This is the first thing Casey says when Ashleigh shows her the ring:
"...Oh...my God. You got engaged??? Oh, my God, Ash - you're getting married!!!!!"
("I know! I know! I'm getting married!!!!!")
This is the first thing Rebecca says:
"Really? Are you sure you want to marry a guy whose friends call him Beaver? I mean. Think about it."
It's no surprise that Rebecca hates Casey at first. Rebecca hates everyone, until proven otherwise.
Of course, Rebecca hates Casey pretty passionately before she ever meets her, from the fourth or fifth time Ashleigh mentions her, in the very first week they're friends.
It's just like, oh my god, you have a best friend at home, I get it - shut up already!!
Rebecca and Casey meet for the first time at Ashleigh's engagement party. It's at Walter's family's country club, about an hour out of the city, and Casey wears what she thought was a really cute outfit - her blouse especially she was sure Ashleigh would love (and she does) - but as soon as she drives through the gates (gaCountes!) it's like, oh god, what was she was thinking? This place is valet parking for her shitty car that no valet has ever valeted, it's everyone changes clothes six times a day for no reason (she's guessing), it's - oh my god, that girl's wearing a full-on ballgown.
So, not off to the greatest start.
The bridal party is as follows:
Casey, of course.
Rebecca (who turns out to be the girl wearing the ballgown, which she looks amazing in, because she's hands-down the prettiest girl Casey's ever seen - like, what is this? Is she an alien?????)
(Rebecca opens her mouth, and some of the things she says... It doesn't seem out of the question.)
Frannie, Ashleigh's cousin, who Casey mainly remembers as the coolest, most put-together person in the room at every Howard holiday gathering she crashed throughout their childhood, even when they were dumb kids and Frannie was only in high school. She's married now, with two little kids of her own that look groomed to within an inch of their lives, and a husband (Evan) that Casey doesn't trust for a second.
(But she's polite and kind and has exactly the sweet, shrewd, too-smart face Casey remembers, and only nice things to say out loud. This is helpful, after Rebecca.)
Katherine, Ashleigh's friend from work, who is very tall and too successful to live. And married.
Natalie, Ashleigh's other friend from work, who is very small and too perky to live. And married.
Calvin, a friend from CRU like Rebecca, and the only one besides Frannie that Casey's ever met before. Also the only one who doesn't immediately question her outfit and/or income and/or lack of spouse.
(Calvin's own fiancé, Heath, had to stay in the city today and couldn't make it. He's in medical school. Columbia. No big deal.)
Nope. Not off to the greatest start.
Ashleigh, who is Rebecca's closest friend but sometimes more than a little delusional, really wants Rebecca and Casey to get along. "You guys are my best girls!" she says, and insists the three of them go out together. "Come on, Rebecca," she wheedles. "Casey's only in town until Tuesday; I really want you guys to get to know each other before she goes back to Hartford and you run off to Europe!"
They meet in Queens. Queens?! Rebecca has never been to Queens in her life and would have been perfectly happy to keep it that way forever. It's not like they don't have restaurants on the Upper East Side. She would almost rather go to New Jersey.
Okay, that's not true. But it could be true; that's how horrified she is when she gets out of the car in Queens.
The food is okay. Doesn't really justify the trip, but whatever.
Ashleigh and Casey have been here before. A lot.
"So, Rebecca," Casey says, between the mediocre appetizers and the mediocre main course, when Ashleigh gets up to go to the bathroom and gives her a meaningful look that she thinks Rebecca can't see. "What are you...doing now that you're out of school?"
"I'm leaving for Prague next Thursday, and when I get back in the fall I'll be starting Yale's JD/MBA program," says Rebecca promptly. "I was working for my father's foundation for a while, but I got tired of being asked pathetic small-talk questions. Like yours!"
"Oh," says Casey, her smile faltering. Rebecca feels a fierce rush of satisfaction.
They sit in silence until Ashleigh comes back. Casey looks uncomfortable, but this is how Rebecca likes it. This is what everyone's really thinking, isn't it?
August (T-Minus Ten Months):
"I don't think we need to hire a wedding planner," Ashleigh says to Casey over lunch in Stamford, as they pore over the checklists they've printed off the internet. "Do you think it's, like, really necessary?"
"No way," says Casey. "They're so expensive, and it's not like we haven't already planned your wedding like a million times, right?" She grins.
Ashleigh laughs. "Remember when we got in that fight over who would get to marry Justin Timberlake?"
"Excuse me, do I remember it?! You wouldn't speak to me for three days! I had to work with Dandruff Danny on that lightbulbs-and-batteries project."
"Oh, yeah... Sorry about that."
September (T-Minus Nine Months):
Labor Day weekend, Ashleigh and Calvin drive up to New Haven to see Rebecca at Yale. Ashleigh would have liked for Casey to come down from Hartford and meet them, but Casey's response when she suggested it...
Rebecca takes them out for apizza, which read like a typo in her text but turns out to be an actual thing, and when Calvin asks how things are going she says, "It's not as bad as I expected," and then, looking over at Ashleigh, "You shouldn't make that face at people. You're going to get wrinkles."
"How was Europe?" Ashleigh says, ignoring her, at the same time that Calvin says, "Hey, we should give Becks an update on the wedding."
Rebecca takes a bite of apizza, puts it down, folds her hands on the table in front of her, and looks expectantly at them. She smiles.
"Uh...okay." Ashleigh glances at Calvin. "It's going to be June 21st at the Hellene. Our minister - "
Rebecca cuts her off with a quick wave of her hand. "Who's your caterer?" she says intently. "No one wants to go anything where the food is bad."
"Um. We were thinking Betsy Dale Fisher?"
"Are you sure she can work with the Hellene. I heard something about an" - Rebecca lowers her voice - "alcohol-related incident. She might not be allowed on their premises! Who's your wedding planner? How come she's not on top of this?"
"Oh, there's no wedding planner," says Ashleigh, in spite of Calvin's warning look. "Casey and I figured we could do it ourselves. Walter'll help. What?"
Rebecca looks aghast. "Are you insane?" she demands. "Do you want to be walking down the aisle with giant bags under your eyes? Do you want to divorce before you've even gotten married???"
"I think we'll be okay..." Ashleigh begins, trying to placate her.
"Oh, my God!" interjects Rebecca. "You're going to make all those phone calls yourself? Or have Casey or Beaver make them? This is going to be a disaster."
October (T-Minus Eight Months):
"Okay, don't get mad - "
"What. Is she doing here???"
"Casey, just calm down and - "
"I can't believe you brought Rebecca to pick me up! What is she even - "
"Walter had to take the car! And Becks was home, and she knows - "
"All the designers, I get it. But also now - where - I - live!!!!"
"...She's not a serial killer, Casey. It's okay if she has your address."
November (T-Minus Seven Months):
Everyone wants a different color bridesmaid's dress. Frannie says that a cream, peach, or blush-pink floor-length is the classy, traditional route. Rebecca picks out a daring red-violet number and insists they can't do better (sure, but would it look as good on anyone else as on her? Casey's skeptical). Katherine wonders, what about this nice light blue? and Natalie likes an aqua-ish color that Casey's really not sure about. Calvin lounges on one of the store's big plush couches and reminds them in that offhand way he has that Ashleigh's only life-or-death requirement was that everyone match and "you better all look super-hot, because I'm gonna have a million of these pictures, and you're gonna have to look at them forever!!"
Casey, pitching her voice across the squabbling, chooses Frannie's style in Rebecca's color and texts a picture to Ashleigh to get the okay. No one looks entirely happy, but everyone looks pretty good. They order Calvin a tie to match and call it a day.
In the car heading downtown to meet Ash for dinner, Rebecca (who has been absorbed in her phone for the first twenty minutes of this ride) without warning turns her head just slightly - like thirty degrees - and gives Casey a quick, appraising look. Then (already focused back on her phone) she says, "I guess you're not as incompetent as I expected."
A few hours later, safe on her couch at home, Casey reflects upon this and makes up several awesome, acid retorts. But, at the time, she's too floored to say anything but, "...Thanks?"
December (T-Minus Six Months):
If there's one thing Rebecca hates more than being asked what she's doing for Christmas, it's being caught lying about what she's doing for Christmas.
Her father's in Tahiti with his mistress. Her mother's in the Hamptons with her...whatever she calls him. And Robin, the girl she's been kind of seeing at Yale for the past few weeks...is home with her family, wherever that is. So Ashleigh invites her to Christmas dinner with her family and Beaver's and Casey's, but Rebecca blows her off, because, please, she's got loads of parties to go to and everyone would be so disappointed if she never showed up. But thanks!
So, naturally, she runs into Casey, of all people, at Walgreens around 5:00 PM when she goes out to restock on Cheezaritos.
"Rebecca?" Casey says, squinting those giant cartoon-cat eyes of hers as if she might be an impostor.
"Yes?" says Rebecca, like - ask me what I'm doing here, you idiot, I dare you -
But Casey doesn't. She just gives Rebecca a once-over, giant tub of Cheezaritos and all, and selects a second bag of frozen peas. Then, as she's turning to head to the checkout, she says, "Are you sure you don't want to come?"
She looks over her shoulder for several seconds, waiting for Rebecca to say something. And Rebecca thinks, saying nothing, she must look mostly defiant, because, after several seconds of silence, Casey shrugs and walks away.
The Shower (T-Minus Six Weeks):
"Listen...I don't want to bring you guys down or anything," Casey tells Ashleigh and Rebecca, halfway through the afternoon, "but if one more aunt comes up and asks me why I'm not married yet, I'm taking you guys's cappuccino maker and I'm not giving it back."
Ashleigh's face lights up. "Oooooh!" she says. "Someone got us the cappuccino maker?"
"I - I don't know, I'm guessing. Ash, you're not listening to me!"
"No, no, I am! I'm - "
"Ashleigh, baby!!" there comes a sudden crow of delight, from somewhere behind. They all turn to look, Casey with a sense of deep foreboding and Rebecca with her usual sharp curiosity. And, sure enough, it's Ashleigh's Aunt Melissa - Frannie's mom, who, unless she's changed dramatically since they were kids, makes Frannie look mild and filled to the brim with tact. Well, this should be good.
Aunt Melissa envelops Ashleigh in a hug. She's wearing a lot of perfume - lavender something, really strong - and Ashleigh seems to disappear into her voluminous shawl. Casey and Rebecca exchange a look - a look not unlike the look they exchange every time Natalie opens her mouth.
Aaand a look that's maybe not the best use of their time, because they fail to prepare for Aunt Melissa bearing down upon them. "Caaaaaseyyy!" she cries (and Casey has a sudden flashback to being twelve). "Little girl, you are just as I remember you - but even prettier!! I hear you're working up in Hartford now, right? Something with the mayor's office? You'll have to tell me all about it!"
"Oh - well - I - "
"Oh, my stars!! Casey! Who is this - beautiful young lady? Is this your wife? My word, Ashleigh, how could you not tell me..."
Horrified, Casey looks from Ash (whose eyes are huge but who also looks like she wants to start laughing any second) to Rebecca (who for once seems to have been rendered speechless) and then back to Aunt Melissa.
"No!" she interjects, perhaps a little too vehemently, as Aunt Melissa begins to wax poetic about Rebecca's earrings. "No - no, no, no - definitely, she is not - we are definitely not married. Um. This is Rebecca, she's, um, Ashleigh's friend from college! I guess you've never...met."
It takes fifteen minutes to get rid of Aunt Melissa, and, even then, it's not really that they succeed in getting her to shut up. It's more that Ashleigh signals Frannie in a panic and she comes sauntering over, classic Frannie, all sideways looks and half-smiles, to draw her mother away.
As soon as she's out of earshot, Rebecca wheels on Casey.
"So what's wrong with me?" she demands, and Casey just blinks, dumbstruck.
"What's wrong with me? You seemed pretty offended that she thought we were married. You don't think you'd be be lucky to have me? Because I'm telling you, you'd be lucky to have me. I'm awesome marriage material. I'm a catch! I'm responsible, and I always show up to places on time, and I never - "
"Rebecca," interrupts Casey, with long-suffering patience. "Are you asking me to marry you?"
Rebecca scoffs. "Please," she says. "Like I would ask you. You asked me."
The Bachelorette Party (T-Minus Six Days):
It would never have happened if she hadn't been so fucking trashed. (This is how Casey defends herself afterward. She thinks it's probably mostly true, right?)
This is what she remembers:
They went out to the club after a spa day and an excellent dinner out. They had (more) drinks, and they danced a lot, and it must have been around 11:00 PM or maybe midnight when the strippers came out and they all started laughing and screaming at the top of their lungs -
(when Casey woke up next to Rebecca the next morning, she was really hoarse)
and Casey wasn't into the whole balls-in-your-face thing, of course, but it was still exciting and crazy and funny - but - eventually, after some time (or no time, maybe, it was hard to tell by then) she found herself at the back with Rebecca, ordering another round of drinks and commenting on how long and dark and shiny Rebecca's hair was.
And Rebecca tossed her head and tucked it behind her ear, and she said, "You know, if you want to sleep with me that badly, Casey, all you have to do is ask."
So she did. (Probably? She thinks? She must have.)
And they did.
The rest of the wedding week goes off without a hitch.
For Rebecca, this means:
No one leaves anyone at the altar;
all the dresses look super-hot, as promised;
and Casey has the good sense not to try and turn their one-night stand into anything else.
Rebecca is not a spooner. Or a mooner. Or anything else that might rhyme with either of those ridiculous words.
"So do you want to come home with me?" asks Casey, almost the second the getaway car is out of sight. She puts her hand on the small of Rebecca's back. It's warm. It's too warm.
"Excuse me?" Rebecca says. She tries to squirm away and not squirm away at the same time. She can't say it's an overwhelming success.
Casey raises an eyebrow (to which Rebecca narrows her eyes). "I'm asking," she says matter-of-factly, "do you want to come home with me?"
"I want another drink," Rebecca announces, feeling like her neck is too warm now, too, and her cheeks -
"Are you going to get it for me?"
"No." But Casey pauses then, like she might be thinking about it, and along Rebecca's spine she feels something, the press and curl of Casey's fingers. And then Casey says, "I'll get you breakfast in the morning. If you want."
Rebecca steps just out of the circle of Casey's arm and gives her a once-over.
"Okay," she says, after a beat.
Rebecca shrugs, and walks away.