Starter Post (Fanfic)
Title: Casey at the Bat
Author: Aphrodite Roslin
Characters: Munch/Casey, The rest of the gang
Summary: John and Casey fight. Bad guy gets Casey. John gets angsty. Things can only get better, right? It's better than the summary. I promise! JC
“I give up! They are never going to turn that crap down!” John Munch exclaimed as he slammed his apartment door closed.
“They’re just kids. Give ‘em a break,” Casey Novak smiled from the bedroom doorway while fastening an earring.
“I don’t care. There’s no excuse for playing music that loud! I mean, that is beyond loud!”
“So call the super,” Casey suggested.
“Nah, I’d rather deal with the little bastards myself,” Munch sulked as he sank onto the living room couch. His girlfriend’s cat stared at him curiously from the other end. Munch rolled his eyes. God, he hated cats. Casey sighed and shook her head as she moved back into the bedroom.
“John, have you seen my ring? It’s the one my grandmother gave me. I can’t find it anywhere,” she called.
“You know, you don’t have to where that thing to every formal function you’re forced to attend!” Munch yelled back as he stood to make his way over to her.
“I know, I just feel awkward without a ring on my finger,” she replied as she continued to frantically sift through her drawers. Suddenly, a pair of strong, familiar arms wrapped themselves around her mid-section, causing the already jumpy ADA to start slightly.
“You know,” John began as he rested is chin on top of her head and slipped one hand into his pocket. “I think I may have something for you that just might solve your dilemma.”
Out of his pocket, the detective retrieved a small, dark red velvet box. Casey’s eyes widened at the sight, but she said nothing. Using his thumb, Munch flipped the top open to reveal a small but elegant diamond ring. The redhead gasped, unable to form an intelligible word.
“What do you say? Give an old man one last chance to get this right?”
“I don’t know what to say,” began the still shocked woman.
“Well, an insanely overly exaggerated ‘yes’ would be nice,” John replied, anxiety unexpectedly sucker-punching him. Casey turned in his grasp and wrapped her arms around his neck. She took a deep breath in and out before continuing.
“John, I love you. I really do,” she hesitated again, looking down this time. “I’m not saying no, but I need some time to think about this, Okay?” Casey looked back up into his eyes, and it was Munch’s turn to look away.
“Right, I understand,” he said quickly, closing the box and replacing it in his pocket while releasing his grip on Casey.
“Oh, come on, don’t be like that,” the redhead put her hands on her hips. “This is a big decision, and I’m not going to make it lightly just because you’re impatient.”
“I get it, Casey,” John threw his hands in the air for emphasis. “Have fun tonight.” He continued as he stormed out of the bedroom.
“What, so you’re not coming now?” Casey yelled at his retreating back.
“What can I say? I’m a nonconformist!” he replied.
“That’s rich! Real mature, Munch!”
“Sorry! I can’t hear you! Your hair’s too loud!”
Enraged, Casey forgot about her grandmother’s ring, and stormed out of the bedroom and the apartment without another word. John watched her in silence. In her rush, she had forgotten her sweater on the back of the couch. The detective noticed immediately, but his foolish pride prevented him from taking it to her. If she was cold, she could come back and get it herself.
Wrapping her arms tightly around herself, Casey walked as quickly as she could toward her car. She couldn’t believe how stupid she was to forget her sweater on a night like this. Taking her keys from her purse, she swiftly unlocked the driver’s side door and jumped in, cranking the heat up as far as she could. The clock read 7:02. She had left an hour and a half early. Great. What was she going to do now?
Sighing, the redhead switched on the radio, and Howard Stern’s irritating tones filled her ears. Casey couldn’t stand the man herself, but John had an almost troubling amount of fun listening to the vulgar man’s rants. Shaking her head, she pressed the seek button and waited. This was going to be a very long night. Giving up on the radio, Casey switched it off, closed her eyes, and let her head drop back to the headrest. She knew she should go back in and apologize, but her pride wouldn’t allow her to do it. After all, she hadn’t been the one to start the argument in the first place.
Without warning, a tap on the window next to her made her jump. Looking to her left, she saw a man standing outside. He was young, average size, with blonde hair and green eyes. By no means did he appear dangerous, but in her line of work, the attorney had learned to trust no one.
“Excuse me, ma’am,” the man began, speaking loudly so she could hear him through the glass. “I seem to be a little lost. Could you help me? I’m looking for my girlfriend’s place.”
“Sorry, I’m new in town,” Casey replied in an equally loud voice, her mind immediately turning to the gun John insisted she keep in the glove compartment.
“That’s okay. I think I just took a wrong turn,” the man insisted. If you’d just roll your window down, I could show you the directions she gave me.” Casey felt a rush of adrenaline shoot through her at these words.
“I’m sorry,” she repeated out of nervousness. “I really wouldn’t be any kind of help.”
“Come on, just roll down the window. I’m not gonna hurt you,” he gave a small laugh.
“I never said you were,” Casey replied with a charming smile of her own. “It’s cold outside, and I forgot my sweater.”
“Alright, alright. I understand,” the man put his hands up in mock surrender before walking away toward the back of her Escalade.
Casey sighed once again, this time in relief, as she closed her eyes and dropped her head back. Tapping her fingers three times on her knee, the redhead decided to relinquish a small piece of her pride and call John. Pulling out her phone, she dialed his cell number and waited. She doubted he’d answer, but at least she would feel better knowing that she tried.
Four long rings later, Casey heard the familiar tones of a standard voicemail. Terrific. She didn’t know whether she should leave a message or not. She shouldn’t have even called. It was a stupid idea. Then, out of nowhere, there was a crash as the driver’s side window was busted out. Casey screamed as glass cut her face, neck and arms; and foreign hands reached in, grabbing her left arm and unlocking the door at the same time. She continued to scream as the door was pulled open and she was yanked from her seat.
Still struggling to get away, Casey fell hard. Her left knee hit the blacktop at an unnatural angle with a sickening crunch. The woman was able to give one last desperate scream before she felt a sharp pain in the back of her head, and her world went dark.
Meanwhile, back in their apartment, John Munch sat on the couch in a stubborn slump. The upstairs neighbors had yet to turn down their obnoxious music, and he was in no mood to go yell at them again. Instead, he switched on the television and cranked up the volume. His cell phone vibrated feebly on the end table next to him, standing no chance of being heard through all the ruckus. He grabbed his first of what he was sure would turn out to be one too many beers, kicked Casey’s stupid cat off the couch, and laid down in a sick parody of relaxation. This was going to be a long night.