The Valentine's Gift

by Nunda

/A.N./ This is a Valentine's Dasey one-shot. I figured I've made a Christmas and Halloween one, I might as well do one for the biggest day dedicated to love. So, happy V-Day everyone and may many visions of Michael Seater dance in your heads! Lol.

Also, there are references to the movie Never Been Kissed starring Drew Barrymore and Michael Vartan. It's such a cute movie and if you haven't seen it, you really should.

XOXO

"To love someone deeply gives you strength. Being loved by someone deeply gives you courage."

-Lao Tzu

"Don't you just love love?" Casey MacDonald sighed as she floated through the front door. She dropped her scarf and jacket on the rack by the door. Her face fell and her expression darkened when she noticed that Derek was the only one in the living room. He was slumped in hischair and was watching a sports blurb on t.v.

"Who got you the rose, Grubbie?" He said casually.

Casey held the red rose to her nose and inhaled deeply.

"Red means real love." She said, ignoring his question and attempt to insult her.

He scrunched up his face, "Too much information."

He continued to watch his television so Casey flitted to the kitchen where she found her mother and step-father sitting at the table with Marti.

"Don't you just love love?" She repeated. She made a big show of filling a small glass vase with water and placing the rose in the center of the table.

"It is pretty nice." George said, slipping an arm around Nora's waist. "But everyday with your mother is like Valentine's Day."

"You can quit trying to butter me up. I know you forgot that it was Valentine's Day today." Nora responded. Her tone indicated playfullness rather than malice.

"So when do we get to meet this boyfriend of yours?" George asked.

Casey grabbed a pink cupcake from the countertop that Marti had helped Nora bake.

"Soon." She said biting into the pink frosting. "I want to make sure it's real this time."

Derek, who'd been on his way to the kitchen, overheard the mush-talk and turned on his heel and went back to the livingroom.

"I hate Valentine's Day!" They heard Lizzie storm through the front door. Edwin followed closely behind.

"I sent out five roses this year." Edwin boasted proudly. Lizzie turned and shot him a mean look.

Edwin put a hand on her shoulder as they entered the kitchen. "Valentine's Day is way overrated and too commercialized." He said in an attempt to make her feel better. "Such barbaric traditions are too good for you, sis."

"I didn't get a rose." Lizzie said to her mom and sister.

Casey immediately hugged her sister. "Maybe the guy who likes you was just too shy to send you a rose."

"Thanks." Lizzie said hugging her back, "Nice try."

"Who did you send a rose to, son?" George said, trying to shift the focus off of Lizzie's misfortune.

Edwin shoved half a cupcake in his mouth, "Tanya, Felicia, Carrie, and Tori."

"That's only four." Lizzie said.

"So?" Edwin wiped pink frosting off of his lip.

"You said five." She corrected him.

"Oops. I must've forgot one." He said.

"You are such a..." Lizzie searched for the proper insult, "...guy!"

She stomped up to her room. She was upset because she didn't get a single rose and yet Edwin couldn't even remember all the girls he sent one to.

"I should go talk to her." Nora said as they all gazed upstairs.

"Just let her have some space." Edwin said as he took the milk out of the fridge and poured himself a glass. "Trust me."

Casey grabbed another cupcake from the counter and carried it to the living room.

"Here." She thrust it out to Derek.

He glanced up at her. An unreadable expression filled his eyes. He gingerly took the cupcake and began peelng the paper away from the edges.

"So, when are you going to have this new boyfriend over Casey?" He licked at the frosting on his fingers. She sat on the couch beside him.

"When the time is right." She said simply. "Besides, I'd hate for you to scare him off."

"Ha. Very funny, Case." He said sardonically.

"I wasn't trying to be." She said. She watched him as he polished off the cupcake in two bites. Casey grabbed for the remote and he didn't stop her like he usually did. She flipped through the channels and stopped on a Valentine's Day movie marathon.

"Do you love him?" Derek's question caught her off guard.

"What?"

On-screen Drew Barrymore was standing on a pitcher's mound while she nervously watched a time clock.

"Do you love him?" He asked again.

"Of course." Casey said, looking up at him. She recognized the pain that flashed in his eyes.

"Well, stop hurting him." He stood up, gave her a meaningful look, and went upstairs.

Five, four, three, two, one...just when everyone's heart's broke along with Drew's, Michael Vartan's character, like a knight in shining armor, came scrambling down the stands to Drew. He slid his arms around her waist and kissed her with such passion, that the crowd watching swooned and cheered.

Casey rose from the couch. She felt lightheaded and nauseous. But she knew what had to be done.

"Mom." Casey winced at the high pitch of her voice. "I need to talk to you. Alone."

XOXO

Lizzie twirled the rose between her fingers. She had almost flattened the thing when she started to fling herself on her bed in a mad huff. She smiled at the small white card tied to its stem. Love, Edwin it simply read. The pink petals matched the pink tinge of her cheeks. She knew for a fact that he'd gotten the other girls a white rose, which according to the school legend meant friendship. Pink meant 'I like you'. Why would he give her a pink rose...?

"I really like you, Lizzie." Edwin said from her doorway.

Startled, Lizzie looked up at him. Her eyes were brimmed with tears.

"You are my best friend." He walked toward her. He put his hands on her shoulders and kissed her forehead. "One day some guy is going to come and take you away from me. But we'll still always be best friends."

She wrapped her arms around his neck and pulled him into a tight hug. "Thank you."

XOXO

She found him in his room, laying on his bed, headphones firmly in place, and eyes screwed shut. She pulled the headphones down and his eyes shot open.

"I told them." She said. "Everything."

He sat up quickly and try to straighten his bed-flattened hair with his fingers.

"And?" His eyebrows furrowed together. He'd waited for this moment for a long time now.

"And they're angry." She sat next to him. "Right now, they're in their bedroom trying to figure out what to do. I think George is going to call your mom."

Derek winced. Casey knew that was a sore subject for him. She rubbed his back between his shoulder blades. His tense muscles relaxed under her touch.

"What now?" She asked. "I'm not even supposed to be around you right now."

"Casey, the little rule-breaker." Derek teased, as a smile played at his lips.

"I am when it comes to you." Her eyes held his gaze.

"I am so glad we don't have to pretend, anymore." He murmured as his lips found hers in a chaste kiss.

"Thank you for the rose." Her lips pressed into his.

They broke apart at the sound of someone clearing their throat. Looking up, they saw George and Nora standing in the doorway with scowls on their faces.

"We're not going to try and force you apart." Nora said finally. "We feel it will only drive you closer together."

Casey held her breath in anticipation. She could feel her heart thumping in her chest.

"Derek, you'll be staying the weekends at your mom's from now on." George said. Derek nodded. The weekends weren't too bad.

"You two will not be allowed alone in this house again." Nora added. They expected as much.

"No kissing in front of Marti. It will just confuse the poor girl." George said.

"Bedroom doors will remain open at all times." Nora glanced down at the two teenagers. Really, she and George weren't surprised that this had happened but they didn't want to let them in on that fact.

Casey smiled and grabbed Derek's hands into her own.

"Now, get downstairs, the both of you." George said sternly.

"I love you." Derek mouthed to Casey as they walked behind their parents.

"I love you, too." She mouthed back.

Casey beamed, satisfied with her gift to Derek, her one and only Valentine.

-The end-

Review, please.