Alright, I got sappy and idealistic at the end, but hey, it's fanfiction. I also used 3 songs in this chapter, and I tried to keep them down to a verse and chorus. I usually don't like songfics, but I found there were so many I wanted to use, and anyway, they're at a party. So I don't own, "I Don't Wanna Fall In Love" by She Wants Revenge, "Surrender" by Laura Pausini, or "All I Need" by Heather Nova. Nor do I own Life with Derek or anyone even remotely comparable to the cuteness of Michael Seater. Oh, I made a Dasey Shipper icon that I'm going to try to turn into a myspace icon, but I have no idea where to upload it, I guess it has to be on a site. Anyway, I hope you enjoyed the story, this is the last chapter and epilogue. :Sniff: Maybe I'll write another soon.

Warnings and notes on circumstances: Two uses of profanity. Everyone is a year or two older than on the show since they're applying for college, so if Lizzie sounds too wise or you don't like Derek drinking. And Derek can handle his liquor. And Marti was already asleep.

Chapter 6

Casey heard the door shut downstairs and clutched her pillow tighter against her chest. She was so confused about what had just happened. I mean, she had been fighting it so long, romanticizing it, fantasizing it, but now … she had finally done it. And all the reality came like a cloud over her. What would their parents think? What would the kids at school think? Was she just another game to Derek, just another challenge that he'd get tired of once he won? Could she really see herself in an actual relationship with someone she was so completely different from?

There was a soft knock on the door, and Casey wiped frantically at her tears. "Who is it?" she asked anxiously.

"It's Lizzie." Her little sister cautiously opened the door and poked her head through the small opening. "Is everything okay?"

Casey couldn't help it, she broke down in tears once again, and Lizzie rushed to her side. "Casey?" she asked, worried.

"I don't know what I'm doing," Casey sobbed out. "For the first time in my life, I have absolutely no idea what's right."

"Can you tell me what it is?"

"It's just .. a boy. And I'm not supposed to be with him." Casey looked away, running a hand across her tear-stained cheeks. "And I don't know if I can do this. It's just so hard. This is so not how this was supposed to go."

Lizzie smiled softly. She was a smart girl, and she knew what was going on. This was her sister, after all, and she knew her better than anyone. "Sometimes things don't go the way we plan, but it doesn't mean it's wrong. I mean, just look at our family. Would you rather Mom still be fighting with Dad every day, or would you rather have this great family, chaos and all?"

Casey laughed even as she felt a pain in the pit of her stomach thinking about her "family." "Lizzie …" she looked at her sister, and Lizzie's knowing look stared back at her. "You already know, don't you?" she said softly, more of a statement than a question.

"All we want is for you to be happy, whatever that means." Casey's eyes shot up at the new voice speaking to her. In her doorway stood her mother, George, and Edwin.

"Mom!" Casey jumped off the bed, throwing the pillow off of her.

"Casey, it's okay. George and I, well, we've been talking about this for a while. Once you and Derek started getting closer, we kind of knew for sure that we'd need to be prepared if this happened, as opposed to just," Nora shifted uncomfortably and looked at George, "joking about it happening." Casey blushed.

"Casey, we know this is not going to be easy. This is a lot for us to take in, and we're all going to need to talk, after you and Derek really think this through." George stopped and his voice softened. "But we've never seen Derek happier in his life than in these past few weeks he's been spending with you." George looked down at Edwin, who nodded in agreement. Casey looked at him with a small smile of wonder and hope. "We don't want to tell you that it's all going to be great," he warned, "but we don't want you to have to give up your own happiness just because you got thrown into a family together at 15. We've appreciated the support you kids gave us and have given us during a difficult transition, and we want to give you at least the opportunity to work it out together."

Casey could not believe what she was hearing. They'd all known, all along … You'd go through anything for it, she remembered herself saying. Giving up every comfort and safety you've ever known.

She had stood there absorbing it all for a minute, when Edwin cut through the silence, saying, "Well, c'mon, go to the party and get him!" Edwin rolled his eyes, wondering why he and Lizzie always knew better than their older siblings, and walked away before everything could get emotional again.

Casey ran to hug her mom and George, grabbed her jacket, and rushed out the door. George and Nora looked at each other and sighed, hoping they'd done the right thing.


Derek had walked angrily to the party. It wasn't very far and he wanted to get drunk. Walking in, the collar of his leather jacket up and a smug look on his face, he was once again Derek Venturi, life of the party and master of all. He greeted some of his friends, smiled at some girls, and headed toward the kitchen.

He was vaguely aware of someone pouring out a shot for him, he didn't know of what. He was running on autopilot, but his mind was a complete fog. He wasn't consciously thinking about Casey … he wasn't really thinking at all. He just felt pain and confusion without any words attached to it, except the background music. He brought the drink to his lips and noted dimly that it was vodka. He hated vodka.

I would like to tell you, I would like to say
That I knew that this would happen
That things would go this way
But I cannot deceive you, this was never planned
I know that you're the right girl but do you think that I am the right man?

Right face wrong time, she's sweet
But I don't wanna fall in love
Too late, so deep, better run cause
But I don't wanna fall in love
Can't sleep, can't eat, can't think straight
I don't wanna …

The ominous sound of the music pounded against his head. He half-heartedly listened to some girl who was twirling her hair and talking next to him. He let someone pour him another shot, letting the liquid burn his throat. He brought his head back down and looked straight through the doorway at Casey, who had just entered the house.

She caught his eye from across the crowd, and his mind cleared. Everything in the periphery faded away as he watched her shoulders fall with relief that he was here, that she'd found him. They communicated for a moment with just their looks – Casey's eyes questioned him with concern, Derek's eyes were heavy with weariness and he shook his head slowly, sadly. She started toward him. Derek met her in the middle. They made their way to an empty room of the house.

Derek paced, his head down, one hand rubbing the back of his neck.

"Are you drunk?" Casey asked.

"No. I wish I were. Why are you here, Casey?" His voice was deep and heavy.

Casey bit her lip nervously. "I needed to talk to you. I just wanted to explain –"

"Explain what?" he cut her off. "Why you ran away from me? I already know why, Casey. And I was an idiot to kiss you. You don't owe me anything, Case. Don't come here trying to let me down easy, because I don't want to hear it. I'm not good enough for you, I knew it before, and I still know it. Don't come here and fucking remind me."

Casey was shaking her head violently. "No, Derek, you're wrong! I left because I was scared –"

"Scared? Scared? Casey, I am terrified! I put everything on the line to kiss you – my friends, my reputation, OUR family! I swallowed all of my fear because you mean so much to me, you're worth giving it all up. And it meant nothing to you! So tell me, why were YOU scared, Casey?" Derek shouted.

"Because I have never been in love before!"

Derek stared at her, his eyes wide with disbelief. Casey continued, calmer. "I love you, Derek. You are my stepbrother, and you are everything I have never been, and you do all these things that I absolutely hate, and it's scary and it's terrible and it's not at all what I expected, but I am completely in love with you, and for some reason …" She smiled, breathing through her rambling, "For some reason, I think it's all worth it. Whatever we have to go through, whatever we have to do, it will all be worth it because I need you. I need us."

Derek continued to stare at her, not moving.

"Derek? Derek, could you please say something?"

He looked up at her, a flash in his eyes, almost like he was seeing her for the first time. He walked over and took her hand, dragging her out of the room, into the middle of the party. The music and crowd swirled around them.

I can´t pretend anymore
That I am not affected, I´m not moved
I can´t lie to myself that I´m not always thinking of you
You make me strong
You show me I´m not weak to fall in love
When I thought I´d never need, now I can´t get enough

I always made it on my own
I always thought that I would keep control
You changed everything I believe in
And now I just can´t fight this feeling baby

"Hey, listen up!" Derek yelled. Everyone turned to look at him. "For anyone who doesn't know, this is Casey McDonald. For anyone who doesn't know, she is my stepsister. And for anyone who doesn't know," he stopped and turned to her, "I am completely in love with her." He smiled down at her, before turning back with a sweeping glare, "And if anyone has a problem with that, they can keep it to themselves, because we don't care."

Casey was bright red and wore a beaming smile. "You always have to top me, don't you?" Casey said, poking him in the chest.

Derek smirked. "Come on, you didn't expect that to change, did you?"

Casey raised an eyebrow suggestively. "This is going to be fun," she whispered.

Derek leaned down and kissed her sweetly, smiling against her lips. The crowd cheered, some because they were drunk, some because people were making out, and some because they were friends. There hadn't been anyone who didn't know.

I surrender


Derek laid the blanket out on the sand, and Casey placed the picnic basket and wine down onto it. In a few weeks, they would be going off to university. Derek would be attending a small middle-tier school he had gotten into with his improved grades, and Casey would be attending a larger, top-tier school that was 15 minutes away from Derek. Derek was going to study Math, and Casey would be getting a degree in English Literature.

They ate and drank happily, as happy as they had been for the past 16 months. Casey had ended high school as the captain of the intramural women's hockey team, and Derek of the competitive men's team. They cheered each other on at every game.

The radio played soft music as Derek laid face-up on the blanket, Casey curled in his arms. She was looking at the sky, a hand touching him lightly on the chest. One of Casey's "chick songs" came on and Derek rolled his eyes, but kept it on. Casey laughed.

Can we love each other
And respect each other
Find some joy together
'Cause that's all I need, oh, all I need
That's all I need, oh, all I need

I don't want your money or all your time
Just a heart that's beating with mine
'Cause that's all I need, oh, all I need
That's all I need, oh, all I need

And when you've got the world on your shoulders
You'll see, I'll be there for you
Like you'll be there for me
That's all I need

"Derek," she said, pretending to swoon, "tell me I'm all you need."

She felt something being slipped over her finger and smiled. Derek bent down to kiss the top of her head and whispered, "You … and Babe Raider 2."

She punched him playfully in the stomach. "Ow, Casey, that ring hurts!" Casey squealed as he flipped over on top of her and tickled her sides. "Say yes! Say it!" Casey laughed and screamed, "Yes!" He let her go.

She sat up catching her breath, and looked at him. "I'm so going to kick your ass in Babe Raider 2," she managed to squeak out before he threw her down onto the blanket again.