I came up with this idea around Christmas, but never got a chance to write it. I don't know if it's good or bad that I have a bit of time now; I'll let you decide. But since my birthday is next Thursday, I figured, hey, why not write a birthday fic? Oh, dork am I. Regardless, here's my personal celebration of my eighteenth birthday; a fanfiction for a show on Disney channel. Ah, irony; ain't it grand? Lol.

Disclaimer: Is it legal for me to own this?

"Aw, Lizzie! Thank you!" Casey cooed, smiling brightly at her sister as she glanced up from the newly unwrapped earrings. Reaching over, Casey gave Lizzie a quick one-armed hug before setting the gift on the table and accepting the badly wrapped present Marti was waving in front of her. She gently pulled off the paper as Marti watched interestedly; once the lid of the box was removed, Casey found herself staring uneasily at the present.

"I found it," Marti announced, pointing to the dingy feather, mottled with dirt. "Do you like it?" she chirped.

"Um, yeah," Casey replied, trying to sound enthusiastic. "It's great, Marti!"

"I know," the little girl replied cheerfully before skipping back to the other end of the table.

With two fingers, Casey held the gift out before her and set it next to the pile, just close enough to look like it was part of the stack without contaminating everything else.

"So, is that it?" Nora asked, glancing from the array on the table to the rest of the room. "I don't see anything else."

Casey looked down at her neatly organized possessions, and her mother counted with her as she sifted through them. A nice day planner from George, a CD from Edwin, a makeup set from her mother, an antique necklace from her grandmother, the sweater her dad had dropped by earlier that week and the earrings and the feather from Lizzie and Marti.

"Wait a second," Nora said as Edwin attempted to move into the living room and Derek stood to leave. "There's one missing." Glancing back down, she recounted them before looking up to Derek, who was half out of his chair. The rest of the family shifted to watch him keenly, and he raised an eyebrow at Casey's expectant expression.

"Don't look at me," he defended, raising a hand to stem off the stares. "I didn't get you anything."

"What?" she asked, surprised and somewhat petulant.

"I didn't buy you a present," he repeated flippantly, shrugging his shoulders and moving to leave.

Casey scoffed irritably and pouted silently as Edwin laughed and George stopped Derek's trajectory to chastise his son. Of course Derek had gotten her something. He probably wanted to protect his rep, or something equally stupid. Why she suffered through his ego, she would never know. Flipping her hair in annoyance, Casey turned back to the table and began gathering her things.

It was ten' o'clock by the time Casey finished her homework. The pseudo party had thrown off her schedule, and she now found herself pacing the room, absently trying to think of anything she could begin. In all actuality, she didn't want to half-finish something, and her musings were only to kill time. Catching sight of her elder stepbrother through the crack between her door and its frame, Casey raised her chin and stalked purposefully into the hallway, stopping just in front of him. He raised an eyebrow, a hint of a smile on his lips, and crossed his arms, waiting. Refusing to give him the satisfaction of begging, Casey stared right back, half expecting him to cave. After several minutes of Casey's pointed glares and Derek's amused perplexity, Casey couldn't take the silence.

"Okay, Derek," she said finally, finished humoring him for the evening. He quirked his mouth. "Where's my present?" she clarified in a slightly demanding tone.

He looked at her as if she were stupid. "I didn't get you one," he reminded, furrowing his brow as he watched her oddly.

"Okay, I get it," she said understandingly, though somewhat annoyed. "You were embarrassed. But you can drop the act now," she added, growing impatient.

"I'm not acting," he informed her pointedly. "I didn't buy you a present."

"So, what, you made one?" she asked skeptically, grasping at theories. Derek may be cold and calloused, but even he wouldn't blatantly disregard her birthday.

"Casey," he admonished, exasperated. "I am not giving you a present." He spoke slowly and clearly, as if she were unable to grasp the simple terms, and that coupled with the actual admission caused her mouth to gape in irate disbelief. When he leaned casually against the wall, Sher frustration boiled over.

"You never think about anyone but yourself, do you, Derek Venturi?" she asked, appalled. It was a rhetorical question, and he made no attempt to answer, though his mouth quirked at her incensed tone. "Is it really so difficult to take twenty minute out of your day to buy one lousy present? You've had weeks! Even Marti got me something!" She crossed her arms huffily over her chest and stepped away, facing the wall, but after a long moment of sideways glaring, Casey abandoned the pose to approach her indifferent stepbrother. "You are such a selfish jerk!" she accused, hovering intimidatingly and jabbing a finger against his chest. "You were probably too busy flirting with all those bimbos to bother doing something nice for someone!" She suppressed a grunt, which turned to a growl as Derek continued to look unrepentant. "I don't know why everyone likes you," she finished with a huff, turning on her heel and stalking back to her bedroom, slamming the door behind her. There was no clash of wood against wood, no vibrating of her dresser, and she didn't have to turn to know Derek had followed her.

"Really, Casey," he said patronizingly, leaning casually against the doorframe. "Why are you so surprised? Just because you got me something on my birthday, doesn't mean I'm obligated to buy you something on yours."

"It's called common decency," she shot back as she plopped angrily into her chair, refusing to turn and look at him. "You should try it sometime."

"What, and take all the fun out of life?" he asked smugly, causing her arms to instinctively cross.

"Only you could find joy in torment people," she announced angrily.

He ignored the obvious fact that he took pleasure in tormenting her daily, instead choosing to quip, "So I don't buy you a gift, and suddenly you're tormented?" His face shifted to false empathy, though she couldn't see it, and his tone was mocking. "Aw, Casey. I didn't know you cared."

"Like anyone could care about a pig like you," she told the wall priggishly.

"You know you love me, Case," he teased, ignoring her apparent resentment.

"Ha!" Casey spun the chair around to face him. "Now we know why you're failing all your classes," she mocked. "You're obviously delusional."

"You're right, Case," he replied, his tone babying. "All those late night study sessions with Sandra must have deluded me into thinking you're capable of living outside your books."

"I am completely capable of having fun!" she snapped. "Besides, that didn't even make sense," she pointed out, glad to have gotten the better of him.

"Then why did you answer?" Derek reminded her with a smug smile.

She narrowed her eyes at him—unable to decide upon a response—and felt her anger begin to dissipate. She didn't know why watching Derek grin, back against the door, would make her anger vanish, but the struggle just didn't have the same appeal when he wasn't fighting back. Annoyed with herself, she made one last grasp at anger.

"What is your problem?" she demanded heatedly, though the venom was lacking.

"My problem?" he asked casually, standing and approaching her slowly. "Indifference, bad grades, an inability to follow orders . . ." he trailed off. "Your problem?" he continued, twisting to lean against the desk and watch her amusedly. "Quite a lot, actually; but at the moment the annoying habit of taking things too seriously."

"I have every right to take it seriously, Derek," she said, more as an explanation than an accusation. "It's my birthday." Her voice took on a hurt quality as she said it, and Derek cringed before she regained her previous tone. "Is it so much to ask that people remember me on my birthday?"

"Since when is a present such a big deal, anyway?" Derek asked irritably, pushing off the desk and striding across the room. "It's not like it means anything."

"It means a lot, Derek," Casey replied, unwilling to accept his dismissive attitude. "It means someone cares enough about you to take the time and buy something."

"No, it means someone happens to pay an extra twenty bucks when they grab a random item off the shelf while grocery shopping," Derek complained.

"Well that's what I would expect from you," Casey sniffed primly, spinning her chair to face the wall once more.

"That's what you should expect from everybody," he advised. "Why do you think I didn't get you anything?" he wondered, exasperated.

"You're selfish and lazy," she dismissed. "Otherwise you would have made an effort." She really didn't know why she was pushing the subject anyway, but for some reason, his reaction highly offended her.

"Yeah, whatever," he replied, deciding he had said too much already. It was this rather than his previous words that made her sit up and swing to face him.

"Well, what other reason could there have been?" When he crossed his arms stubbornly, she rolled her eyes. "Oh, I get it. You couldn't figure out what to buy a teenage girl. It's not like you're Casanova or anything."

"Believe me, Case," he replied glibly. "You are anything but a normal teenage girl."

She shook her head and rolled her eyes, sensing the backhanded compliment in his words. "Is that it?" she wondered, annoyed with the game of cat and mouse. She wasn't really sure which was which anymore, if she even knew at the start. "You simply couldn't be bothered to figure out what I wanted? You could have just asked, you know," she said pointedly.

"Do you honestly think I would have cared if you liked it?" he retorted, moving forward to look down at her.

"You tell me," Casey demanded, staring back up at him defiantly. After a few moments of silence, she sighed, "then why didn't you buy me anything?," aggravation evident in her exasperated tone.

"Uh, apparently, you weren't listening, because I've answered that question five times already," he responded condescendingly.

"No you didn't! You talked around the question. So why don't you give me an answer?" Derek watched her insolently, and she resisted the urge to wipe the enticing stare off his face by whatever means necessary. "Why didn't you get me something?" she asked again, annoyed, pushing him for emphasis. Maybe her self-control had slipped after all.

"Because!" He was growing irate now, but his tone of voice gave her the satisfaction of knowing he would answer. "If I got you a gift it would end up being something sappy, like a necklace, or flowers, or a-a . . . sprig of mistletoe!"

"Sprig of mistletoe?" Despite her anger, a slightly ironic laugh worked its way into Casey's tone. "Wrong season," she snarked, the weight of his words not yet hitting her.

Derek rolled his eyes at the comment, but continued as if she hadn't spoken. "I don't do sappy," he reminded sternly, partly trying to convince himself of a fact that should be taken for granted.

"What about that time in the bathroom?" she questioned superiorly. "Or the time you helped me with the coach? Or anytime Marti-. Wait," she interrupted herself, lowering her eyebrows suspiciously and reviewing their conversation in her head. "Did you just say you wanted to be sappy?"

"No," he corrected firmly. "I said very clearly that I don't do sappy."

"But you wanted to buy me a sweet gift," Casey continued, a small smile forming on her lips.

"No, I didn't," he denied vehemently.

"Yes, you did," she insisted.

"No, I didn't."

"Yes, you did."

"Are we really going to start this, Casey?" he wondered, annoyed with the childish tone of the conversation.

"Why don't you finish it, Derek?" she replied, frustrated.

"Fine," he ground out, and she smiled in triumph. "You want to know the truth?"

"Yes," she replied bitingly, a 'duh' evident in her tone.

"I said-," he stopped and tried again. "I said that-that I-."

"You what, Derek?" Casey interjected, growing impatient.

"I-. . .. Ugh!" he said instead, throwing his hands in the air and turning away in frustration. She sniffed, and opened her mouth to berate him. Her mouth stayed open in surprise when he whirled around again eyes blazing and mouth opening and closing soundlessly, struggling to say something. By the time she closed her own mouth, it was from acceptance rather than anger or distress. Because before she had a chance to say anything, he had grabbed the sides of her face roughly and sealed his mouth on hers. Her stomach dropped and her brain grasped helplessly at the tendrils of thought that could organize this occurrence, to no avail. Only a few seconds had passed when she dismissed the rationality she so heavily relied upon and moved to kiss him back. When he dropped her face and pulled away quickly, it was from lack of breath rather than the question of Casey's thoughts on the matter. Neither said anything for a moment, staring at each other and breathing heavily; Casey from surprise, Derek from anger, and both from lack of air for the past several minutes.

"Oh," she managed to squeak out after a moment.

"Yeah," he dismissed when it was clear that was all Casey would say on the matter.

"Well," she tried again, but couldn't bring herself to finish the sentence, mind reeling as she attempted to straighten her blouse, looking at anything but her stepbrother.

"Just forget it," he grumbled, turning to stride out of the room. Casey let him go, grasping at thoughts, a small smile just beginning to drift across her features. The sound of the door swinging open carelessly snapped her out of her reverie.

"Derek," she called out as he disappeared around the corner.

"What?" he asked, irritated, as he poked his head back in the door.

She watched him for a moment—ruffled hair and typical smirk, casual stance and wild eyes—before giving him her first genuine smile of the night. "Don't buy me anything for Christmas, alright?"


A new twist on an old cliché…or so I hope. I was reading a story about some sweet romantic Christmas present, where the guy pretended to have forgotten so he could get her something special, and I though, would that really happen in real life? And this was the result. Hope it's not too OOC and all that. For some reason, I never like my oneshots as much as I did my chapter story, though it could be all the extra time I spent on the latter. Interesting.