A/N: Thank you to everyone who reviewed! As you can see below, part two is in Casey's POV, which is why I split them up. Oh and on a side note I didn't want to include lyrics in this because I thought it took away from the story and disturbed any kind of flow I was attempting to have, but I do really like listening to "Gamble Everything For Love" by Ben Lee or "Danny's Song" by Anne Murray for this chapter. I recommend playing them if you have either.
Sorry for these weird line separations, the function doesn't seem to want to work for me anymore.
I'm in love with him. Not the man I'm dancing with, my husband, but the one who is holding my gaze from across the room, Derek.
This is so wrong. I can't believe I'm actually going to spend the rest of my life without him. I always knew I'd have to, but…I guess I just thought that it'd be easier. We did have a very short time together so I thought it'd be less impossible to get through this. I thought it'd be easier to handle never in forever if I at least had the memory of us together. I mean, I came back, I put on the dress, I said, "I do,", I'm dancing and smiling, but it suddenly occurred to me that I'm never going to be closer to him than this ever again. As soon as the reception is over I'm really with someone else forever and I don't want to be.
But I always knew that I'd never get what I want. I've always hated how everything Derek wants Derek gets, but I really wish he was getting what he wants now because it's the same thing I want, us. We want to be together, but he's my stepbrother and no one would get it. As much as I hate to care what everyone thinks, I care what everyone thinks. And I'm not strong enough to take the disapproving stares and the disgusted glares because to everyone but us we are one family and the love that exists between us is the wrong kind of love. I used to always think how there wasn't such a thing as a wrong love, that no love could be bad. Young and naïve and always wishing I wouldn't have to spend my life the exact way I'm going to spend my life. Oddly, when I was little used to watch reruns of The Brady Bunch obsessively, always waiting for something to happen between Greg and Marcia. Everyone thought I was crazy and knew that I was waiting for something that would never happen because it was wrong. And I accepted that it was thought of as wrong because nothing ever happened with them. Ironically only a few years later I desperately wanted for someone to come out and say there's a bunch of unaired episodes from the following season where Greg and Maria are together and happy and have everyone's approval. Only I didn't want them together just so I could be right, I wanted them together because I had met Derek. And I really wanted to hate Derek; he is everything I've always thought I never wanted. But as much as I wanted to hate him and as much as I fought with him I never hated him. It's been so long now I don't even remember when I realized I love him, I can't remember a time when I didn't love him. As long as I've known I love him though, I've known we can't be together, Greg and Marcia taught me that. I wish The Brady Bunch neverexisted, maybe then we'd have a chance.
Maybe we do have a chance, but as much as I love him, I've just never been able to take it. We could run away to somewhere where no one knows our past and we could be together. But running away to start over completely means running from everything we've ever known, it means running from our family or telling them and suffering what they really think. My mom and Lizzie are such a huge part of my life; I don't know how I would survive never seeing them again or not having their approval. And George and Edwin and Marti, they've become my family too. George even walked me down the aisle today and he's been taking the place of my dad for a long time now. And I don't think of Lizzie as my only sibling, Edwin and Marti are just as much my siblings as she is. Derek became my family too, just not in the same way, in the way that a husband becomes your family.
My husband, Alex, might catch on the fact that this definitely isn't the happiest day of my life like it should be since my eyes are still caught by Derek's and I can't seem to force myself to smile anymore. Alex is a great guy, but I've always known that I'm not in love with him. He's safe, he keeps me from what I can never have, so I said yes when he proposed and I said "I do" when the reverend asked me if I take him as my husband. And I know I can't be with Derek and this is how everything has to be, but right now all I can think about is the limo. After we stop dancing, sit down and eat, dance some more, cut the cake, I throw my bouquet, and then we get in the limo and leave the reception. I think I can make it through the rest of this, but I don't think I can get in the limo. The limo is me and my husband alone together the way it's going to be forever while the space between me and Derek is continuously forced to grow. I don't think I'm strong enough to get in the limo.
Maybe…I've never been willing to give up my family and he doesn't want to give them up either, but now that I have to really give him up, now that I have to get in that car and drive away to a future with someone else, I don't think I can do that even less. I can't have a life without Derek, I just can't. My last chance to be with Derek wasn't before I said, "I do," it's before I get in that limo and officially start a forever with someone else. But I can't do it; I can't get in that limo and commit to a forever with someone other than Derek. Whatever forever will hold I need it to be with Derek.
I told Alex that he should dance with his mother and I walked over to Derek because I might be able to get through more of this reception, but I can't finish it, I can't leave here unless it's with him.
"Hi," I began lamely because this is the most terrifying thing I have ever done and I'm so nervous but I have to do this. Derek loves me, I'm sure of that, but neither one of us has ever wanted to give up everything to be together and I want to now, I have to now because I can't get in that limo with Alex, I can't.
As much as Derek loves me, I don't know if he's going to want to give up everything. I said quickly, "Let's get out of here."
"What?" he instantly responded looking completely shocked.
"I can't go through with this. I thought I could, but I can't. I want us. I want to run away," I explained very clearly so that he has no doubt exactly what I meant, I just hope he wants the same thing.
"Thank God," he replied sighing and taking my hand. "But what about this?" he asked as his thumb brushed my wedding ring.
"It'll be over, I'll explain it to him later, just get me out of here now," I said because I don't know how long this courage to leave with him will last so I just want to go before I change my mind.
"You're sure?" he asked stepping closer to me.
"Yes, if you're sure," I said because I think he's happy about this and he seems willing, but this is huge and I need to be sure he's sure.
"I'm sure. You're all I need," he quickly replied.
I would have kissed him then, but I'm already walking out on my husband and I don't need to do anything more to hurt him. He really doesn't deserve to get hurt, he doesn't deserve this being done to him, but right now, in the moment of my last chance I had to think about what I need and I need Derek.
The exit to the hall is across the room. Derek held my hand as he led us through the people briskly, but not running, just fast enough so that no one would be able to figure out what's going on before I'm all the way out the door.
I kept my eyes on the door, our goal, the place we absolutely had to get to, but then as we were almost there I looked away. It was just random and I caught my mother's eye. She seemed confused, but I continued out the door with Derek anyway because as much as I've always wanted my mom to be happy, as happy as George has always made her, I just can't let her happiness cost me mine anymore.
Thankfully my dress wasn't extremely poofy so I was able to get into Derek's Jeep quickly.
He sped us out of the parking lot and down the street until we got to a red light. He turned to me, smiled, and kissed me long and meaningfully and I know I made the right decision. He drove with one hand for the rest of our drive because his other hand was holding mine.
After we had been heading south for about four hours we decided to stop. He went into a Target and got me something else to wear and got both of us some supplies for the night and while he was gone I called Alex. I didn't tell him about Derek, I just said I couldn't do it, that my heart wasn't really in it and I picked a horrible time to realize that. He was optimistic and said it was okay; at least it didn't take years to figure it out. We're getting an annulment.
We got a room at a motel and decided to call home. We had discussed it and as much as I knew I couldn't take it if they didn't understand, both of us still wanted to give them the chance. We're together so we'll be alright if it doesn't go well, but we don't want to wonder what they would think.
I dialed home and put the phone on speaker so we could both talk. I didn't think they would still be dealing with the reception that must have been a mess, but no one answered the phone. We left a message trying to explain.
"I don't know what to say," I began as I felt Derek soothingly take my hand again, "I'm sorry but I couldn't go through with it. I know that by law I already had, but it didn't feel like it. I tried to mean it when I said, 'I do.' I tried to love him, but the truth is I could never love him because I'm already in love with someone else."
"And I'm in love with her too," Derek said cutting me off, preventing me from having to say it's him because they would recognize his voice. Derek continued, "We know that you guys might not like this, we're prepared for that, that's why we left and we're not coming back. We want forever together, I want Casey as my wife, and we understand that we can't have that there, so we're gone."
I picked up the end of what we had to say, "We know what you guys probably think about all this, but if you think there's any way that things don't have to be like this, that this doesn't have to be goodbye, then you can reach us at 831-555-3393 until tomorrow at eleven a.m. If we don't here from you we'll be gone and then this really is goodbye. I didn't want everything to end up like this, but we both need this, we both need to put our happiness first and we're sorry about what that may do to yours. We love you all and we'll miss you all. Goodbye."
I quickly hung up the phone and returned to Derek's arms. This is where I need to be, where I'm supposed to be, I just can't believe I'm not going to see them again.
We decided not to wait by the phone for their call, but to go out and try and get our minds off of everything. We found the nearest Denny's since at the late hour it's probably the only place open and we tried to eat. Derek pretty much succeeded in eating and playing with his food in an effort to try and get me to stop worrying, but I can't help but worry. I don't regret this and I know I never will, Derek's right and this future with him is a hundred times better than the future I would have had if I got in that limo, even if the family won't talk to us. Though I know that, I still want them to be okay with this.
When we got back to the room the red message light was flashing on the phone. We sat down at the head of the bed near the phone. Derek instantly wrapped his arms around me as I sat staring at the blinking light on the phone and whispered in my ear, "We'll be alright. No matter what I don't regret this."
"Neither do I," I quickly responded turning my head to face him and meeting his eyes.
"I love you," he said to me for probably only the third time ever because we never used to let ourselves say it. And I'm never going to get tired of hearing him say it.
"I love you too," I immediately replied and that is something I'll never tire of saying. He kissed me reassuringly, but only briefly. He pulled away and hit play so we could hear the message.
"Well today was a lot more eventful than we were expecting," came my mother's voice over the machine, "I'd be lying if I said that we weren't shocked. Before you two ever met George and I had actually discussed the possibility of you two not feeling like siblings and developing crushes on each other or something, but then we saw you meet and figured it was unlikely. I guess we were wrong. George and I have discussed it and we understand why this is happening now and it didn't happen sooner, you were protecting our happiness and you're right, that had to stop. Ten years ago we changed everything for both of you, more than we knew, in the interest of our own happiness and you guys dealt with it. Now, as we see it, you're reversing our roles and it's our turn to deal with it and we will. George would be here now, but he wanted to get to the office and draw up some annulment papers for you Casey. We can't promise that everything will be easy, but we'll try and we told the kids too and we told them that George and I wanted to try and make this work. Marti seemed happy about it and Lizzie and Edwin, well their reaction was…revealing, they have some news for you guys but you'll have to come home to hear it. We want you to come home, it will take some getting used to, but we want to make this work. We love you both and we don't want to miss you so come home and have a safe drive."
That was better than the best reaction either of us were expecting. Derek and I sat in surprised silence for a second before I asked, "So do you want to go?"
"Yeah, I mean, I don't know about you but I'm pretty curious about what Ed and Lizzie could have to tell us," Derek joked trying to lighten the mood.
I smiled but I had to know what he really wants so I asked again, "But do you really want to go back? I know we have them on our side now, but that doesn't mean everyone else will be okay with it. There are so many people who know us as step siblings. What about them, do you really want to face them?" I'm not sure that I want to. I want to go home, I never wanted to leave my family and they want us back so I want to go home, but I don't know if I want to face everyone else. I think I can though, if Derek wants to, I think I can.
Derek took a second to think about it but responded, "People might know us as step siblings, but now they'll know us as something else. I want to go home because I know you never wanted to really leave everyone and neither did I and they want us back, we have their support, and I have no doubt that because we have each other and we have them backing us, we'll be able to deal with anything else."
I kissed him for saying exactly what I needed to hear and I can't believe I can finally do that now. Every time I want to kiss him I can actually kiss him.
We decided to stay the night and drive home in the morning. We know that it's not going to be easy and everything with the family will probably be weird for a while. We know that life's not going to be perfect, but what forever will be is us together and that means that it won't always be easy, but we'll always have love, we'll always have us.
A/N: I hope you enjoyed the story and I'd appreciate it if you REVIEW and let me know what you thought. I promise next time I venture into this category the story will be much better and a whole lot more fun.
Thanks for reading!