Warnings: The rating has been moved up to 'T' because there may be some harsh language in the story later on, not exactly this chapter, but later on in future chapters. This is just to let you know.

Disclaimer: I do not own Life with Derek or any of its characters. Life with Derek, its characters, trademarks and logos belong to POPE Productions, Shaftesbury Kids, Daphne Ballon, and The Family Channel Canada/Disney Channel USA. This fanfiction is also based off a story in True Story magazine, issue January 2006 – titled "Our Kids Are Dating… And So Are We." I own nothing except the further formation of the plot (which I have changed slightly and elaborated quite a bit more into) from the plot taken from the aforementioned story. Please do not sue. I have no money.

"Case, can I talk to you for a sec?" – 'Princess' Derek Venturi (in a dress and make-up)
"Anything for a pretty lady!" – Casey MacDonald, humorous/sarcastic
Episode: "Marti the Monster"
Show: Life with Derek

Chapter 1, Part 2 --- A Not So Typical Morning with the MacDonalds

MacDonald Household – One Month Before the Merge

Monday 5:00 AM – Kitchen

I sat at the table in our kitchen looking over my latest interior design project for my presentation that was taking place later this afternoon. I had been working on it for days and I had stayed up all night working on it trying to finally finish it. It just did not seem to want to turn out right each time I tried and I was about to fall asleep on top of it. Just lay my head down on the table and go to sleep. That sounded like a very good idea right about now.

This was unusual for me. I almost never take this long on a presentation, but this one was just being stubborn. Interior Design should not be this hard! I leaned over my presentations once more and sighed. Maybe if I just accepted them as they were I would not be having such a hard time with them.

As I sorted out my work to where I could look at each one at the same time, I looked up just in time to see my eldest daughter enter the kitchen with the cordless phone in hand.

"Hi, Mom," Casey greeted enthusiastically as she grabbed an orange from the fruit bowl. "I see that you're busy, I'll just be having a quick breakfast this morning. I'm waiting on a call."

"You seem really enthusiastic this morning," I sighed from exhaustion at the thought of her early morning energy. I was beginning to wonder how she was able to be so energetic this early in the morning, but reminded myself that she had slept through the night. However, I had not.

"Who are you waiting on to call?" I asked her curiously, as I watched her peel the skin off the orange, pull one of the orange slices out, and then take a bite out of it.

"Yeah…well, remember that boy I told you about and went out with on Saturday?" she asked, all the while smiling from ear to ear answering my question and basically telling me why she is so enthusiastic this morning. "Remember me mentioning that he invited me over to his place after school?"

"Casey," I started, determined to get a point across even though I knew she was not the type of girl to just give up everything for a guy. In fact, she was the one who still pushed feminism, which is based on many feminine morals, to its extreme limits in this house, not that I am complaining – I wholeheartedly agree with the issue. I caught the look on her face that told me I need not even begin telling her what she already knew. "I know, I know, but I feel the need to anyway. Just be careful, Case. He is your first boyfriend."

"I know. I blame the all-girls school for that," she retorted, jokingly. "No, really, Mom! You know me, you know what to expect from me. That is not just going to change just because I now have a boyfriend."

"Just remember, not everyone is as predictable as you are," I reasoned. "Don't expect this boy to stick around for too long. That is all I am saying."

"I don't expect him to, Mom. He does make me happy, but I know that some things don't last forever," Casey explained. "Listen, Mom, of all the people in the world, you know you can trust me and you know that I know how to take care of myself. I went out with him Saturday night and to top it all off came home an hour before curfew, remember?"

"Yeah, I just worry," I told her as I looked inadvertently over my presentation again. This conversation was coming to a close I could feel it, this presentation on the other hand was not getting anywhere with me sitting here having a much needed heart-to-heart with my daughter. "It's my job to worry."

"I know," she leaned over and kissed my forehead. "Thanks, Mom."

"Oh, and instead of by curfew tonight, since you are going to be over at his house be back home by 6:00 PM for dinner. Otherwise, I will come find you," I stated sternly. "Oh, and that reminds me – write down this boy's address and phone number for me, okay? I want to be able to track you down if I ever need to. Although, knowing you as well as I do I expect to never need to."

"Yes, Mom," she stated before setting the cordless phone and her half eaten orange down on the counter and grabbing the only piece of blank paper from the table in front of me and the pen in my hand leaving a short black line on the presentation before me. "Thanks."

"Casey!" I scolded. "I was using that pen." Actually, I truly was not using it, since the presentation was going nowhere by now, but I had to say something.

"Sorry," she apologized, shrugging, but smiled nonetheless, and then began to write down the contact information.

She added 'The Venturi's address & number' to the top of the page before writing out the address and phone number right as our phone rang. She handed the paper over to me and then answered the phone after grabbing it back off the counter, leaving her half eaten orange still sitting there. I laid the paper down before me and gave it a once over as I shook my head at this unusual occurrence, far too unlike her. Lately the girl could loose her head if it were not attached.

"Hello… oh, hey!" She answered the caller, apparently her boyfriend from her enthusiastic reaction. "I was actually expecting you not to call, I mean, it being so early. I know you're not really a morning person." She then left the kitchen without another word to me as Lizzie walked in.

"Hey, Mom. What's up with Casey?"

"Hey, Lizard," I did not even look up this time, just continued to look over my presentation. So far, I was not focusing enough to be able to tell if they were up to standard. "Her boyfriend, he's on the phone."

I stood and walked over to the counter to get a cup of coffee. I could tell I needed it. It would be my fifth cup in seven hours.

"Enough said. Late night?" Lizzie asked supportively. "I guess that means quick breakfast. That's alright. I'm running late anyway."

"Yeah, these presentations just don't seem to want to come out the way I want them to," I stated as I sat back down at the table, setting my coffee cup down as I did so, and finally looked up at her curiously. "And why are you running late?"

"My alarm clock's batteries died during the middle of the night," she rolled her eyes and sighed. That has happened before on very rare occasions, but Casey had always taken the time to wake her up before even getting ready for the day herself when she knows that Lizzie's alarm clock has not gone off. "Casey woke me up this morning…after she took her shower and got dressed."

'That's unusual…once again. She must have had that boy on her mind.' I thought, and then decided to take the girls to school on my way to work; it beats either of them missing the bus. I would be tremendously early to work of course, but punctuality is always a plus. Not to mention I still needed a little quiet time to look over this presentation just one more time before it has to be revealed to my client.

"Well, grab an apple or an orange and finish getting ready," I instructed as I gathered my presentations together while also taking a long sip from my coffee downing about half of it and then poured the rest down the sink and rinsed out the cup with some water from the faucet and set it in the drainer. "I'll drop you both off at school on my way to work."

However, I did decide the presentation was going to have to do no matter how accomplished or how abysmal it was. I would just look over it once more and whether it was perfect or not I would just have to accept it as is. "And I'll talk to Casey. She seems to be a little scatterbrained lately. I'll also buy you a new alarm clock – one with a plug-in and backup battery."

"Thanks, but you really don't have to do that," she said as she grabbed an apple out of the fruit bowl. "Just some new batteries would be fine – at least it would be less expensive." She then took a bite out of the apple.

"Yes, but if the batteries keep going dead it will end up costing us more in the long run. I'll just buy you a new clock." I told her, she only nodded and left to finish getting ready.

"We should have thought of this when we bought it for you in the first place," I said aloud to myself.

I had finally gathered everything I needed and began my tread into the living room of our condominium. Casey, sitting on the couch, was still chatting away on the phone.

'Talking to that boy, what was his name? It started with a D, right?' I thought. 'Daniel…? Danny…? Dan…? Daryl…? David…? Dave…? Del…? Drake…? Derek…? …Derek! Her boyfriend's name is Derek. Right.'

That almost made me wonder if I had even been listening when she had told me about him. I remember I had been working on my presentation at the time; I was probably too absorbed in it to really listen to her. It would have been the only time I truly never did give her enough attention while she was speaking to me. I just wonder if she even noticed. She has been absorbed in schoolwork and her own little world lately.

'Need to pay a little more attention to your eldest daughter, Nora,' I told myself. 'This is a time when she may really need you.'

Who knows if this so-called relationship she has with this Derek will really last or not. She has never gone through a breakup before. She has never even had a boyfriend before. I know she said and thinks differently on the matter, but she may truthfully be expecting everything to go perfectly and that they will be together for quite awhile. She was only 5 ½ years-old when her father left us; Lizzie had just been born 4 months before. She does not comprehend the 'people leave when you need them most' quandary. She was too young to understand then and has not learned it now. I just worry about how it would affect her if it were to actually happen now with this boy.

I began to eavesdrop on the conversation, but it was hard when she was not speaking much anymore.

"Oh, yeah, I remember you telling me about Marti," I heard her speak up suddenly.

'I wonder who Marti is…,' I thought as I continued to listen while still un-noticed by the party being eavesdropped on.

"That is so sweet!" She exclaimed. "You're sweet! Your little sister seems to really adore you."

She was silent for a few more minutes. Apparently, he had begun talking again, if it was actually to Casey or Marti or someone else was unknown by me.

'I wonder if this "Marti" really is his little sister,' I contemplated to myself.

"I definitely wouldn't," she suddenly stated after a few minutes. She had a look of disgust on her face, but only a few moments ago she had been giggling and talking ecstatically about how sweet he is and how his little sister seems to adore him.

'One sided telephone conversations are weird…,' I suddenly thought.

A few moments later, she told him goodbye and said that she would see him later today, and then she hung up and turned to see me standing there making it completely obvious that I had been eavesdropping on her conversation waiting for her to end the call so I could get everyone on their way out the door this morning.

"How much did you hear?" she asked curiously.

"Not much. I've only been standing here for five minutes," I replied honestly. "Most of all I heard was silence on your end. Aside from a few comments about how sweet your boyfriend is and some things about someone named Marti. "

I knew it would sound somewhat embarrassing for her to even mention any of that to her, but it was only the two of us here in the living room so no harm done. I waited a few moments for her to retort, but she surprisingly stayed silent. "Are you almost ready to go? I've decided to drive you and Lizzie to school this morning."

"Yeah, I'm ready to go. Would you like for me to check on Lizzie to see if she's ready yet?" she suggested and stood from the couch walking past me, she stopped and turned back towards me waiting for my answer.

I nodded and decided to talk with her about her scatterbrained-ness before she walked off to check on Lizzie. She began to turn away again when I called her name.

"Yeah, Mom?" She stopped mid-turn and turned back to face me.

"Since you actually have your mind on your sister at the moment, " I began to explain. "I thought I would go ahead and mention that this morning – Lizzie would not be running late if you had woken her up the same way you always used to when her alarm clock battery goes dead."

"Yeah, about that…," she sheepishly began to explain. "I was so busy thinking about the fact that Derek was supposed to call that I didn't notice she wasn't up yet until after I had gotten dressed."

"Casey, with you there should be no excuses. Boyfriend or not," I scolded. "You have always helped me keep this house orderly and by the clock. According to you, you say that just because you have a boyfriend it isn't going to change you, but I am beginning to think differently."

"I know, Mom, I'm sorry. It won't happen again – I promise," she sounded sincere enough. That was reason enough to believe her, for now, but she is known for her word.

"All right, just don't let it happen again," I told her with a stern look.

She nodded and went off to check on Lizzie. Moments later, they both entered the living room ready to go and we made our way quickly out the door by 6:05 AM, giving me 25 minutes to get them to school on time. Even if I had not decided thirty minutes ago to drive them to school, they would have missed the bus by twenty minutes. It had been an unusual morning for us.

'A very unusual morning indeed,' I thought, as we made our way to the car.

Author's Note:

Totals: 9 pages, 3,412 words, 72 paragraphs, and 303 lines in Microsoft Word. This includes Author's notes and other information. It is 7 pages, 2,523 words, 60 paragraphs, and 222 lines for just the story itself.

I cannot believe I even got seven pages out of this and only six for the first chapter! I do not think this was as good as the first chapter, but I digress. I tried. I hope that the next one will be much better. I do not like this chapter as much as the first chapter.

I guess I am getting a lot better at the 'being descriptive' thing, but that is my own opinion – my descriptions are much better in Mysterious Wind. I have to thank the Creative Writing class that I took last spring though. It helped a lot with my grammar, spelling, and descriptions, but this is a serious challenge for me to write these characters in first person point of view. I do not think I would have any trouble writing Casey or Derek in first person point of view, but George and Nora – that is a different story. Not much is truly known about them from bios and the show anyway except for their jobs and personalities. It makes it a lot harder to write in their point of views when there are no episodes based solely on them or longer bios that are confirmed to be true to help us learn more about them.

I have decided to start adding in more than one point of view per chapter (and from now on my author's notes will be at the bottom of the chapters for this fic), but the alternating point of views will not start until after this chapter. This chapter was, as I am sure you noticed, in Nora's point of view only. All chapters after this one will alternate between George, Nora, Derek, and Casey's point of views all of which taking place in the same chapter for each of the upcoming chapters.

In addition, since not much is known about Nora's ex-husband I made some things up. I have done quite a bit of research around the family(dot)ca LwD mini-site, Pope Productions website, and Shaftesbury's website, but found nothing in reference to any background information on George and Nora's exes. So, I became creative and made some stuff up - like I did in the last chapter with Abby, and George not wanting to see her or deal with her. However, I do not like making up names for unknown characters in a series unless the series has been over with for quite a while - like Hey Arnold. Therefore, I will not be making up a name for Nora's ex-husband. Nor will I be giving Sam a last name for this very same reason. Also, since they seem to ride the bus to school in the show (it is never really said or confirmed whether they do or not but they show a bus in some of the episodes) I decided to have the MacDonald children ride the bus to Fletcher Academy (we do not know much about the school, so I am just going to say that it is a middle school hooked on to a high school, making it possible for Lizzie to ride the same bus as her sister), and even though I did not mention it in the previous chapter the Venturi children also ride a bus (two separate ones) to school, except for Marti who gets driven to her elementary school, which is on the way to George's Law firm, by George himself. Okay, I have explained enough, have I not?

I have also been working on another Life with Derek fiction – Mysterious Wind. It is a sci-fi romance, a crossover with Martin Mystery, and it will be my first Dasey-centric fic. I hope and plan to have it completely uploaded (a chapter or two at a time each day until my goal date) by Halloween day since it has some Halloween aspects, it just is not really centered around the Halloween holiday - or any holiday for that matter, but it is Sci-Fi. I think my efforts have been more towards it than this for the time being and that is why this chapter is not so good. I apologize for that.

Destini V.