Okay, kiddies, here we are. The final chapter of this story. To tell you the truth, I think it's about darn time. I'm ready to move on from this story, which I feel lost it's structure, and show you guys something worth reading. But, at least, I did enjoy writing this chapter. An extreme thank you to everyone who has stuck around with this story! I've been kind of disappointed with reviews on the last couple chapters, though. My Feedback Monkeys seemed to have abandoned me, leaving me with merely four reviews for each chapter. So please, please, review! This is the final chapter, and I really want to hear from you guys!

.I own nothing.

Enjoy!

x—x

Casey sighed and looked in the mirror. Her makeup was nice. Not too heavy, but not too light. Just some mascara, eye shimmer, and lip gloss. She looked down at her dress; a pale purple number that fit her nicely, it's fabric flowy and shimmery. She probably couldn't have asked to look any better.

There was only one thing missing. Any way, shape, or form of happiness in her face.

"So Sheldon is picking up Jason, and then they're heading over here?" Casey asked for the seventh time.

Emily stopped admiring her own outfit (a sage green strapless number with a poofy skirt was right above her knees) and looked at her best friend sadly. "Yes, Casey. Same as when you asked three minutes ago."

"Oh, yeah. Okay." Casey said, looking down at her silk ballet flats.

"Case, are you okay?" Emily asked.

"Yeah, I'm fine." Casey said unconvincingly.

"You don't look fine." Emily said.

"What, is there something wrong with the dress?" Casey asked, looking over her outfit.

"That's not what I meant. What I mean is that you look absolutely gorgeous, but you look like your cat died."

"I don't have a cat." Casey pointed out.

"Casey..."

"I'm fine." Casey assured her best friend.

Emily walked over to her best friend, placing a hand on her shoulder. "Then why don't I believe you?"

Casey shook her head. "I don't know."

"If you didn't want to go with Jason..."

"I wasn't just going to shoot him down. He's a nice guy." Casey said.

"You could have gone with Derek." Emily said.

Casey's eyes widened. "Em!"

"You know it's true." Emily shrugged.

"That is not something that I know that I know is true! And anyway, I don't care. Why would I want to go with Derek?" Casey said.

"God, why are you so stubborn?" Emily asked.

"I am not!" Casey exclaimed.

"You know you wanted to go with Derek." Emily said.

"I did not!" Casey denied.

"He totally would have said yes if you'd have asked him." Emily continued

"He would not!" Casey said.

"You guys are practically made for each other." Emily stated.

"We are not!"

"And-"

"Em! Shut up! It's not going to happen." Casey cried.

"Because you're an idiot!" Emily said.

"I was an idiot when I was overreacting about Derek. I am not being idiotic now, I am being realistic." Casey said defensively.

"Okay." Emily said softly. "Then realistically. Is Jason who you really want to be going to the dance with?"

Casey faltered, but before she could answer, a soft knock on Emily's bedroom door interrupted them.

"Come in." Emily said.

Emily's mom's head popped through the door. "They're down stairs."

"Thanks mom, we'll be down in a second." Emily said as her mom left the room.

Emily looked at Casey for a moment, before shaking her head.

"Come on." Emily said.

Casey followed her best friend down the stairs. Once on the landing they were faced with Sheldon, Jason...

And Derek and his date Kristie.

Casey reached out and grabbed Emily's wrist.

"Hello...everyone." Emily said, her eyes wide.

"Emily, you look beautiful." Sheldon said.

"Aw, thank you." Emily said, giving a soft smile to her boyfriend before glancing at Casey, and then at Derek.

"Hi Jason. Kristie. Derek." Emily said, nodding toward each person.

"Oh, yeah!" Sheldon said. "While I was getting here we found Derek and Kristie in their car trying to get it to start, but it wouldn't. To save them the the hassle I offered to give them a ride."

"We didn't want to be an inconvenience-" Derek said, mostly to the floor.

"But I just wouldn't let him say no." Sheldon smiled.

"Well, that was...nice." Emily said through gritted teeth and a forced smile as Casey's nails dug deeper into her wrist.

"Well, then. We should all be going then, shouldn't we?" Sheldon suggested.

"Yeah, yeah. You guys start heading out. I'll be there. I, um, forgot...something. Uh, yeah. I'll be right there." Emily said.

"Okay, babe." Sheldon said.

Sheldon began to leave the room, and the rest followed. Once sure they were out of earshot, Emily tried desperately to remove Casey's death grip.

"Case, lack of blood circulation, here." Emily said.

Realizing what she had been doing, Casey immediately removed her hand from Emily's wrist.

"Sorry." Casey murmured quickly.

"God, I can't believe-"

"It's not like Sheldon knew." Emily assured. "He didn't know any better."

'I know, but-"

"You would have seen him at the dance anyway. And it's not like you don't live with him."

Casey sighed. "True. Just make sure I don't get stuck sitting next to him in the car."

--

Casey glared at the mirror in front of the passenger's seat. Emily saw Casey glaring at her through the mirror and and gave an apologetic look. Casey sighed and looked away, instead focusing on her hands that she had placed in her lap. She tried not to notice that there was another pair of hands in his own lap to the left of her.

Surprisingly enough, she had wound up seated between Derek and Jason. Sheldon was driving, Emily was in the front seat, and both Kristie and Jason had seats by the doors, placing Casey and Derek very much squished in the middle.

She heard Jason clear his throat. "You...you look very beautiful tonight, Casey." He murmured.

Casey could have sworn she felt Derek's body stiffen beside her, but she ignored it. "Thank you, Jason. You look very nice tonight, too."

Derek started coughing, a little louder than necessary, Casey thought.

"So, Kristie. You look great. That dress." Derek whistled. "Very body fitting."

Casey rolled her eyes, biting her lip to keep from commenting on how shallow he was.

I look nicer. Classier. Why can't he notice that? Casey wondered to herself before she remembered that she didn't care.

Well. That she wasn't supposed to, at least.

"Um, thanks, Der." Kristie said, and Casey was reminded of how much she hated that nickname. It didn't fit him at all. "You're hair looks really...flippy."

Casey bit down harder on her lip, only to keep from laughing.

"Yeah. Thanks." Derek said dryly. "I try."

The rest of the car ride was silent.

Once they reached the school, they all quickly got out of the car and headed toward the entrance. Once inside the door they were stopped in front of a small table in front of the main entrance of the gym.

"Can you please stand next to your date?" The girl at the table requested. "The computer club wants to know how many are going with dates and how many are going stag. For their statistics or something." She explained when she got a bunch of curious glances.

Emily stood aside with Sheldon, and Casey with Jason. Without thinking, Derek sided beside Casey. She looked at him curiously, and then quickly looked away. Derek felt himself blush, and quickly slid to stand next to Kristie, keeping his eyes everywhere but from anyone else's eyes. Especially Casey's.

The girl at the table quickly jotted something down on a pad of paper, took their tickets and let them into the dance.

Almost immediately, they all sat down, but Derek and Kristie found a different table from Emily, Casey, Sheldon and Jason.

They all sat quietly, and Casey tried not to look over at Derek, since she had a clear view of him from where she was sitting. It didn't help that almost every time she did end up stealing a glance in his direction, he seemed to be doing the very same thing, and they both looked away quickly.

Casey sighed, trying to manage some small talk with Jason (which really just wasn't happening) while Emily and Sheldon kept disappearing on the dance floor. Jason asked her to dance once, but it was awkward, stiff and silent. Plus Casey couldn't seem to stop herself from looking over at Derek, and he was definitely staring in her direction. She scolded herself when her heart flip flopped in her chest. When the dancing aspect of the evening didn't seem to be working, Casey and Jason sat back down.

Casey fiddled with the tablecloth, and noticed that Kristie was no longer sitting at the table with Derek.

"You should ask him to dance."

Jason's voice caused Casey to jump.

"What?"

"Go ask Derek to dance." Jason said.

"Excuse me?" Casey asked, trying to keep her jaw from dropping.

"Okay, I'm not going to repeat that again. But seriously, why don't you?"

"Are you seriously asking me that?" Casey asked.

"Come on. It's kind of obvious..."Jason said.

"Jason-"

"Wow, you're stubborn."

"Hey! I haven't even said anything." Casey said.

"That's because I don't want you too. I want you to get up and ask him to dance."

Casey looked at her date curiously.

"This is really weird, you know that right?" Casey asked.

"Weird is interesting. Now go away, before you get boring." Jason joked.

Casey couldn't help laughing, but she got up.

"Um...this is really weird." Casey murmured.

Jason laughed. "Yeah, your welcome."

Casey laughed and slowly made her way toward Derek. Once he noticed her coming toward him, he sat up straighter.

"Hey." She said, hoping he couldn't tell she felt like her heart was going to slam through her chest.

"Hey." Derek said, sounding surprised.

"Where's Kristie?" Casey asked.

"She went to the bathroom." Derek answered.

"What are you-"

"Do you want to dance, Derek?" Casey asked quickly, before she lost her nerve.

Derek's eyes widened. "Are you really asking me that?"

"Only if the answer is yes." Casey said cautiously.

Derek stared at her for a moment, and then smirked. "Yes."

He stood up, and they awkwardly went onto the dance floor as a slow song began. They stared at each other for a moment, before Casey carefully placed her hands around Derek's neck. A moment later, Derek placed his hands on Casey's waist.

As they danced, Derek desperately tried to think of something to say.

"You do look beautiful, tonight, Case." Derek said softly.

Casey felt herself blush. His voice had sent chills down her spine.

"Are you cold?" Derek asked,

Casey felt her face grow even warmer, embarrassed that Derek had felt her shiver.

Shiver because of him.

"I'm fine." Casey said.

Derek nodded.

"I was kind of jealous when Jason told you you looked beautiful. I wanted to tell you that." Derek murmured.

Casey shivered again.

"Why are you telling me this?" Casey asked.

"I don't really know." Derek shook his head. "I guess I'm in a truthful mood."

They were silent for a moment.

"Case, I don't want things to be awkward between us." Derek said.

Casey looked up at him, and then looked away again. "Neither do I."

Derek took a deep breath, "But I don't want things to go back to how they were, either."

"What do you mean?" Casey asked, scrunching her eyebrows together.

"I don't want to go back to acting like we hate each other." Derek clarified.

They had stopped dancing, but his arms remained around her waist, as her arms remained around his neck.

"Derek, I-"

"Case, have your feelings changed?"

"I- what?" Casey asked.

"We agreed that we had overreacted about everything. But after that...what happened?" Derek asked.

Casey remained silent, trying to breath.

"Do you want to know about mine?" Derek asked.

Casey's glance flickered toward him. Half afraid of his answer, she nodded, nevertheless.

"Mine didn't go away." Derek said quietly.

Casey couldn't find the will to look at him.

"I thought, and I thought, and I tried to be rational, and then I realized, I don't want to be rational!" Derek said. Slowly, Casey met his gaze to find that he was smiling.

"Derek-"

"Just tell me." Derek said. "What do you feel."

Casey looked at him for a moment and then started to laugh.

"This isn't exactly something I would have hoped you'd laugh at." Derek said.

"What do I feel?" Casey asked through her laughter. "What do I feel? Oh, okay. I feel like I'm losing my mind. I feel like I'm going to pass out, and have since I saw you at Emily's. I feel like this whole thing is just way too weird for my liking. I mean, my date told me to go ask my step brother to dance, and my step brother is telling me he has feelings for me, and being completely un-Derek like, because you're never nice, but you're being nice. And you're telling me that you want me to have feelings for you, and it's all kind of freaking me out. Especially since I'm afraid. I'm really really afraid. You scare me, and it scares me even more that I like how you scare me. And I think I may pass out from not breathing while I said all of this."

Casey took a deep breath, and sighed.

"And I feel like-"

Casey was cut off, because Derek, who had been staring down at her, smirking, had leaned down and kissed her. Casey stiffened for a moment, and considered pushing him away. But then she realized that she didn't want to. Unlike their last kiss, it was slow and deep. And Casey got completely lost in it.

When Derek pulled away, she didn't quite know what to do with herself.

"You talk a lot, did you know that?" Derek asked quietly, smirking.

"Why'd you do that?" Casey asked. It took everything in her not to smile, and not to pull his face down to meet hers again.

"Well, you were getting really worked up, and you usually only get really worked up when it's important to you. And you haven't started swinging, so I take that as a good sign." Derek said.

Casey lightly smacked him on the arm, but smiled.

"This is weird." She said.

"You've already told me." He replied.

"This is wrong." Casey said.

"I like wrong." Derek smiled.

"You don't care." Casey looked at him.

"I don't care." Derek agreed.

"You want me." Casey said slowly.

Derek looked at her, and slowly he smiled. "I want you."

"This is weird." Casey said again.

"Will you shut up and say you want me, too?" Derek asked.

Casey looked at him for a moment. "No. I don't think I'll give you that satisfaction."

"Really? Then what are you going to do?" Derek asked.

Casey wrapped her arms around his neck and pulled him to meet her lips.

"I thought I'd do that." Casey said, resolutely.

"Well, McDonald, that's fine with me." Derek said.

"I told you it would work." Emily said in sing-song voice.

Sam looked at her and then back Casey and Derek, who were simply standing on the dance floor, holding each other, smiling.

"Well, Ms. Evil Genius. It seems you really are an evil genius." Sam nodded.

"Yes, yes." Emily nodded proudly.

"Hey, can we have our cash so we can get out of here?" Jason asked. Him and Kristie had appeared at their sides, holding hands. "I promised Kris I'd take her to dinner once this was all done."

"Oh, yeah, here." Emily said handing him two fifties. "You kids have fun. Thanks a lot for helping out."

"No problem. You were right; they're really cute together." Kristie smiled before she and Jason walked away.

"You were all coordinated and everything." Sam acknowledged.

"I am the best." Emily laughed.

"Hey, I saw Derek and Kristie get out of the car with you guys earlier. Did you-"

"I didn't plan that." Emily said.

"Then how-" Sam tried to ask.

"It was just that meant to be." Emily smiled.

x—x

Finit!

In all truth, I had a lot of fun writing this; more fun then I've gotten from this story for quite a while. I worked hard to at least make the final chapter somewhat nice, so please don't leave me with a measly four reviews. Love you all!

Review, loves.

-Tarryn