile on her face.

He laid next to her on the bed. “You okay?” He asked.

“Yeah, you?”

“Mhmm,” he said before leaning in to kiss her.

“You know I would’ve helped you with that.” She said seductively.

“I know but I wanted this to be about you, I can take care of myself this time.”

“Thank you,” she said before pulling him in for another sweet kiss.

Chapter Text

Casey left the cabin feeling like a totally different person than she was just a few days ago when she arrived. Old wounds felt like they were beginning to heal, and she was hopeful for the future for the first time in years. But, as the trees gave way to buildings and the city rose up around her, a familiar sickness returned. Her heart pounded in her chest, hands tightened on the steering wheel, and her head swiveled in every direction. Millions of people in the city but she was keenly aware of one; he could be anywhere and that scared her.

Almost a week after returning, she still couldn’t relax. Even with Johnny, her body was full of tension and every little noise made her jump. Even though she felt safe with him, she wasn’t comfortable having sex, her body was too tightly wound and her mind too stressed. He’d test the waters sometimes by grazing his fingertips lightly over her thigh or the side of her breast, but when she didn’t respond he'd stop and just hold her close. He kept his word not to push her but she worried he’d get tired of her holding out and then what?

She started back to work the night after she returned, it was the only other place she’d go outside of her apartment and Johnny’s, nowhere else felt safe since she never knew where she may see Kreese.

 

She’d had a pretty easy shift, the crowd was light and no one was overly difficult; one couple even left her a hearty tip, almost double their tab.  Laney left, like usual, after closing the kitchen at 1 a.m. Casey was used to closing the bar alone, any stragglers left with a light prodding and if they didn’t she offered to call the cops and that got them moving. The last customer was stumbling out the door and she went to lock it behind them.

There he was. Kreese, Snake Man.

Roughly 20 feet away, standing in the middle of the parking lot, watching her; the same evil glint in his eye that he had years ago. The cherry from his cigar lit his face making him look like the devil himself, he may have been.

She froze as she took him in, silently praying that this was a nightmare she’d wake up from soon. He stepped towards the door and she finally moved, turning the lock and running around the bar into the kitchen. She couldn’t call the cops, what would she say? A man is standing in a public parking lot looking at me? She called the only person she could think of.

Voicemail. Shit. The front door rattled—he was trying to get in.

She called again as she slid down in a corner, pulling her knees to her chest. It rang once, twice, “What?” a groggy Johnny answered.

“Johnny, I need you, he’s here, he’s at the bar.”

“What?” Johnny asked, sounding slightly more alert.

“Kreese. He’s outside the bar, just waiting for me.”

“I’m on my way, stay on the phone with me.” He ordered.

“Okay, hurry, he’s trying to open the front door.”

“I’m on my way, baby.” He said. She heard the sound of his engine starting through the phone. It was quiet for a couple of minutes, then he heard another door rattling.

“Shit, he’s trying the back door.” She said as she skittered to the doorway between the kitchen and bar, tucking herself out of sight from the doors and windows.

“Is everything locked? Is there any way he can get in?”

“Everything’s locked. The only way in is by breaking a window.”

“I’m pulling in now, don’t open anything until I say so.” Johnny drove around the small building, turning the lights on bright to try and find anyone hiding in the shadows. He parked directly in front of the bar and walked around the front of the parking lot. A dying cigar butt was all he found. “It looks clear. I’m at the front door, let’s get out of here.”

A minute later Casey was at the door. Johnny stood over her as she locked the door the night. He put his arm around her for the few steps to the van and put her inside before running to the driver side. They were at his place in minutes where he kept her close as he brought her into his apartment. Once inside she would have collapsed to the floor if he hadn’t been there to catch her.

He scooped her up and sat with her on the couch. All the adrenaline was leaving her body and she was left shaking with relief, exhaustion, and anxiety. She cried until there was no more tears left in her. She looked up at Johnny, fear and concern written all over his face. “What do I do?” She asked him weakly.

Johnny thought for a moment. He knew what he was going to do but he didn’t want to tell her that yet. “Let’s go to the police and get a restraining order so he can’t come near you.”

“A piece of paper isn’t going to do anything.” She said.

“I know.” He did know. He knew that when Kreese wanted to mess with someone, nothing would stop him; he was smart and manipulative, a dangerous combination. “But it’s a start.” She nodded but was not convinced.

“I’m going to take a shower.” She said as she got up from his lap. She collected a couple of things together and went into the bathroom. Johnny made his own way to the bedroom, his mind racing. He’d have to talk to Laney about getting security in the bar, some cameras, maybe a bouncer, would a full blown panic room be too much? He took off his jeans and socks and got into bed, laying on his back, waiting for Casey to come to bed. Usually she came out of the bathroom in a towel and would get dressed in front of him, like his own little reverse strip show. He was taken aback to see her come out already in one of his t-shirts, she had dressed in the bathroom. He tried to shake it off, she’s had a rough night.

She got in bed and leaned over him, planting a small kiss on his lips. “Thank you for coming tonight.”

“Anytime,” he said, waiting for her to curl into his side like she usually did. Instead, she turned away and laid on her side facing away from him. Johnny wanted to say something, wanted to bring her back to him but decided against it. Let her have some space, he thought.

Chapter Text

In the morning Johnny woke up to an empty, cold spot where Casey had slept next to him. A strong coffee aroma filled his nose, he followed it out to the dining room table where he found her, cup in hand and staring out his front window. “Good morning.” He said, trying to sound casual and not show how worried he was at her sitting watch like a guard dog.

“Morning.” She said not looking away from the window, voice flat. “I think the guy across your courtyard is a drug dealer, a lot of traffic in and out of that place.”

“How long have you been up?”

“A couple hours.”

He glanced at the clock, it was just before 8. “Did you even sleep?” The dark circles and bags under her eyes already giving him an answer.

“A bit.”

He closed the blinds and sat next to her at the table, putting his hand on hers but she didn’t respond. “Let’s go to the police station, get that over with and then come back here so you can sleep.” She nodded but didn’t really hear him, everything felt disconnected and unreal. He got up to get dressed. When he came back the blinds were open again.

 

An hour later they were at the police station to discuss a restraining order. “So, why do you want an emergency protective order against this man?” The grizzled, balding cop asked her.

She took a deep breath, her knee bounced with anxiety as Johnny reached over and took her hand, rubbing his thumb over the back of it, hoping to ease her nerves. “He sexually assaulted me seven years ago and last night he showed up at the bar I work at.”

“Did he threaten you?” He asked.

“No, I was closing up and he stood in the parking lot just staring at me. I locked the door and I think he tried to get in, I heard them rattling.” Her voice was beginning to tremble.

“You want a restraining order against a person for looking at you and trying to open a door?” The cop said incredulously. “He probably didn’t know you were closed and just wanted a drink.”

“Didn’t you hear what she said about him assaulting her?” Johnny asked with an edge of anger to his voice.

The cop sighed and rolled his eyes, “did you file a report on the assault?”

“Not officially, I was in the military when it happened and overseas. I reported it to my leadership when I was back in the states, but nothing happened.”

“So he sexually assaulted you but you didn’t report it to the police?” The officer said, making no attempt to hide skepticism. He turned from his computer and looked at her over bridged fingers. She knew this act, he was entertaining her complaint because he had to, but nothing was going to be done because he thought she was making it all up.

“I couldn’t, I tried to do it through the military, but no one believed me or cared to investigate it.”

“Can she file a report on it now?” Johnny asked.

“She just said it didn’t happen here, can’t file a report if it didn’t even happen in the state.” Casey looked away, eyes were beginning to sting with tears as her heart pounded in her chest, it was hopeless.

“What? Does that mean, you can’t give her a restraining order?” Johnny demanded.

“Look, I can give you an emergency protective order but when it goes in front of a judge for full enforcement, it’ll get thrown out because there’s no proof that this man is a threat to her.”

“No proof?!” Johnny yelled. “She is telling you she was assaulted by this asshole, why isn’t that proof enough?”

“Because people lie pal, they do it all the time and if every woman who had a bad ex-boyfriend could file a restraining order-“ Casey didn’t want to hear the rest. Tears streamed down her face as she got up and ran for the door. She didn’t look back, just ran until she reached the minivan. She held her side as she gasped for air, between the running and crying, her lungs burned for air.

“Casey!” She heard Johnny call as he jogged up to her. “Are you-“

“I’m not okay Johnny.” She said angrily cutting him off. “He doesn’t believe me, no one ever believes me. They think I’m making it up or exaggerating or some bitter, scorned woman. He…he’s untouchable and I’m just fucked!” She screamed. “I knew this was a bad idea, it’ll never be over!”

Johnny let her yell, his heart ached for her and he couldn’t hold back a tear as he watched the pain and anger explode from her. When she was done, she threw herself into his arms desperate for his comfort and safety. He wrapped his arms around her, whispering how sorry he was that she had to go through this.

He took her back to his place and put her in bed, holding her tightly to him as she fell asleep fast and deep.  When he was certain she was out, Johnny crept out of his apartment as quietly as he could. He had stayed away from Kreese because he promised Casey nothing crazy, but if the police weren’t going to do anything, he had to.

Propelled by his fury, he drove to Cobra Kai. He hated that Kreese was still wreaking havoc in his life, he was a disease with no cure. Tires squealed as he pulled into the parking lot where he could see Kreese leading a class through the large front window. He wondered if Robby was in there; it didn’t matter, he had to do this regardless. He threw open the door and stepped inside, quickly spotting Kreese on the other side of the mat.

“Class, we have a visitor.” Kreese announced. Johnny scanned the room, young faces glaring at him. Robby and Tory were in formation in front of Kreese.

“Get out, I’m not going anywhere.” Robby barked.

“This isn’t about you, kid.” Johnny said, eyes falling to Kreese. “I’m here to tell you, to stay the hell away from her.” Johnny took a step forward and the students closed ranks around Kreese, ever the good soldiers.

“Who?” Kreese asked innocently, before his lips curled into an evil sneer. “That new girlfriend of yours, my former whore?” Johnny’s vision went red, he lunged forward and found himself fighting against a sea of bodies, all holding him back from the man whose neck he was reaching for. He tried to push them out of the way but there were too many.

“You raped her!” Johnny yelled. “You raped her friend!” The wave of students pushed him until he felt a hard shoulder to his sternum, knocking him on to his back.

“I heard that’s what she was calling it, I don’t know why, I just gave her what she was asking for.” Kreese said.

Johnny got on his feet and looked around the room, finding Robby standing steadfastly by Kreese’s side. “He’s a rapist, your Sensei is a rapist!” He shouted to the room. “If you know what’s good for you, you’ll leave Cobra Kai and protect yourself. You don’t have to join Miyagi-Do, go wherever you want but as long as he’s here, you’re not safe.” He found Tory who was staring daggers at him, and Robby, his sensitive boy who had a glimmer of doubt in his eyes as he glanced from his father to his Sensei.

He drove back to his apartment angry and unsatisfied that he left Kreese still standing. Maybe, if nothing else, some of the students would leave and find a dojo not run by a rapist. Without thinking he slammed the door behind him, then winced hoping he didn’t wake up Casey. He stomped back to his bedroom and stopped in the doorway. A feeling of relief came over him to see her still sound asleep, actually looking peaceful and relaxed. Whatever anger he was feeling was dissipated as he quietly toed off his shoes and got on the bed. Moving slow so he wouldn’t wake her or startle her, he put his arms around her small frame and nestled into her, burying his nose in her neck, inhaling her scent. As hard as things were right now, there was no other place he wanted to be in that moment.

Chapter Text

Heavy rain wasn’t a common occurrence in southern California, but this morning it pounded the Valley hard. The dark clouds and rolling thunder matched Johnny’s mood as he pulled into Miyagi-do earlier than usual. He wanted to talk about Kreese and the very real threat he now posed to everyone. Miguel had told him that a handful of students left Cobra Kai after Johnny’s confrontation but not enough to make any difference; he still held a small army of loyal soldiers including Robby and Tory. Daniel was finishing up his kata as Johnny walked in, rolling his eyes and throwing his gear to the ground.

“Something wrong, Johnny?” Daniel asked sarcastically as it seemed like there was always something wrong with Johnny, especially lately.

“We’ve got to do something about Kreese.” He said seriously, catching Daniel’s attention and making him stop his kata.

“All our students have been told to stay away from him, the former cobras said they never saw Kreese be inappropriate with Tory, Aisha, or any other female students. We’ve done all we can unless your anonymous source takes legal action.” He said calmly.

Johnny sighed and stood with his arms crossed, unsure of what to do. He didn’t want to break Casey’s confidence but LaRusso needed to know what the real stakes were here. “She can’t. She tried filing a restraining order, but the cop was a dick. It didn’t happen in the state so there’s nothing they can do about it.”

Daniel looked at Johnny, it wasn’t often he was all business, on top of that he seemed genuinely worried, that alone clued him into the gravity of the situation. “Okay, can you tell me who this person is? We can’t figure this out if I only have half the information.”

“This stays between you and me, no one else needs to know, not even Amanda.”

Daniel, exhaled deeply, he didn’t like it but he needed to know. “I promise, stays between you and me.”

Johnny had begun pacing the room. It had never occurred to him that someone wouldn’t actually believe that she was raped but after their experience at the police station and hearing that only a few students left Cobra Kai, the reality of it all became painfully clear. “It’s this chick I been seeing for a few months. She was in the Army, Kreese came in, harassed her for a while, then followed her to her dorm and raped her. Did the same thing a few months later to a friend of hers. We ran into him a couple weeks ago, she saw him and…she’s not lying, man. The fear she had, the fear she still has, it’s real.”

Daniels’s stomach turned as he immediately thought of Amanda going to see Kreese in the empty dojo, at night, by herself. He was ashamed to admit that he was hoping Johnny’s source was somehow wrong or lying because of what could have happened to his own wife. “Dammit, I knew he was messed up, but I didn’t think it went as far as sexual assault.”

“Yeah, he showed up the other night at the bar she works at, stood outside during closing time and then tried to get in. I went to get her and found one of his cigars in the parking lot, like he wanted her, or wanted me, to know he was there. The next day I took her to try and get a restraining order.”

Daniel was impressed considering Johnny’s own involvement with law enforcement from the other end. “That’s good of you Johnny. She’s fortunate to have you in her corner.”

“I don’t know about that,” Johnny muttered sadly. “she’s going through all this and there’s nothing I can do.”

Daniel flinched, after everything he’d seen Johnny go through, this was the first time he saw anything in him resembling vulnerability. “You’re supporting her and keeping her safe. That’s all you can do.”

“It doesn’t feel like enough.” Johnny mumbled, stopping to take an angry swing at a punching bag hung in the corner.

“You know, Amanda had a really rough labor with Anthony. The epidural didn’t take and she was in so much pain, pain we’ll never know or understand. Meanwhile all these doctors and nurses were in the room taking care of her and I just felt useless and in the way. All I could do was hold her hand and tell her how much I love her and how proud I was of her. When it was all over, she told me that was all she needed from me, to hold her hand and let her know that I was there and not going anywhere. Do you care about this woman?”

Johnny nodded. “Yeah. A lot.”

“Then just hold her hand, support her and tell her how much you care.”

Johnny thought for a moment. LaRusso was right but he wasn’t about to admit it. “Yeah, thanks man.”

“Hey why don’t you guys come over for dinner one night? Amanda’s always complaining about the country club crowd and not having any girl friends and I want to meet the woman who can actually tolerate your ass enough for a relationship.”

Johnny cracked a smile, it was a rare moment of rare peace between the two men.

 

Johnny decided to take up Daniel on his offer for dinner, for Casey’s sake. He wanted a night for her where she wasn’t worrying about what would happen next with Kreese and since she was adamant about avoiding public places, this seemed like a more viable option to get her out of the apartment.

Casey was nervous and fidgeting in the car as they drove past houses worth more than she’d ever make in her life. Would she even have anything in common with people that lived in houses like these? She only half listened as Johnny spoke, giving her a quick recap on the LaRusso’s.

“I don’t think the kids will be there but Sam is the oldest, she’s alright. That boy of theirs is a little dickhead though.”

Casey smirked and rolled her eyes. Only Johnny would call a child a dickhead.

“LaRusso is LaRusso, prepare for him to take cheap shots at me all evening. Amanda’s cool though, you’ll like her.”

Her stomach did a flip as they pulled up in front of their house. Johnny would never classify the LaRusso’s as friends but they were the first adults in his world that she was meeting and it made everything feel real and terrifying. He grasped her hand as they walked to the door and brought it to his lips, planting a reassuring kiss before ringing the doorbell.

“Hi!” Amanda said cheerily as she opened the door. “Casey, I’m Amanda, welcome!” She said opening the door for them to step in. “Johnny,” she said, giving his arm an affectionate squeeze. “Daniel’s in the dining room, go help him set the table while Casey and I get a glass of wine.” Casey was slightly taken aback to see Johnny so dutifully follow Amanda’s instructions; she did have a den mother quality to her though. Amanda led Casey to the kitchen where there was already a bottle open and glasses out. “We are going to need this to get through the night with these two man-children.” Casey relaxed a bit as the two clinked glasses before going out to the dining room.

As they ate dinner, Casey became more comfortable. The LaRusso home, while large and impressive, had a warmth to it, one that made it feel like a loving family lived here. Amanda was down to earth, not at all snobby like she had feared she’d be, and she kept the wine glasses filled which Casey appreciated.  

“Casey, how did you and Johnny meet?” Amanda asked as she passed a bowl of green beans around the table.

“He was one of my regulars at the bar I work at.” She said.

“Of course he was.” Daniel snarked under his breath, earning him a kick from Amanda below the table and a hard squint from Johnny.

Casey laughed uncomfortably. “Well, I’m grateful for it because he saved my ass once. These frat boys dared their buddy to put hands on me and Johnny laid them out.”

“You took out the first one, I just got the other two.” Johnny admitted.

“Yeah, but you took the fall for all of it and saved my job.” She smiled at him. Johnny reach under the table and rubbed her knee affectionately. Daniel and Amanda exchanged a look; they’d seen Johnny with Carmen and Ali but this was the first time he seemed to be with someone who really understood him.

The conversation flowed easily until they got on the topic of karate competitions.

“It was an illegal kick!” Johnny shouted.

“It was above the belt and you told Miguel to use it.”

“Yeah, to piss you off!”

“Psst,” Amanda whispered and nodded for Casey to follow her. She grabbed another bottle of wine and led her to the lounge chairs by the pool.

“Thank you for that, you weren’t kidding, I didn’t realize how intense those two can get.” Casey said.

“Oh, you have no idea.” Amanda said, uncorking the wine. “Shit, I forgot glasses.”

“I’m okay drinking straight from the bottle,” Casey suggested.

“My kind of lady,” Amanda said, taking a sip and passing the bottle to Casey.

“Can I tell you something, just between us?” Casey asked, Amanda nodded. “The way Johnny talks about your husband, it’s like a guy talking about an ex-girlfriend.” Amanda laughed loudly. “Seriously, did anything ever happen between them? Because that tension feels really sexual.” Amanda laughed harder, tears forming in her eyes.

“Not that Daniel would admit to, but you have a good point.”

The two men clamored out of the house and made their way to a grassy part of the large backyard.

“I’m telling you, my leg will go way higher than yours, man.” Johnny declared.

“Not a chance, you’re too old.”

“I’m only a year older than you!”

“Who do you think would be the bottom?” Casey whispered, giggling. The two women looked at each other, “Daniel,” they said in unison, laughing hysterically.

“Two middle aged men seeing how high their legs will go, who do you think is going to get hurt first?” Casey asked, catching her breath from the laughter.

“Daniel.” Amanda said, Casey gave her a surprised look. “I love him, but he bruises like a peach.”

Casey giggled as she took another swig of wine and passed the bottle to Amanda. “Hey, can I ask you something, since we’re talking between us girls?” Casey nodded. “What’s Johnny like in the sack?” Amanda’s eyes eagerly awaiting her answer.

Casey laughed, her head light from the alcohol. “Okay, you can’t tell Daniel this because Johnny would kill me.”

“Oh, is it that bad?” Amanda cringed.

“No, no, no, just promise me you won’t tell Daniel.”

“Promise, cross my heart hope to die.” Amanda said, crossing her fingers over her chest.

“Okay”, Casey leaned closer to Amanda. “The first time we had sex it was just a hook-up but he completely left me hanging.”

“NO!” Amanda gasped, “he doesn’t strike me as that type.”

“He’s not, he was just having an off night but it was a bad first impression, I almost didn’t give him a second chance. But I feel like every time we’ve had sex since, he’s trying to make it up to me, several times.” Casey said, raising an eyebrow suggestively.

“Go, Johnny.” Amanda said, taking a sip and handing over the bottle.

“Yeah, I don’t hold it over his head or anything but if that night lives in there rent free, I’m all the more grateful for it.” Casey said. “How’s Daniel? He seems like he’d be…vanilla.”

“Oh, he used to be,” Amanda confessed. “But I loosened him up.” She winked.

“Good for you.” Casey said, raising the bottle to Amanda.

Daniel and Johnny were still practicing their kicks when they heard loud laughing from their ladies by the pool. “That can’t be good.” Daniel said.

“They’re probably just talking about make up or clothes or other chick stuff.” Johnny said before launching into another side kick that went over his head.

“I have to admit, I’m impressed Johnny. Ali, Shannon, Carmen, now Casey, you keep getting women that are too good for you.”

“Yeah, you’re one to talk.”

“What are you two laughing about over there?” Daniel called.

“Just girl talk.” Amanda said with an innocent shrug.

“I won, I got my leg higher than LaRusso.” Johnny stated proudly as they walked over to them.

“Woo, good job, baby!” Casey praised with an enthusiastic, if slightly tipsy, smile.

Daniel started to protest but Amanda shook her head and silenced him with a peck on the lips.

“You ready to go, beautiful?” Johnny asked, holding his hand out to Casey.

“Sure, handsome.” She said taking his hand. Johnny’s heart skipped, she hadn’t called him that in a while, he missed it.

Casey and Amanda exchanged numbers so they could get drinks again when they didn’t have to babysit, Amanda had said while nodding to Johnny and Daniel. Johnny and Casey said their goodbyes and walked to his car. She draped his arm over her shoulder and wrapped her arms around his waist as they walked. “You good, babe?” Johnny asked.

“Yeah, this was a good night. Thanks, handsome.” He leaned down and gave her a kiss before opening the car door. Yes, finally a good night in the chaos.

Chapter Text

Casey wasn’t sure what came over her in the middle of the night. Maybe it was the wine and good mood from the evening at the LaRusso’s, maybe it was the way Johnny’s arm slung over her so his hand laid just under her breast, so close she could feel his radiating heat. Maybe it was the way his breath came, shallow and even, and blew right against that sweet spot under her ear. Maybe it was that they hadn’t had sex in a few weeks and she was just feeling particularly frisky. Whatever it was, she’d missed it.

She rolled over in his arms and laid nose to nose with him. She left soft kisses on his face while her hand travelled south, cupping him through his boxers. She rubbed him as hardened in her hand and let out a groan. “Am I dreaming?” he mumbled sleepily.

“Nope,” she said with a soft giggle.

“Mmmm,” Johnny moaned as he leaned in to capture her lips. They kissed lazily, slowly coming to and awaking each other. Johnny ran a hand over her ass, down her bare thigh and pulled it over his hip. Her head fell back, allowing him to kiss her neck, nibble on her ear. She sighed as her skin tingled under his warm lips, her hand raking through his hair.

Johnny rolled them quickly so he was on top of her, his hand finding her soft skin under her t-shirt while his body and erection pressed against her.

Everything went dark, the room cold, she felt crushed under his weight, his skin beginning to smell of cheap cigars. Every inch of her body was being bombarded with unwanted sensation and it was too much. Her hands went limp on Johnny’s back, breath caught in her chest; nothing felt safe and she wasn’t sure where she was in that moment. The shift was immediately noticeable and Johnny pulled back, looking down at her, eyes blank and quickly filling with tears. He rolled off her quickly.

“Babe,” he said softly. She didn’t respond, her body began to shake. “Casey,” he said again a little firmer. He reached over to touch her cheek, breaking her out of the flashback. She bolted up, panting for air. Jumping from the bed, she sprinted for the bathroom.

She locked the door behind her and pressed her back against it as tears erupted. A wave of nausea hit making her lurch towards the sink, throwing up bile and the food still in her stomach. She rinsed her mouth out and collapsed to the floor, her chest burning and tight, her heart racing. She brought her knees to her chest and hugged them, resting her cheek against the door for some coolness. The emotions in her were too many: anger, frustration, sadness, fear. The power this monster was still exuding over her and every part of her life was overwhelming. She hated him for causing this and she hated herself for allowing it.

Johnny was helpless as he stood on the other side of the locked door. The sound of her retching and crying carried through, making his heart ache. “Babe, are you okay?”

“I don’t know.” She said weakly.

Johnny sat on his side of the door, leaning his head against it so she could her him clearly. “I’m sorry, baby, I wasn’t thinking.”

“It’s not your fault. It’s me, I’m just…fucked up.” She sobbed.

Johnny didn’t know what to say, again he was left feeling completely inadequate for this moment when she needed him. He thought of his conversation with LaRusso. “…just hold her hand, support her and tell her how much you care.”

 “You’re not, you’re amazing and strong to have made it this far. I’m so proud of you and I’m here for you.” Johnny took a deep breath. “I love you.”

A silence fell over them. Johnny listened intently with his breath held, wondering if she even heard him. Then came the click. Still sitting on the floor, she pulled the door open and moved towards him. She went into his arms, he held her loosely, not wanting to scare her again. “I love you, too.” She said softly before placing a tender kiss on his neck. They held each other close, basking in the spoken feeling they each buried for so long.

 

The next morning Johnny left to teach class while Casey stayed back in his apartment. She found herself spending more time there since it felt safer than her own place. She didn’t think Kreese knew where she lived but she hadn’t thought he knew where she worked either. Johnny didn’t seem to mind, in fact he practically insisted that she stay there as much as possible so he could make sure she was safe. Under different circumstances it would have been suffocating, but she was a woman in love and things were changing.

She sat on the couch reading, lost in Steinbeck’s depression era dustbowl, when there was a knock on the door, making her jump in her skin. She moved cautiously to the door and looked through the peephole before letting out a sigh of relief. She opened the door to a young man with a familiar resemblance.

“Uh, I’m looking for Johnny.” He said, confused as he double checked that he was in the right place.

“He’s teaching a class right now. You must be Robby, I’m Casey.” She said holding out a hand that he shook with a firm grip. “I recognize you from your picture. Do you want to come in? He should be back soon if you want to hang out.”

“Yeah, thanks,” Robby nodded.

“Can I get you something to drink?” She asked.

“No, I’m good.” He said, sitting himself in the armchair. “Are you his girlfriend?”

Casey blushed as she resumed her spot on the couch, they hadn’t used that term with each other, but it was hard to argue with it at this point. “Yeah.”

“Can I ask you something?”

“Sure,” she said, suddenly nervous. Johnny had a tenuous relationship with his son, and she didn’t want to do anything to make it worse.

“He came into Cobra Kai last week and confronted Sensei Kreese,” Casey tensed, anxious about where this was going and that Kreese’s name was spoken with a reverence. “He called him a rapist and I think they may have been talking about you.”

Casey pursed her lips and looked away. Yep, she didn’t like this at all, but the kid needed to know. When she looked back at him, Robby’s eyes held the same concerned look Johnny often gave her. “Yeah, they were talking about me. He…did that to me a long time ago when I was in the military. He did it to my friend too.”

“You seem okay now. Is your friend okay?”

“She killed herself a few months ago. She was never the same after it happened. Something like that changes you on a deep level. I haven’t been okay for a long time. I’ve struggled to get my life together because nowhere and no one felt safe anymore. I thought that was changing when I started spending time with your dad but then I saw Kreese, I lost it. I went off the rails for a few days and, I still can’t seem to find my balance now because I know he’s here, and I know he knows I’m here and I’m always scared.” She took a deep breath to hold back tears. She realized she was never this blunt with Johnny; it was unnecessary since he saw what she was going through first hand, but she wanted Robby to know the reality of it.

“Kreese said it was consensual.” Anger burned in her but the way he said, it wasn’t an accusation; he was trying to figure out who to believe: a complete stranger or a man who had earned his trust even if it was through manipulation.

“Yeah, that’s what he said then too. It was bullshit then and its bullshit now. He followed me, without me knowing, back to my dorm and forced his way into my room before holding me down and…”She paused to bite back a sob. “Does any of that sound consensual to you?”

“No,” Robby shook his head.

“He’s not a good person Robby; he manipulates people to do what he wants and fight for him. I’ve seen him do it before, your dad and his friend Daniel have experienced it firsthand, and it sounds like he’s doing it again with you and the other students.”

“It’s just that, he’s been looking after me the way I wish my dad would have for years. If he’s really who you say he is, then I don’t have anyone,” Robby said sadly, his voice thick with emotion. Casey’s heart broke for this boy who just wanted a father to love and accept him.

“Yeah, I get how that can make this complicated for you. I’m not going to defend your father’s actions or inactions towards you, that’s between you two, and however you feel about him is valid and legitimate. All I can say is that he’s been by my side during all this even though I’ve given him plenty of chances to cut and run. He’s good at being there for people when they let him in.” She sighed. “Look, my dad left my mom and I for a new family when I was a kid and, it still stings. I still struggle to find my value and worth outside of other people. People like us, and your dad, who didn’t have a real father, we have to find the people to make our family and that’s hard. The wrong ones will destroy our worlds, but the right ones will make it. Kreese isn’t who you think he is and if you walk away, you make space for a better person to come in and be your family.”

Robby could only nod. He never gave much thought to the kind of women his dad dated but he wasn’t expecting someone like this. He started to respond but was interrupted by the door opening.

“Robby,” Johnny said, surprised.

“Hey dad,” he said quietly; Johnny’s heart skipping slightly.

Casey stood, “I’m going to go read in the bedroom.”

“Casey,” Robby called after her. She turned and looked at him. “I’m really sorry about what happened to you and your friend.”

A warm feeling fell over her. “Thank you, Robby.”

“How you been?” Johnny asked, sitting on the couch. It had been almost a week since he saw him at the dojo and even longer since they had a real conversation.

“I’ve been okay. I just wanted you to know that I’m leaving Cobra Kai.”

A tension left Johnny that he didn’t even realize he’d been holding for months. “Good, that’s smart, you’ll be better for it and you can come train at Miyagi-do and—”

“No,” Robby said sharply. “I’m not going back to Miyagi-Do, at least not yet. I’m going to fight in the All Valley unaffiliated again and then maybe I’ll find another dojo, I don’t know.”

As disappointed as he was, Johnny tried to stay focused on the point, he was no longer going to be under the thumb of Kreese. “Okay, I understand.”

“Mom’s got a job and a new place so I’m going to be moving back with her.”

“Okay, your room is still here if you need it.”

“Thanks.” Robby said as he stood up to leave.

“Hey, um, if you ever want to come over and hang out or grab a bite sometime, just let me know.”

Robby smiled weakly. It wasn’t much but maybe it was a start.

Chapter Text

Casey sat on the beach, just watching the waves come in and go back out. It had been almost 6 weeks since she left the cabin with Johnny but it felt so much longer. Every day felt like another challenge for her to push through and she was making things so much harder for everyone around her. Johnny had helped Laney install security camera’s in and outside of the bar but there had been no more signs of Kreese there since that night. Still, his presence was felt everywhere.

After Robby told Kreese he was leaving Cobra Kai, he showed up at Johnny’s door with a black eye, split lip, and a sprained rib. As skilled a fighter as Robby was, he was no match for Kreese’s sheer brutality. Casey had screamed for Johnny not to go over there but he was operating on blind rage.

He threw open the front door and before Kreese could speak or even put up a block Johnny punched him in the jaw. They broke almost every mirror as they punched, kicked, and threw each other around the dojo. Kreese accused Johnny of betraying him and believing his ‘piece of pussy over his trusted mentor’. Despite Johnny promising Casey he wouldn’t do anything crazy, he decided that crazy was called for. He attacked Kreese with a ferocity he didn’t know he had in him. This was beyond his hot temper, this was primal. A deep need to eliminate a predator to protect those he cared about most. Before he knew it, he had Kreese on his back on the mat, holding him down with his whole body while his hands squeezed his neck. He watched as Kreese’s face reddened and he struggled to get him to release his neck.

Johnny never thought he really had it in him to take a life. It was one thing to beat the shit out of someone, another to actually kill them. He remembered Kreese putting him in a choke hold and slowly taking the life from him after he came in second at the All Valley tournament, and doing the same thing this past Christmas. He thought of the support, encouragement, and abuse Kreese gave him when he was a kid and how he rationalized it as a father’s love. He may have seen Kreese as a father, but he never saw Johnny as a son, just a prize and a soldier. He thought of Casey. “He’s not worth your freedom,” her words repeating in his head. He’d kill Kreese and go to jail if it meant keeping her safe. But he didn’t want to miss her, didn’t want to miss Robbie or Miguel. If he killed Kreese he was allowing him to take all that from him. He wouldn’t give him that satisfaction.

He released his neck and stood up, backing away so he couldn’t retaliate without notice. Kreese writhed on the ground, gasping for air. “I showed you mercy,” Johnny growled at him, “but if you ever go near Robby, Casey, Miguel, or anyone else I love again, I won’t.” Kreese pulled himself to his feet and stumbled towards the door.

“This isn’t over, Johnny. It’s not over until I say it is!” Kreese yelled after him.

Johnny was arrested the next day for trespassing and destruction of private property. It would have also included assault and battery but he was just as busted looking at Kreese and it was one man’s word against the other. Thanks to strong recommendations from community pillars including the LaRusso’s and a Pastor friend, Johnny simply added time to his parole and received 100 hours of community service with the judge promising him prison next time.

Casey couldn’t help but feel she was only making things worse for everyone. The flashbacks were constant especially at night and when she tried to be intimate with Johnny. She’d freeze and then crumple into a panic attack as things were heating up; he’d hold her and insist it was okay even though they hadn’t sex since before she ran off. Sleep eluded her thanks to insomnia and nightmares when she would actually sleep. The cops were called twice to her apartment, once to Johnny’s because she woke up screaming and neighbors thought something nefarious was happening. If it wasn’t screaming nightmares, there were still intense night terrors that left Johnny with fresh bruises from her thrashing and kicking in her sleep. Eventually, she stopped spending nights with him so often but she couldn’t sleep when he wasn’t there, it didn’t feel safe.

Between the chronic anxiety and lack of sleep, she became short tempered and she picked fights with Johnny over nothing. The most ridiculous was when he left a towel on the bathroom floor. “Why would you leave this here?! The hamper is only 10 feet away, one of us could trip over this thing, did you even think of that?!” She chastised. Eventually he stopped fighting back and just let her yell at him. She saw a look in his eye that tore her open, that of a lost little boy who could do nothing right.

She was pushing him away, consciously and unconsciously despite loving him so deeply it hurt. When she could no longer handle the fights and the anger that she was taking out on him, she reached out to the VA hospital for help. After her initial appointment she was told they’d follow up in 4 months which felt pointless. She opened up to Amanda about the assault but, like everyone else, all she could do was offer a shoulder and support. She was miserable to the point that she stopped eating and it was showing. She had constant circles under her eyes and her curves had slowly fallen off her body. She couldn’t handle it anymore, the physical or emotional toll it was taking on her and those around her.

All that had brought her here. She been at the beach all night, depressed and alone, determined to end it all but then turning back. She heard the faint sound of Johnny’s engine pulling up nearby. She glanced at her watch. She called him 20 minutes ago and figured it would take him at least 30 to get out of bed and over here. She didn’t know whether to be impressed or worried about how many stop signs and red lights he probably ran to get here.

He sat in the sand next to her and immediately noticed her gooseflesh courtesy of the morning chill. He took off his red hoodie and draped it over her shoulders. “Thanks.” She said quietly, not ready to look at him yet.

“Are you okay?” He asked.

She shook her head. “No, I’m not okay.” She took a deep breath. “I always thought that if I were going to kill myself, drowning would be the way to do it. I could just walk into the ocean, let the tide take me out until I can’t swim anymore and then just…go. It’s supposed to be a peaceful death and there’s no one to find a body so it’s not messy.” She pulled her legs into her chest. “I started to do it last night because, I just don’t know what else to do anymore to make this stop. I walked into the water, but then I saw your face. So, I walked out but then when I got back to the sand and looked at the city, I saw him. I went back and forth all night. I just…” Her breath started to shake, Johnny glanced down at her damp leggings and got his own chills, from fear. “I couldn’t do it but I also don’t know how I can keep doing this. Everything is just so fucked right now. I can’t live with myself like this, I’m hurting myself and I’m hurting you.” She finally looked over at him; his eyes wide with worry. “I’m sorry that I’m hurting you Johnny, you don’t deserve it.”

“You’re dealing with a lot and you’re doing the best you can with it. I can handle it, I’ve dealt with worse,” he said as he put an arm around her.

“You shouldn’t have to though. It’s not fair that you have to deal with my emotional fall out. So before I called you this morning, I called the therapist I saw at the VA a few weeks ago. She said there’s a 21-day inpatient program near Santa Cruz that focuses on treatment for PTSD from sexual assault. I can be admitted there on Monday.”

Johnny’s heart stopped, he felt like he was losing her. “You don’t have to do that. I can protect you and Kreese’ll be gone next month after the All Valley…we can get through this, baby.”

The desperation in his voice tore into her soul. “I know you can protect me, but you shouldn’t have to. I can’t have you be my 24/7 bodyguard, it’s not realistic and it’s not healthy. You can’t fix this for me, I’m the only one that can fix me and right now this feels like my only option.”

Johnny swallowed hard, fighting back tears. “Where does that leave us then?”

“I’m hoping we can stick it out and when I finish the program, I’d like it if you were still here…but I get that that can be a lot to ask.” She tensed herself for his response. If he wanted out, this was his chance, as clean a break as she could give him.

His free hand came over and held hers, his thumb moving gently over her knuckles. “We’ll make it through this.” She leaned into him and relaxed. Maybe this would be okay.

For the next hour they talked about the coming few days. She’d talk to Laney and then go to her place to clean and pack a couple bags while he was teaching classes. She'd stay with him for the weekend and Sunday they’d drive up to Santa Cruz and get a room for the night so she could be there for her 9 a.m. admit on Monday. He grasped her hand tightly as they walked back to their cars. He stopped and held her face, leaning down to kiss her. “I love you. We got this,” he said, hoping they did.

Chapter Text

After talking with Laney, Casey went to her apartment to clean and pack. Based on the packing list the treatment facility sent, she didn’t need much so she was able to get everything into a medium duffle bag. She glanced at her clock, just after 6. Johnny should be on his way home after his last class. She had packed up all her perishable food to bring to his place, hoping it wouldn’t go to waste. She opened her car door but stopped, unable to shake the feeling that she was being watched. Looking around, something caught her attention across the street. A man was staring at her. The sun threw a glare directly in her eyes so she couldn’t see the face but she recognized the figure it cut. She froze. A semi-truck passed quickly and he was gone. She shook her head. Shit was bad if she was starting to have delusions.

 

“Man, all this chick food is going to hurt my rep,” Johnny griped after seeing fresh produce, eggs, and yogurt in his fridge.

“Some people call those healthy foods, babe,” Casey quipped. “Besides, I got you this so your rep should remain well intact.” She said, reaching into a brown paper bag and pulling out a bottle of Jim Beam whiskey, Johnny’s favorite. She also pulled out a bottle of tequila for herself. “What do you say to ordering takeout and getting drunk?”

Johnny smirked. “Sounds like a good time to me.” For one night they both wanted to forget. Forget the chaos of the last few weeks and forget that they were about to spend 21 days apart; forget about Kreese and forget about trauma. Casey put on her 80’s music playlist, Johnny ordered Chinese food, and they curled up on the couch while eating straight from the food containers and drinking from their respective bottles, the strong liquor quickly making any inhibitions fade away.

“Babe, let me try your noodles,” Casey insisted while poking Johnny with her foot.

Using his fork, he pulled out a few long strands of lo mein noodles from his container. “Open your mouth,” he ordered, raising his fork high over their heads. She did as told and leaned her head back for him to dangle the noodles into her mouth, spilling over on to her chin and cheeks as she started to laugh.

“Yum,” she said, cheeks full with food.

“Let me try one of your shrimp,” Johnny said.

“Close your eyes and open your mouth.” He followed the instructions as she pulled out a shrimp and laid it on his fork, pulled it back and flung it towards his face hitting him on the cheek before she fell back on the couch laughing.

“What the hell was that?” He asked with a drunk smirk. “5 second rule!” he declared as he picked the shrimp up from the carpet and popped it in his mouth.

“Eww, Johnny!” She shrieked.

“What? 5 second rule.”

“That was on the carpet, when was the last time you even vacuumed?”

“But, babe, 5 second rule!”

“You saying ‘5 second rule’ doesn’t make it a legit thing! You need to wash out your mouth before you kiss me again.”

Johnny quirked an eyebrow. “Oh really?” He put his food containers on the table and started leaning towards her.

“Don’t you dare,” she said sharply. He quickly moved aside her food container with one hand and wrapped the other around her waist, pressing her into the arm of the couch while she giggled and squealed. “Don’t do it.”

“Don’t what? Kiss you with my dirty floor shrimp mouth,” he said, kissing anywhere he could reach on her, neck, shoulder, cheek. He grabbed her jaw in his hand and kissed her roughly on the lips, but she kept them pressed together, refusing him entry.

He leaned back and looked down at her, eyes playful but lips still adamantly closed. He brought a hand to her face, cupping her cheek and stroking it with his thumb. She relaxed under his tenderness, entranced by the way his blue eyes flickered at hers. His thumb moved over to her lips, running over them featherlight causing her to sigh and part them slightly. He kissed her gently at her ear, down her neck and licked a line back up causing her to moan and grind against him. He kissed her on the corner of her mouth before capturing her lips fully and massaging her tongue with his own.

He pulled back and looked down at her, flushed pink. “How’d that floor shrimp taste?”

“Asshole!” She roared as she pushed him back on the couch and reached for her tequila bottle while Johnny laughed hysterically on the other side of the couch. “Okay, to make that up to me, we’re going to dance,”  she said as she stood from the couch, the opening monologue of Prince’s Let’s Go Crazy just starting.

Johnny shook his head, “No, I don’t dance.”

Casey grabbed his bottle of whiskey and put it to his lips. “Baby, that is what courage juice is for.” He tipped his head slightly, letting her pour the whiskey in his mouth. “Besides, it’s Prince, it’s like, the law that you have to dance to Prince. You don’t want me to call your probation officer do you?”

He squinted at her as she started to back away from him. Unlike Carmen with her specific salsa steps, Casey’s idea of dancing was pure chaos: jump or bounce around, swivel the head to the beat while throwing hair around, sometimes shake the ass. While he had enjoyed what he learned from Carmen this was more his speed. He took another swig from the bottle and got to his feet, causing her to raise her hands in victory as they both exclaimed “oh no, let’s go!”

They danced wildly for a few songs until the fast beats shifted to the slow, soft notes of ‘Time After Time’. Johnny took another drink of whiskey, but Casey grabbed his wrist and pulled him back to her. “We’re not done.” She snaked her arms around his neck while his went hesitantly around her waist. Like so many things in their relationship, he wondered when was the last time he had slow danced with someone. Maybe Ali.

Casey melted into him, laying her head on his chest while they swayed easily to the song. She looked up at him, noticing the contentment in his face. “You’re so handsome, babe.”

“I think that’s the tequila talking,” he replied, noticing that her words were starting to be just slightly slurred.

“Nah, you’re handsome even when I’m sober.” She said with a smile. Johnny’s face turned pink as he looked down at her. “Thanks, beautiful.” He leaned down and kissed sweetly. For a moment he was taken back to when they first started seeing each other, was it really only a few months ago? So much had happened, it felt like a lifetime. This was easy, fun. Their banter, her playfulness, despite the effect of his whiskey he felt genuine hope that they could get back there. It’d been so painful watching her deal with her trauma but tonight felt like a sign that the real Casey was still in there. They danced, drank, and laughed until they couldn’t stand anymore and fell into bed tangled in each other.

Chapter Text

Despite taking down half the bottle of tequila the night before, Casey woke up on Saturday feeling lighter. It helped that she had eaten a decent dinner for the first time in weeks and slept without waking up in a panic; still, she couldn’t help but feel there was finally a light at the end of a dark tunnel. She was going to miss Johnny like mad but she hoped that going away for treatment was going to bring her back to herself, start the long road of healing that she’d been silently looking for ever since it happened. If nothing else, it would be three weeks without having to look over her shoulder constantly.

“Okay, if you press this red dot, it takes a picture.” Casey said as she walked Johnny through a tutorial of his IPhone. “See this little camera symbol with the arrows, that flips the camera.” She hit it so they were looking at themselves on his screen. “Kiss me, handsome,” she ordered. Johnny smiled as he leaned in, meeting her lips in a slow, languid kiss. Holding the phone up, she snapped a picture. She pulled away and showed it to him. “That’s a good one so I’m going to make it your home screen, and…” she got up and went to the kitchen. The camera snapped again and she came walking back out. “Robby’s your lock screen” she said, showing him the picture she had taken of Robby’s little league photo on his fridge.

They’d spent the last hour on his couch as she showed him how to use the tools on his phone. He knew how to make a call and text, that was about it. She showed him how to make a video call and use emojis—something he refused to ever actually use--now they were working on taking and sending pictures. “So, when I ask you to send me a picture of your handsome self, you open the camera, and you can either stand in front of a mirror and take it or flip the camera and take it from a high angle. And then you open a text to me, open the picture icon and send it.”

For Johnny it had been close to a perfect day. After teaching at Miyagi-do all morning, Casey insisted on this phone tutorial. It wasn’t as complicated as he thought it would be once he learned what all the different apps did. After, he packed a bag for the next day’s drive, then they settled on the couch to watch movies and eat the left over take out from the night before. They flipped on an 80’s action movie and laid together on the couch, her head on his chest while he stroked her arm.

She’d never say it, but Casey was constantly surprised by Johnny. For a guy whose mentality leaned more towards caveman than modern man, he was always respectful of her boundaries. He wasn’t ‘accidentally’ copping feels or pressuring her for sex, and she found that endearing and incredibly arousing. She turned her face up to him, he looked down at her with an easy smile. She leaned up and kissed him softly. It wasn’t enough though, so she scooted up until she was level with him and deepened the kiss, his lips parting to happily give her entrance as their tongues met. He brought a hand up to cup her face, pulling back and looking at her. “How far do you want to take this babe? I don’t want push it.”

 “How about second base? Just a good old fashioned high school make out with some under the shirt action.” He raised an eyebrow and rolled them so she was on her back and he was leant over her. He dove back into her greedily and she responded in kind.

He quickly found the soft skin of her waist under her t-shirt, his fingertips just barely grazing. He tore his lips from her mouth and began leaving hot kisses on her jaw and neck, eliciting a content sigh from her. His hand moved up and found her thin cotton bra with a hard nipple protruding. He pinched and rolled the nipple making her gasp and roll her hips into him.

He shifted so he was lying fully on top of her. Casey’s eyes widened as sudden claustrophobic panic came over her. She pushed Johnny’s chest lightly, making him stop and lean back. “You okay?” He asked, concerned. She pushed him until he was sitting and then straddled his lap, wrapping her arms around his neck and burying her face in his neck. They didn’t speak, they didn’t need to anymore, they both knew what had happened. He ran his hand slowly up and down her back as she took deep breaths.

She finally leaned back and looked at him sadly. “I’m sorry.” She whispered.

“Don’t be,” he said. As she reminded herself that she was safe, she began running her hands over his chest, leaning in for his lips again. “You okay?” He asked. She nodded, kissing him again, trying to pick up from a few minutes ago.

He hesitated to move his hands from her hips so she undid her bra, tossing it aside and putting his hands back where she wanted them. The way she felt on him and against him, the taste of her, he grew hard and his excitement became quickly evident. Casey rubbed herself against him, whimpering at the friction on her pussy. It had been a few weeks since they had been together like this. With her flashbacks she was hesitant to take it beyond kissing, but here, with her in control, with no pressure, she realized how much she had missed it.

She grinded against him again, letting her head fall back as Johnny leaned forward to suck on that sweet spot where her neck connected with her shoulder while thumbing her nipples. “You like that, babe?” he groaned in her ear, the feel of her heat through her thin leggings rubbing against him making him feel like a teenager again, in the best way.

“Yeah,” she breathed. He let his hands fall to her ass, gripping tightly and encouraging her movements on him. She quickened her pace and he cursed himself for wearing jeans, desperately wanting to feel her wetness on him, but this wasn’t about him. She leaned forward finding his lips again, battling with his tongue as she brought herself closer to the edge. “Oh fuck!” she yelled as her body tightened and bowed, overcome with an intense, long overdue orgasm. His arms wrapped firmly around her waist, bringing her flush to him as he kissed her neck and held her through her descent back into reality.

As she slowly came down from her high, Johnny’s erection still pressed insistently at her core. She gave him a kiss as she slithered from his lap to the floor, settling herself on her knees between his legs.

“Babe, you don’t—”

“I want to.” She said, eyes filled with lust and determination. She began undoing his belt and he was powerless to stop her, desperate for his dick to be touched by someone other than himself for the first time in weeks. She released him from his boxers and met his gaze as she leaned forward and licked over his head.

His head fell back on the couch, hands gripping the cushions to keep himself in control. She licked the pre-cum from his tip before taking him fully in her mouth, hitting the back of her throat making him groan in pleasure. “Faster, babe,” Johnny ordered. She obliged, setting a fast pace, bobbing her head on his rock hard dick. “That’s it,” he encouraged, as he came closer to his release. She hollowed her cheeks and Johnny thrust his hips involuntarily. “I’m gonna cum,” he warned before unloading in her eager mouth. She sucked him gently as he went limp and crawled back on the couch next to him. Johnny took her chin and kissed her.

“You didn’t have to do that.”

“Baby, I wanted to do it and it wasn’t triggering. If it was, I would’ve stopped.

Johnny nodded his understanding, looking adoringly into her eyes. “I love you babe. And not just because you give great head.”

Casey laughed. “Well good, because I love you and not just because you let me get off on your cock.” It was Johnny’s turn to laugh. They composed themselves and finished the movie before going to bed.

 

On Sunday, they slept in; enjoying the feel of each other during a lazy morning. Since they were both already packed they moved slowly, taking their time with breakfast, each hesitant to acknowledge the reality of the next couple days and weeks to come. Miguel helped Johnny reserve a hotel online for them close to the treatment facility so they could have as much time together as possible.

Casey’s stomach was turning, she barely touched her breakfast. Nerves were beginning to set in about everything. Going away for 21 days, leaving Johnny, starting this treatment. Could she handle it? Would she come out better or, worse, the same as she was? Johnny watched her; her body was tense and mind wandering.

Since they were in no rush they hopped on the Pacific Coast Highway and drove north. This would add about two hours to their drive, but neither cared. She’d driven the PCH before by herself and remembered being really tense on some of the more twisty portions, but Johnny barely seemed to register them. He maneuvered deftly and impressively up the coast. She watched the ocean out the window--so blue and vast, white foam meeting the sand; it was a sight she couldn’t get enough of. Johnny’s collection of 80’s cassette tapes provided their soundtrack but they stayed quiet; there was no need to talk, they just wanted to be with each other.

“How much further do you think we have?” She asked at one point.

He broke whatever trance he was in while driving and looked over at her. “Maybe another 2 hours.”

“The sun sets in an hour, do you think we can find a spot to pull over and watch?”

He smiled at the idea. “Yeah, of course.”

Almost as if divinely planned they found a perfect spot to pull over an hour later. There was a stony trail that led to the beach, it was their own hidden corner of the world. She sat between his legs and pressed her back into his chest, head leaning softly against his bicep. It was just them and the sun setting on the blue horizon. He rested his head against hers and took a breath. He was certain he hadn’t done anything to earn this moment but he happily took it.

They checked in to their hotel room a while later and ordered a pizza. They ate and laid in bed watching whatever movie they could find on cable. Casey curled into Johnny’s side as his hand grazed over her, the tension radiating from her. She wasn’t melted into him like she typically would and was tight, tense. He wondered if she was feeling the same from him.

The movie ended and Casey got up to brush her teeth. When she came back to the bed Johnny had turned off the movie and was taking her all in. He wasn’t one to talk about feelings and ‘girly shit’, but he knew she needed to. “What’s going through that beautiful head of yours?”

Casey sighed before meeting his gaze, a fear shining in her eyes. She sat next to him on the bed. “I’m nervous.” She admitted. Johnny nudged her to continue. “I don’t really know what to expect there and I’m scared it will be too intense and I won’t be able to handle it. I’m scared you-“ she stopped herself but not soon enough.

“You’re scared I’ll what?” Johnny prodded gently.

“I’m scared you’ll realize how much better it is to not have to deal with my shit.” She said, forcing a smile to hide the fear of her words. Johnny reached over to wipe away a rogue tear with his thumb before cradling her face in his hand.

“I love you.” He whispered. “I love how brave you are and I’m proud of you for doing this. I’m not going anywhere.”

Soft and sensitive was not Johnny’s style so she knew those words did not come easily to him. The pleading in his eyes, begging for validation of what he just said, warmed her. “I love you too.”

They laid in each other’s arms, neither really sleeping but rather committing each other to memory. The sound of every inhale, every soft curve, the flex of every muscle. The feel of fingertips grazing skin and hair.

Casey’s alarm went off at 7 a.m. Johnny groaned at the early hour but she appeased him by dragging him to the shower with her. They held each other under the water. He softly massaged her breasts, rolling her nipple causing her to gasp. She groped his cock, using the water and soap to move over him quickly and firmly. He came hard and fast, the water quickly washing away his cum. His fingers ghosted just under her belly button as his eyes asked for permission to go lower. Casey nodded and he slowly ran his fingers over her folds, finding her clit and touching her just how she liked. She closed her eyes, losing herself in the feeling while having to remind herself that she was safe, she was with Johnny, the man she loved. She held onto his arms as she came and shouted his name.

They left the shower after the water began to turn cold. He dressed quickly, as he does, and watched her as she moved around the room. Packing her toiletries and clothes, brushing her hair, and running through lists in her head to make sure she had everything. She glanced at the clock 8:37.

“Time to go.” She muttered.

Johnny nodded and picked up his bag along with hers. They silently left the room and got in the car. After shifting into drive Johnny grasped her hand in his and held it the entire way to the treatment center. He held firmly as her hand began to tremble in his.

He pulled into a parking spot just across from the entrance. Her eyes were wide and wet with unshed tears. He could feel her fear and knew it was on him to be strong for her, to reassure her. “Ready?” He asked softly.

She took a steadying breath and nodded. They got out of the car and Johnny got her bag from the back. “You want me to walk in with you?” He asked.

“No, I have to do that myself,” she said. She looked up at him, the stoicism on his face but she could see a shared pain in his eyes. She wrapped her arms around his torso and buried her head on his chest. He held her tight, breathing in the scent of her hair one more time, memorizing the way her body molded perfectly to his. She pulled back and looked up at him, going on her toes to meet his lips hungrily. She pulled back and he held her face gently in his hands.

“I’ll be right here in three weeks to bring you back.” He said with a weak smile.

“I can’t wait.” She said before giving him another quick kiss. “I love you,” She said before picking up her bag and held his hand until she couldn’t anymore, the distance pulling them apart as she walked inside.

“I love you!” Johnny shouted causing her to turn and flash him one last smile.

Chapter Text

Day 2

Casey was immediately thrown into a new norm during her treatment. Everything was structured and had to be done at a certain time and in a certain way. It was familiar to her, not unlike the structure of the military, but it had been years since she held to a true daily routine. After breakfast, there was group therapy, then lunch followed by individual therapy in the afternoon, and then dinner, with small pockets of personal time in between. She had to agree to turn in her cell phone upon arrival to better focus on treatment, but she would get it back for an hour every night for personal use which was her time to call Johnny.

“Heya handsome,” she said as his face appeared on her screen.

“Hey beautiful, how are you doing there? They treating you okay?”

“Yeah, so far so good, just getting into the swing of things. How are you doing?”

“You know, living that crazy bachelor life,” he joked. Casey giggled knowing full well his days were going to consist of classes, community service hours, hot pockets, and mini mart runs for beer.

“Yeah, I bet you are.” Despite being apart for barely 36 hours, they spoke for the full hour until one of the counselors gave her the stink eye, her cue that it was time to go.

Day 7

They were only one week in, but it may as well have been one year. It wasn’t that Johnny wasn’t used to coming back to an empty apartment, it was just that after having Casey around, he didn’t like it anymore. He was glad she was getting the help she needed, that he couldn’t give her, but man did he miss her. He missed her presence, her scent, her laugh, the way her hair felt between his fingers, the way she would run her finger tips up his thigh while they curled up on the couch, the way she’d lick his top lip to make him open his mouth and then run her tongue along his. He missed the way she’d push her chest closer to him when took her nipple in his mouth, the way she’d sigh his name when he’d flick her clit with his tongue.

He thought back to one of the last times they had sex before Kreese ruined everything. He stopped in the bar for a drink after his class, eyes raking over her body and studying the way she moved behind the bar.

“You should come over after your shift.” He said, seeing the lust light up in her eyes.

“Yeah? It’ll be late, you sure you’ll be awake?”

“What are you implying?” Johnny asked, with mock indignation.

“That you’re kind of old, baby.” She said sarcastically but ever so sweetly as she leaned over the bar towards him.

“Oh yeah, don’t make me you spank you, little girl.”

“Oh, I hope you do.” She said with a raised eyebrow as she walked away, an extra sway in her hips.

She came over after her shift as promised, her pussy wet at the thought of what he was going to do to her. He was on her as soon as she walked in the door, hands everywhere, on her ass, under her shirt, on her back. She quickly pushed up his shirt, he pulled it over his head, tossing it aside as she did the same while making quick work of her bra.

He bit at one of her nipples, making her gasp, before turning her in his arms and pushing her towards his small dining room table, bending her over almost at a perfect 90 degrees. He hooked his fingers in her leggings and pulled them down roughly, causing something to rip but neither caring enough to check. He was surprised to see her without panties.

“They got too wet,” Casey said with an innocent voice but filth in her eyes.

Johnny rubbed his hand over her naked ass. “Do you need a spanking, baby?”

“Yes,” she hissed. He raised his hand and brought it down with an easy slap on her cheek.

“Harder,” she ordered. He quirked an eyebrow but did as told, applying just enough force to tint her skin a light pink.

“Harder,” she said again. He took a step back, raised his hand over his head, and brought it down with a loud thwack. “Yes! Again!” She cried. He did same to the other cheek, leaving an imprint of his hand as she moaned. Between her cries of pleasure and the feel of his hand on her ass, he was incredibly hard.

Without a word, he dropped his jeans and boxers, rolled on a condom, and thrust into her fast. “Yeah. baby, fuck me hard,” Casey moaned. Johnny obliged, pounding into her, the sound of slapping flesh resonating in the dim apartment. He reached forward and wrapped her braided hair around his hand and pulled, eliciting a cry of pleasure from her. He used his other hand to reach around and find her clit, rubbing the swollen nub her until her climax came roaring over her, his own following quickly.

As Johnny relived the memory his hand found its way into his pants, his dick hard and leaking. As he stroked himself, he tried to imagine that it was Casey’s warm wet pussy he was in rather than his own palm.

Day 10

“Hey babe,” Johnny smiled as Casey appeared on his phone.

“Hey,” she said softly, forcing a weak smile. Her eyes were rimmed with red and her voice sounded raw and broken.

“How was your day?” He asked casually, giving her room to talk if she needed it, but he already knew what she was going to say.

“It was just another day. How was yours? Tell me everything?” It didn’t take him long to learn that, in treatment, some days are good, some are bad, and some are horrible. On her good days she was always eager to talk, about the food, about the funny thing her roommate said, about the weirdo in the room next to hers, nothing was off limits. One her bad days, she was less eager but would still give him the broad strokes of her day just to fill the time. On the horrible days, she was completely shut down and didn’t want to talk about anything. She had a blank look in her eye and any laugh she gave him was a courtesy to appease him.

The horrible days were the worst, not just for her, but for Johnny too. He’d try to tell her as many funny stories he could think of but all it earned him was fake smiles. Days like this he just wanted to get in the van, drive up there, bust in the place and take her out, bring her here where he could keep her safe. He was a fixer and he badly wanted to be able to take away the pain of the woman he loved.

Day 15

Casey stared at her phone, willing a phone call from Johnny. It had been almost 10 minutes and her two calls to him were missed. She was wracked with anxiety. Was he drinking? Was he in jail? Did Kreese do something? Of course, it could be something completely innocent, he had a hard training session and was sleeping or he wasn’t paying attention to the time and got in the shower. Or he could have decided that he was done with this and was finally ghosting her.

She bit her thumbnail until it was on the verge of bleeding. Her phone rang. Johnny. She let out a sigh of relief as she answered the call.

“Hey babe, sorry I lost track of time.” He said, breathless.

“It’s okay. Where are you?” She asked noticing he was outside, the sun shining over his shoulder.

“Robby and I are at the skate park, about to go grab some burgers.”

“Hey Casey!” Robby popped into screen, showing off the grin that perfectly matched his dads.

“Hey Robby!” She said, warmth in her heart at the father and son finally bonding. There was a spark in Johnny’s eye that she’d never seen before, one that she could never give him, because it was Robby’s. “Looks like you guys are having fun.”

“Yeah, he’s showing me some moves on the skateboard.”

She laughed. She could sit here and look at him in this state of happiness all night but knew they needed this time.

“I won’t keep you, you boys must be hungry.”

“No, babe, tell me about your day.”

“It was therapy and more therapy, interspersed with mediocre food, nothing new. Go be with your son.”

“You sure?”

“Yeah, I should probably check in with Laney or Amanda anyway.”

“Alright, I love you beautiful.”

“I love you back handsome.”

“6 more days.” He said with a smirk.

“6 more days.”

Day 16

Despite the insistence of those around her, Casey never wanted to do therapy. “Talking to someone about my feelings is not my idea of a good time,” she’d protest. The few times she’d actually gone through with an initial appointment, she never bothered to schedule a follow up. She’d say one appointment was enough but really, it was the intense feelings that came up so easily that scared her away. There was nowhere to run now. Daily one-on-one therapy was mandatory while she was in treatment.

It helped that she quickly came to like her therapist, Dr. Ahmed. She was an older middle eastern woman with kind brown eyes and a maternal energy that was incredibly welcoming to her, a woman who felt unwanted by her own mother. Casey was afraid to open up to Dr. Ahmed in their first few sessions, worried that she would shock or offend the conservative looking woman. That was until Dr. Ahmed called one of the treatment nurses a “horrendous bitch with a stick in her twat.” Casey laughed loudly as she remembered how this same nurse gave her a hard time about almost everything in her duffel during her intake. The two women were officially bonded from then on and Casey began to feel more comfortable speaking openly with her. It was that bond and openness that allowed her to talk about the anxiety she felt the night before and the awful what-ifs that played out in her mind as she waited for Johnny’s call.

“There’s a part of me that is just waiting for him to leave.” She confessed.

“Why do you think that is? He’s stuck by you through this, you’ve said he’s been loving and supportive.”

“He has, but that feels very finite, like it will run out eventually. And the rape wasn’t my fault,” she paused at the words that took her a long time to say and still had to make an effort to form, “so what happens when he learns about the things I did that were my fault?”

Dr. Ahmed sighed. “If it was in the past, does he really need to know?” She asked benignly.

Casey became quiet, running her hands through her hair as she thought about her answer. “He loves me. And that’s big for him, for both of us, to let someone in like that. He deserves to know who he’s giving his love and time too and I deserve to not have to worry about what in my past is going to be the dealbreaker.”

“That’s very mature. So, what the hell are you going to do about it?”

 

Casey picked at the stubs of her nails as she waited for her videocall to connect with Johnny. Maybe he was hanging out with Robby again and she could put this off until tomorrow. Or next week when they’re together again. Or next year, if they’re still together. Or maybe 10 years from now…

“Hey beautiful,” Johnny said sweetly as his face appeared on her screen.

“Hey handsome,” she said with a half-hearted smile.

“How was your day?”

“It was, uh…I need to tell you some things, Johnny.” Her voice already shaking with nerves. “I need to tell you some things about me that you may not like and may be relationship dealbreakers for you.”

Johnny furrowed his brow, “Babe, no, what-“

“No, I need to tell you this.” She pressed. Johnny exhaled and nodded.

She took a deep breath. “First of all, I can’t have kids. Between the assault and some of my own medical issues, that will never happen for me. Second, I’ve used a lot of drugs, like, every kind you can think of. I started with pills when I left the Army and I quickly worked up to the harder stuff, I’d do any drug that was put in front of me without question and I had an overdose that almost killed me. Also, I’ve had a lot of sexual partners, and unprotected sex, and I would trade sex for drugs because, sometimes, that was all I had to offer, I’m miraculously disease free though, but I can’t even remember the last time I had sex completely, stone cold sober. This was my life until a little over a year ago when Laney helped straighten out.” She said it all in two breaths, desperate to get it out as quick as possible. “I don’t want to hide anything from you because you don’t deserve that.”

Johnny was quiet, his face unreadable as he seemed to be studying the table under him. It was his turn to took a deep breath before looking up and meeting her gaze in the screen. “I don’t want anymore kids and I got snipped awhile ago, messing up one kid is my max. I partied for decades, experimented with drugs in my teens and twenties, and a little in my thirties. I’ve had a lot of partners too, and I don’t remember most of their names, I’m lucky if I remember most of their faces because I was too drunk, I can maybe count on one hand the number of times I’ve had sober sex in the last decade. Somehow I also skated without catching anything permanent.” His eyes softened as he spoke, easing Casey’s worries. “Babe, we’re not saints and none of that is a dealbreaker because I’ve been there, done that. That’s why we work, we’re the same kind of fucked up.”

She laughed lightly. “Johnny Lawrence, that may be the most romantic thing you ever said to me.”

“Yeah, don’t get used to it.” He smirked.

Day 21

The morning of Casey’s discharge, Johnny woke up early, excited like a kid at Christmas. He wasted no time in getting dressed and on the road. He grabbed a handful of Slim Jims for his breakfast and headed north on the interstate. He arrived about an hour before her scheduled discharge time but refused to leave, just in case she left early. He leaned against the back of the van and watched the exit door like a hawk until he finally saw her through the glass. She stopped to sign something at the desk, bag on her shoulder, smiling at someone as she turned and came out the door.

His heart raced as he saw her clearly. Her hair was down and wavy, she looked healthier. Her face no longer gaunt, her body regained it’s curves, her skin practically glowing with health. A smile spread over her face as she saw him waiting for her, as promised. She began to run to him, dropped her bag when she was a few feet away and he lifted her off her feet as she threw herself at his chest. She was warm in his arms, melting into him like only she could. “I missed you so much Johnny.” She purred in his ear.

“Baby, you have no idea.” He whispered, inhaling her scent deeply. Everything felt right again, she was in his arms. She leaned back and met his lips, kissing him slowly and then more hungrily as they devoured each other. Johnny pulled back breathless, struggling to remember that they were in public.

After putting the minivan into ‘drive’ Johnny’s reached over and intertwined their fingers. The long drive back to the Valley was filled with stories they didn’t have time to tell each other over the last few weeks. He let her do most of the talking and filled in silences where they fell.

“I’m thinking about going back to Jiu Jitsu,” she said excitedly.

“Aw, babe, no!” Johnny blurted out, his voice filled with disgust. “Let me teach you Karate, you know, the good stuff.”

Casey rolled her eyes. “I had just gotten my purple belt when I quit, I want to go for my brown and then my black belt. I don’t want to start as a white belt in a new discipline.”

“I’m sure we can come up with some extra credit to help you rank up faster.” Johnny smirked at her.

“I’m sure you can,” she said, biting her lip. She had told him earlier that she was still hesitant about having sex again, she didn’t want to be triggered or have flashbacks, but it was hard not to think about when he gave her certain looks, like that cocksure smirk that said he was going to make her scream his name when the time was right.

“How are you feeling about the tournament this weekend? I can’t wait to see you guys in action.”

“You’re not going.” The force in his voice made her sit back and pull her hand from his.

“Excuse me?” she said, glaring at him.

“Kreese is going to be there, I don’t want you in the same room as that asshole not after…”

“Not after what?” She asked sharply.

“Not after everything that you went through the last couple of months and the last few weeks. I feel like I’m just getting you back.”

He wasn’t wrong. She was starting to feel like herself again, would it be too much too soon to risk seeing him?

“I understand what you’re saying but I want to be there to cheer you on. You’ve worked so hard. Besides, he’s going to be busy being an asshole to his students, I’ll be busy watching you and the team, he probably won’t even know I’m there.” As she said the words she knew they were lies, so did he. Kreese always knew. Knowing was his best skillset along with finding that right way to get under someone’s skin.

“Casey, I can’t protect you there.” Johnny said, his tone saying what his words weren’t, he was still scared for her safety, physically and emotionally.

“You don’t have to. I’ll see if I can go with Amanda or Miguel’s mom, she seems nice. I’ll be okay, baby,” she said, reaching over to stroke his cheek. “I’m stronger, I don’t want to hide from that monster anymore.”

Johnny looked at her and his chest grew warm. Whatever darkness had fallen over her the last few months was lifting. She did look strong, not just physically, but mentally. She smiled and laughed easily again. He reached over to reclaim her hand, pulling it to his lips and placing a kiss on the back of it.

As they got closer to her place she asked him to stay with her tonight, just to be with her which he happily agreed. After getting her stuff in the house, they ordered take out and settled on the couch to watch a movie. She felt at peace. She knew her recovery was only beginning, it would take time and it would get challenging, but it felt so much more manageable with Johnny by her side. She fell asleep on the couch, her head on his chest, the sound of his heart a song she didn’t even know she missed. At some point he moved her to the bed because she woke up there in the morning with his warm body wrapped around her, just as she wanted.

Chapter Text

Johnny stood tall next to LaRusso, looking down their row of students, lined up on the mat as the announcer addressed the audience. They’d been preparing for this over six months and it was finally here—The All Valley Under 18 Karate Tournament. He knew some wouldn’t make it far, but it wouldn’t be for lack of training or determination, luck just wouldn’t be on their side today and they’d get matched up with someone bigger or with more experience. While the other dojos were competing for bragging rights and a trophy, the stakes were so much higher for them and Cobra Kai--it was personal.

Casey watched from the bleachers where she sat with Amanda who was more than happy to have Casey join her. “Karate moms freak me out,” She had said which made Casey laugh at the time, but looking around the auditorium she spotted a handful of women who seemed to take cheering on their child to an unhealthy level. Some were sporting their kid’s likeness on a t-shirt, others dressed in solid colors to match their kid’s gi, they all screamed like banshees when their child’s name was called. From the her seat she took a picture of the Miyagi-do team on the mat and sent it to Johnny with a message that said ‘Looking sexy in that gi, Sensei.’ She knew he wouldn’t see it until later and hoped it would just further stroke his ego after a win rather than be an attempt to lift his spirits after defeat.

Johnny looked at his former Sensei standing on the other side of the mat, arms crossed and glaring straight at him, until he turned his head and looked in the bleachers, grinning. Johnny followed his eyeline and his heart stopped for a moment--Kreese had spotted Casey. He clenched his fists, fighting the urge to charge him head on and knock him out. But she didn’t even notice Kreese starting at her, because Casey was focused solely on Johnny. She winked and blew him kiss. Johnny started to smirk but then realized she was surrounded by familiar faces. Amanda was on her right, Carmen and Rosa on her left, and Shannon sat in front of her. He hoped this didn’t bode badly for him.

“It’s like a parade of Johnny’s women in here,” Amanda joked as the teams broke and began to find the mats for their first matches. “With you, Carmen, and Shannon sitting here Johnny’s probably sweating. All we need is the mythical Ali Mills to complete this circle.”

“Johnny dated Carmen?” Casey whispered.

“Yeah. He didn’t tell you that?” Amanda asked, her brow furrowed.

“No.”

“Probably didn’t think about it, you now how men are in a new relationship, just happy to be getting laid again.”

“Yeah, you’re right.” She tried to brush it off but it bothered Casey that Johnny never mentioned dating Carmen, the mother of the boy he loved like a son. If they had worked they would have been a family, a family that Johnny never had. She turned and snuck another glance at Carmen who was watching Miguel prepare for his fight. She was so beautiful, so kind, and clearly smart to be working as x-ray tech. She looked to Shannon in front of her, another stunner and Robby’s mom. Could she compete with these women who had such deep histories with him and gave him things she never could. She shook her head, it wasn’t time for her insecurities, there was a bigger issue at hand.

As the tournament started Johnny tried to keep his focus on the matches with his students but he found himself constantly looking around for Robby, for Casey, for Kreese. At one point he looked to her spot in the bleachers and found it empty, both her and Amanda gone. He tried to stay calm,  they were probably together but he still scanned the auditorium until he found Kreese, letting out a breath that he had been holding in tightly.

As the tournament went on both dojo’s quickly lost students to early matches. Mitch was first, losing to a fighter from Topanga; then Nate who got kicked to the ground by Cobra. Bert won his first fight but was quickly defeated in his second; Chris was tied in his second match but his opponent caught him off guard with lightning fast hook kick. In one of the longest matches Sam fought Tory. It was furious and often toed the line of competition guidelines. It was surprising there was no blood drawn but Sam bested Tory, causing Amanda to stand up cheer, suddenly a proud Karate mom.

A couple hours later, the final two matches were announced. Cobra Doug Rickenberger versus Robby and Kyler versus Miguel. As Rickenberger and Robby prepared to fight, a chill fell over Johnny. He looked over at Kreese who spoke a few words in his student’s ear and recieved a nod of understanding from his loyal pupil. Johnny couldn’t help but feel that something bad was about to happen, like he’d somehow lived this moment before. The look on Kreese’s face was all too familiar, one determined to win at all costs.

The fighters took their positions on the mat and bowed to each other. The ref blew the whistle, Rickenberger striking first with a front kick but Robby deftly blocked it. Then, it all slowed down. Yes, Johnny had seen this before. Rickenberger started to throw a punch and as Robby moved to block, he changed his stance, jumping high, pulling one foot up as the other pointed itself out, aimed right for Robby’s knee. Johnny knew what was happening but was helpless to stop it.

The sickening pop of Robby’s knee resonated in the auditorium, drawing gasps from the crowd as he collapsed to the mat; a panicked Shannon leapt from her seat and ran towards her son. Johnny started to as well but LaRusso grabbed his arm and shook his head, Sensei’s weren’t allowed on the mat unless it was their student.

Johnny vividly remembered Bobby carrying out the same attack on LaRusso in 1984 but, unlike Bobby who immediately felt the weight of his actions, Rickenberger laughed and smirked as he walked off the mat, happily taking a pat on the back from Kreese as his reward for a job well done. Johnny’s blood boiled. This wasn’t just about the tournament, this was payback for Robby leaving Cobra Kai.

Robby tried to stand on his own but his knee immediately buckled and he crumbled to the ground. He was done. Shannon stayed by his side as he was rushed to the hospital, the extent of his injury beyond anything the tournament medics could fix. The final match would be Miguel and Kyler.

Johnny remembered this little prick well, one of the punks that started this mess when he beat on Miguel outside the mini-mart. Johnny was nervous. It was clear why Kreese handpicked this kid for Cobra Kai, he was a natural athlete but he had an underlying brutality to him that Kreese was no doubt nurturing. After the Christmas fight at the LaRusso’s, Miguel had told him how Kyler repeatedly went for his back, almost as if trying to undo all his physical healing. Yes, he was nervous and wished Miguel was fighting anyone other than this asshole.

They bowed and took their stances. Miguel scored the first point with a fast front kick that landed in Kyler’s stomach. Kyler got the next point by landing an elbow in Miguel’s spine, no doubt a planned hit. Johnny cringed at the force of the blow, Miguel’s face started to twist in pain but he stopped before turning around to face Kyler, refusing to let him see. Kyler got the next point with a roundhouse kick but Miguel came back to earn a point with a hard strike to his stomach. There was only one point left on the table. Kyler quickly brought Miguel to the mat but before he could land a strike Miguel pushed him off with his legs and kipped up to his fighting stance. Kyler came at him head on and fast but Miguel was faster, ducking aside and throwing a side kick into his stomach earning the final point and his second championship.

The auditorium erupted in cheers and applause. Casey hugged Carmen, congratulating her, before turning and hugging Amanda. “It’s over.” Amanda whispered.

“Yeah,” Casey said, even though she didn’t really believe it. Kreese had clearly told his students to fight dirty, did they really expect to just accept defeat and walk away.

As the crowd began to slowly disperse, Casey and Amanda found Johnny and Daniel in the hallway outside the locker room.

“Any word on Robby?” Casey asked as she wrapped an arm around Johnny’s waist and he pulled her close to him.

“Not yet, they’re still waiting on his imaging results.” Johnny said sadly.

“We should stop by the hospital before heading back.” Johnny nodded.

“I can’t believe that little shit pulled a dirty move like that.” Amanda said angrily. Johnny and Daniel exchanged a look; they easily believed it but didn’t say anything.

Amanda’s eyes suddenly went wide as she reached for Casey’s wrist and pulled her from Johnny towards her. Casey, confused, glanced behind her. Kreese. Johnny and Daniel stepped in front of him, acting as a barricade between him and the two women.

“What do you want? You should be packing your shit right now.” Johnny spat.

“You can’t get rid of me, Johnny. I’m a part of you, whether you like it or not.”

“We had a deal. A Miyagi-do student won so you’re out of here.” Daniel said.

“He was a Cobra Kai first though, I even taught him for a while so-“

“No, you don’t get out of this on a technicality. We won, you lost, get out. Cobra Kai is done!” Daniel yelled, not caring about the curious attention of bystanders.

“We’ll see.” Kreese said ominously before turning to leave, but not before throwing a wink at Casey. A chill came over her but she refused to shrink from him, refused to avert her eyes from him. She said she wasn’t afraid of him anymore and she was sticking to that.  

Johnny and Casey went to the hospital to see Robby. She waited in the lobby, not wanting to intrude on their family. Family. She’d never give him a family, she barely had an extended family. Before she could get too wrapped up in her thoughts, Johnny came back out and sat next to her, looking like he had aged 10 years in the 45 minutes. The lines on his face were deeper, bags under his eyes heavier, his shoulders slumped, head hung low. “What’d they say?” She asked as she took his hand in hers

“The knee’s dislocated and has a busted ACL. He’s going to need surgery to fix it.”

“I’m sorry, baby. How’s he taking it?”

Johnny just closed his eyes and shook his head. It wasn’t until this moment that Casey realized just how stressful this day was for him. She knew he’d been working hard to get the students ready but then she thought of how worried he was about having her there, letting Miguel fight, now Robby, and wondering if Kreese was actually going to keep to his word and disappear back into the world. He looked as if he was being crushed under the weight of the world.

“Give me your keys, I’ll drive.” She said, holding out her palm.

“No, I’m okay,” he said wearily.

“Johnny, you’re exhausted. Let me drive.” She pressed. He looked over and met her gaze. He had a very specific idea of what it meant to be a man in a relationship and that included little things like always being the one behind the wheel. He was too tired to fight for that archaic belief right now though. He handed her the keys and let her lead him out to the minivan.

When they got to his place, he took a shower while she ordered a pizza. He came out and immediately grabbed a couple beers for himself before collapsing on the couch. They picked at the pizza while a cable movie provided background noise even though neither was sure what was happening. She could tell he was processing, trying to decide what was next. When they got in bed she pulled him to her, letting his head rest on her chest while she stroked his hair until he fell asleep.

Chapter Text

The weeks following the tournament became hectic. Much to Casey’s surprise, Johnny kept teaching with Daniel at Miyagi-do, she thought for sure he’d want to break off and restart his own dojo but he hadn’t even brought it up. When he wasn’t teaching classes, he was with Robby helping him rehab his knee after surgery.

Casey was kept busy as well. A wine and paint place had opened in an empty storefront next to the bar. So when the bored housewives got finished with their paintings, they’d wander over to the bar for a few more drinks which meant business was better than ever. Lainey was able to give Casey a raise and hire a second nighttime bartender. When she wasn’t working, Casey was rediscovering things that made her happy, like Jiu Jitsu and running. She also did virtual therapy sessions twice a week with Dr. Ahmed along with occasional group therapy.

Between their full days, Casey and Johnny weren’t getting much time together. They’d talk or text every day but were back to seeing each other only a few nights a week when Casey didn’t work. So she was particularly giddy whenever he would come into the bar to see her. Johnny, however, was not thrilled about Casey’s new co-worker.

He had taken his usual seat in the now constantly busy bar and spotted Casey putting some drinks in front of a group of older women at the other end. When she was busy like this he didn’t hang around long but tonight he wanted to see her face in person instead of on a screen. He was taken aback when a tall, heavily tattooed guy stepped in front of him.

“What can I get you, dude?”

“I’m just here to see Casey.” Johnny said.

“Yeah, I know, you’re all here to see Casey but she’s busy so what can I get you?” the guy said, an unfriendly edge to his voice, clearly thinking Johnny was just a random guy here to hit on the hot bartender.

“I’ll wait until she’s done over there.” Johnny replied, unable to hide the irritation in his voice and not really wanting to. He didn’t care that this guy was probably 20 years younger, a few inches taller, and had at least 20 lbs of muscle over him—Johnny was never one to back down from a fight and he wouldn’t start now.

“Dude, just give me your order or get the hell out.” The guy said loudly, making Casey turn to see what was going on. Her eyes fell on an unhappy Johnny and she rushed over.

“Nico, it’s okay, this is my man, he just came to see me.” She said with a smile as she leaned over the bar to give Johnny a quick kiss on the lips.

The big man quickly softened. “My bad, dude, you should’ve said something. I was just trying to protect your girl from the creeps we get in here sometimes, you know?”

“I know, thanks, man.” Johnny said with a nod even though he still didn’t like this guy. He was protecting Casey? That was his job, not this meathead’s.

“I’ll cover the horny housewives, so you can talk to your man.” Nico said to Casey, putting a hand on her shoulder as he turned to the other end of the bar.

“New guy’s a dick.” Johnny muttered as Casey popped the top of a beer for him, rolling her eyes.

“Nico’s a decent guy, babe. We just have a system where I cover the horny women who want to get in his pants and he covers the creepy guys who want to get in mine. It works and it makes my night much easier.”

Johnny sighed and took a sip of beer; he still didn’t like the guy. He pushed the thought out of his mind when he noticed how Casey was looking at him with her fingers stroking his, that familiar spark in her eye as she leaned on the bar, only inches from his face.

“I miss you, babe.” She said softly.

“I miss you too, things are just crazy right now. They’ll get better.”

“I know.” She said with a small smile. “Can I come crawl into bed with you after my shift?”

“Of course, you don’t even need to ask.” Johnny said as he intertwined their fingers and brought the back of her hand up to his lips for a kiss.

“Okay, I’ll text when I’m on my way.” She said, leaning over and giving him another kiss.

There was a loud squeal from the other side of the bar, when Casey turned to look she saw a drunk woman halfway over the bar running her hands over Nico’s muscular arms. “See,” she told Johnny, “horny sexually harassing woman. I’m going to go save him; I’ll see you in a little bit.”

 

Casey sent Johnny a text saying that she’d be over a little later than expected, some stragglers didn’t want to leave so they were waiting for the police to escort them away. She insisted that he don’t wait up for her but he ignored it. He wouldn’t be able to sleep until she was in his bed anyways. While he waited, he sat in his armchair watching infomercials, grinning in anticipation when he heard her open the unlocked door.

“Hey, baby,” she said as she came into the dim room, locking the door behind her. She slid over the edge of the chair and onto his lap. “I told you not to wait up for me.” She said as she laid her head on his shoulder and looked up at him.

One of his big hands cupped the back of her head while the other rested on her thigh. He angled her mouth to him and kissed her deeply, the way he wanted to kiss her in the bar, the way that told her just how much he missed seeing her almost every day. “You knew I was going to anyways,” he whispered as they pulled apart. She did know, it was his protective nature and it was something she loved most in him. “How was the rest of your shift?” He asked while his fingers twirled in her soft ponytail.

“Long. Must be a full moon because people were extra rude and needy tonight. So glad I’m off tomorrow night.” She yawned and nestled into his chest, inhaling his scent—woody and clean, pure Johnny.

“Let’s get you to bed sleeping beauty,” he said as he hooked an arm under her knees and stood up with her quickly like she weighed nothing, making her squeal in surprise. He carried her to his bedroom and set her easily on her feet. A while ago she started keeping an overnight bag there with some extra clothes and toiletries for unexpected sleepovers. She pulled out a clean pair of panties and went to his dresser to get one of his shirts, her preferred sleepwear. He stepped out of the bathroom and froze. She had her back to him and was standing there in black panties while she turned picked up his shirt and pull it over her head. He could feel himself getting hard just from watching her but reminded himself that she was setting the pace for the physical part of their relationship.

Johnny undid his belt and let his jeans dropped to floor. Now it was Casey’s turn to watch as he pulled his shirt over his head and moved towards the bed. “See something you like?” He asked as he caught her checking him out.

She just smirked and raised an approving eyebrow as she walked into the bathroom with her toiletry bag. He clenched his fists, knowing it would be worth it when she was ready again. She came out of the bathroom bare faced with her hair in a loose braid. She slid in the bed next to him and went right into his side. His arm came around her and fingertips grazed over her rib cage. Yes, she thought, it was time.

 

The next day, Casey sat on his countertop, watching Johnny move around his kitchen. They had gone grocery shopping and he was putting his haul away. Unlike her nicely organized kitchen where everything had a certain place, Johnny was just putting things wherever there was space. Typical man, she thought. But, she was proud that he had only gotten one six pack of beer and a good stash of vegetables; he couldn’t be talked out of the bologna though, insisting that it was a great breakfast food but Casey would never understand or agree with that idea.

He was complaining about LaRusso, again, but his words were just background noise to her as she watched him move. He was impressive for a man of any age, lean and strong, clearly in control of his own body, toned to the point you could his muscles move under the skin. His softest part was his belly, from the alcohol, and she loved it.

He’d been so patient with her and her boundaries. A year ago, patient is not a word she would associate with him since he didn’t seem to have much of it. He was quick to anger while driving or when one of his students got mouthy, but with her it seemed endless. He never pushed her or pressured her for more than she was willing to give. Even before she went into treatment, when she had her flashbacks while they were fooling around, he’d stop immediately and never gave her shit about causing him blue balls like some lesser men would. He’d just hold her and comfort her until she calmed down.

When she came out of treatment, she set clear boundaries and was fully ready for him to push back. After all they started with no sexual boundaries and now she was changing that. He agreed and seemed to agree happily. “Whatever you need babe, I just want you to feel safe.” He had told her. Last week she felt ready when she woke up next to him, his chest pressed to her back, his morning erection pressed into her ass and his hand resting just below her breast. She wanted him then; wanted him to wake up and take her, grab her breast, flip her over and dive in. She thought about initiating it but was too scared of flashbacks. When she mentioned it to Dr. Ahmed she suggested that it was her mind and body telling her that it was ready for more and she should follow that instinct next time.

It was next time. Johnny walked past her to put something in a cabinet by her head, he started back for the grocery bag but she grabbed the front of his shirt and pulled him to her. She kissed him, quickly deepening it, meeting his tongue with hers. He responded happily, his hands clasped at the small of her back. She pulled back and looked at him straight in the eye. “I want you, Johnny,” she whispered to him.

“Want what?” He asked. She dropped her head to the side and looked at him incredulously. “Sorry babe, I don’t want to go too far so tell me specifically what you want.” He said it low, somehow still making it sexy like only he could.

“I want you to fuck me,” she whispered in his ear before biting on his lobe, causing his fingertips to press harder into her skin. She leaned back into kiss him but he pulled back, taking her chin in his hand.

“You sure?” He asked, scanning her face for any doubt or hesitation.

She nodded. “Let’s just move slow with it though, yeah?” She was still nervous about getting overwhelmed and triggering her flashbacks but her arousal outweighed her anxiety.

“Yeah,” he leaned into kiss her. “If you need to stop, just say it and I will.” She nodded again and wrapped her arms around his neck. There was no battle for dominance, Johnny let her take the lead, lett her tongue explore him, let her hands roam his back and arms until they found the hem of his shirt and pushed it up. He pulled it over his head and tossed it aside then helped remove hers. His hands slid up her back and, with one hand, unhooked her bra, adding it to the accumulating pile of clothes. He brought up a hand and moved it softly over her breast making her moan into his mouth. He rolled her nipple and she pushed her chest towards him causing him to get that smug grin. It had been too long since he touched her like this, he thought, too long since he got her off, he was ready to make up for lost time.

They kissed, embraced, and explored each other slowly before he pulled her off the countertop and she wrapped her legs around his waist. He carried her into his bedroom and laid her easily on his bed. Her mind went back to their first night together when they were so desperate for distraction from their pain that they fucked on her kitchen table and Johnny left without making sure she came—oh how far they’ve come.

He moved down her torso, alternating light kisses with firm nips until he came to the top of her leggings. He kissed just above the waistband and looked up at her, his eyes dark with lust. She gave a quick nod and he began slowly pulling down her leggings and panties. He rubbed her smooth legs with his calloused hands, the stark contrast bringing her a sudden realization--she was about to have sober sex. Her nerve endings weren’t dulled by anything and Johnny’s touch was a fire her skin hadn’t felt in years. She shivered and moaned as the sensations overwhelmed her in the best way possible.

Johnny hooked his arms under her thighs to pull her further down the bed before his tongue found its way into her pussy. “Oh God, babe,” she sighed as he licked slowly before plunging into her with his tongue making her arch and push her wet core further into his face. He may not have been the most sensitive or politically correct guy, but he took great pride in his ability to please women and it was maybe his favorite personal quality. He kissed her, sucked her clit, licked her while she moaned and grinded her hips against his mouth. God he missed this. He missed her. How many times had he jerked off thinking about this exact moment?

He inserted a finger and let her continue to writhe on him. He could tell she was getting so close with her loud moans and tremors. “Is this how you want it, babe?” He asked looking up at her with his bright blue eyes. “Do you want me to eat your pussy until you cum?”

She almost came off just those words, but she wanted more. “I want you inside me.” Without hesitation he stood up and undid his belt. His jeans fell to the floor and he pulled down his boxers, his dick standing proud. She looked up at him, the look in his eyes hungry just for her.

Then she wasn’t looking at Johnny, she was looking at him. His leering smile hovering over her. She shook her head slightly and refocused on Johnny. His warm, strong body slowly crawling over her. His lips found hers and they kissed slowly. He pulled back and then, it wasn’t Johnny anymore. It was Kreese, his smokey breath on her face. She shook her head again and brought her hands to Johnny’s face. She was here with him, he wouldn’t hurt her, if she asked him to stop now he would, without hesitation. She took a deep breath and looked him deep in his eyes.

“You okay?” He asked, concern dripping in his voice. She put a leg over his waist and pressed on his chest. He took the hint and held her close as he rolled her on top of him. She smiled and kissed him slowly. “I’m okay,” she whispered as she sat up and aligned herself with his dick. She ran her hands over his chest and torso, reacquainting herself with the feel of him and reminding herself where she was and to be in the moment with him.

She slowly came down on him. A familiar ache, the one that came from long stretches of no sex, came over her. She closed her eyes, fighting to keep the flashbacks at bay. His hand came up to gently stroke her cheek. She put her hand over his and turned her head to kiss his palm as she slowly began moving on him, the ache subsiding and pleasure slowly replacing it. He dropped his hand to her hip, the pressure light, wanting her to set her own pace.

Looking up at her, he watched her overcome whatever was happening in her head, reclaiming her body, her mind, her sexuality. He stroked her thighs gently, enjoying the sight of her using him for her pleasure. The sighs, the moans, he could watch this show forever.

He ran his hands from her thighs over her torso up to her breasts, holding them and rubbing his thumbs over the nipples. “Yes babe,” she whimpered, throwing her head back, picking up her pace. She was hitting right where she needed and it felt so good, he felt good.

“You’re so hot, babe, ride me until you cum,” he moaned, feeling his own climax coming, his flames fueled by watching her take exactly what she needed.

She called his name as an intense orgasm hit her fast, her body tensing and her back arching, Johnny watching her in awe. As she was came down from her climax, he grasped her waist and gently rolled them so she was under him. He kept his face close to hers as he pumped erratically into her, he wanted her to know it was him, not a flashback. He laid his forehead on hers as he came.

There were no words exchanged as they cleaned up and got back into the bed, none were needed. Johnny stroked her back as Casey’s fingers danced in his sprinkling of blonde chest hair and they drifted off in each other’s arms.

Chapter Text

Casey reached over and picked up her phone from the nightstand: 3:52 a.m. After tossing and turning in bed for the last 37 minutes she still wasn’t tired and was beginning to regret not going to Johnny’s after her shift; something about his snore was surprisingly comforting and she was missing it now. Maybe she’d record it one night while he slept for moments like this.  It had occurred to her to stay at Johnny’s tonight, but she had an early appointment with Dr. Ahmed so, to both their disappointments, she stayed at her place so she wouldn’t risk waking him up early.

She reached back for her phone and opened the Facebook app, she’d scroll until her eyes became heavy or she ran out of new posts, whichever came first. Johnny had friended her on Facebook a while ago but he rarely posted anything, so she was surprised to see his name pop up on her screen. He had commented on someone’s picture. Ali Mills.

Ali Mills. That name was spoken with reverence by everyone who said it: Daniel, Amanda, Johnny, even Miguel. Casey found herself staring at a selfie that Ali had taken with a young woman who looked just like her, probably her daughter. ‘Beautiful just like her mom,’ Johnny had commented with a winky face emoji only a few days ago. A feeling of hurt turned in her stomach, it felt like a betrayal—but was it really? Maybe if it was anyone else it wouldn’t be, but this was the Ali Mills.

Casey knew better, but she was irritated and didn’t have the energy to resist, so she clicked on Ali’s profile and scrolled through her timeline and pictures. Johnny had ‘liked’ everything. Clearly, he was keeping close tabs on her, making Casey wonder if they kept in touch off of Facebook. If she peeked at his phone, the one she encouraged him to get to come out of the stone age, would she find out they were still in touch and madly in love? She was spiraling now, so she typed another name in the search bar: Shannon Keene.

Her heart dropped to her stomach when she saw a picture that Robby posted last week and tagged both Shannon and Johnny in. It was the three of them in a selfie, all smiling, Johnny probably taking the picture with his long arms. Robby had captioned it simply, ‘Family.’ She liked Robby a lot, but it felt like a dagger just plunged into her heart. He was a kid from a broken home, of course he’d prefer his parents be together rather than his dad with some random bartender.

After scrolling on Shannon’s timeline, she decided to pour more salt in the wound. Carmen, the woman Johnny never mentioned dating despite his close relationship with Miguel. There wasn’t much upfront on her timeline, so she scrolled back until she found something. It was a video Miguel had posted on New Year’s Eve. It wasn’t anything specific, just showing his apartment and getting ready to countdown the new year. Sam was sitting next to him on the couch, he panned over to his grandmother who was speaking to him Spanish, he turned it to the kitchen where Johnny and Carmen were laughing together, and then to—Casey played it back. It was fast, maybe not even a second, but she saw it. The look Johnny was giving Carmen, it was a look she’d been on the receiving end of many times. He was in love with her, and this was only a few weeks before they started hooking up.

She’d seen enough and tossed her phone back to the nightstand and stared at the ceiling, unable to erase everything she’d just seen from her mind.

 

Casey spent most of her session with Dr. Ahmed recapping her early morning social media discoveries. Dr. Ahmed was learning more about these three random women than she knew about some of her own patients.

“I just don’t know what to do with all this.” Casey said, exasperated from retelling it all.

“What does it feel like to you?”

Casey sighed. “It feels like he’s hiding stuff. Not telling me about Carmen or that he’s spending time with Shannon, maybe he’s hiding me from them or them from me, I’m not sure. With Ali, with their history, that feels like a betrayal, like he shouldn’t be calling both of us ‘beautiful’.” Her cheeks turned pink, suddenly embarrassed by how childish she must sound.

“What are the boundaries in your relationship when it comes to other people?”

“What do you mean?”

“Do you both consider flirting cheating? Is it okay to have friends of the opposite sex and spend time alone with them? Does he know that calling another woman ‘beautiful’ is not okay with you? These are things you two should talk about for a healthy relationship. If you’re not clear with each other on what is acceptable behavior with other people, then you’re going to be constantly battling each other’s insecurities.”

Casey cringed. “That sounds so strict.”

Dr. Ahmed smiled kindly. “It’s communication and you need it if you want this relationship to work.”

 

Later that day, Casey was on her way to Miyagi-do to meet Johnny. They were finally going to the drive-in and this would save Johnny from driving all the way back to Reseda to pick her up. The session with Dr. Ahmed replayed in her head as she drove. The adult thing to do would be talking to Johnny about her feelings but that made her nervous, especially after everything she’s put him through already. But Dr. Ahmed was right, that’s what people do in healthy relationships: communicate.

As she cut her engine outside of the small home, she could hear the sounds of the dojo coming from the back yard and the unison of kiai’s from the students. Quietly, she took her shoes off, crept through the house and stood in the door way, watching as Daniel and Johnny worked with their students on different strikes. Even though she’d seen him at the competition, this was a side of Johnny she hadn’t seen before, at least not up close with others. His gruff political incorrectness didn’t surprise her, but his patience did. Even though his voice boomed through the backyard it wasn’t yelling or filled with anger, it was just projecting. He corrected students gentler than she expected, with a firm hand on the shoulder or using his foot to push theirs out to find the proper stance. He observed them thoughtfully, only correcting what needed it. Some of his nicknames for the students were questionable but they seemed to embrace them. Penis breath? Really?

It was arousing watching him so deeply confident in his element, a familiar stirring starting in her chest. The only thing that would make it better was if he was in his gi, but he still looked damn good in his black sweat pants and hoodie, with that black headband he always wore.

Johnny turned to take his place in front of the class and spotted Casey watching him, giving her a quick wink. Daniel joined him and they dismissed the class, kids quickly dispersing from the backyard.

“Hey, Casey!” Daniel said as he walked in the house. “What did you think of class?”

“Not bad, you guys are great teachers.”

“Thanks, it helps that we have great students. I gotta run to the dealership before Amanda has my head but I’ll see you later.” Daniel said, making a quick exit.

Casey watched Johnny as he packed up his bag. Any idea she had walked in with about having healthy, adult communication was gone, replaced with pure lust. She walked up behind him and wrapped her arms around his torso, nipping at the back of his neck. “Looking good, sensei.”

“Yeah, you like that show?”

“Mhmm,” she purred, letting her hand wander over his stomach, drifting lower until she was cupping him through his sweat pants.

“Oh, you really liked it.” Johnny sighed, reveling in the feel of her hand over him. She started to slowly rub him but he grabbed her wrist, stopping her.  “Hold that thought, beautiful.” He said giving her a quick kiss before checking the back yard and then the front to make sure all the kids were gone.

He came back and grabbed her roughly by the waist, pulling her to him and diving straight into her mouth, his tongue claiming her immediately. Casey put her hands on his broad chest and pushed him back until he hit the wall. Her hand found it’s way under his waistband and resumed rubbing him through his boxers as he hardened. Johnny groped her ass and moved his mouth to her neck, latching his mouth just under her ear and sucking, earning him a moan and a bright purple mark on her creamy skin.

Casey came to her knees and looked up at him as she released his hard dick. Johnny gasped as she ran her tongue over his head before putting her lips around the tip and giving a quick suck. “What do you say, Sensei?” She asked, voice husky with arousal. “Want me to suck you off in LaRusso’s dojo?”

“Fuck yeah,” Johnny growled through gritted teeth as he threaded his fingers into her hair and guided her back to him. She took him in until his head hit the back of her throat making him groan loudly. She massaged him with her tongue while she set a languid pace, wanting to drive him crazy. He breathed heavily, trying to not blow his load right away but the feeling of being in her warm mouth was like heaven. She increased her pace gradually, his grip in her hair tightening. His hips started to buck, he was getting close so she moved faster, bobbing her head on him while she moaned. Johnny looked down at her, eyes wide and bright staring up at him with pure adoration. His hips thrust once more as he came hard in her mouth, shouting his release, the feel of her swallowing him down causing aftershocks in his sensitive dick.

Casey released him and tucked him gently back into his clothes before standing up and kissing him. “You okay, handsome?” She asked, noticing he was still breathing heavily and leaning against the wall for support. Johnny could only nod. “Come on, we’re going to be late for the movie,” Casey said tugging on his arm. He gripped her wrist and pulled her back to him.

“We’re not done yet,” He growled kissing her hungrily, tasting himself on her tongue. “Strip,” he commanded.

She blushed and bit her lip as he moved away from her and lowered himself on the mat, reclining back with his legs stretched out in front of him, looking at her expectantly. Casey met his gaze as she pulled her tank top over her head and let it fall to the floor. She slid her jeans down slowly, intentionally sticking her ass in the air to give him a good view. Soon she was standing in front of him in only her black bra and her black lace panties. He could smell the arousal coming from her.

“Everything,” Johnny ordered, his eyes dark with desire for her. She reached behind her to undo her bra and let it fall slowly off her chest exposing her pert breasts and dusky, erect nipples to him. She pushed her wet panties down her legs and flung them at Johnny who caught them easily and brought them to his nose. If she wasn’t wet enough before, she certainly was now; the sight of him smelling her panties, it was one of the most erotic things she’d ever seen. He twirled them on his finger and launched them to the corner of the room.

He put up his hand and waved her over to him. She started to straddle his waist but he stopped her, leaning all the way back until his head hit the mat, waving her forward some more.

Casey immediately saw what he wanted and hesitated. “Babe, I don’t want to smother you.”

“You won’t, and if you do it’ll be the perfect way to go, my face buried in your pussy.”

Her breath hitched, she was so turned on. She carefully lowered herself over his face, keeping her core hovering just above his mouth. Johnny ran his hands over her thighs and ass, gripping her hips and bringing her down fully to sit on his lips. His tongue came out and swiped through her slit, sending a jolt of pleasure through her. He did it again and let his tongue find her clit, giving it a flick. “Oh my god,” she cried. Johnny could feel her holding back, the small movements in her hips signaling just how badly she wanted to grind on his face.

“Do what feels good, baby, ride my face if you want.” Casey looked down at him between her legs and ran her fingers through his hair as she gave in and began moving her pussy over his mouth. Johnny moaned, muffled by her. He sucked her clit relentlessly as she rode him, so close to her release. He brought a hand to her breast and rolled her nipple, watching as she let go, screwed her eyes shut, arched her back and cried out as her intense orgasm overwhelmed her.

She lifted herself from Johnny’s face and collapsed to her side on the mat. “I think you broke me, babe.” She said breathlessly, the room spinning around her.

Johnny moved to lay next to her so they were face to face. She couldn’t help but notice the smirk he wore. “Are you looking smug because of what you just did to me or because we just defiled Daniel’s dojo?” She asked.

“Can’t it be both?” He said, making them both laugh.

Casey leaned over and kissed him sweetly. “I love you baby.”

“I love you too.” Johnny said, stroking her cheek.

Chapter Text

Johnny sat in the minivan in front of Cobra Kai, or what used to be Cobra Kai. The store front space that was once his, was now dark and empty. Miguel told him that word at school was Cobra Kai shut down but it seemed too good to be true, and even more surprising that Kreese would actually keep his word. But in the last few weeks there’d been no sign of him, maybe he really was gone.

He pulled out of the parking lot and headed for The Red Rooster to tell Casey that there was no sign of Kreese and that Cobra Kai was gone for good. Maybe he was just in brumation, like he told Johnny when they first met for coffee last year, but Johnny wanted to be hopeful--wanted her to be hopeful.

He parked and went inside the bar, freezing in the doorway as he watched the scene before him. The bar was busy, its new norm, there was even a guy sitting in Johnny’s usual spot but that wasn’t what stopped him. Casey and the new guy, Nico, were behind the bar making drinks and laughing. Nico put a gentle hand on her hip to move her aside so he could reach something under the counter, Casey put a hand on his back as she squeezed behind him to grab a clean glass. They were in such close proximity in a small area that it was impossible for them to not touch. Nico was talking fast about something, Casey laughed and smiled up at him, he placed a hand on her arm before turning to take the drinks to customers.

Johnny’s fists clenched at his sides, fighting the urge to run in there and knock that guy out for touching her. But it wasn’t just Nico that he was mad at; he remembered how prickly Casey was about being touched when she first started, she’d lay into a customer for trying to touch her, now…now she was letting him touch her and even touching him back.

Johnny burned but it was deeper than anger, it was the hurt that comes from feeling jealous, like losing something that can never be replaced—was he losing her? He turned around and went back to his van, pointing it towards the nearest liquor store.

 

Casey stretched her arms over her head and yawned as she waited for Nico by the backdoor of the bar.

“Let’s go slow ass, I’m tired and want to go home!” She shouted into the empty space.

Nico came jogging out from the bar area towards her. “Sorry, I was just getting the rest of the glasses up, you know Laney will shit a brick if they’re still out when she comes in tomorrow.”

“Aww, is the big guy scared of little Laney?” She teased.

“Yes!” He said seriously. “Those of us who aren’t related to her have nightmares about that little red demon.”

“I’m going to tell her you said that.”

Nico looked down at her with genuine fear in his eyes, making Casey laugh loudly. “I’m kidding! Let’s get the hell out of here.”

He let out a sigh of relief as they walked out the door, Casey pausing to lock it behind them. They walked towards their cars, exchanging quick good nights before getting in. She paused as she sat in the driver’s seat--something felt off but she didn’t know why.

She closed the door and started the engine, wondering what was different. Flipping on the overhead light, she turned to check the back seat, it was empty, nothing unusual. She shook her head and flipped the light off, must be the exhaustion of a long shift. She moved her foot up to the brake when she felt it, something was tapping the back of her boot. She turned the light back on and looked down just in time to see long black body slither under her seat.

“Shit!” She screamed, yanking on her door handle and falling out of the car, landing on her ass. She scurried back, kicking the door shut with her foot so the snake wouldn’t get out. Footsteps came running up behind her, she turned, Nico--he hadn’t left yet.

“What the hell, dude? Are you okay?” He asked as he helped her to her feet.

“There’s a fucking snake in my car!” She yelled, adrenaline coursing through her.

“What?” He asked in disbelief.

“Go look if you think I’m lying.”

Nico walked over, the car still lit by the overhead light; the driver’s seat was empty, he looked in the back and, sure enough, a long black snake was coiling on the floor. “Oh shit, dude!” He yelled. “What the fuck?! Who would do that?”

Casey knew. She remembered Amanda saying that Kreese had put a snake in their car dealership when they tried to push him out. She pulled out her phone and called 911. It felt ridiculous explaining the situatin to a complete stranger, who probably thought she was lying anyways. The dispatcher said they couldn’t send police until the snake was removed from the vehicle, and animal control wouldn’t be available until the morning so there was nothing that could be done right now. While she dealt with the dispatcher Nico carefully turned off her engine and retrieved her keys.

Casey groaned in frustration as she got off the phone, putting her fists over her eyes. It just wouldn’t end.

“C’mon, I’ll take you home.” Nico said, leading her to his car.

She directed him to Johnny’s, wanting nothing more than to crawl into his arms and feel safe.

“I’ll come by and pick you up in the morning to take you back to the bar, that way I can give a statement to the police too.”

Casey nodded, wearily. “Thanks.” They agreed on a time and Casey made her way into Johnny’s, using the spare key he gave her when she started coming over often after her shifts. The apartment was dark, she moved quietly, not wanting to wake him up. She went to the bathroom first to clean up and then used the light from her phone to find her way to his bed. The dim light bounced off something on his nightstand, a half full bottle of whiskey. She sighed, he must have had a bad day, she thought.

She pulled off her boots and felt holes on the back of the heels. That’s what it was, the tapping on her heels--the fucking snake was striking her. She checked her skin just to be sure, it was fine, the boot protected her from whatever venom may have been meant for her.

She looked over at Johnny, sleeping peacefully, or at least passed out peacefully. She ran her fingers through his hair before sliding in next to him so they were face to face on their sides. His arms instinctively came up around her and pulled her to him. He reeked of whiskey but she didn’t care. She placed a kiss on his chest before letting sleep take her.

 

They both jolted awake when there was a pounding on Johnny’s door.  Casey reached for her phone, shed forgot to set an alarm to wake up and meet Nico. “Shit,” she muttered as she leapt out of bed to start dressing while Johnny prepared to charge for the door.

“Babe, it’s just Nico, he’s giving me a ride back to the bar. 2 minutes!” She called to Nico.

“What?” Johnny asked, confused and with an already spinning head. “Why is that dick at my door? Why is he giving you a ride to the bar? And where is your car?”

Casey sighed, it was way too early for this. “Someone put a fucking cobra in my car while I was at work last night, I’ll let you guess who, so he gave me a ride last night and now we have to go meet animal control and the police at my car.”

“Why didn’t you tell me this last night? I’ll drive you.” Johnny said starting to pull on a pair of jeans.

“It was late, I didn’t want to wake you up. It’s okay, Nico’s going to give a statement so he has to be there.”

“I should go too, we both know this was Kreese, and I-“ Casey cut him off as she quickly put her hair up in a messy bun.

“Baby, there’s nothing you can do there.” Johnny hated hearing those words from her, it was like a kick in the jaw. “I gotta go deal with this, go back to sleep. I’ll let you know when it’s all done. Still doing dinner at my place tonight, right?” She asked. Johnny could only nod, his brain not fully coherent enough to take in what was happening. A snake in her car? Nico giving her rides?  She gave him a quick kiss and rushed out his door. “I love you!” She called before the door slammed shut behind her.

 

Between getting the snake out of her car and giving statements to the police, it took Casey two hours to get everything situated. Animal control confirmed her suspicions—the snake was a cobra and still had its venom sacs. She showed the police her punctured boots and explained that it was a clear message from Kreese, the king Cobra himself. They were polite enough to not mock her openly but the expression on their faces was obvious, they thought she was being paranoid despite having no other rational explanation about how a cobra got in her car. They told her they’d talk with Kreese and find out if he has an alibi but she wasn’t confident they’d actually follow through on that.

When they were done she sent Johnny a text, as promised. ‘Hey babe, snake‘s out of the car, police have our statements and I’m heading to my place to get some sleep. See you tonight, handsome.’

Johnny didn’t respond to her text. He debated whether to go to her place or not that night, preferring to stay home and douse his anger with more liquor. But, fuck, did he love her and not want to let her down. He took a few generous swigs of whiskey and then left his place.

He let himself in to her apartment using the key she gave him shortly after he gave her the spare to his place. A flavorful aroma hit his nose and he found Casey in kitchen stirring a large pot.

“Heya handsome, I hope you’re in the mood for beef stew,” she said as she walked over to give him a kiss, the smell of whiskey hitting her fast even though she couldn’t tell if it was from last night or more recent.

Johnny returned her kiss halfheartedly and sat in one of her kitchen chairs. She went back to her pot of stew but glanced over at Johnny, his face stony and unreadable. “Everything okay?”

Johnny sighed, the whiskey beginning to hit him. “Why didn’t you call me last night to come get you from the bar?” His voice a combination of hurt and anger.

Casey stopped stirring for a second, taken off guard by his question. “I guess I didn’t think about it, Nico was there and he offered.”

“Yeah? You taken Nico up on anything else he’s offered?” Johnny asked, the tone of his question harsh and the subtext clear.

Casey stopped stirring, set down her spoon, and turned slowly to him. “What did you just say to me?”

“Nothing, forget it,” He muttered, deciding he didn’t want to fight with her while he was tipsy.

“No, say what you want to say, Johnny.” She challenged.

He took a deep breath, knowing there was no going back once this was started. He looked her hard in the eyes, “are you fucking that guy?”

In just a few seconds she went from irritated to livid. “No and where the fuck is that coming from?!”

“I saw you two at the bar last night, whispering and laughing together, hanging all over each other. And then you don’t even tell me that fucking Kreese put a cobra in your car! I find out because that ‘roided up asshole is pounding down my door at 8 a.m. It feels like you’re keeping something from me.” Johnny stood and began pacing her small apartment.

“You saw us, what are you spying on me? And you’re delusional if you think we were hanging all over each other, we barely touch each other, why would we?”

“I was there to see you and tell you Cobra Kai was closed but I didn’t want to break up your little flirty fuck fest.”

“Oh great investigating Johnny, you know the cobra in my car would beg to differ.”

“You’re not telling me something about this guy!” Johnny shouted knocking one of her chairs on it’s side.

Casey fumed. “Yeah, you want to talk about keeping stuff from each other?” There was no going back now. “How about that you never told me you were in love with Carmen? Or that you’ve been spending quality family time with Shannon? Or that you still have a thing for Ali fucking Mills? Seriously Johnny, is there any pussy in the Valley you haven’t been balls deep in?” She was fighting dirty and she knew it, but she was mad. Rather than listening to Dr. Ahmed and dealing with these feelings as they came up, she’d let them boil until they were erupting from her now without no control.

“Really, Casey? Shannon’s a shameless gold digger and Carmen and Ali are way out of my league, why would I-“ He stopped when he saw her face go from anger to pain, eyes turning wide and wet.

“They’re out of your league so you’re, what, settling for the easy bartender until someone better comes along?” She blinked back her tears, pushed down her hurt, and let her anger steer the ship.

“We’re not talking about me, we’re talking about you fucking that prick.” Johnny yelled in a desperate attempt to change the subject as he got in her face.

“No, we’re not because I’m not fucking him, but fuck you Johnny!” She said, shoving him back from her. “Nico makes my job easier, I’m not alone all night and I have help when things get busy and in case you haven’t noticed, the bar is always fucking busy now! You want me running that whole place by myself?!”

“Instead of working with that guy? Yeah, I’d rather you worked alone.”

“Oh my god, you are such a selfish dick!” She yelled. “Go back to Carmen or Ali or Shannon or one of your other whores if you want a woman who’s going to make herself miserable to appease your fucking insecurity.”

“My insecurity? You’re the one accusing me fucking every woman in the valley and being in love with all my exes, so who’s fucking insecure here, Casey?”

“Who’s the one hiding things Johnny? I don’t have anything to hide, I’m not fucking Nico nor do I want to. You’re all over Ali’s timeline liking every single thing she posts, calling her beautiful…” She trailed off, Johnny again catching the hurt in her eyes that quickly turns back to anger. “You don’t tell me about Carmen who just happens to be Miguel’s mom and don’t tell me the idea of that little insta-family doesn’t still cross your mind. You’re hiding things from me Johnny!”

“I don’t need this.” Johnny said furiously, heading for the door. “Go fuck fucking Nico for all I care.”

“Yeah, go fuck yourself!” She screamed as he slammed her door.

Chapter Text

Casey paced her apartment, adrenaline spiking after fighting with Johnny; their first fight and it was a doozey. She didn’t know what to do, she was feeling so much all at once: fury for being accused of cheating, hurt that he considered her somehow less than Ali and Carmen, resentful that he’d rather have her work alone than have a competent co-worker. But she also felt guilty. She’d let her own insecurities fester until this point rather than talking to him about it and it made things so much worse. He’d told her that he’d had a lot of sexual partners and she used that against him like a complete asshole. How were they here after everything they’d already been through together, she wondered.

She stopped pacing and went into her bedroom, grabbing a pillow from her bed and holding it tightly over her face. She screamed into it, screamed out all the emotions that she needed to release before they made her explode. She screamed until her legs couldn’t hold her and she caved in on herself, throat raw as she collapsed to the floor. Screams turned to sobs as her pillow became wet with tears.

She cried until she was emotionally drained and numb. She pulled herself off the bedroom floor and crawled into her bed, not caring that she was still in her clothes or that she hadn’t washed her face; she didn’t have the energy to care about such trivial things. She just let sleep take her and hoped she’d wake up from this nightmare tomorrow.

 

Johnny left Casey’s apartment heading straight to the nearest liquor store for a six-pack and fresh bottle of whiskey. The six-pack was gone by time he got to his apartment and opened the whiskey. He would argue with anyone that would dare call him emotional but that’s what he was right now, running on pure emotions. Unable to form a rational thought, he drank because there was a pain in his chest that he couldn’t name and didn’t know how to deal with, he just wanted to not feel it anymore.

He was angry at her, at him, at the situation. He went to his refrigerator to look for more beer but instead saw her yogurt. It was the brand and flavor she liked it so he bought it for her on his last trip to the grocery store, so she could have it when she was here. Now, it just hurt him to see, like it was taunting him over his troubled relationship. He swept all the containers into his arms and took them outside. One by one he threw them around the courtyard, splattering the pink substance on the fountain, on the walls, anywhere it landed.

“Here’s the yogurt you like so much, take it with you to Nico’s!” He yelled, words slurred, before going back inside.

He went to the bathroom and found the toiletry bag she kept there. He went back outside and started throwing the contents of it against walls, doors, whatever he could hit. “Here’s your stupid chick shit!” He shouted to no one.

He repeated the process with his t-shirts that she always wore; they had started to smell like her and, in that moment, there was nothing worse. He started to rip the Ratt shirt while he yelling profanities when the light came on in the Diaz’s apartment.

 

The shrill ringtone of the phone woke her up and she was not pleased about it. Johnny’s name and picture appeared on her phone. She didn’t feel ready to talk to him yet, but she wanted to know what else he could have to say; maybe he’d come to his senses and realized how out of line he was.

“What?” She answered, her voice weak from sleep and crying.

“Casey, it’s Miguel, I think you need to come over here, I’ve never seen Sensei this messed up.” The fear in Miguel’s voice started her heart racing.

“I’m on my way.” She hung up, pulled on her shoes, and ran for the door. Any leftover emotion from their fight was quickly forgotten and replaced with worry.

When she pulled in, she saw Johnny’s van parked crooked, taking up two spaces. The small courtyard in front of his apartment was a mess. She recognized the yogurt, her favorite kind, and her brand of makeup, her shampoo—shit. He had thrown all her stuff out of his apartment. Her heart shattered as she bit back fresh tears, trying to not think about what this meant for them; she needed to make sure he was okay before anything else.

She let herself in as Miguel was coming out of the bedroom.

“What’s going on?” She asked, struggling to remain calm.

“He’s had a lot to drink, I’ve never seen him like this, he was yelling and throwing things around outside. My mom’s at work and I didn’t know what to do. I finally got him in bed to try and sleep but I don’t know what else I can do.”

“You did good Miguel, I’m sorry you had to see him like this.” She said, putting a reassuring hand on his arm.

“I just wanted to make sure he didn’t hurt himself. I took his keys, they’re in my apartment so he can’t get them. I’m used to seeing him drink but this is…” the boy shook his head sadly.

“I got it from here. Go home and get some sleep, he’ll be okay.” As Miguel left she went to see Johnny for herself.

He was sleeping on his side, back to the door. She walked around to look at his face; it was tight with worry, every line pulled taut as if he was deeply concentrating in his dreams. She toed off her shoes and got in bed behind him, pressing her chest to his back and bringing an arm around his torso, resting her hand over his heart, just to be sure it was still beating. She kissed his neck and breathed him in, the smell of whiskey coming through his pores. She was tired and wanted to go back to sleep but she fought it to stay awake, and make sure he was okay.

 

The room was dark when Johnny woke up; it was also spinning and there was a weight on him. He ran his hand up an arm that was tossed over his side and had a moment of panic. When he was single it wasn’t unlike him to bring someone home while he was drunk but this would be a whole new level of bad, especially considering the fight he and Casey just had. As his eyes adjusted, he realized he knew that small hand, with the mole just under the nail of the index finger; and the feeling of that breath against his neck. He let out a sigh of relief, not just because he wasn’t in bed with a stranger, but because maybe this was a good sign, maybe it was all a horrible dream.

He slowly slid from her arms, bladder begging to release all the booze it had absorbed. As he stood up the room spun around him violently; nope, not a horrible dream, he realized. He somehow managed his way to the bathroom without falling over. Casey watched him as he came out, slow and wobbly like newborn Bambi. She sat up and held out her hand to try and steady him as he came back to the bed, flopping down on his side facing her.

“Baby, I didn’t think I’d see you again, that fight-“ he slurred heavily.

“Shh, don’t think about that now.” She whispered, stroking his stubbly cheek with the back of her fingers.

“I love you so much, Casey.” He said, a drunk tear running down his cheek.

“I love you too.” She wiped the tear before pulling him into her, letting him fall asleep on her chest while she softly stroked his hair.

 

She loved Johnny but, man, was he heavy. He snored softly with his head on her chest, and half his body draped over her, clinging to her like he was afraid she’d float off while he slept. She dropped a kiss on his forehead and looked at his face. The worry that was etched there just a few hours ago was gone; he looked relaxed, almost peaceful. So much had happened in the last 24 hours and it revealed some deep flaws in their relationship: Johnny’s insecurity, her insecurity, and her new fear that every fight may end like this—with him getting completely wasted.

He stirred against her but kept sleeping. Her stomach rumbled and reminded her that she hadn’t eaten in a while; last night’s beef stew ended up down the drain because she was so mad, she didn’t even want to smell it. She was hungry and wanted to make sure he had something to eat when he woke up, so she tried to move out from under him but his arm and leg tightened around her. “Johnny,” she whispered, “I have to get up.”

“No, you don’t,” he murmured into her chest, “you have to stay in bed with me.”

She giggled and laid a kiss on the top of his head. “I have to pee and if you don’t let me up, I’m going to pee on you.” It wasn’t a lie and it didn’t help that a 190-pound man was pressing into her abdomen.

“It’s okay, it’ll be worth it to have you stay here.”

“Johnny!” she scolded as she swatted at his arm. He groaned in protest and reluctantly loosened his grip to let her get up. By time she came out of the bathroom he had rolled to his stomach and fallen back asleep.

She searched his kitchen, but the findings were scant. There were a couple of eggs but not enough to make anything worthwhile, some fruit that was starting to turn, pancakes would have been doable if there had been enough milk. She refused to fry him bologna or let him eat jerky sticks for breakfast so she decided to order out.

While she waited for the food, she got a trash bag and went out to the courtyard, surveying the carnage in front of her. Ants were feasting on the spilled yogurt as she collected the broken containers. She found one of his t-shirts on the ground, ripped in half--Zebra, one of her favorites to wear, he really was furious. As she bent over to pick up a busted bottle of conditioner, Miguel stepped outside. “How’s he doing?” he asked, nodding towards Johnny’s apartment.

“He’s doing okay, sleeping it off and then he’ll just have a massive hangover to deal with.” She sighed.

“What happened, why did he go so crazy?”

Casey picked up another ripped t-shirt, Van Halen. “We had a fight last night and it got pretty nasty.”

“What’d you fight about?”

“I guess we both let some things go unspoken for too long and it all came out in one big screaming match.” She said taking a seat on the fountain. “It would’ve been so much better if we just talked about it early on.” She muttered, more to herself than Miguel, remembering her last session with Dr. Ahmed.

“Are you guys going to be okay?” Miguel asked sitting next to her.

“I hope so.”

 

Casey set the bag of breakfast food on the counter, grabbed a glass of water and bottle of aspirin, and crept quietly back in the bedroom to check on Johnny. He had rolled to his back and draped an arm over his eyes, peeking out when he heard the door open. She sat next to him on the bed and he extended his other arm out in an invitation for her to come closer. She leaned in and rested her chin on his chest, looking up at him.

“How you feelin’, baby?” She asked quietly.

“Like shit, everything’s spinning,” he mumbled.

“I brought you some water and aspirin, sit up.” He leaned up on his arms and downed 4 aspirins with almost the whole glass before collapsing back on the pillow. “I got breakfast, you need something in the stomach.”

“Last night, that fight-“

“Yeah, we need to talk about that but not right now, later when you’re a little more coherent.” He nodded, the small movement making his head throb. She brought the food in and they ate quietly in his bed.

“You should stay in bed and try to sleep more, at least until the room stops spinning.” She said as she picked up her trash and food container.

“You’re leaving?” Johnny asked weakly, almost child-like.

“I’ll be back tonight.” She said starting for the door. Johnny reached out and took a hold of her wrist. She glanced back at him, a look in his eye pleading for hope, some sign that they were going to get through this. She went to him, leaned down, and met his lips in a soft kiss.

 

Casey went back to her place and fell into bed, desperate for a break from reality for a moment. Somehow, they hadn’t even discussed the fact that Kreese tried to kill her two nights ago by putting a cobra in her car. No, they skipped right over that and accused each other of being unfaithful because they each let their insecurities get the best of them. She set an alarm to wake her up in a few hours and fell into a fitful sleep.

The alarm woke her up later in the day and she cleaned up to go back over to Johnny’s. As she did, she started to get nervous. She was willing to apologize and admit she was wrong in her accusations, that she was unnecessarily cruel and said things that hurt him, but was he willing to reciprocate? This was their first big fight and she didn’t know what to expect from him. When she got mad at him for showing up late and drunk for their date, he apologized but that was so tame compared to this. There was only one way to find out.

She went back to his place around six and was pleased to see that he had relocated from the bedroom to the living room. He’d also showered and put on fresh jeans and a t-shirt. Her nerves had only gotten worse as the day went on so she didn’t want to drag it out longer than needed. She sat next to him on the couch with her legs tucked underneath her, prepared for the worst but hoping for the best.

“How you feeling?” She asked.

“Better, still got a headache though.” He said. “Miguel came over a while ago, I guess I got a little out of control.”

“Yeah, he was really worried about you. So was I.”

“Last night just…” He didn’t know what to say, he’s never had to face much accountability for getting recklessly drunk, it usually didn’t hurt anyone but himself.

“Johnny, have I done anything to make you not trust me? To make you really think that I would sleep with another man?”

Johnny looked at her and sighed. “No, you haven’t.” He said, easing a bit of tension in her. “That guy’s just…” Fuck, this was hard, “he’s probably better for you than me.” Casey furrowed her brow in confusion. “He’s younger than me, he’s got a lot of life left in front of him, he’s not an aging, broke, sensei living in this shit hole. And seeing him touch you, in any way, it just bothers me. And I know I said Carmen and Ali were out of my league but, baby, you are so far out of my league we aren’t even in the same sport. You could snatch up another guy in a heartbeat and leave me in the dust and that…that…” he paused, hesitant to say the words out loud.

“Scares you?” She asked. He looked at her and nodded; never had she seen him so vulnerable. “Johnny, you may be all those things in your mind, but to me you are a strong, brave man who protected me and supported me and believed me in ways no one else did. You…you saved me when I couldn’t save myself and gave me a reason to get help. I’m not interested in snatching up anyone else.” She took a beat and swallowed a lump of emotion. “That’s why it hurt me so much to see just how involved you are with your exes.” Johnny sat back. “I get insecure too because, Carmen and Shannon, they can give you something I can’t. They can give you a family, and I can’t, it’s just me and I worry that ‘just me’ won’t be enough for you. I love that you’re growing your relationship with Robbie and I love the relationship you have with Miguel, I just don’t love the closeness you still have with your exes.”

“Have I done anything to make you not trust me?” Johnny asked, repeating her earlier question.

Casey sighed. “I wish you were more upfront about your relationship with Carmen and seeing Shannon when you see Robbie, but no, you haven’t done anything to break my trust.” Johnny nodded. “But babe, Ali, I don’t like you calling her beautiful, or any other woman for that matter, I like that word being saved for me.” She said sheepishly.

Johnny smiled a bit, he understood; he would lose it if she called another man handsome. “Okay, I don’t like when other men, co-workers or not, touch you. Handshakes are fine, hugs on special occasions, but Nico touches you too much and it bothers me.”

Casey nodded. “I’ll talk to him about it, and I will be respectful of that for you.”

“Thanks,” Johnny said, slightly surprised at her easy compromise. “And I didn’t mean what I said, I like that you’re happier with work, but I just don’t like seeing him with his hands on you.”

“I understand, I wouldn’t like seeing another woman with her hands on you.”

“And I won’t call any other woman beautiful, that’s for you only.”

“Thank you,” she said, a warm pink blush coming over her. “I’m sorry I was so mean to you last night.”

“I’m sorry for that, too.” He said sincerely.

“Do you have any other exes I need to know about?” Casey asked with a smirk.

Johnny bounced his head and but his lip in contemplation, making her breathing stop for a moment. “There was this one time with me and Miguel’s grandma-“

“Johnny!” She laughed, kicking his leg with her foot.

“What can I say, geriatric Ecuadorian women just do it for me.” He joked as he wrapped his arms around her waist and pulled her to straddle his lap. “She asked me to play hide the plantain with her and I couldn’t-“ Casey placed her hand over his mouth cutting him off.

“Will you stop talking and kiss me already so we can get to the make up sex?”

Johnny smiled as he pulled her hand from his face and leaned forward to kiss her deeply, making her moan at the feel of his warm tongue on hers. He stood up with her quickly and shifted her so she hung over his shoulder. She squealed in surprise as he smacked her ass and carried her to his bed.

Chapter Text

“So you and Johnny have worked things out?” Dr. Ahmed asked.

“We’re not perfect but it’s a start. We talked about our insecurities and how I don’t like him calling other women beautiful and he doesn’t like other men touching me so we’re going to be more aware of those things now.” Casey said, running her fingers through her long hair as she spoke to Dr. Ahmed on her laptop.

“That’s good, that’s setting boundaries for yourselves and for others, that’s a great starting point.” Dr. Ahmed had the decency to not say ‘I told you so’ when Casey told her about the fight that could have been avoided with earlier conversation, as she recommended; Casey appreciated that.

“Yeah, and I’m going to have dinner with him and his son tonight so I can get to know Robby better.”

“You and Johnny are spending a lot of time together.”

“Pretty much any time I’m not working or he’s not teaching,” Casey confirmed.

“So when are you working on yourself? When is Casey taking time to process her feelings about her past and her present?”

“Whenever they come up, I guess,” Casey groaned and rolled her eyes, whenever Dr. Ahmed referred to her in third person she knew it wasn’t so much a suggestion as a mandate.

“But it doesn’t sound like you are, it sounds like you’re using Johnny to distract you from your feelings.” Dr. Ahmed said, not unkindly.

“What’s wrong with that?” Casey shrugged.

“The more we avoid emotions, the worse they become. If you’re not truly experiencing what you’re feeling, it’s just going to keep coming back until you process it. And when it does come back it may not just be you that it hurts, it may be Johnny in the form of another fight.”

“So what am I supposed to do, sit alone all day and night feeling sorry for myself? I don’t want to think about it, it’s…it’s too much.” Her eyes started to water just at the thought.

“If what you’re feeling is self-pity then yes, feel that. Show yourself that compassion. I have a feeling though, what you’re really suppressing is anger. Anger at what has happened to you and what was taken from you. Anger can be a scary emotion for many people because it can feel like once it’s started it won’t stop. I’m giving you permission to feel your anger and to feel it for as long as feels right for you, unleash the rage about what happened.”

“How do I do that?” Casey sighed.

“Scream, hit a pillow, break something you don’t mind breaking, write it out. As long as you don’t hurt yourself or someone else, there’s no wrong way to do it.”

 

Casey was nervous about having dinner with Robby. Their interactions had been limited and always seemed pleasant, but she couldn’t get the picture he posted on Facebook out of her head, or the caption: Family. Johnny and Shannon were his family but, if the day ever came, she wondered if he would accept her that way too.

They went to Johnny’s favorite burger spot and got plates loaded high with burgers and fries. It surprised her how easy it felt once they relaxed and started eating. She loved seeing the dynamic that was growing between father and son.

“When are you going to get a haircut, son?” Johnny asked, reaching over and rubbing Robby’s head, the hair almost to his shoulders.

“I don’t know, maybe I’ll cut into an awesome mullet like you had in the 80’s.” Robby ribbed. Casey almost choked on her burger trying to imagine Johnny with a mullet.

“Hey, hair in the 80’s was an art form,” Johnny defended.

“Please tell me there are pictures of this mullet.” Casey laughed.

“I got you, I’ll text them to you later.” Robby said.

“Oh, now I’m getting ganged up on, I see how it is.” Johnny said in mock anger as Casey and Robby laughed.

They had easy conversation and teasing but still with an undertone of getting to know each other, even between Johnny and Robby.

“You should see this kid in his physical therapy,” Johnny said proudly, “he’s doing so great it’s like his knee was never busted to begin with.” A light blush came over Robby as his father sang his praises. Yes, something was going right here.

They took their time with dinner and dropped Robby off at Shannon’s place before heading back towards Reseda.

“You want to stay over tonight?” Johnny asked Casey with a suggestive wiggle of his eyebrows, making her giggle.

“I had a session with Doc A earlier, she says I should take time to myself to really be with my feelings and try to process some shit.”

“Is that what you want?” Johnny asked.

She didn’t want it. She wanted to go to his place and let him fuck her, hold her, and take her pain away, to give her safety. “Not really but I think I should try it.” She said, looking over at him “Will you keep your phone on in case shit gets too real and I need you to come over?”

“Of course, you know I can be there in five minutes.”

She smiled. “Impressive considering it would take most people ten.”

“Yeah, losers,” he responded as he pulled into her apartment building and parked the car. “I’ll stop by with breakfast tomorrow before opening the dojo.”

“That sounds great,” she said. He walked her to the door and stopped, she stood on her toes, intending only to kiss him goodnight but the moment their lips met the kiss grew hot. He pressed her into the door as she wrapped her arms around his neck and moaned into his mouth. He reached down and took hold of the back of her thigh, lifting it so he could better grind his growing erection into her core. Johnny’s lips moved to her neck where he started to suck and nip lightly.

A closing door made them both jump and look over. A cross looking Hispanic woman glared at them as she walked past with a trash bag. “Hi, Mrs. Rodriguez,” Casey said to the woman who just eyed her in response. “I think that’s our sign to call it a night.” She giggled.

“Yeah, I guess so. I love you, babe,” Johnny said, stroking her cheek with his thumb.

“I love you too,” she said before giving him one more peck and then going inside.

Her apartment felt eerily quiet, so much so that began questioning if someone else was in there. She shook her head, telling herself she was just being paranoid; but it didn’t stop her from checking every corner of her apartment looking for signs that someone may have broken in.

When she was satisfied that she was alone, she sat on her couch and replayed her day in her mind. She started to get uncomfortable being alone, what she wouldn’t give to have Johnny here with her. “No, sit with it,” she told herself. A bubble of emotion began rising in her. Was it fear? She was feeling really uneasy about being alone here. No, it was anger; anger that she felt scared. Anger that he made her feel scared right now because she knew he was out there. Anger at what he had done to her and Stat and for anyone else he may have hurt. She stood up and started pacing as it boiled in her. Anger that no one believed her and simply thought she was a slut. It was too much, she had to get it out. She grabbed a pillow from the couch and punched it, driving her fist in as hard as it could go but it wasn’t enough. She looked around her and saw the remote control for the tv. Without a second thought she threw it at the wall and watched it shatter. The sound and the sight of it breaking was immensely satisfying.

She picked up a candle next to her and threw it, with all her might, at the same spot the remote hit. It didn’t shatter but it did leave a dent in the dry wall. It felt good and she wanted more, she was raging and wanted to get it out. She pulled the cushions off her couch and flung them across the room, grabbed a picture frame and stomped on it. She went into the kitchen and opened her cupboards. She threw her plates to the ground, each with a frustrated scream. She moved on to the mugs, then whatever else she could find, nothing was safe from her wrath. There was no sentimental value, no keepsakes, everything was fair game. As she tore her space up, she saw his face, imagined it was him she was breaking on the floor, his dick she was stomping on. This was how she wanted to fight back then.

She broke and tore apart everything she could until she was breathless and exhausted. Without looking back, she went into her bedroom and fell on the bed, sleep coming quickly, and had one of her most peaceful nights of sleep in a long time.

 

The next morning she awoke feeling rested but sore. It all came back to her as she stepped into her living room, it was a mess. She was amazed that none of her neighbors called the cops because it looked like a warzone. Cushions and pillow were torn open, there were holes in the wall from where she’d thrown things, glass everywhere, books torn apart. She surveyed the damage but she wasn’t mad, in fact, she felt relief, like breaking all her shit gave her a fresh start. She went to her closet and pulled on a pair rubber rain boots so she wouldn’t cut her feet. She was starting to sweep the glass when there was a knock on the door. She’d forgotten that Johnny was coming over with breakfast.

She moved slowly to the door, trying to not break anything else. She left the chain on and opened it just enough so he could see her. “Babe, before I let you in, I just want to tell you that it’s not as bad as it looks and I’m okay.”

His brow furrowed and concern quickly overcame him. She closed the door, took off the chain and opened it wide. He stepped in and his jaw dropped at the chaos in front of him. “Babe, what happened?” He asked as he looked her up and down to make sure she was okay.

“I was processing some feelings,” she said simply.

“If I knew you wanted to go apeshit, I would have let you beat the hell out of one of dummies at the dojo,” he said as he walked further in the apartment to take in the damage.

“I didn’t know I wanted to go apeshit until I was already going apeshit.” She replied. She led him into the bedroom, the only unscathed room in the place where they sat on the bed eating the donuts that Johnny brought over.

“Do you feel better?” He asked with an air of hesitation.

She thought for a moment, really wanting to check in with herself before answering him. “Yeah, I do.” She said with a confident smile. “I slept good after too, almost like a weight was lifted.”

“Must’ve been worth it then.” He said, leaning in to kiss her softly.

“Maybe it was,” she said with her head cocked. “But now I’m going to have to spend all day cleaning that mess up.”

“You work tonight?” She nodded. “I can come over tomorrow and patch up those holes in the wall. Super will never know.”

“Thanks, baby.” She said, this time giving him a kiss.

“And then how about we go to the dojo and let you take out some anger on the heavy bag.” He suggested.

Casey looked at him, impressed. “Johnny Lawrence, encouraging healthy coping mechanisms, my how far you’ve come.”

He smirked. “Or I’m just trying to get a repeat of the last time you came by.”

Casey blushed at the memory; she knew he just loved the idea of defiling the LaRusso dojo.

Chapter Text

The sun was just starting to set, painting the sky with bright pink and blue streaks as Johnny parked in front of the empty Miyagi-do Dojo. Casey followed him inside, wearing black running shorts and a dark red tank over her sports bra, hair pulled back into tight French braid, she came ready to hit things. Before they came, a deal was struck: Casey would let Johnny have his way with her in the dojo again, but only if Johnny wore his black sleeveless gi. She felt she got the better end of the deal since she’d let him fuck her in the dojo regardless, and she got to enjoy seeing him in that gi. Something was missing though.

“Where’s your headband?” She asked as Johnny dropped his gym bag by the door.

“Uh,” he hesitated. He’d never told her that Ali gave him the headband and he wore it because it reminded him of her. Now, he didn’t need that reminder anymore, but he didn’t want to get into that right before he was about to get lucky. “Just didn’t feel like wearing it.”

They toed off their shoes before stepping on the mat. Johnny disappeared for a moment while Casey stretched and came back with kick pads on his forearms.

“I thought I was just going to beat on the heavy bag,” she said with a raised eyebrow.

“You have to earn that by getting past me first,” he said, knocking the pads together.

“I feel like that should be the other way around.”

“What are you scared, princess?” Casey narrowed her eyes at him as she got to her feet and took a fighting stance. He learned early on that she didn’t like being called princess; she found it demeaning and it was a quick way to get under her skin, so Johnny decided to use that to his advantage tonight.

She came at him first with a front kick followed by hook kick, both of which he easily caught on the pads. “That all you got?” He egged her on. She jabbed and crossed, jabbed and crossed, and spun back with an elbow, each strike faster than the previous. Soon she was breaking a sweat, coming at Johnny with all her might, not thinking about anything other than the force of her body hitting the pads.

“Time!” Johnny called. She relaxed her stance and looked up at him; if possible, he was sweating more than her, his chest heaving, trying to pull in air while her own lungs burning from the exertion. She held back a laugh as he struggled to catch his breath, clearly having underestimated the power of her strikes.

“Well, did I earn the heavy bag.?” She asked sarcastically as she took off her tank top now wet with sweat.

“You did alright,” he said, taking a swig of water.

They went outside and he held the heavy bag while she worked it for what felt like hours. Johnny wouldn’t admit it to anyone, but it was probably the hardest workout he’d gotten in months and it was just holding pads and the bag for her while she let out all her physical and mental energy on them. He knew she had some physical strength to her, but he didn’t realize just how much. His arms and shoulders were already sore from catching her hits and even his legs were starting to shake with fatigue from bracing himself; he just hoped to be able to walk tomorrow.

She stopped hitting the bag to get some water and looked back at Johnny in his gi. The belt had loosened and the top fallen open in front, framing his defined pecs perfectly. He felt the heat of her gaze on him and showed that cocky grin. “See something you like?”

“I was just wondering, are you letting me hit things because you’re afraid to spar with me?”

Johnny held her eyes and walked up on her slowly, like a predator coming for his prey, but instead of running away, she stood tall and let him encroach on her space. “You want to spar with me, princess?”

“Yeah, unless you’re scared,” she challenged, taking a step towards him so they were torso to torso, and holding his hard stare.

He leaned down, only inches from her lips, making her reach instinctively towards him. “Take your stance,” he whispered before backing away, depriving her of a kiss. She bit her lip and took a step back.

They bowed to each other and took their fighting stances. Johnny struck first but only at half speed, allowing Casey to duck his kick and move aside. They danced around each other until she caught him off guard with a round house kick, taking him to the ground where she put him in an arm bar that felt like she could easily dislocate his shoulder. He tried to roll from her hold, but she just tightened her grasp making him groan in frustration. He tapped her thigh and she released him, letting him fall comfortably to his back before she climbed onto his waist, sliding her hands into his gi to rest on his abdomen.

“Say I win,” she ordered.

“No, you’re in a Karate dojo, we fight to three here.”

She moved her hands up to his nipples and pinched, causing him to hiss in painful delight. “Say I win,” she ordered again, sweetly. They both knew he could easily roll them and sweep her underneath him, but he loved her like this; sitting over him, practically dominating him.

“No, you didn’t!” He argued. This was war. She released his nipples and ran her hands down his chest and over to his sides, grazing her fingertips before she assaulted him with tickles.

He let out a high-pitched laugh as he tried to squirm away from her only making her thighs squeeze to him tighter to keep him under her. Casey felt a privilege in seeing him like this, like a little kid without a care in the world, because if anyone knew that big, badass Johnny Lawrence was ticklish, he’d never live it down. “Say I win!” She demanded, giggling.

“You win, you win!” He yelled between fits of laughter. She grabbed his wrists and pinned them up by his head before leaning over and taking his lips in a slow, deep kiss.

“Now was that so hard?” She asked with a smug grin. Johnny lifted his hips so his hardening dick hit her ass.

“No, but that’s getting there.” She gasped and wiggled against him before kissing him again. She released Johnny’s wrists, as if he couldn’t break her hold himself, and moved her hands down to untie his belt and open his gi the rest of the way. She ran her hands over him in appreciation, tracing his muscles with her fingers.

“You’re so fucking sexy, Johnny.” She purred, causing Johnny to turn red as he rolled them quickly so Casey was on her back under him.

“You’re one to talk, beautiful,” he growled and bit down on her ear lobe, sucking as a hand came up to her sports bra. He pushed it up and massaged her breast, rolling the nipple and making her gasp for him.

They were completely lost in each other, lost in the feeling of the grass underneath them, the cool night air on their sweaty skin. If they weren’t so lost to their primal urges, they may have heard the voices out front, or the sound of liquid being tossed against the front of the house. If Johnny hadn’t bit her nipple when he did, making her moan loudly, they may have heard the sound of an empty gas can being dropped or feet running away.

They certainly didn’t hear the match being struck, but Casey smelled it first. Even though Johnny had his hand in her shorts and under her panties, rubbing her clit just how she liked it while his tongue circled her nipple, the smell was too pungent to be ignored. She looked over through heavy lids and had to blink to make sure it was real.

“Johnny!” She yelled, sitting up quickly. “Fire!” Johnny looked up to see orange flames licking the house, making quick work of the beloved dojo.

Chapter Text

Responders were able to put the fire out quickly, but the damage was done. The old Miyagi home was left charred and smoking. Casey wondered if she’d ever be able to forget the look on Daniel’s face when he and Amanda arrived. It was utter devastation, the loss of memories and moments that shaped the person he was today. He fell into Amanda’s arms and sobbed.

The four of them sat in a small room at the police station for hours, giving reports and filling out paperwork.

“We already know who did this, it was John Kreese, bring him in,” Johnny said angrily.

“We don’t know that Mr. Lawrence. Once the structure is secure we will go in and investigate to determine the cause of the fire. If arson is found to be the cause, then we will start looking for suspects,” the young police officer said calmly.

“He put a cobra in my car a couple weeks ago to try and kill me. He did that and now this, it’s obvious,” Casey said. Johnny reached for her hand, holding it tightly and stroking her knuckles with his thumb.  

“They found evidence proving it was Mr. Kreese?” The officer asked.

Casey let out a resigned sighed. “Not officially, but he’s done it before.”

“Yeah, he did the same thing at our dealership,” Amanda said. “How many people have that same M.O?”

“We will look into Mr. Kreese and see if he has an alibi but right now we are going off circumstantial evidence and we can’t arrest a man based on that. What were you two doing there?” The officer asked Johnny and Casey.

“Just working out,” Casey said quickly, fearing that Daniel would never forgive Johnny or her if he knew they were about to have sex while his dojo burned. She glanced over at his pale face, clearly still processing the loss. He’d barely said three words since they entered the police station.

“Johnny’s got a key, he’s a Sensei at the dojo,” Amanda defended. “And you don’t need to be sitting here interrogating any of us, you need to go find John Kreese before he seriously hurts or kills someone.”

“Investigators will be in the structure tomorrow, we’ll try to find Mr. Kreese and we will be in touch.” The structure. It was no longer a home or a dojo, just a structure too damaged to be anything else.

 

It was pitch black when Casey and Johnny got to his apartment. Despite being physically and mentally exhausted when they got in bed, neither could sleep, each lost in their own wandering thoughts. Johnny replayed the night’s events in his head. Even though they could feel the heat of the flames, they were never in immediate danger. They pulled themselves together quickly and managed to jump the fence into a neighbors backyard where they called 911. But he couldn’t stop thinking of alternate scenarios. What if Kreese had brought a gun and wanted to shoot them? What if they hadn’t gone outside to hit the heavy bag but stayed in the house to spar? What if the fire had spread into the backyard and trapped them? What if… He couldn’t stop and every ‘what if’ ended the same way—what if he couldn’t protect her? He stroked the soft skin of her arm to remind himself that none of the ‘what ifs’ happened, she was still there and safe.

Casey laid on Johnny’s chest, the softness of his t-shirt and the warmth of his skin underneath a comfort only he could provide. While Johnny ran through every possible worst case scenario, she couldn’t help but think about her role in the chaos.

“Maybe I should leave for a while,” she said quietly. His fingers stilled and he looked down at her.

“What?”

“Not permanently just to get Kreese to stop doing this.”

“None of this is your fault, he’s trying to get to me, not you.”

“I’m the reason Robby got hurt.” She said sadly. “He wouldn’t have left Cobra Kai if I hadn’t told him what happened to me and then that asshole wouldn’t have attacked him in the competition.”

“No, you did what I couldn’t do in getting Robby out of there and I’m glad for it. He’s better off.”

“I’m not helping anything, Johnny. I feel like I’m only making things worse.”

“You’re not. Kreese is a psycho, he’d be doing this if you were here or not. You belong right here.” Johnny held her a little tighter and tried to sleep.

 

A few days later Amanda called with an update. “It was arson, the fire started on the outside of the building and they found evidence of an accelerant, probably gasoline. But, they said it wasn’t set by Kreese.”

“What?! Of course it was Kreese, who else would care to burn that place down?” Johnny yelled on the phone as he paced Casey’s apartment.

“They said he’s not even in the country, his passport was scanned going into Mexico a month ago and he hasn’t been documented as leaving. Someone named Terry Silver has vouched that he’s been staying at his place in Cabo San Lucas.”

“That’s bullshit!” Johnny yelled.

“Let me talk to Casey.” Amanda instructed, knowing that Casey would be the calmer of the two. Johnny tossed her his phone.

“Hey,” Casey said.

“Hey, did you catch all that?” Amanda asked.

“They don’t think it was Kreese.”

“He hasn’t been in the country for a month which means he couldn’t have burned the dojo down or…”

“Or put the cobra in my car,” Casey pursed her lips in frustration. “Those kids, he’s making those fucking kids do his dirty work, that coward.”

“Yeah, I think so too.”

“Will this ever be over?” Casey asked under her breath.

“It has to, at some point. We’re going to keep the kids close to home for a while, will you-“

“Yeah, we’ll talk to Miguel and Robby.”

Casey hung up and handed the phone back to Johnny who collapsed next to her on the couch, his head falling back to look at the ceiling.

“What are you thinking, baby?” She asked, turning towards him and letting her fingers move gently through his hair.

“I’m putting up another camera outside the bar, and one outside your place; I’ll put one up over at Carmen’s and Shannon’s. We keep missing him and we need to catch him in the act.”

“Johnny,” she said seriously, making him meet her gaze. “What are you going to do without Miyagi do?” She wasn’t sure if she was more nervous to ask the questions or hear his response; Johnny was a man who needed a purpose and not to be left to his own idle time.

“I don’t know. Ever since the All Valley I’ve been thinking of reopening Eagle Fang but Miguel said all the kids liked it at Miyagi-do so I just stuck around there.”

“But Miyagi-do was all Daniel, there wasn’t much of you in there.”

“I thought that may be for the best.” Johnny said quietly. She took in his face, a perfect picture of a stoic man. But she could see cracks in his façade that betrayed his feelings. The lines around his eyes were tighter, he was stressed out; the circles under his eyes were darker, he wasn’t sleeping because he was worrying; the constant pacing and fidgeting he’s started doing, he was scared.

“This could be your chance for you to really come together and create a dojo that’s both of yours.”

“Maybe, but I don’t know if LaRusso is ready to talk about that yet. I guess we’ll just go back to training in the park for a while.”

“Whatever you decide to do, it will work out.” She said confidently. Johnny didn’t believe that but it felt good that she did.

Chapter Text

The next couple of weeks were filled with tension and vigilance. All the Miyagi-do students were told to be alert, travel in pairs, and always tell someone where they were. Johnny installed digital security cameras wherever anyone would let him and insisted Casey call or text him whenever she left her apartment and when she got home. It felt tedious but she could see it eased a stress in him, so she didn’t complain. However, his protectiveness was borderline obsessive and it worried her. After all, this wasn’t the response of a man who trusted authorities like the police; this was the response of a man who learned early in life that it was on him to look after those he loved and keep them safe, because no one else would.

It was one thing to have Kreese around, at least Johnny always knew where to find him, but it was another to have him somewhere in the world directing a small army from afar. Too many close calls were happening on his watch: first Kreese showing up at the bar months ago, then the cobra in Casey’s car, now the burning of the dojo. He felt like he was failing at his primary role in life: to protect. Growing up he had to protect his mother from Sid which meant taking the brunt of his emotional abuse; as an adult he thought he was protecting Robby from himself by staying away from him. The fact that Robby had so grievously injured Miguel shook him because he wasn’t there to protect either boy from what happened. He didn’t want it to happen again, so he was on constant surveillance of everyone he cared about.

Casey noticed the stress it was causing him and, like Johnny just a few months before, felt helpless. Short of letting him lock her in his apartment so he wouldn’t have to worry about her, there was nothing she could do. Even as they laid on his couch watching a movie, she could feel his stress. His face was all hard lines, his body pulled tight like a guitar string ready to break, and he didn’t hold her so much as clutch her to him. She suggested they go to the cabin for a few days to let him relax but he made up an excuse about Robby’s physical therapy even though Robby was only doing physical therapy once a week now.

Casey tried to make him relax and shift his focus to her by running her fingers up his inner thigh, something that usually got him going quick. She started at his knee and let just the tips rub him lightly before she trailed into his leg and moved ever so slowly up, each time getting just a little higher until she just grazed his crotch with the back of her hand. She looked up at Johnny’s face—it was a blank stare at the television, no doubt thinking about Kreese; even his dick was turned off. She sighed and thought about the conversation she had with Amanda the previous day over lunch.

“He’s always stressed and I don’t know what to do to help him,” she’d said. “Even when we have sex it feels like he’s not fully there.”

“Maybe you need to change things up a bit, give him a reason to not think about anything,” Amanda suggested.

“What do you mean?”

“Try something new, something a little…dominating?” Amanda said with a raised eyebrow.

Casey’s curiosity was piqued but she wasn’t sure that Johnny would be into it, especially with things being so tense right now. But, there certainly wasn’t a lot left to lose right now. “Babe, I have a question for you,” she started a little nervously.

“Hm?” Johnny muttered, only half listening.

“What are your thoughts on BDSM?” She felt his head snap and look down at her. She glanced up and instantly met his bright blue eyes; yes, she had his attention for at least a moment.

“Like tying each other up and shit?”

“That can be part of it, some bondage or role playing as a sub or a dom.”

An impish grin began to pull at the corners of his mouth, something she hadn’t seen in a couple of weeks. “What did you have in mind?”

She couldn’t hide her own smile as her mind filled with ideas. “How would you feel about letting me play as a dom for a night and you being my sub?”

“Like your slave?”

“Not really, I wouldn’t do anything you don’t want, it would just be me calling the shots and you playing along.”

Johnny had never admitted it to anyone but he loved the idea of a woman controlling him. He was always the alpha, the protector, and he loved that. But to give up that control to a woman in a sexual way, let her control him for a while…he didn’t need convincing. “I’m in,” he said leaning down to kiss her, starting to press her back into the couch.

“Okay, but not tonight,” she said with a giggle as she wrenched her lips away and pushed him up.

“Why not? I’m ready to be dominated.” He rasped, raising an eyebrow.

“We need to set ground rules and I need to get some things first,” She said coyly. Johnny bit his lip, intrigued.

“What kind of ground rules?”

“Like a safe word, what I can do to you, what you don’t want me to do to you, what kind of toys I can use-“ She was cut off by his lips devouring hers again, the conversation definitely taking his mind off reality for a moment.

 

Before her shift the next day Casey went into a sex store to get what she needed and then a lingerie store to treat them both to something nice. She reserved a hotel room in hopes it would make him completely forget about everything, even if only for a night. She left the hotel key card at Johnny’s place along with the room number and time she wanted him there. He’d been at half-mast all day just thinking about what the night would bring.

He used the keycard to let himself into the room. It was a regular hotel room but dimly lit; the lamps next to the king bed were on but covered with sheer scarves giving them a softer glow. There were candles lit on top of a dresser giving the room a warm vanilla smell.

He sat on the end of the bed and waited, his knee bouncing with excitement as he stared intently at the closed bathroom door. His heartrate quickened as it cracked first, and then slowly opened. His eyes went wide at the sight of her--hair down in long waves resting on top of her breasts which sat high in a black lace bustier which was connected to thigh high nylons by garter straps laying just over a pair of tiny black panties. Her green eyes popped under her smokey eye makeup and the bright red on her lips accentuated their natural fullness. She was a fantasy straight out of one of his porn magazines.

His fists tightened on the bedspread, reminding himself that she was in control and he was her sub tonight. “Do you like what you see?” She asked, voice thick with lust, as she leaned against the door frame.

“Yes,” Johnny swallowed hard.

“You’ll call me mistress,” Casey commanded as she walked towards him. “Do you understand?”

Johnny looked up at her with dirty eyes. “Yes mistress.” Casey smiled back at him, this was going to be fun.

“Good boy,” she replied, stroking a finger over his cheek. “Now, stand up.” Johnny quickly did as told. “Strip, slowly.”

He tried to keep his movement slow as he dragged his shirt over his head and dropped it to the floor before undoing his jeans and letting them fall next. Her eyes never left him as he disrobed, and she drank him. Every flex of muscle, every ripple in his body, he moved so gracefully. He pulled off his socks before standing up to drop his boxers, dick standing proud.

She walked up to him slowly and took him in. He reached for her waist but she smacked his hand away. “You don’t touch unless I say you can, is that understood?”

Johnny dropped his hand to his side and clenched his fists to regain his self-control. “Yes, mistress.”

She ran her hands over his torso, taking a nipple in her mouth causing him to hiss. He kept his hands in tight balls which she clocked quickly. He was always so tactile when they were together, always touching her somehow. Even when he drove, he would put a hand on her knee or they’d hold hands so she knew how challenging this must be for him. She began to walk around him, running her fingers over his ribs, his hips, stopping just short of his dick. Behind him she ran her hands down his arms and covered his hands with hers, silently willing them to relax. She intertwined their fingers as she laid kisses on his spine causing his breath to hitch.

She gave his hands a reassuring squeeze before letting go and stepping back in front of him. She put her hands on his shoulders and pushed until he sat down on the bed. He was perfect eye level with her cleavage. She wasn’t the most well-endowed girl, on a good day she could completely fill her C cups but her bustier was pulled so tight it allowed her to have the tits she always dreamed of, for at least tonight. She grabbed Johnny’s hair roughly and tugged his face directly into her breasts, his tongue licking her, his teeth nippng causing her to let out a content gasp. She held his head tight to her with both hands, letting him get lost in her.

Then she felt his hands come up and grab her ass, trying to pull her further into him. She released her hold and stepped back quickly, disappointment written all over Johnny’s face. “I said no touching,” she scolded. “Do I need to restrain you?”

Johnny smirked, his eyes sparkling. “Yes, mistress, I don’t know if I can be trusted.” A small smile threatened her own lips at his playfulness.

“Lie back on the bed and put your hands over your head,” she ordered. Johnny did as told, as she watched him assume a spread eagle position--he was like putty in her hand right now, under her full control. They had talked about restraints and Johnny said handcuffs would be fine but she was too scared of hurting him or something going wrong, so she bought a pair of leather cuffs. Johnny could easily break their bondage if he wanted to, but she didn’t tell him that in hopes that he wouldn’t put up too much of a fight when things really got going.

She sat on his chest to secure the cuffs, he was officially restrained. She leaned over, only inches from his face. “You’re not going anywhere now,” she whispered, licking his lips before giving him a peck on the lips, all so fast he couldn’t even respond.

She stood up and looked down at him. The wetness between her legs obvious and arousing, she thought about just riding him already but no, she wanted this to last. She bit her bottom lip as she brought her hands up to her cleavage and touched herself, Johnny’s breath stopping for a moment as he watched her.

She pulled a breast out just enough that she could play with her nipple. She kept eye contact with Johnny, something that usually felt too intense but she wanted to see him, wanted to see his response to her. He licked his lips as he watched her, eyes growing dark with hunger. She stayed locked on his eyes as she slid her hands over her body and onto her panties, touching herself just where she wanted, making herself moan. “Baby, I’m so wet,” she purred. Johnny groaned watching her as she dipped her hand inside her panties and spread her wetness over a finger before pulling it out. She straddled Johnny’s chest and ran her wet finger over his lips. “Taste,” She said in a half request, half demand.

He didn’t have to be told twice, he leaned forward and captured the digit with his mouth, sucking her juice off, swirling it with his tongue to make sure he got all of it. Her hooded eyes watched him intently before pulling her finger away. “Do you want some more?” She asked.

“Yes, mistress,” he moaned.

“Say it clearly like a good boy.”

“I want to eat your pussy,” he said forcefully. Holy shit, she could climax off just that if she let herself.

She stood over him and took two small steps forward until his head was between her feet. She slowly knelt just over his mouth, staying up just of his reach while she pulled her panties to the side. He looked so intently at her wet pussy, like it was his last meal. He craned his neck up towards her, but she was still just out of his reach making her giggle. “Someone must be hungry,” she teased.

She lowered down a little further, so he was finally able to lick the edge of her folds. She came down more until her pussy rested fully on his mouth. He groaned as he explored her, licked her. She gasped at the way his mouth moved on her. God he was good.

She couldn’t stop herself from bucking her hips on his mouth, he just felt so good, she had to move. “Yes, baby, make me cum,” she sighed. He raised his chin just enough that he was able to reach her clit and flick it furiously with his tongue. “Yes, Johnny, that’s so fucking good, babe,” she moaned as she grabbed on to the headboard to keep herself steady as her orgasm came over her, making her eyes clamp shut and stars shoot behind them. He licked her and sucked her until she was too sensitive for anymore and she had to stand up. Her legs wobbled a bit as she tried to regain her balance after kneeling on him for so long.

“You okay, babe?” He asked.

“Yeah,” she smiled down at him sweetly before stepping back. She fixed her panties, which were fully soaked, and laid on top of him, her body flush to his, wet core sitting on his hard cock. She leaned up just enough to capture his lips for a deep kiss. She tasted herself on him as their tongues danced together. She pulled back and began the slow descent down his body with her lips. She nipped his neck, left a hickey on his clavicle, bit each nipple lightly before flicking it with her tongue and causing him to shudder.

She licked down his stomach and stopped just shy of his dick. Her fingers danced just around it, close enough to touch it but not giving into that temptation. She kissed his inner thighs, his hips, happy trail. His groans of frustration making her giggle in victory.  She finally had pity and licked him starting from the base of the shaft to the tip.

“Oh fuck yes,” he hissed. She took just the tip between her lips and sucked. His whole body tensed under her, the restraint being tested as she watched nervously to see if he’d break the tension, but it held well. She took him entirely into her mouth and sucked until she found a steady rhythm. He moaned his approval as she bobbed her head, taking him in all the way to the back of her throat. When his hips started to buck wildly against her, she stopped and stood up again. Johnny grumbled at the loss of her mouth but he watched as she slowly pulled her panties off before kneeling right over his member.

She slowly lowered herself on to him, taking her time to really relish as each inch of him entered her. She finally rested on his hips, his dick fully sheathed. She did a quick kegel to give him a squeeze, eliciting a pleasant gasp from him. She began riding slowly, giving herself a chance to build her orgasm back up. As she picked up her pace, her tits bounced from the bustier, the pink nipples peaking just over the top.

Johnny wondered if this was the hottest moment of his life. The woman he loved, riding him completely unbridled with her tits popping out of her insane lingerie. It felt so good, his arms tensed in the cuff but they didn’t break. God what he wouldn’t give to sit up, wrap his arms around her, take one of those nipples in his mouth and just thrust into her as hard as he could. He was so close to bursting but needed her to come again. He lifted his hips quickly, hitting her just right causing her to moan loudly. He did it again a few seconds later and that did it, she came apart on top of him, moaning, tensing; her body shaking, squeezing him as he followed, filling her completely.

She collapsed onto his chest while he went soft inside her. They both struggled to catch their breath. Casey leaned up to undo the cuffs, as soon as Johnny’s hand were free they were on her, making up for lost time by touching and stroking her wherever they could reach while she snuggled close.

“What did you think?” Casey asked, suddenly feeling shy.

“Baby, that was so fucking hot.” Johnny said before kissing her. “What about you?”

“I liked it, it’s fun having you completely at my mercy,” she said wickedly.

“I’m always at your mercy babe,” Johnny whispered.

Chapter Text

Johnny would never use the word ‘friend’ to describe Daniel LaRusso. That was a term reserved almost exclusively for the guys he grew up with. Yet, somehow, he found himself spending more and more time with Daniel, even without Miyagi-do. Casey and Amanda had been scheming ways to keep Daniel and Johnny working together since it was a set-up that everyone benefited from. Daniel got to balance his time better between the car dealership and the dojo while Johnny had a responsible business partner to deal with things like finances and paperwork. Each woman planted the seeds of persuasion in their man’s head, even though Johnny didn’t need much convincing. But, Daniel, still grieving the loss of the Miyagi home, was the holdout. In the final stage of their plan the couples were having dinner at the LaRusso’s, three of them ready to verbally dogpile on Daniel.

“The park is good for now, but we need an actual space with mats and equipment,” Johnny said.

“But all the destruction that’s been caused already, maybe it’s time to let it go. Besides the kids will be off to college in a couple of years and-“

“And you’ll have new students who will need your help and guidance,” Casey interrupted.

“The destruction caused by Cobra Kai, that’s on me. It wouldn’t have happened if I hadn’t brought it back, brought Kreese back,” Johnny said remorsefully. Casey put a hand on his back, hoping that one day he could forgive himself for that. “Don’t punish Sam, Miguel, Robby, or any of them for what I did. They deserve better.”

“I don’t know, I’ve got more time for the dealership now and—”

“The dealership is fine, you need this,” Amanda said, putting her hand over her husband’s.

Daniel sighed, he was out of excuses and outnumbered. “We’ll need to find a space and start everything from scratch. You up for that?”

Johnny smirked. “Hell yeah,” he said raising his glass. Wine and beer glasses clinked around the table while Casey and Amanda shared a knowing look. Their work here was done.

 

The balmy night air clung to Johnny and Casey as they waved their goodnights to the LaRusso’s and walked to his van. “How you feeling about all that?” She asked, snaking her arm around his waist while they walked.

“Good,” Johnny said with a weak smile.

“What’s wrong?” Casey asked, quickly clocking his halfhearted response.

“Just thinking…what’s to stop Kreese from burning down the new place?”

She stopped and turned to him, putting a hand on his cheek. “What was the one decent thing he actually taught you? Fear doesn’t exist in this dojo. Babe, don’t worry about what may happen, just do what feels right, now.”

Johnny leaned down and kissed her sweetly, his tongue just barely flicking against hers to taste the wine on it. He loved her constant support of him, always his biggest cheerleader. “Alright, good talk, let’s get your hot ass naked and in my bed,” he opened her door and smacked her ass as she climbed in, making her squeak in surprise. His phone vibrated in his pocket on his walk to the driver’s side, two notifications lit up his screen: 1 missed call, 1 voicemail, both from the same unknown number. He hit the button to listen as he started the ignition.

“Mr. Lawrence this is Rhonda, Sid’s home health nurse. I’m calling to let you know that Sid had a major stroke a couple of days ago and isn’t doing well. He’s been put under hospice care in his home, he, uh…he doesn’t have much time left. You’re the only next of kin listed and I wanted to make sure you had the opportunity to see him before he…is no longer with us. Call me if you have any questions.”

Casey looked over at Johnny. He threw his phone into the back of the van, his mood immediately darkening. His hands tightened on the unmoving steering wheel making her nervous. “Babe, what’s wrong?” She asked, stroking her fingers through the hair on the back of his neck.

“Sid’s in hospice, he doesn’t have much time left,” he said through gritted teeth.

“I’m sorry. Do you want to go see him?” She knew he had a tense relationship with Sid but moments like this had a way of changing things, sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worse. She wondered which way this moment would go for Johnny, but not for long, because the answer came fast.

“No,” he grunted, throwing the vehicle in reverse and pulling out of the driveway, squealing the tires.  They were quiet while he drove and the look on his face worried her, a combination of pain and anger. She kept her hand on his neck and shoulder, hoping to ground him and be a reminder that he didn’t have to deal with this on his own. He sped past his apartment and turned into the strip mall, parking in front of the mini mart, unconcerned that he was crooked and taking up two spots.

The silence continued as he got out and took quick strides inside, like a man on a mission. She watched him from the car and knew where this was going whether she wanted it to or not. Cobra Kai loomed dark and empty nearby. It gave her chills, she couldn’t help but feel like Kreese was in there, watching from the shadows, just waiting to strike.

Johnny walked out a couple of minutes later with a brown paper bag, pausing to open the bottle in it and take a swig before getting back in the van. Casey knew she had to be delicate now. She wasn’t afraid of him hurting her, just letting his emotions get the better of himself in this situation which is what usually happened when he can’t deal with his reality. He got into the driver’s seat and she put her hand on the bottle making him look over at her.

“Please,” she asked. “Just until we’re at your place.” She had told him before how scared she got when he drove while drinking. He agreed that it wasn’t the smartest and eventually stopped doing it…until now apparently. He released the bottle and let her hold it while he backed out.

“I’ll drop you off at your apartment,” he grumbled.

“Don’t,” she said softly. “I want to be with you tonight.”

He looked at her, his expression hard and filled anger, but not at her, just at life. “Your call,” he huffed. That he didn’t fight her gave her hope; maybe this didn’t have to be one of those times he drank so much she couldn’t sleep, maybe this could just be: have a drink and talk about what’s upsetting him, she thought naively. He pulled into his parking spot and turned off the car before holding his hand out for the bottle. She gave it to him reluctantly. He got out and made for his door with her hot on his heels. He took a long swig as he walked into his apartment and shucked off his leather jacket, letting it fall to the floor. He slumped on to the couch wordlessly.

She walked up and straddled him, pulling the bottle from his hands and placing it on the coffee table behind her. “You want it, baby?” He growled, digging his fingers into her ass hard, biting her neck. She put a hand on his chest and pushed him back. It wasn’t a bad idea if it kept him from getting wasted but she had a different plan of attack.

“Talk to me, babe,” she looked at him intently.

He grunted and tried to reach around her for the brown bag. She pushed him back again. “That’s not going to help, Johnny. Talk to me. What is making you so upset right now?” She asked firmly.

“Nothing, I hate that piece of shit, good riddance to him.”

“Then why are you hitting the bottle so hard right now?”

“Because, I want to. I want to forget I ever knew that asshole, let alone lived under his thumb for years.” He reached for the bottle again, but she pushed him back, again. He grabbed her hips roughly and pushed her off of him onto the couch. He picked up the bottle and took another long swig.

“Johnny, try talking to me instead of drowning whatever you’re feeling in a bottle,” she said, harsher than she meant.

“You’re one to talk, how loaded were you when I found you at that cabin. You left without even telling me, just disappeared,” he spat angrily.

“I can’t believe you would throw that in my face,” she said, her brow creased with anger. “Besides I’m working on managing my shit better, I’m not just burying things until they erupt.”

“Good for fucking you!” He yelled at her. “That’s you, that’s not me!”

“I’m just trying to help,” she said, fighting to keep her voice calm.

“I didn’t ask for your help. Just let me handle my shit and leave me alone!” He went to get his keys from kitchen counter, but she leapt over the coffee table to beat him there.

“You want to be a drunk asshole, be a drunk asshole, but I’m not going to let you be one behind the wheel.” She kept the keys out of his reach behind her back. He lunged, reaching behind her but she moved before he could reach her hand with the keys. He tried the other way, but she evaded him again. He lunged forward this time and caught her upper arm in his hand, his fingers digging into her as he pulled her to him and began to reach behind her, she struggled to hold on to the keys.

“Give me the keys,” he yelled, his fingers digging harder.

“Johnny stop!” she screamed.

His angry, drunken trance broke immediately. He released his grip on her arm and stumbled backwards, eyes wide with shock at his own actions. He grabbed his brown bag bottle and disappeared through the door.

Casey backed into the wall and slid down it, tears welling in her eyes. She threw his keys angrily across the room and began wondering what just happened. Johnny’s temper was no secret, but this was different. She knew this was the alcohol and not him, but she couldn’t deny how much he had scared her in that moment

Chapter Text

Casey stayed on the floor of Johnny’s apartment, unsure what to do next. With legs pulled to her chest her heart and mind raced, her body trembled. For a second, with her arm in his vice-like grip, she had feared Johnny, something she didn’t think possible. His temper was the stuff of legends and she wasn’t exempt from it, but never did she imagine he would put an unkind hand on her.  

She pulled in long, deep breaths and when she was beginning to calm, stood up. The quiet of the small space deafening from the absence of Johnny’s anger. Instinct told her to look for him, but logic said no good could come of that right now, he needed space.

Exhaustion was setting in fast as she went to his bedroom. She bypassed her change of clothes that stayed there and went straight to the drawer with his t-shirts. There was no organization and she wasn’t looking for anything particular, just something that was his. She pulled out a red long-sleeved tee and changed into it before climbing into bed. She hugged his pillow to her and inhaled, letting his scent provide comfort he wasn’t there to give; comfort from what he caused.

Sleep evaded her as she woke constantly to see if he was back. Worry set in as the sun crept through the curtains and he still wasn’t there.

 

Johnny stumbled from the apartment, bottle in hand, and let his feet guide him with no forethought to where he was going. Shame flooded his system when Casey’s face came to mind. He’d seen her scared before when Kreese came to the bar, when she’d wake up from a nightmare, or when she’d have a flashback, but it was the first time she was scared of him, the first time he touched her in a harmful way. The fear in her eyes that he put there…he didn’t know if forgiveness was possible.

For years he told himself that as long as he was a better man than Sid, he was doing alright. Unlike his stepfather, he’d never hit a woman, never sexually assaulted a woman, never even cheated on a woman. Even as a father he’d thought that staying away from Robby was better than bullying him like Sid did. So much of his life was dedicated to being different from the man who made his life miserable but, somehow, he had still become like him.

Without realizing it, Johnny walked all the way from his apartment to his childhood home. For hours he sat on the curb across the street and looked at large, white mansion, overcome with memories. From the outside it looked like the perfect house for the perfect family, any passing stranger would think so. But Johnny knew better. Inside the fancy walls, behind the expensive artwork, was a man who lived to torture others and no one was safe, not even his own family.

The sun rose slowly, and the liquor bottle in the brown bag became empty. An unsteady Johnny stood and walked towards the house.

A few minutes later a nurse was walking him to the sunroom, the same room his mother once loved so much. She’d sit and read or have tea while bathed in sunlight. There was a warmth to the house when she was alive; with her gone it felt like a cold carcass. The room still filled with sun, but the rays landed on a bedside monitor, a bed pan, and Sid’s unconscious form in a hospital bed.

The nurse spoke to Johnny about Sid’s health but he didn’t listen, he didn’t care. She encouraged Johnny to take his time and treasure these final moments before leaving the two alone, obviously unaware of the character of her patient.

He looked down at the dying man with his labored breathing and frail body. So many emotions flooded Johnny that he wasn’t sure which was which.

“That nurse said I should talk to you because you can still hear me…I really hope you can hear me in there, Sid.” Johnny paused and took a deep breath. “Because I fucking hate you.” He said through gritted teeth. “My mother deserved better than a piece of shit like you. She was only with you because she wanted better for me and I…I hate that. I hate that she did that for me. Just…why? Why couldn’t you have tried?” He choked back a sob. “Why couldn’t you have tried to be a good man to her and a fa- why couldn’t you have just tried? Why did you have to be such a prick all the time?” He took a step back from the bed and exhaled. “You know, I was a pain in the ass kid so maybe I had it coming sometimes, but she didn’t. She didn’t deserve any of it. Good riddance to you, old man.”

Johnny felt no regret as he left the house for the last time. He was finally able to speak his truth to Sid after decades of pain. He had one more person he had to go see…after he got another drink.

 

Casey stayed around Johnny’s place for a few hours, waiting. Time was moving too slow so she took a shower, made breakfast, cleaned up, but barely an hour had passed. She was going crazy at his place so she sent him a text: “I’m taking your car and going to my place for a while. Let me know if you need me to pick you up from somewhere.” While she prayed for a response, she didn’t expect one.

Before going home, she stopped by the mini mart, the bar, and the beach but still, no sign of him. She was restless with worry. At 11 p.m. it would be 24 hours and she could file a missing person report. No one’s going to care about a missing middle-aged man with a record, she thought grimly. She tried to read, tried to watch a movie but nothing eased her mind.

Around 2 p.m. she sent him another text. “Johnny, I’m so worried about you. Please let me know you’re okay.”

 

A couple of hours later Johnny stumbled through the cemetery. He used to come here often after his mother passed. He’d sit and drink at her headstone, trying to avoid the pain in his heart while Shannon was at home taking care of their infant son. He stopped in front of the large marble slab and sat in the grass.

“Hey mom,” he said sadly. “Sorry I haven’t visited in a while. I just wanted to tell you that Sid’s going soon. Don’t worry, you won’t see him, he’s going to hell for sure. I just saw him and, I’m not sorry for what I said. I hate him for how he treated you, how he treated us.” Johnny wiped away a tear with the back of his hand. “Robby’s doing good, his knee is almost fully healed. You should see him, he’s so headstrong and determined. You’d be crazy for him, I know he’d be crazy for you.” Johnny paused to swallow a lump in his throat and wipe away more tears.

“I think I really messed up, mom. And not like when I started the fire at community college, like really messed up. I got mad and grabbed Casey last night. I scared her. All this time I tried so hard to be different than Sid but, he still got in there somehow. She’s great, mom, you’d love her but I think I just ruined it, like I always do. I never want to be on my deathbed and have someone say the things to me that I just said to Sid. I don’t want anyone else to be that angry at me when I go. I want to be better, mom.” There was no more point in wiping away tears, the flowed to freely now.

 

Casey had to get out and feel like she was doing something. There was no sign of Johnny at any of the bars within walking distance and still no sign of him at the beach. His apartment was still empty and even Miguel didn’t know where he was.

She went to his apartment and slumped on the couch. She was exhausted from lack of sleep and too much worrying. Every worst case scenario had played out in her head multiple times, each more bleak than the last. She laid down and let out tears filled with tired frustration. She cried herself into much needed sleep—sleep so deep she didn’t hear Johnny come in.

He sat on the coffee table and drank her in, just happy to see her after what happened the night before. He reached a hand out and pushed away hair from her face, letting his thumb linger on her cheek. She startled awake but quickly recognized Johnny’s face, even in the darkness.

“Oh my god,” she gasped as she threw her arms around his neck. She knew she should be furious but after imagining him dead or unconscious somewhere, relief flooded her to see him alive and breathing. “I was so worried, where were you? Are you okay?”

She turned on the light next to the couch to see him better but he turned away at the bright light.

“Johnny, what happened?” She couldn’t read his face. He looked like he hadn’t slept at all. He pursed his lips, looking openly anxious, something unlike him.

“I-uh…I’m so sorry Casey. I hurt you and-“ as he adjusted to the light he could make out the three circular bruises on her bicep. He reached out and stroked them tenderly. “Oh god, babe, I’m so sorry I did that to you.” The moment suddenly chilled her. Maybe it was the smell of alcohol on his breath or his touch on her bruised skin, but she felt uneasy being with him.

“Come on,” she said standing up. “You need to sleep it off.” He followed her like a lost child into his bedroom and allowed her to help him undress.

Just as she’d done the times before, she got him a glass of water and aspirin and left both on his nightstand. She slept on the couch so she could keep an eye on him. Whenever she woke up she peeked into his room to make sure he was still breathing and not on his back. At 8 a.m. she couldn’t sleep anymore on his lumpy old sofa. She checked him one more time. There was a puddle of vomit on the floor beside the bed and he seemed to be sleeping deeply based on his light snoring. The glass of water was empty so she refilled it before she left.

She went home, got in her own bed and stayed there until her alarm went off at 5 telling her it was time to get ready for her shift that night. Her phone dinged on the way to the bar with a text message from Johnny.

“Can you come over tonight?”

She waited until she got to the bar to respond. “I’m working tonight.”

He responded quickly. “Can I see you tomorrow? I can bring you lunch.”

She thought about it before replying. He was trying to make amends, but she wasn’t feeling forgiving. Regardless, they still needed to talk. “Sure. No earlier than noon though.”

“I’ll be there with your favorite from that raw fish place you like.”

“Ok.” Yes, he was really trying. He hated that place.

“I’m sorry I worried you. I love you so much, baby.”

In the moment, she was mad and spiteful, so she left him hanging on ‘read’ for a couple of hours before responding. “I love you too.”

Chapter Text

Casey laid in bed staring at her ceiling. Even though she’d been awake for a while, she hadn’t bothered to do anything other than get up for the bathroom and then come right back to bed. She hadn’t even gotten dressed, still in her sleep shorts and tank top, because to put on anything else was too much work. It was 11:52 a.m., Johnny would be there soon and she had no idea what to say to him. The future wasn’t something she gave much thought to, but, for the last few hours, it was all she could think about. She’d never felt uncertain in her relationship with Johnny. Insecure, sure, but a little voice inside always reminded her that he was the real deal, especially given everything they’d already weathered. But that voice had gone silent over the last 24 hours.

A myriad of questions ran through her mind and, unfortunately, there was no way to answer them now. What would happen next time Johnny drank like that? Would he ever get so belligerently drunk that he would hit her? He was on parole and had a lengthy rap sheet, how many drunken nights were left before he faced jail time and had to go away? Did she have it in her to stick around and wait for the answers?

A light knocking broke her focus and she glanced over at the clock: 12:01 p.m. She padded to the door and opened it to a contrite looking Johnny. His blue eyes were heavy and looking at her under his perfectly messy blonde hair.

“Hey beautiful,” he said, leaning over to kiss her softly.

“Hey,” she replied, stepping aside to let him in, a large brown bag of food in each hand.

“I wasn’t sure what you were in the mood for, so I got everything you liked.”

She wanted to be touched by his gesture, moved by his thoughtfulness, but she just wasn’t. This wasn’t an apology, he was trying to appease her and make things okay until this happens again.

Johnny set the bags on the coffee table and took a seat as he pulled out plastic containers of food.  Casey would normally sit right next to him, close enough that their knees would touch, but he noticed the space between them when she got on the couch, curling herself up in the corner. She was so close but still so far away.

“How are you feeling today?” She asked.

“Okay physically, like shit otherwise.”

“Yeah, this was bad,” she sighed, rubbing a hand over her tired eyes. “You scared me. Not just…before you left but not hearing from for a day after—"

“I know babe, I’m sorry. I just had some things to do.  I won’t do that again, I promise,” he reached over and put a hand on her knee. His touch was warm on her bare skin, so warm she wanted to nestle into it, but she couldn’t, not this time.

“I can’t keep doing this,” her words so quiet she wasn’t certain they were audible, but the sudden tension in his body and the panicked look on his face assured her they were.

“I promise I will never hurt you again and I---“

“No, Johnny. It’s just so hard being in a relationship with someone as unpredictable as you.”

“I’m not-“

“You are! Bad shit happens with Robbie or Miguel or Sid or we have a fight and then you drink too much, I worry and take care of you and then you come to and apologize and we’re good until it happens again. It’s so hard.” She pressed her lips together to stop the tears forming in her eyes.

“Okay, so let’s agree that when I drink a lot you should stay away.”

“Seriously?!” She scoffed. “So, I’ll see you, what, once a week because when you factor in work schedules, the time you spend drinking plus the hangover recovery that’s what we’re going to be left with and, it’s not even about the time, it’s about…”

“About what?” Johnny asked seriously, his voice taking on an edge of anger.

“It’s about how it scares the shit out of me!” She yelled in a release of frustration and anger built up over the last couple of days. “When you drink you make horrible decisions! You get behind the wheel, you start fights, you end up in jail. It’s not a matter of if you get seriously injured or killed, it’s a matter of when because of how out of control you get! When you pass out, I have to constantly check on you to make sure you’re still breathing or haven’t choked on your vomit. When you’re drunk and you’re out, I can’t sleep or eat or even function because I’m so terrified that I’m going to get a phone call saying your dead body has been found somewhere. I love you so much and I’m so scared of something terrible happening to you.” She didn’t know when she started crying but now that the tears had started, they weren’t stopping.

She buried her face in her arms and Johnny moved closer, pulling her into him and stroking her hair. “I’m sorry, Casey,” he mumbled. “It’s been a really long time since someone loved me like this, I guess I don’t know what to do with that.” His mom, he thought. His mom may have been the only other person who truly cared like this.

She pulled back and looked up at him with red rimmed eyes. “Will you try to cut back on the drinking? Not stop, that’s not safe for you but just, when hard shit happens, maybe not reach for a bottle first.” Hope dripped in her voice that he would say yes and then they could move forward, but the silence that fell between them quickly took it away.

Johnny answered slowly. “I don’t know. I don’t know how to do that.”

She wiped her tears and looked up at him. “I can help you, baby, you just have to talk to me.”

He opened his mouth but no words came out. His reluctance obvious…and infuriating. “I just don’t know.” He said again. She pulled out of his grasp.

His answer, or lack thereof, like a dagger to her heart which was rapidly turning cold. “Okay, then. I think we need to take some time and think things over.”

“What?”

“I can’t keep doing this cycle, Johnny, it’s so painful and it’s escalating.” She said, gesturing to her arm. “So, if you can drink less then I’m here, I’m still all in, but if you can’t…then I don’t know how I fit into your life, especially long term.” Her voice was shaking, and fresh tears threatened.

Johnny looked at her, a mix of sadness and anger, spreading across his face. “I didn’t ask for this,” he said quietly. “I didn’t ask for you to come into my life, to worry about me, to care—I didn’t ask for any of it.”

“That’s not how it works. And we both asked for this. From the first night I invited you over, I asked for it. From the first time you asked me out after we fucked in the bar bathroom, you asked for it. You asked for it when you came to get me from the cabin, when you drove me to and from treatment. I asked for it every time I stuck around after one of your binges. We brought each other to this point and now, we’re at an impasse. We need to figure out our direction.”

Chapter Text

Two weeks of full radio silence, that’s what Casey wanted. Two weeks of no communication unless it was an absolute emergency like a reappearance of Kreese. 14 days.

Johnny left her place with that familiar ache in his chest, the one he got when he was feeling too much all at once, and he wanted it gone. Out of habit he drove to the liquor store nearest his place and parked in front of it. He was doing exactly what she didn’t want him to do, but fuck it, there was nothing else to lose now.

 

“Sensei? Sensei?”

Johnny knew that voice. He blinked a few times and Miguel’s face came into focus. The room was too bright and the teen’s voice too loud for his hungover self.

“What do you want?” Johnny groaned, pushing himself up and realizing where he was: his living room floor, the same spot he passed out in hours ago.

“I knocked for like five minutes, but you didn’t answer and I got worried. Are you okay?”

“No, nothing’s okay,” Johnny mumbled as he got up and stumbled towards the couch. He picked up a beer can from the coffee table, but it was empty, he reached for another one that was laying on the floor, but it was also empty.

Miguel went to the kitchen and got a bottle of water. “What’s going on?” He asked, sitting himself in the armchair and passing the water to Johnny.

“Casey and I are, I don’t know what to call it, on a break or something.”

“What does that mean?” Worry spread on Miguel’s face.

“I don’t know. Things got out of hand a couple nights ago and now she wants me to not drink so much and talk about my feelings. I said I didn’t want to so now we have to ‘take time apart’ and ‘think about our future’ or some dumb shit chicks make you do when they’re pissed.” Johnny drank deeply from the water bottle while Miguel waited. “If I’d known she’d be such a nag about this I wouldn’t have let it go this far with her.” He knew he was lying, to Miguel and himself, even the words felt wrong as they left his mouth.

“That’s bullshit,” Miquel said sharply. “She’s not a nag, she’s scared for you and, sometimes, I get scared for you too.”

Johnny’s brow furrowed in confusion. “What are you talking about?”

“When things are tough you get a six pack, when things are really tough you get two and when things are worse you get a bottle. Most of us are used to seeing you with a beer or two but I see you when you’re really drunk, and, sometimes it gets out of control. You drink and drive or throw things around, it’s a lot.”

“You sound just like her, you girls should have a slumber party,” he said, leaning back on the couch and rubbing his temples. Miguel rolled his eyes.

“Have you ever thought about getting help? Maybe try therapy or AA?”

“What, go somewhere and talk about my feelings with someone, what a pussy thing to do.”

“It’s not, it’s badass and takes a lot of balls.”

“Diaz, men don’t talk about their feelings, that’s for chicks.”

“No!” Miguel said forcefully. “What’s a pussy move is to bury your feelings until they explode in a drunken rage and your girlfriend leaves you.”

Johnny pulled himself up and glared at him, pointing a finger of warning. “Watch it kid, you don’t know-“

“Quiet!” Miguel yelled, pounding his hand onto the coffee table between them rendering Johnny silent. “Badasses do hard things, right? One of the hardest things to do is face your own problems, know your feelings and talk about them, so be a badass and learn how to do that. Pussies run away and that’s what you’re doing every time you drink, you’re running from the problem. You’re running so hard that you’re about to lose the girl you love and who loves you. Until you can face your problems without being trashed, don’t talk to me about what men do!” Miguel stormed out of the apartment, slamming the door shut behind him.

 

Johnny licked his wounds for a couple of day, alternating between moments of sober clarity and drunken numbing. His conversations with Casey and Miguel played on repeat in his head. He’d come so far in trying to better himself, why wasn’t that enough? Why did it have to be more and why did it have to be this? Besides, he wasn’t drunk all the time. He stopped drinking first thing in the morning and, some days. didn’t have his first beer until almost dinner time. And now he had to cut back even more and talk about his feelings?

His mind kept wandering to Casey and how much he missed her. After she told him what happened to her at Kreese’s hand, he was determined to keep her safe but, somehow, he’d become more of a threat to her than Kreese. Those bruises on her arm, those bruises that perfectly matched his hand and fingers, those bruises were proof of who the real threat to her was. What did he just say to his mom a few days ago? He wants to be better. This was his time to prove that, to be the man that Casey deserves and the one his mom needed.

He swallowed his pride and knocked on the Diaz door, finally ready to ask the question: “How does this therapy thing work?”

Miguel sat down with him on his laptop and they began searching for therapists in the area. They looked for men, Johnny was adamant that he couldn’t talk to a woman about feelings, who had a sliding pay scale. When Johnny wasn’t looking Miguel added extra filters for substance abuse and relationship problems. They found a couple of guys who Johnny agreed to call and a few days later he had his first appointment.

 

Johnny sat across from the younger man and couldn’t help but wonder what the hell he was doing here. This therapist was the kind of pussy he hated, with his man bun and skinny jeans. He probably drove one of those electric cars and ate only kale. Even the office was too new age for this taste; shiny rocks were placed all over the room and it smelled like something, he couldn’t put his finger on it but it was very earthy.

“So, Johnny, what brings you to therapy?” The man asked calmly.

Johnny cringed, he couldn’t believe it had come to this. Casey--it was for Casey, he reminded himself. “My girlfriend thinks I drink too much,” he said cautiously.

“How do you feel about that?”

Johnny shrugged. “I like beer and I don’t think I drink more than any other red-blooded American guy.”

The shrink nodded. “So, for you, drinking is tied to your masculinity, you do it because that’s what men do?”

“I know chicks can drink too. My chick will throw back drinks with me sometimes.”

“So why does she think you drink too much?”

“Things got a little out of hand last week. I was drinking, she had my keys, and I put hands on her to try and get them back.”

“You hit her?”

Johnny could feel his hackles raise at the look of judgement on the other man’s face. “No, of course not, I just grabbed her too hard. I wasn’t thinking.”

“Okay, so it sounds like we really need to dig out and examine your toxic masculinity and misogynistic beliefs.”

“My what?” Johnny asked with confusion.

“At what age did you start masturbating, Johnny?”

“What?!” He exclaimed louder.

“It’s okay Johnny, this is a safe space and I’m here to help you embrace the child within and learn to be in touch with your feminine side.”

“Hell no!” Johnny shouted as he got up and sprinted for the door. Forget all this touchy-feely bullshit, he thought.

“Fuck!” He yelled in his minivan, banging his fist on the steering wheel and making the horn blow.

He was supposed to be doing this for Casey, but he wasn’t about to talk to some hipster guy about his first jerk off. Frustration filled him, he needed a drink. The keys were in the ignition and he was ready to head to his liquor store when his phone dinged, probably Miguel checking to see how the appointment was going.

‘Hey Johnny, I’m about to take off for Big Bear, same spot as last time, remember?’

Shit. He had forgotten that he was meeting Jimmy and Bobby this weekend for a camping trip. It was Tommy’s birthday and they wanted to do something together to remember him, just the OG Cobras.

‘I remember, see you guys soon.’

He went home and threw a bag together before heading out. As usual he was the last one there, Bobby and Jimmy had beat him and already begun setting up camp. He greeted them happily with hugs all around. They quickly got a fire going, opened some beers as the sun set and began sharing stories of Tommy.

“Remember when we were at Golf ‘n’ Stuff and Tommy was trying to get the attention of some of the new freshman girls?” Jimmy said with a grin.

“Yeah, he was trying Dutch’s move of throwing food at them but instead of milk duds it was pickles,” Bobby chuckled.

“That chick, what was her name, the red head?”

“Tina!” Bobby said.

“Yeah, Tina came over and popped him right in the nose and he started bleeding all over the nachos.” Jimmy laughed.

Johnny watched his friends enjoy the shared memory, but he wasn’t feeling as light as they were.

“Hey, it worked because they went out for almost a year,” Bobby added.

“Because Ali put in a good word for him with Tina,” Johnny said. A hush fell over the dark camp, the same hush that came over them whenever Ali’s name came up, revered and sacred in this circle.

“Good ol’ Ali,” Jimmy said.

“Last time we were here, Tommy told me he was in love with her in high school.”

“Hate to tell you pal, I think we were all in love with Ali at some point,” Bobby said with Jimmy nodding in agreement.

“Yeah, it’s hard not to love her,” Johnny sighed. “I saw her last Christmas, she was in town and we hung out for the day.”

“No kidding, how was that?” Bobby asked.

“It was good, like we were kids again.” Johnny smiled fondly at the memory.

“Things rekindling?” Jimmy asked with a raised eyebrow.

“Nah,” Johnny said. “I actually met someone else, we’ve been going out for a while now.”

“Johnny Lawrence has a steady girl?” Jimmy asked, surprised. “What’s she like?”

Johnny smiled and bit his lip as Casey’s face came to his mind. “She’s a real badass, you guys would like her. She’s funny and smart, she reads books, total smart ass though, beautiful. She does Jiu Jitsu but I don’t hold that against her too much.” The guys chuckled. “She’s one of the strongest people I’ve ever known. She’s amazing. And, as usual, I’m messing it all up.”

“Why would you mess that up?” Bobby asked simply.

“I didn’t mean to, I just-I had too much to drink and was trying to get my keys from her, I just grabbed her too hard and now…now she’s asking me to cut back on the drinking.” He said as he took a sip of his beer. “I feel like she’s trying to change me into something I’m not,” he said sadly.

“If it’s any consolation, you’re still an asshole so she hasn’t changed you much.” Jimmy jibed making Johnny laugh weakly.

“Johnny, iron sharpens iron. It sounds like she doesn’t want to change you so much as she wants you to try being a better version of yourself,” Bobby suggested.

Johnny shrugged. “What’s the point? Miguel helped me find a therapist, I met with the guy and it was a complete waste, that shit’s not for me.”

“Maybe you don’t need a therapist, maybe you just need someone who knows you and who can listen.” Bobby said.

“Like who?” Johnny said, Bobby rolled his eyes.

“Like me dumbass, as a member of the clergy I’m a trained pastoral counselor.”

“What, like confession?” Johnny asked, making Jimmy choke on his beer in laughter.

“I’m not a priest!” Bobby shouted up into the dark night sky in frustration. “Let’s schedule a weekly standing appointment, you come by and talk, I’ll counsel, and we’ll see how that goes.”

“Alright,” Johnny agreed. It wasn’t therapy, but maybe it was a start.

Chapter Text

Johnny pulled into his parking spot, got out of the van and stretched his arms overhead. The drive back from Big Bear was long with bumper-to-bumper traffic, but the weekend had been just what he needed; some time with the boys where he wasn’t constantly thinking about Casey, counting the hours and minutes until he could see her again. He grabbed his bag from the backseat and started for his place.

Frozen with his key in hand, he heard voices inside the apartment, two of them. He pressed his ear to the door, but it was too muffled to make out words or distinguish the voices. He turned the knob slowly, it was unlocked. A more rational person would stop and call the police, but Johnny wasn’t going to back down from a fight, no matter how many people Kreese sent after him. He dropped his bag, took a step back and inhaled deeply. With a loud kiai he kicked the door open, ready for whoever was waiting for him.

A sigh of relief left him as he saw Robby and Tory sitting on his couch, both startled by his aggressive entrance. “Dad, what—”

“I heard you outside, thought you were Kreese’s goons, I was half right,” he said, eyeing Tory suspiciously. “What’s she doing here?”

“She needs to talk to you. I wouldn’t bring her if I didn’t think it was important, or if I didn’t trust her.” Tory looked nervous, with her eyes wide and jaw tense, a far cry from the confident swagger she usually carried.

“Yeah? You still Kreese’s star student, Miss Nichols?” Johnny asked, closing the door and sitting in his chair. He leaned forward, still ready to strike at the first sign of trouble.

“No, that’s why I’m here.” She looked to Robby who gave her a nod. “It’s probably no secret that we burned Miyagi-do and I’m sorry about that, things got out of hand. Sensei Kreese left for Mexico after the tournament but Cobra Kai has still been meeting in private and he’s been…directing us.”

“What do you mean?” Johnny asked, proceeding cautiously, scanning the girls face for lies.

“He’s had us watching you and your girlfriend. Kyler and Doug put the snake in her car. But, uh, now he’s asking us to take it to the next level.”

“What does that mean?”

“He wanted us to attack you both, separately. His exact words were ‘no mercy, make it brutal and painful.’ He also said not to worry if we got carried away, we’d be protected.” Even though the words weren’t there the message was clear, Kreese wanted them dead. The realization made Johnny’s blood turn cold.

“So why are you here?”

“This isn’t what I signed up for. My little brother asked to join Cobra Kai and I don’t want him doing the things I’ve done or end up how I’ve ended up. It’s all too much now for most of us. Cobra Kai’s disbanded. We don’t feel right anymore doing what he wants us to do. There’s still a couple hold outs but not enough to do any major damage.”

“Why should I believe anything you’re saying?” Johnny asked, his voice simmering with anger.

“I don’t know, maybe you shouldn’t,” Tory shrugged. “But, whether you believe me or not, I’m going to the police. I’ve got texts and screen shots of conversations with Sensei Kreese and the others. I’m confessing to my role in everything.”

Robby’s eyes widened in shock as he reached for her hand, this was clearly new information to him and Johnny immediately noticed the concern in his son. “Why would you do that? You’re taking care of your mom and brother, you’ll end up in juvie—”

“I told you, I don’t want him to be like me. We’ve got an Aunt out in Bakersfield he can stay with while I’m in and my mom can get a full-time nurse with her Medicaid. I have to do this, I have to make this right.” Tory said, determination in her voice.

Johnny considered everything she was saying, it could very well be a trap Kreese was setting for him. He didn’t know Tory well, but what he did know was that her family was her world. If she was willing to turn herself in then maybe it could all, finally, be over. He relaxed, met her gaze, and nodded. “Alright Miss Nichols. If you do this, I got your back, so anything you need, for yourself or your family, just ask.”

 

Tory left for the police station a while later with Robby who insisted on going with her. If Johnny had known about their involvement a month ago, he would’ve been pissed but seeing her take responsibility for her actions softened him towards the idea. After all, he was no angel at their age, but he also wasn’t committing arson and attempted murder.

He pulled out his phone and brought up Casey’s contact info. It was saved with a picture of her smiling at the camera while he held her from behind and kissed her neck. What he wouldn’t give to feel her skin under his lips right now, to hear her laugh, to see her saunter through the door and call him handsome. They’d agreed to no contact unless it was an emergency and, even though this wasn’t technically an emergency, it was Kreese-related and he didn’t feel he should sit on it…or at least that’s what he was telling himself.

He listened to the phone ring and then glanced at the clock, just after 9 p.m., she was probably working. He could just hang up, but he so badly wanted her to answer so he could hear her voice. After a couple more rings it went to voicemail.

“Hey babe,” he started, cringing at the term of endearment, saying it out of habit and wondering if he was still allowed to call her that. “Um, sorry to be breaking the no-contact rule but I just wanted to let you know that I was talking to one of Kreese’s star students and she’s going to the police with all the information she has on Kreese, the fire, the snake in your car, and…some more stuff he was planning.” He’d spare her the more harrowing details for the sake of her mental health. “So, it’s over, he’s done for. The Cobras are gone and Kreese is still in Mexico so, you’re safe now. We’re all safe. Um…yeah, I just wanted to let you know.” He paused, there was so much he wanted to say here: I love you, I miss you, my life is not the same without you, I’m trying, please don’t go. “I hope you’re okay, bye.”

 

It had been a challenging shift for Casey. People were loud and rude, and a customer threw a beer on her when she declared them overserved and refused to bring more drinks. She desperately wanted to get home, have a shower, and crawl into bed. Really, she wanted to crawl into Johnny’s bed, have his big, warm arms hold her close and make her forget this awful shift.

She checked her phone as she entered her apartment and locked the door behind her. Her heart skipped when she looked at the screen. A missed call and a voicemail from Johnny. She held her breath as she listened, not sure what to expect, would this be a drunk dial or a legitimate emergency? She exhaled with relief as she listened. Just hearing his voice was calming enough but the news that someone was turning themselves in and taking down Kreese, it made her feel light. She listened to it three times and with each listen, her smile grew wider. She had missed his voice so much.

Even though it was the middle of the night, she decided to call him back and let him know she got his message--it was only polite, she reasoned. Her heart sank a bit as it rang and went to voicemail. He used to leave it on, loud, for her all night, just in case, but maybe he didn’t feel the need to do that while they were taking time apart.

“Hey baby,” she said, the word falling from her lips so naturally she didn’t even think about it. “I got your message, thanks for letting me know, that’s great news.” She paused, unsure what to say next, but not ready to disconnect either. “So, I know two weeks is up on Saturday, but I work all weekend and was wondering if you wanted to come over to talk on Friday or if you can’t do that we can do Monday, whatever works best, just let me know.” She cringed at her own voice, so uncertain and needy. She missed him so much and she wanted to tell him that, but she didn’t know what kind of state he was in or where his mind was at. “So just call or text me back when you get a chance. Bye.”

 

Johnny couldn’t sleep, there was too much on his mind. So he decided to be productive and do some laundry. He was in the laundry room pulling his clothes from the dryer when Casey called. His heart flipped when his phone dinged with a new voicemail from her. He smiled at hearing her voice, literally warming him from the inside out. Of course he’d want to see her on Friday, he’d go over there and see her now if she asked him too. Without hesitating he called her back but it went to voicemail again. “Hey babe, me again,” he said it easier now, “Friday sounds great, 6 okay?”

 

Casey got out of the shower and immediately checked her phone. A voicemail from Johnny was waiting for her. She squealed to herself as she played the message. He sounded happy, she hoped it was a good sign. She called him back and instead of ringing it went straight to voicemail. He had a habit of letting his phone die completely before charging it so she wasn’t terribly surprised. “Hey handsome, on Friday I’ve got an appointment with Doc A from three to four, and then nothing else so if you want to come over a little earlier, that’s okay. You’ve still got your key so just come in. See you then, bye.”

She was feeling hopeful and optimistic, praying desperately that the reality wouldn’t betray her.

 

Johnny groaned in frustration to wake up and see his phone was dead. He plugged it in and immediately clicked on the voicemail Casey had left for him while he slept. For the first time in a long time, things seemed like they were looking up for him.

 

Johnny had circled Casey’s block twice to kill time, he was thinking about doing a third. He got there at 3:58 but didn’t want to seem desperate or over eager. It was now 4:07. That was okay right? Still considerate but not needy? He’d never been so concerned with an arrival time but there just felt like so much at stake and he wanted to get it right. By time he got up to her door it would almost be 4:10, that seemed okay, he thought.

He unlocked her door and stepped inside, smiling as he saw her curled up on the couch, a true sight for sore eyes. “Hey beautiful,” he said tentatively, unsure how she’d receive it.

“Hey handsome,” she said softly, smiling at him, drinking in the vision he was in jeans, a brown t-shirt, and black leather jacket. She stayed in her spot on the couch, legs pulled to her chest, so he took a seat on the other end, uncertain what was appropriate before discussing the potential future or demise of the relationship.

“How have you been?” He asked.

“I’ve been okay,” she said even though it was a lie. The real answer was that she’d been miserable. She missed him fiercely and could barely concentrate on anything. There was an asshole at the bar last week that got real handsy and she wished she could go to him after her shift to make her feel safe. She wanted to tell him all that, but she didn’t. Her guard would stay up until she knew where they were at. “How about you?”

“I’ve been good,” Johnny nodded. “I’ve missed you,” he reached out and put his hand over hers. She let him, her thumb rubbing against his, it felt good, warm and right.

“I’ve missed you too,” she admitted against her better judgement.

“I thought about what you said,” he stated quietly, keeping his eyes on their connected hands. “Miguel helped me find a therapist, but I didn’t really like the guy so I’m going to be seeing my friend Bobby for that stuff, he’s a counselor for priests or something.”

A smile tugged at Casey’s lips, everything in her softening quickly. “Really?”

“Yeah, had my first session with him yesterday, it went good,” he said with a half-smile. Johnny had found talking to Bobby much easier than the therapist. Their time had gone fast since he didn’t feel like he was in therapy, he was just talking to his friend.

“Johnny, that’s great.”

“Yeah? You don’t think it’s a pussy thing to do, talking about my feelings and shit?” He asked bashfully.

“No,” she shook her head. “I know how hard it is and it doesn’t make you a pussy, it makes you a superhot stud,” she smirked.

He chuckled and brought her hand to his lips for a kiss. “I’ll try and stop drinking when shit gets hard. I don’t know how good I’ll be at it, and I don’t know how I’ll do at this talking stuff but I’m trying.”

“Babe, that’s all I ask.” She leaned towards him and held his face in her hands, making him meet her gaze. “I’m so, so proud of you, Johnny Lawrence. You’re a good man.” She rested her forehead against his, her thumbs stroking his cheeks. After a long moment her restraint broke, she leaned in and kissed him sweetly, then hungrily which he happily reciprocated.

“Are we okay?” Johnny pulled back and asked, in need of reassurance.

Casey smiled, “yeah, we’re okay.” Johnny cupped her face in his hands and leaned in to meet her lips again. “I missed you so much, beautiful,” he murmured against her while his fingers tangled in her soft hair.

“I missed you too, handsome,” she sighed. There was no moving slow, they had lost time to make up for. She straddled his lap and pulled her shirt over her head while he did the same. They kissed again, teeth and tongues gnashing together, tasting and exploring what they’d missed so much. Johnny’s hands moved up her back to undo her bra. Without breaking the kiss she pulled it off and tossed it aside while Johnny’s hand moved around and cupped her breasts, pinching the nipples and making her moan into his mouth.

She pressed into him until they were chest to chest, desperate to feel as much of his flesh as possible. She moved her hips and rubbed against his hardness, desperate to feel the friction between her legs. His fingers, shaking with anticipation, fumbled with the button and zip on her jeans until it was open and he could slip into her wetness. There’d be time later to slow down, to taste her, to run his hands and tongue over every curve of her, for now he just wanted to be inside her, to feel her warmth surround him.

She pulled back and stood up to quickly shimmy out of her jeans and panties while Johnny did the same. She pushed him back to sit on the couch and straddled him again, lining him up with her entrance so she could impale herself on him. Foreheads rested together and eyes met as they just relished the feeling of being connected this way again. Johnny’s arms tightened around her, holding her flush against him as she began to move. She sucked his earlobe while he dropped hot kisses to her shoulder. His hands ran down her back to squeeze her ass before making their journey back up again.

She quickened her pace as the tension in her built, hitting just the right spot to. “God babe, you feel so good on my dick,” Johnny whispered in her ear making her whimper in response. “You pussy is so wet and warm for me,” his words and the huskiness of his voice going straight to her throbbing clit. “I love watching you cum, I love making you cum, I love you using my body and my dick to cum.” It was too good, his words, the way her nipples rubbed against his chest, his dick hitting just the right spot inside her while her clit rubbed against him. Her eyes screwed shut as her orgasm hit her hard, making her tense and cry for Johnny. His hands went up her back and over her shoulders, pulling her down onto him as he thrust his hips up, giving her another jolt of pleasure and drawing out her orgasm.

While she recovered from her release, he held her tight and moved her so she was on her back under him. He missed her like this, cheeks pink from pleasure, sweat glistening on her skin from exertion, hair  frizzing and splayed around her, the smell of sex radiating from her pores. He reached down and pulled up one of her thighs, holding it close to him as he thrust back into her, their moans and cries filling the otherwise quiet apartment.

Johnny thrust fast and hard, Casey braced her hands over her head on the arm of the couch so she wouldn’t hit it. Johnny leaned down and buried his face in her neck as his movements became chaotic and uncontrolled. He bit down on her neck making her gasp and arch into him. “Yes, baby, cum inside me, I want to feel you,” she commanded breathlessly. It was exactly what he needed to hear to let go and reach his own climax. As his groans became quieter and his thrusts weaker, she brought her hands down and wrapped them around his neck and shoulders, wanting to keep him just like this forever, in post-coital bliss, pressed so close that there was no air between them. He leaned back just enough to meet her lips in a sweet kiss. “I love you so much, Casey,” he whispered.

“I love you too, Johnny.” All was right in their world again.

Chapter Text

Time passed quickly without the constant vigilance and worry about what Kreese may do next. Tory confessed to everything and ended up taking the fall for all of Cobra Kai since the police didn’t have evidence to link anyone else to the crimes outside of her word. There was a point of contention on whether to charge her as an adult or a minor. The LaRusso’s wanted her charged as an adult which no one could blame them for since most of what she did targeted their daughter.

Unlike everyone else, Casey didn’t see Tory as a young psychopath. She saw a child who had been given a raw deal in life and was trying to make the best with what she had. Casey had seen the power of Kreese to manipulate the most alpha of males in a war zone, so of course he was able to make a teenage girl bend to his will with the promise of protection and safety, something Tory had clearly lacked in her young life.

The judge showed mercy and kept her case in juvenile court. She was sentenced to juvenile detention until she turned 18 in 7 months, followed by probation until 21, community service, and court ordered therapy. Her remorse seemed genuine, and Casey hoped she would use everything the court was giving her to change the direction of her life.

When they weren’t working or following juvenile court cases, Casey and Johnny spent as much time together as possible, which wasn’t much. Johnny was teaching classes in the park almost every day while getting the official Eagle Fang dojo up and running with Daniel. They had found a decent space on the edge of Reseda, an old building that needed some work but was just the right size for their growing dojo. Johnny was still seeing Bobby every week for counseling and Casey began to notice a certain lightness forming in him. He was still his gruff, politically incorrect self but he seemed to relax a little easier, like the weight of the world was beginning to ease off his shoulders.

Casey worked tirelessly at the bar as Laney began eying retirement and insisted on grooming her to take it over sometime in the next couple of years. When she wasn’t at the bar, she was helping the guys set up the dojo which may as well have been its own full-time job. As busy as she was, she couldn’t pass on helping out Amanda when asked. The Club was looking for bartenders for their holiday party and Amanda enticed Casey with the promise of easy work and big tips, probably more than she would make over a couple of weeks at the bar.

Amanda was right. The drink orders were easy and, so far, the tips were generous. The only downside was most of the men staring at her tits rather than looking her in the eye. Since it was a formal event, she was required to dress the part. Her usual work uniform of tank top, jeans, and boots wasn’t going to fly here, so she was decked out in a black cocktail dress and more make up than she’d ever worn in her life. She wasn’t crazy about the constant male gaze here, but as long as they kept their hands to themselves, it was okay. Besides, this was an obviously gossipy crowd with bored housewives everywhere, and no man would want to be called out for groping the bartender. A few did slip her their personal numbers and one even gave her a hotel room keycard in hopes she’d meet him there later, but he watched with disappointment as it was immediately thrown in the trash.

Amanda came over halfway through the night with a glint in her eye that Casey had become all too familiar with, she was plotting something. “How’s it going over here?”

“So far, so good. How’s the rest of the party?” Casey asked.

“I have spent too much time with people I don’t like and not enough with the people I do, which brings me to you.”

Yes, Casey thought as she raised an inquisitive brow, she was up to something.

“There’s someone I want you to meet.”

Casey signaled to the other bartender that she’d be back in a minute and followed Amanda to the other side of the ballroom where she stopped in front of a petite blond woman Casey recognized immediately.

“Casey, this is Ali, Ali this is Casey.” Casey’s eyes went wide as she met Ali’s hand in a warm shake. Ali’s free hand covered Casey’s as they shook, a move of comfort she’d seen other doctor’s do before. She briefly wondered which year of med school doctors learned the double handed shake. Did they have to practice on each other to make sure it wasn’t too hard and just the right amount of warmth? She broke out of her wandering thought when Ali spoke.

“Casey, it’s so nice to meet you. Amanda’s told me all about you and I just had to meet the woman who stole Johnny Lawrence’s heart.” 

Casey blushed and pushed an errant strand of hair behind her ear, suddenly feeling self-conscious. She was almost disarmed by the older woman’s bright smile and easy demeanor, but the mention of Johnny’s name reminded her who she was talking to. This was THE Ali Mills, his first love, the one that got away.

“It’s nice to meet you too, I feel like I already know so much about you.”

“Same, Amanda has just raved over you. Where’s Johnny? I haven’t seen him.” Casey watched as Ali scanned the room eagerly. The thought of another woman being so interested in Johnny made her defenses go even higher.

“Oh, no he’s not here. Casey graciously agreed to do me the favor of bartending tonight,” Amanda interjected.

“Oh, that’s so cool, I bartended in college and med school.”

Casey knew that Ali was just sharing, trying to relate and find common ground, but she couldn’t help but read subtext into it: ‘I had that job while I was on my way to building a real career as a doctor, with the kind of success you can only dream of.’

“Yeah, it’s not bad work.” Casey suddenly felt anxiety building in her and needed to get away. “I better get back, excuse me. It was nice to meet you, Ali.”

“You too!” Ali called as Casey turned back for the bar. She tried to steady herself with deep breaths, but her heart was racing from the encounter and the speed with which she was fleeing it. Everything suddenly became crystal clear. It was obvious why Johnny, and Daniel, adored Ali. She was the type of person that quickly put you at ease with her friendly smile and kind eyes. Smart and well spoken, she imagined her and Johnny in high school, they must have been the Valley’s version of Ken and Barbie. Old insecurities that had been laid to rest suddenly came flooding back to her. It was easy to let Ali Mills remain in the past when she wasn’t serving her Christmas cocktails, but she was here now and it felt like she had just been punched in the stomach.

When she got back behind the bar, she was surprised to see Amanda right behind her. “Why would you do that?” Casey asked, her voice dripping with anger.

“I wanted you two to meet, maybe exchange some funny Johnny stories,” Amanda said simply. “Why, what’s bothering you?”

“She’s a doctor, Amanda.”

“So?”

“I’m working the party and she’s attending it. Johnny…Johnny came here with her last year and now he’s at home because I’m working it. I’m…I don’t know. Between Ali and Carmen, I feel so…inadequate.”

“Listen to me,” Amanda said, making Casey meet her gaze. “I’ve seen him with both Ali and Carmen, and he was not nearly as happy as he is with you. The way he looks at you, I’ve never seen that in him.” Casey smiled weakly and thanked her friend, but honestly, she wasn’t convinced.

 

Casey caught a glimpse of herself in the car window after closing the door. Damn, she looked good. Her dark hair was up in a loose, slightly messy ponytail that had let out some stray strands during the evening. The long black cocktail dress hugged her just right and gave the closest thing to an hourglass figure she was going to get. As she walked to Johnny’s door, she prayed he would be awake and ready for some fun, she certainly was.

She opened his door to find him sitting in his chair watching a movie. She closed the door just loud enough to wake him up in case he had dozed off. “Hey babe,” he called, eyes glued to the tv. “How was the party?” She raked her fingers through his hair while walking around him and coming into his periphery. He did a double take before really taking her in and ogling her openly.

She looked like a movie star, a dream girl straight off the wall of his teenage bedroom. The slit in her dress came up dangerously high on her thigh while her cleavage was so full it’d be impossible to resist burying his face there. He’d be naïve to think she didn’t get hit on all night, but here she was, standing in front of him with eyes begging to be taken.

“It was alright,” she said, draping herself over his lap with her legs hanging off the side of the chair as she let her high heels fall to the floor. “I got to meet the one and only Ali Mills.”

“Ali was there?” Johnny asked. Casey watched his face, too afraid to admit what she was looking for.

“Yep, Amanda took it upon herself to introduce us.”

“Of course, she did,” Johnny mumbled. “How’s she doing?”

He leaned his head back and met her gaze. She studied every speck of his blue eyes, every twitch of his lips before she responded. “She’s okay, I guess. We didn’t talk long, I had to work. But I’m glad it’s over and I’m ready to get out of this dress.” She whispered as she leaned into his lips, tasting the beer and chips on his breath, a delicious return to reality after the stuffiness of the Club. One of his hands tangled into her ponytail, angling her mouth so he could taste her fully while the other moved inside the slit of her dress and ran up her thigh.

“You want some help with that?” He asked, his voice breathless and thick. There it was, what she was looking for. The look he gave her, one of desire and love, he didn’t have that look when she mentioned Ali, it was all for her.

“Yes, please,” she purred. He hooked his arms around her, scooping her up and carrying her into the bedroom. He kicked the door shut behind them and set her on the floor. He kept one hand on her hip as he moved behind her, carefully pulling the band from her hair and letting it cascade down her back.

He swept the waves to the side and dropped a soft kiss to her shoulder. His fingertips grazed over her back, bringing goosebumps to the surface. He skimmed just over her skin until he came to rest on the zipper that rested in the middle of her back. He undid it slowly, stopping just at the top of her panties. Typically, they were ripping clothes off each other, but this time, she felt like a gift he was unwrapping, savoring the moment. Her skin burned everywhere he touched and she felt cherished.

His hands slipped under the thin straps on her shoulder and dragged them down her arms. His hot breath danced over her neck as the room air hit her skin, the combination of the heat and chill making her shiver. Her dress fell to the floor and pooled at her feet. Johnny easily unhooked her strapless bra and tossed it aside. His strong arms wrapped around her bare torso, one hand splaying on her stomach while the other held a breast. She sighed and felt so safe there, so sexy and desired. She leaned back into him, letting her head fall back onto his shoulder letting him nip and kiss her neck.

The feeling in Johnny was indescribable. How many men propositioned her tonight, drunkenly and completely sober? How many men, worth more than him 100 times over, tried to get her in their bed? But here she was, in his arms, completely at his mercy, making sounds that only he was privileged to hear and bring out of her. He’d never felt so powerful and worthy. She turned her head towards him, her open mouth begging for his as he rolled her nipple, sending bolts of pleasure between her legs. He kissed her deeply; she moaned at the feel of his tongue on hers. He moved the hand on her stomach down into her soaked panties. She pulled away from his mouth to shout his name as he began stroking her clit.

He was so hard, pressing into her back, and badly wanting his own release but, no, he was going to take his time, drive her crazy, make her happy that she came to him tonight and no one else.  She brought a hand up to the back of his head and gave a tug eliciting a primal growl. She was panting and cursing as he picked up his pace, fingering her and bringing her closer to her release, he could tell by her breath and the way she was rolling her hips on his finger. “Yeah, cum for me beautiful, I want to see you do it.”  He whispered in her ear. Between the way he rolled her nipple, fingered her clit, and now his raspy demand, she let her orgasm overtake her, shouting for him as she tensed and arched. He watched her eyes close, her mouth open with his name on her lips, her cheeks turning pink with heat. He did that to her just with his fingers, damn it he was good. As she came down from her climax, he quickly disrobed, pulling his Quiet Riot t-shirt over his head and dropping his jeans and boxers.

He wrapped his arms back around her and walked her forward until they were both kneeling on the bed, her back pulled flush to his stomach and chest.  

She looked back and watched him as he lined himself with her entrance. She bit her bottom lip as she drank him in. After her assault and the fallout, she was certain she would never trust a man again and she was okay with that. She’d live with one-night stands and that would be enough. She never would have thought that Johnny, just another drunk at the bar, would be the one to knock down her walls and make her feel safe again. She never thought that he would be the one to treat her so tenderly and stand by her side at her lowest. She appreciated him not just for his physical attractiveness but for his heart and soul as well. It was a privilege that this was a side of him reserved only for her, that he could be an asshole to the world but only to a select few did he show his gentleness. She may have felt pangs of insecurity at the idea of Ali Mills, but she was his past, she wasn’t here in this moment with him after going through so much together. Casey was, she was the one he was looking at with love, adoration, and lust in his eyes. She was the one in his arms, whose name was cried as they made love and worshipped each other.

He met her lips again and kissed her slowly while holding her hips as he plunged into her. His thrusts were long and slow as he held her close. Their skin slapped together while their moans of pleasure filled the air. Johnny reached around and rubbed her clit more, hoping to give her one more orgasm before he came. He could feel her tense around him and see beads of sweat form on her neck as her moans got louder. She cried his name, the sound so beautiful it made his own climax come crashing onto him. They collapsed together, breathless and blissful.

Afterwards they laid next to each other, just enjoying the other’s company. Casey let out a tired yawn as she snuggled deeper into Johnny’s side, her head resting on his chest with his fingers caressing the back of her neck.

“How many guys hit on you tonight?” Johnny asked.

“What?” Casey asked with an uncomfortable chuckle.

“Come on, you wearing that dress and the way I know that club crowd, I know you scored a lot of second looks and numbers.”

She sighed and relented. “Yeah, I got some attention, but when anyone got a little too aggressive I just told them I had a jacked, 6-foot tall black-belt boyfriend waiting for me and they very quickly backed off.”

“Did you think about going with any of them?”

Casey leaned up on an arm and looked down at him. “What do you mean?”

“Did you think about running off with any of them, starting a new life with all their money? Leave this shithole behind?” The lilt in Johnny’s voice was soft and joking but she didn’t feel like laughing.

“No!” Casey said, her tone sharp and angry as she got up and looked for something to throw over her naked self. “You still think that’s what I want? I’m just some bimbo looking for a sugar daddy? I want someone who is going to stick by me when shit gets hard, who’s going to support me and let me open up about myself while still letting me be who I am. Money can’t buy that you asshole.” She picked up Johnny’s t-shirt and pulled it over her head before storming out of the bedroom.

Johnny groaned. He could never imagine Casey living like his mom, trying to find a wealthy man to better her life, she was too stubborn for that. Yeah, he fucked up this time, he thought. He pulled on his boxers and went out to the kitchen to find her leaning against the counter chewing her thumbnail. “I’m sorry,” he said sheepishly. “You’re right, I was an asshole. I just, can’t believe my luck that I got a babe as hot as you.”

Casey couldn’t fight the smile that tugged her lips. “You know, money is nice but this here,” she gestured between the two of them, “is so much better than anything money could buy.” Johnny walked over and put his arms on the counter, trapping her between them.

“Yeah, it is,” he said before leaning down to kiss her. “You really told those rich pricks that you had a 6-foot tall black-belt boyfriend?” Johnny asked with a smirk, slightly taken aback.

“No, I said you were my jacked 6-foot-tall black belt boyfriend. And hell yeah I did,” she smiled up at him. “I love bragging about you, especially to entitled, wealthy pricks you could easily pound into the ground.”

He wasn’t sure what he did to deserve this woman or this moment. The swell of pride in his chest rivaled any karate trophy he won. She was proud of him and that was priceless. He kissed her hungrily and ravaged her for the second time that night.

Chapter Text

The day had been long and Casey was relieved to see it end. Kyle and Nico called out sick, so it was on her to cover the bar all day and night. It made for a 14-hour day which left her exhausted. Laney let her take an hour-long nap before the evening rush, but it didn’t help much. Her feet were sore, her arms tired, and she drove home thinking about how amazing a hot shower and good night’s sleep was going to feel.

She stepped out of her car and made way up to her apartment, legs heavy and barely lifting enough to make it over each step. She had thought about going over to Johnny’s and crawling in bed with him, but she really wanted to sleep, and he had an early morning class anyways.

If she wasn’t so tired, she would have noticed the dark figure sitting in the car at the end of the parking lot. If she wasn’t so tired, her instincts would have told her she was being watched and followed. But she was tired, and all she could think about were her sore feet and cozy bed.

She turned the key in the lock and opened the door. It would only take her three seconds to step inside and close the door, and that was all he needed as he rushed her from around the corner. Her eyes widened as she registered his face and the speed he was coming at her. She ducked out of his grasp before landing an elbow to his ribs causing him to grunt and take a step back. She slipped through her door and tried to shut it, but he lunged forward, wedging himself between the door and the frame before she could. She pressed the door hard into him before reaching an arm back to punch him in the jaw. He caught her wrist and twisted her arm behind her back, just shy of dislocating her shoulder. She yipped in pain and let go of the door allowing him entrance to her apartment.

A fast foot to her stomach sent her flying to the ground before he turned to close and lock the door. “Get out!” She screamed hoping to wake one of her neighbors. She scrambled to her feet but he swept her legs and knocked her back down. Looking up at him, her mind flipped between memories, past and present, struggling to discern which was which.

“You’re putting up a fight this time, doll face,” he snarled, a vicious smile pulling across his face. “But I like that, I like-“ she landed a surprise kick straight to his groin, bringing him to his knees. She rolled over and clambered to her feet. Something began vibrating in her back pocket. Phone! Johnny! When she told him she was working a double shift he said to call him while she drove home so he’d know she was still in one piece. She was so tired she forgot. As she made a run towards her bedroom she pulled her phone out, but barely had a chance to hit the answer button before her head was jerked back hard, the phone dropping in front of her.

She screamed as Kreese pulled her back to the living room by her braid. She hoped she hit answer on her phone before she dropped it. Please Johnny, please come, she prayed. Kreese was snarling threats at her, but she was screaming too loud to make them out. Please someone hear me, call for help, she thought. He flung her to the floor and moved over her. Casey immediately went back to the first time he did this and was gripped with fear, frozen as he came down and hovered over her on all fours, trapping her body under his, that smile leering down at her, the smell of cigar smoke turning her stomach.

He pulled something off his hip, she couldn’t make it out until it was inches from her face--a large, sharp hunting knife. “I warned you,” he sneered, pressing the blade into her cheek just hard enough that the skin broke and a dark red line of blood arose.

Something snapped in her. No. No, she wasn’t letting this happen again. Before he could react, she reached up and grabbed his hair with one hand, pulling his head back hard while the other landed a firm punch to his ribs. He groaned in pain and leaned back enough that she was able to get a leg between them, shove him off and roll away. She rolled into her kitchen, got to her feet and took a fighting stance as he got up knife in hand, blocking her only exit.

The adrenaline pumping in her veins made her forget about the pain of the long day in her feet and arms, this was a fight for her life now and that was all the mattered. She scanned the small space for anything she could use for a weapon, but nothing registered. All she could see was him and that damn knife, now tinged red with her blood. He stepped toward her slowly but she didn’t move back, she was holding her ground, waiting for him to strike first.

With his knife up he lunged at her and slashed, she stepped just out of his range. He tried it again, she ducked, pushed at his open arm and landed a headbutt straight to his nose, something he had taught her long ago. She took the opportunity to try and run past him, but he grabbed her by the neck and threw her into the wall, knocking the wind out of her lungs. He grasped the top of her head and banged it against the wall once, twice before striking her hard in the face, opening up the cut on her cheek even more. She was dazed, different colors danced in front of her as warm blood flowed down her face, onto her neck and chest.

“Thanks for making me earn this, Sergeant Monroe,” he muttered, picking up his knife. Everything was blurry, even if she had the coherence to swing at him, she was seeing three of him and had no idea which one to go for. She felt the metal of his blade against her throat before it trailed down and began cutting through her tank top. Here it is, she thought, my painful end. There was a loud crash but she couldn’t see where it came from. Kreese stepped back, there were voices. She tried to focus her eyes on what was happening, but couldn’t, it was all going black as her body gave up and crumpled to the floor.

Chapter Text

Beep…beep…beep…

It was dark, and the repetitive beep of a heart monitor was all she could hear.

Beep…beep…beep…

The only thing she could feel was pain--different pains throughout her body. There was a dull pain in her side that worsened with every inhale, the sharp pain in her left cheek, the pounding pain in her head, and the ache of a body recovering from a sudden rush of adrenaline and trauma. She wasn’t dead. If she was, there’d be no pain. His face, his evil face, was the last thing she remembered seeing, and the first that appeared in her mind.

Casey’s eyes flew open and looked around in a panic. She was in a room she didn’t recognize; it was dim and she could only make out a few unfamiliar shapes, terrified about what that meant. Maybe she was dead.

“Hey, hey, my ladybug, it’s okay.” Laney cooed as she turned on a light and ran a warm hand over Casey’s uninjured cheek to get her attention.

She found the kind face of her Aunt and began to calm, “Laney, where am I?” Her throat painfully dry and scratchy as she spoke. She tried to sit up, but it only made her head spin violently.

“You’re in the hospital, bug, you’re safe. That man, he won’t be hurting you again.” Laney held Casey’s head up gently and gave her some water.

“What happened?” She asked weakly. “He had a knife on me, he was going to…”

“One of your neighbors heard the commotion and called 911, but it was that fella of yours…he said you answered the phone screaming so he ran right over, kicked in your door and pulled that man off of you. Police showed up and that dumbfuck rapist still had a knife in his hand when they rushed in so they shot him. He’s dead.”

Casey’s bottom lip trembled as she held back a sob, but she couldn’t fight the tears. She’d never known such relief, Kreese was finally gone for good. “Where’s Johnny?”

“He’s at the police station.”

“What? Why? He didn’t do anything-“

“He’s just giving a statement. Wasn’t easy, he had to be dragged away from you, literally. But between what’s on the security cameras and that phone call, they know what happened, but they’ll still want a statement from you just for the record.” Laney patted her hand.

“I need to see him.”

“He’ll be here soon, but you need some rest. You’ve got a nasty concussion, some busted ribs, and bruises. The doctor is doing a head scan on you tomorrow, and if that’s okay then you can go home, but you need to have someone with you round the clock for the next few days.”

Casey nodded her understanding even though she wasn’t really listening, only thinking of Johnny. “Now get some rest, bug.” Laney stroked her hair as she drifted back to sleep.

 

Johnny shifted in the uncomfortable hospital chair and watched Casey sleep. He didn’t want to leave her earlier to make his statement, but the police insisted. Laney promised she’d stay right by her side and let him know if anything changed. He was walking out of the police station when he got the text that she’d woken up and asked for him.  It was only dumb luck that he didn’t speed past any cops on his way there and get a ticket. Now that he was here, he wouldn’t leave her side until her eyes opened again and he could see for himself that she was okay.

He’d called LaRusso when he was at the police station to let him know what happened, and that Kreese was dead. Everyone’s relief was short lived as they waited for more updates on Casey. He was happy she was resting but he waited eagerly for her to come back to him.

She woke up a few hours later, her eyes falling on an exhausted Johnny who watched her intently. He leaned forward and tightened his hold on her hand as she slowly came to. “Hey beautiful,” he whispered.

“Heya handsome,” she said with a weak smile.

“How are you feeling?”

“Like I took a hammer to the head.”

“Yeah, close to it.” He brought her hand to his lips and kissed the back of it. She looked him over carefully, he had some bruising to the side of his face and a scrape on his chin.

“Are those from him?” She gestured to his contusions.

“Yeah,” Johnny said. Casey frowned. “Don’t worry, I’ve had worse.”

“How did this happen? We thought he was in Mexico.”

“The police said he probably flew in on a private plane, easier to stay off their radar. He had some hot shot friend with money.” They shared the same unspoken regret; they’d let their guard down and underestimated Kreese’s thirst for violence and revenge. “I’m sorry I didn’t get there sooner, Casey.”

“No, you have nothing to be sorry for. Johnny, you saved me.” His eyes welled with tears and he took a deep breath to keep himself composed.

“I just-I heard you scream and, I stayed on the line until I got there and- I don’t know that I’ve ever been so scared.” She reached over and wiped away a tear that rolled down his stubbly cheek, he leaned into her hand.

“I’m going to be okay, because of you,” she reassured him. “Get in here,” she said with a nod as she scooted aside in the hospital bed.

“I don’t think I’m supposed to,” he said reluctantly.

“I need rest, and I’ll rest a lot better with you holding me,” she said. He couldn’t argue with that.

She shifted to her side as Johnny climbed in next to her. She laid her head on his chest and wrapped an arm around his torso, sighing as the safety only he could give her, returned. He held her gently to him, careful of her injuries.

She looked up at him, his blue eyes meeting her green. “Kiss me, handsome.”

Johnny smiled as he leaned down and laid a soft kiss to her waiting lips.

“I love you,” Casey said, so quiet only Johnny could hear.

“I love you, beautiful.”

A nurse came in later to check on her. Johnny wasn’t supposed to be there after visiting hours, much less in the bed. But they looked so peaceful she didn’t dare disturb them. She quietly closed the curtain and turned out the light, letting them sleep.

Chapter Text

Johnny paced Casey’s hospital room, waiting for her to return from the scan and find out if she would go home today. In the quiet of the room with nothing to do but wait, his mind replayed everything that had happened over the last 36 hours.

Hearing Casey scream over the phone was one of the most terrifying experiences of his life, right up there with Kreese choking the life out of him, twice, and the first time Sid swung on his mom. He had no memory of grabbing his keys or starting the van, just racing towards her apartment thinking that no matter how fast he drove, he wasn’t getting to her soon enough. His adrenaline surged as he listened to Kreese yelling profanities and Casey crying for help. Eventually, their voices ceased and were replaced with the sounds of fighting; punches landing and groans of pain. ‘Yes,’ he thought, ‘fight back hard, Casey.’ He knew he should hang up and call the police but he didn’t want to risk cutting this final connection between them, childishly hoping that as long as he stayed on the line, she’d be okay.

Tires squealed as he turned into the parking lot, not bothering to go into a spot, just throwing it into park and leaping out. He sprinted to her door, leaned back, and kicked it wide open. He was only a few steps inside when he heard familiar and heavy footsteps in the kitchen, ducking just in time to avoid Kreese coming around the corner and swinging his large hunting knife at his throat. Casey lay motionless on the kitchen floor, blood covering her neck and chest but he couldn’t tell where it was coming from. “What did you do?!” He shouted, running towards her only to be kicked in the stomach and punched in the face by Kreese, making him stumble back a few steps.

“I did what I had to do! You and that bitch trying to destroy me! Trying to destroy Cobra Kai! I can’t let that stand, Johnny!” He yelled, moving quickly towards Johnny with his knife raised, ready to strike a fatal blow.

 Johnny evaded the knife and landed an elbow to the old man’s ribs. Kreese swung and connected with Johnny’s chin, making him stagger but recovering quick enough to grab Kreese’s arm, pin it behind his back and kick him out of the kitchen into the living room. Kreese fell back on the ground as Johnny ran towards an unconscious Casey.

“Casey, can you hear me? Wake up, baby!” He was so focused on her he didn’t hear the police approaching her apartment, only the gunshot that took Kreese out made him realize what was happening.

He stayed by her until the paramedics arrived and started working on her. He didn’t realize he was holding his breath until he heard one of the medics say her pulse was good and he exhaled in relief. Ever since that exhale, he couldn’t stop thinking about how things could have gone different, worse. What if he hadn’t called her? What if he hadn’t gotten there in time? What if Kreese had taken a gun and not a knife? The result of each scenario horrified him to think about because they all ended the same with questions he didn’t want to answer: What if he had lost her? What if he had to live without her?

His train of thought was broken by Laney entering the room. The older woman walked in and handed Johnny his key before sitting in one of the chairs.

“Johnny,” she started, making him stop in his tracks and wonder if she has ever used his real name before. “Do you know why I call her bug?”

He shook his head. “Before Casey came to live with me and my husband, Rooster, our marriage was in a bad way. We had lost 3 pregnancies of our own, were constantly fighting, he was out all hours doing God knows what, I was sleeping with another man. Casey showed up on our doorstep, all of nine-years-old, and became this stabilizing presence in our home. She gave us a purpose, something to focus on outside of our own pain.”

Johnny chuckled and took the seat next to Laney. “She said she was a huge pain in the ass.”

“Oh yeah, she was. Once those teenage hormones hit, she was a holy terror. But there were a few years before that started when she was just a sweet little girl who only wanted to be loved. Rooster loved that girl so hard that he never wanted to be anywhere else but home with her. So, he started coming home more and I ended my affair, we fell back in love because of her. It doesn’t quite make up for all her partying and law breaking that followed, but I know that’s why she was sent to us, to give us purpose and love. I call her bug, short for ladybug, because of all the good she brought into my life. And that’s what ladybugs are, bringers of good.

“I’ll be honest, when I sent you to the cabin, I wondered if I made a mistake. I didn’t have you pegged as the sticking around type. I’m glad you’ve proven me wrong. I know you’ve taken your lumps in life but whatever’s happened made you into a good man.” Laney’s eyes became wet with unshed emotion as she reached over and laid her hand over his. “She’s your ladybug now, your bringer of good, so take care of her.”

Johnny felt tears sting his eyes. Casey told him often that he was a good man, but it was something else to hear the words from Laney, this tough-as-nails woman he always assumed didn’t like him. Not only did she like him, she was giving him her blessing and acceptance.

Their shared moment ended when the door opened and a couple of nurses wheeled Casey back into the room. “Dr. Emery said her scans looked good so she can go home today. I’ll be back soon with her discharge orders,” one of the nurses said before leaving the room.

Casey looked over to Johnny and Laney, seeing the emotion on both faces. “What’s going on? I feel like I missed something.”

“Nothing, bug. Just telling blondie about you as a kid,” Laney said.

“Oh God,” Casey groaned, “I hope it was the good years.” Johnny smiled and looked between the two women. It’d been a long time since he felt like part of a family, this seemed like a good one to belong to.

Chapter Text

Casey scribbled her name on what felt like the hundredth piece of paper. It took hours for the nurse to come back with her discharge orders and now she was signing so many forms and releases her hand was starting to cramp.

“Alright, that’s all the paperwork. You have a follow up scheduled with the neurologist on Thursday, will someone be able to stay with you until then?” The nurse asked.

“She’ll be staying at my place, I’ll be with her,” Johnny stated without hesitation.

“And if she gets tired of blondie she’ll be staying with me,” Laney added. Casey eyed them suspiciously, they had obviously planned this between themselves but she wasn’t going to argue.

“Okay, here’s the discharge instructions and remember to bring her in immediately if she begins showing signs of mental deterioration.” The nurse handed Johnny several sheets of paper which he scanned through quickly, unable to decipher most of the medical jargon he was looking at.

“Alright, bug, let’s bust you out of here,” Laney said.

Johnny pulled his van to the front of the hospital as Laney and the nurse brought Casey out in a wheelchair. Laney hugged her tight and promised to call later and check on her.  

“I need to stop by my place and get some things,” Casey said as Johnny pulled out of the parking lot.

“No, you don’t,” he replied. “Laney packed some bags for you, anything you need is already at my place.” Casey couldn’t help but smile, those two really were plotting together.

“Home sweet home,” Johnny said as he pulled into his apartment parking spot. “Stay there, I’m going to carry you inside.”

“What? No!” Casey protested and opened her door.

“Babe! I don’t want you to fall, just let me carry you,” Johnny said as he jogged to the other side of the van.

“Johnny, my legs aren’t broken, let me stretch them out, I’ve been laying in that hospital bed for days.” He relented and held his hand out for her to walk ahead of him. She looked back and laughed as Johnny stayed right behind with his arms halfway extended in case she fell. She stopped for a beat and pretended to wobble side-to-side. “Oh no,” she said sarcastically, until her fake wobble turned into a real wobble and her head began to spin from the motion.

Johnny came up quickly and put a strong arm around her waist to steady her. “Way to go, smart ass. Are you trying to make your concussion worse?” She groaned with regret as they covered the last few steps to the door.

When her dizziness ceased, he walked her around the apartment to show where all her stuff was. Laney had taken over the small space under his bathroom sink for her toiletries and placed the open bottles of soap and shampoo in the shower which looked remarkably clean compared to the last time she was in there. She had also staked claims in two of his dresser drawers and half of his closet space with pretty much every item of clothing Casey owned which, albeit, wasn’t much. “She wasn’t sure what to pack for you, so I told her to just bring everything and find space.” Casey’s cheeks burned as she took it all in. They’d never talked about living together but this seemed like a nice preview of what that could be.

“You need rest. Get your hot little ass in bed, I got a surprise,” Johnny said playfully. Casey changed into shorts and a tank top and crawled in bed as instructed. Johnny came back a minute later, a large box filling his arms.

“A T.V.?” She asked with a raised eyebrow.

“I asked Miguel and Carmen to pick it up. If you’re going to stay in bed resting, I need to make sure you’re entertained.”

“Babe, you didn’t have to—”

“I wanted to,” Johnny insisted.

Casey laid in the bed and watched Johnny go to work mounting the new flat screen. She’d never seen him in handyman mode except for when he patched the holes in her wall. He was so confident handling his tools, thorough in his measurements, and the way his toolbelt hung off his hips, it was giving her ideas.

“Baby, if I wasn’t seriously concussed right now, we’d have to play a game of horny handyman and bored housewife,” she quipped with a smirk.

Johnny blushed and winked at her. “I’ll remember that.”

“I hope you do,” Casey said, biting her lower lip.

Johnny put his tools away and handed her the new remote. “I’m going to let you rest for a while,” he said, turning for the door.

“No,” Casey whined. “Stay with me and watch a movie?”

“You sure? You need your rest.”

“Baby, please,” she sighed. “You haven’t even kissed me since we got in. Please stay with me.” Her tone conveyed what she didn’t have the words to say: she was still shaken, she wanted him to hold her, make her feel safe and loved. Johnny’s expression softened as he sat in front of her on the bed and brought his hands to her face, careful of the stitches in her cheek, before meeting her lips softly.

“I’m sorry, babe, I just don’t want to risk hurting you anymore than you are.”

“You won’t, I’m not made of glass.”

“Yeah, you’ve proven that,” he said, holding her chin between his thumb and index finger before kissing her again. He laid back on the bed and she followed, moving immediately into his side to rest her head on his chest. His arm was secure and strong holding her to his side while his free hand intertwined with hers on his torso, fingers stroking slowly against hers. They put a movie on, but both feel asleep quickly, exhausted from the last couple of days, relieved to be safe and together.

 

Johnny doted on Casey tirelessly over the next few days. Despite her protests, he intended to cancel Eagle Fang classes while he looked after her, but Miguel offered to lead the classes through remedial drills for a few days; Johnny agreed.

They watched movies and held each other close. As much as Johnny wanted Casey to stay in bed and rest, she made it clear after the first day that she couldn’t do that. She made breakfast and lunch because, no matter how hard Johnny insisted, she just couldn’t get on board with fried bologna for a meal.

By the end of day three she was stir crazy and pleaded with Johnny to go out for dinner. Her headaches were better and she’d gone almost 24 hours without a dizzy spell, so he agreed.

“Yes!” She roared with delight as she bounded down the hall to shower and put on clean clothes. Johnny smiled to himself. He never thought he was one for domestic life, but he liked this feeling and he genuinely liked having her here with him all the time. It was comfortable and fun, even without the sex.

He took her to the burger joint from their first date. She practically purred with delight when her bacon cheeseburger was delivered. He chuckled as she took a bite so big it filled her entire mouth and made her cheeks balloon out. A sudden feeling of relief washed over him, everything seemed so oddly normal considering the circumstances. After the attack, he wasn’t sure what to expect for either of them.

A few days before, he had held her hand as she gave a statement to the police. It was the first time hearing her side of events and when he matched her story with the screams and shouts he heard through the phone, he fought to hold back tears. She’d come so far in overcoming trauma caused by Kreese already that he worried this would set her back. He wondered if the nightmares would start again? Or flashbacks? So far there were no signs of either, but that didn’t mean it wouldn’t happen

Johnny didn’t realize he was staring into space until Casey’s fingers snapped in his face. “Babe, you still with me?” He shook his head and focused on her face which was filled with concern.

“Yeah, sorry, I was just thinking,” he said sheepishly.

“About what?”

He sighed deeply. “Just the last few days and how you’re doing.”

“I’m okay, baby,” she said reaching across the table and covering his hand with hers.

“Yeah physically, but how are you doing…”

“Mentally?” she finished for him. It was her turn to sigh. “I think I’m okay. It was really scary and I’m going to see about doing some extra therapy to deal with it, but something about knowing he really can’t hurt me or anyone else for that matter…I feel at peace.” Johnny squeezed her hand. “I know he meant something to you once as a proxy father figure. It’s okay for you to grieve that.”

Johnny looked at her sharply, making her wonder if that was a step too far. “No. Your safe and that’s all that matters now.”

“You make me feel safe, Johnny,” she said. They held each other’s gaze lovingly before leaning across the table and sharing a sweet kiss.

Chapter Text

A few days of staying with Johnny turned into a week, and then two. Casey had regular follow-up appointments with the neurologist who was concerned that she was still having headaches and dizziness. The ailments began to subside midway through week one, but the doctor wanted to do another scan to make sure everything was normal before giving her a clean bill of health.

Johnny was being delicate with her and refusing to take any risks with her well-being. After weeks of only chaste kisses and cuddling, Casey wanted more. She’d showered and put on a clean pair of shorts and Johnny’s Ratt t-shirt, soft and thin from years of wear and washes. She padded out to the living room where Johnny was stretched out on the couch watching Over The Top for probably the hundredth time.

He was relaxed, an easy smile on his face as he watched her come down the hallway. One arm was thrown over his head, showing off the tone of a strong bicep while long, lean legs stretched out in front of him. In her eyes, there was nothing sexier in the world than him in this moment. Without a word, she walked over and climbed on him, trapping his body between her legs.

“Casey, wha—”

Before he could get the question out, she leaned over and pressed her lips to his, mouth turning to open his and meet his warm tongue. Johnny moaned but tried to pull away after a long moment. Casey held his face firmly to hers, demanding he give her the affection she’d been missing. He gave in and returned her kiss with his own desire. It’d been weeks since they’d done anything this physical, but he’d been prioritizing her health over his libido.

Sitting up, he wrapped his arms around her waist, holding her firmly while turning so she laid underneath him. He let himself savor the kiss and the feeling of her under him, while his hands found hers and moved them above her head. He pulled back again, but when she tried to reach for him this time, she was unable to, pinned down by his body and hands.

“What are you doing, babe?” Johnny asked, the seriousness of his question betrayed by the lust in his voice.

“Just trying to have my way with you,” Casey smirked.

“No, not until the doc says its okay.”

“Johnny,” she whined, “I’m fine, my head is fine, you really want me to get the doctor’s blessing for you to fuck me?”

“Yeah, I don’t want to take any chances. You took some hard hits and doc said there’s still some swelling in that beautiful head of yours.”

“Speaking of hard…” she growled, lifting her hips to grind against the semi that had been growing in his jeans.

“Casey,” he said firmly, moving a hand to her hip, ceasing the action.

“Don’t you miss me, baby?” She pouted.

“Of course, I do,” Johnny said, stroking her cheek. “But I don’t want to risk hurting you, and I’m worried you might have flashbacks, like it’ll be too much too fast.”

Casey smiled up at her big, sensitive man. “Okay,” she said softly, “I get it. I’m fine though, no nightmares or flashbacks or anything since the attack. So, if the doc gives the okay at my appointment tomorrow, will you fuck me?”

Johnny bit his bottom lip, “as much as you want.”

 

Casey’s knee bounced with excitement while sitting on the exam table, listening to the doctor give the good news: her scan was improving and she was showing no signs of swelling or damage. There’d be another scan in a few weeks to be sure everything was still okay but she could go back to normal daily activities.

“Does that include sex?” Casey asked with the enthusiasm of a child before their first trip to Disney World, causing Johnny to bite back an embarrassed laugh.

“Yes, that includes sexual activity just no banging the head on anything,” the doctor quipped. Casey looked over her shoulder at Johnny and raised an eyebrow at him. She knew that gleam in his eye, that smirk on his face, it was on.

Johnny’s hand stayed on her thigh the whole drive to his place. She silently begged him to move it higher, aching for him to touch between her legs, but he restrained. When he parked the car, they both leapt out and walked swiftly to his door.

“Hey guys, how was the appointment?” Miguel asked as he passed them in the courtyard.

“Can’t talk now,” “tell you later,” they responded, too eager to be alone together for anything else to matter.

They stepped in the apartment, Johnny closed and locked the door behind them. There’s no telling who lunged for who first, all that mattered was they were devouring and exploring each other in a way they hadn’t done in weeks. Johnny tore his lips away, bent over, and picked Casey up over his shoulder, making her squeal in surprise. She giggled as he carried her to the bedroom, smacking her ass, before dropping her to the bed.

He stood, quickly pulling off his clothes while she wriggled out of her own. When he finished he knelt at the end of the bed, helping her out of her panties and leggings, before burying his mouth between her legs.

“Johnny!” Casey cried as his tongue explored every crevice of her wet pussy and her fingers ran through his hair, pressing him closer. He moaned into her, losing himself in her scent, her warmth, her taste. He reached a hand up to her breast, twisting a nipple and making her gasp, while his other splayed on her stomach, holding her bucking hips down. His mouth sealed over her clit and he flicked it relentlessly until she was panting and arching, screaming through her orgasm.

There was so much more he wanted to do to her, but she’d gotten her much needed release, now he just wanted to feel her naked body against his. While her breathing steadied, he kissed and explored over her body until he was back at her mouth, trapping her under him. “What else do you want, baby?” He whispered in her ear.

“Love me, just like this,” she whispered back. “I want to see you, I want you close to me.” There was a vulnerability in her voice that didn’t come out often, especially not when they were doing this. But she wanted to reconnect, to feel safe and loved.

For just a second his mind wandered back to the hook ups he had in the past. Even with Shannon there had always been a disconnect, no real intimacy or emotion and he was fine with that; use each other for a while and then part ways when he inevitably fucked things up, that was his pattern. He wondered if it was even possible to build intimacy with those women. No, he was just waiting for Casey. As wild as their sex could get, there was always still an intimacy there that he never had before. Even now, he’d never felt desired or needed in this way. They weren’t just using each other, this was deeper and he liked it. He never thought he’d be this guy, that he could be this guy, but here he was.

He laid hot, open kisses on her neck and shoulders as he pushed inside her slowly and easily, causing her to arch and moan under him. “You feel so good,” she hissed. He moved inside her gently, her thighs cradling him as they rocked together. Faces only inches apart, they held each other’s gaze and breathed each other in. Johnny rested his forehead on hers as she started moving her hips quicker, another orgasm getting closer. He kissed her, drew her tongue into his mouth, sucking on it gently as she hit her climax, she broke the kiss to shout his name and moan through her orgasm.

He picked up his pace, chasing his own release. Casey leaned up and nipped his ear lobe, pushing him over the edge as he cried her name and came inside her. He collapsed her chest and she wrapped her arms around his shoulders, stroking the hair on the back of his neck while he caught his breath. They held each other close and fell asleep.

Chapter Text

It wasn’t very long ago that Johnny’s closet sat nearly empty. Boxes of old karate trophies and childhood memories covered the floor and a few ragged shirts hung on the bar. Now, it was nearly at capacity with Casey’s clothes and some of the newer items Miguel had encouraged him to buy.

Since she’d been given a clean bill of health by the doctor, she decided it was time to go back to her own place. She stood in front of the closet, a feeling of sadness washing over her; it’d been so nice staying at Johnny’s. The easy domesticity of it gave her a sense of peace and security she’d never known. She loved going to sleep and waking up next to him, making meals with him, sharing a space with him. She cocked her head to the side as an idea popped into it.

“Hey babe,” she called to Johnny who was researching karate competitions at the small kitchen table. “Do you mind if I leave some of my stuff here so I’m not constantly going back and forth between places?” She held her breath, suddenly nervous for his response.

“Uh, come here, let’s talk about that,” he called back. Her stomach turned and worst-case scenarios filled her head as she walked out of the bedroom. Had she over stayed her welcome? Was he possessive about his space and she didn’t pick up on it?

She sat in the chair next to him, fidgeting with her fingers. “I was thinking, how about you leave all your stuff here and just stay here?” Johnny looked over at her, biting his bottom lip, taking his turn to hold his breath while waiting for a response.

A slow smile crept on Casey’s face. “But if I live here, where will you live?” She asked playfully. He smirked, grabbing her waist and tickling her, making her scream with laughter as he pulled her onto his lap and wrapped his arms around her torso.

“What do you think?” He asked, resting his chin on her shoulder while she caught her breath.

“I think that we both just went through something scary, and I don’t want either of us making a decision based on fear. But…” she dragged out.

“I like ‘but’,” he muttered, kissing her shoulder.

“But, my lease is up in 2 months so let’s give it a month and re-evaluate then,” she said. The smile on her face said it all though. It was happening.

 

“Moving in together? That’s a big step, man.” Bobby said, taking a sip of coffee.

“Yeah, feels right though, you know? I miss her and think about her when she’s not there, so now, she’ll just be there.” Johnny paused for a moment and shook his head. “I’ve become so pussy whipped,” he mumbled.

“No you haven’t,” Bobby laughed, “this is what an adult relationship is, you just wouldn’t know because you’ve never had one.”

Johnny couldn’t argue that point. He’d been doing weekly sessions with Bobby for almost six months now. Every week, at the same time, they’d meet at a coffee shop and just talk. It never felt like therapy and there was a comfort already established since Bobby had seen firsthand some of the most significant relationships in Johnny’s life. He didn’t have to try to explain why he hated Sid or why Ali was so important to him, Bobby lived it all with him.

“You may not see it Johnny, but you’re growing, you’re becoming the man you are meant to be,” Bobby said.

Johnny rolled his eyes. “What’d you spike that coffee with, man?” He asked sarcastically.

“You’re in a serious, healthy, and loving relationship with a woman. You’re about to open a new dojo, you’re building a relationship with your son, and you’re not drinking as much. What do you call all that?”

“Yeah, because I come here and bitch to you every week like a gossipy chick.”

“Make jokes, but I think soon you’ll be here asking me to perform a wedding ceremony.”

Johnny’s eyes widened in horror at the thought. “What? No!”

“She’s a woman Johnny, at some point in her life she’s thought about marriage. Moving in together is great but do you think you’ll be ready to make that ultimate commitment to her when the time comes?”

Johnny went quiet for a moment. “You know, when I saw here lying on the ground and I thought she was…it was like my world went away, like I’d be nothing without her. Being with her in the hospital, holding her hand, there was no other place I wanted to be even though I was terrified. Marriage is big Bobby, but I know I don’t want to live without her.”

“And I hope you don’t have to. But you two are moving forward in this relationship, so it’s important to figure out where you both see it going and make sure you’re on the same page.”

“Anything else for you boys?” The waitress asked, sliding Johnny the check like always; his ‘fee’ for meeting with Bobby.

“No, we’re good, thanks Linda,” Bobby said. “Same time next week, buddy?”

“You know it.” The two men embraced and went separate ways.

As Johnny walked to the minivan, his phone buzzed in his pocket with a text from Casey.

‘Babe, I hate to ask but can you pick me up some tampons? I started my period and my cramps are so bad I can’t get off the couch.’

Johnny read the message and groaned. He would do anything for Casey: seek her out at a remote cabin in the woods, drive hours to take her to and from treatment, hold her hair while she threw up, haul ass to her place to save her in the middle of the night…but buying tampons was not something he was prepared for.

Still, he found himself standing in front of the shelves of feminine hygiene products at a nearby drugstore. He’d seen the box in her bathroom before and tried to remember what it looked like. It was pink, he thought that would be enough but at least half of these boxes were pink. Did she need regular, super, organic, the sporty ones, the one with butterflies? He put his hand on his head, his heart was racing like he was in the finals of a karate tournament. There were so many options he was getting overwhelmed. Maybe he should buy one of each, a chick likes options, right?

He pulled out his phone and called Casey on the video chat, praying she’d answer.

“Hey baby,” she said weakly.

“Tell me which of these boxes to get,” he said turning his phone to show her all the tampon options. She could hear the agitation in his voice, but it made her giggle.

“Second shelf from the top, the one with a really smiley annoying looking woman.”

“This one?” Johnny asked, pointing to the box in question.

“Bingo, thanks baby, I love you.”  

“Yeah, you better.” Johnny grumbled before hanging up the phone and sticking it back in his pocket. He grabbed the box of tampons and started for the cash register but stopped. He turned back and grabbed five more boxes, carrying the armload to the cashier. He didn’t want to have to do this again anytime soon.