A/N: Hello wonderful people who have clicked on this story. My writing hasn't often led me to this category though I enjoy reading the fantastic stories here immensely. I was not at all happy with the first and only story I've posted in this category prior to this post now. I am grateful to those of you who did enjoy it and left very nice comments, but personally I thought I could do better and I hope this is better.

To the kind people who have gotten this because they have me on alert, I know almost all of you would rather see me update Discovering Us and I'm sorry that I'm posting something new instead of writing it. I'm sorry that it's been months since I updated. I never planned on so much time passing in between updates, but apparently my professors had other ideas. For elaboration on the reasons that Discovering Us has not been updated check my profile. Sorry again about the wait and thank you for your patience.

Disclaimer: Though I would love to own this TV show, sadly I do not. If I was actually going to own a TV show though, I'd make it about my neighbor's life. The walls are thin and he's become my new favorite story.

Finally on to the story…

Derek found it necessary to bite his tongue. Usually he did it figuratively, but right now he was literally biting his tongue. And though it hurt like hell he had no intention of stopping, he couldn't stop.

It was Casey's fault. She was tempting him again hence the reason for him biting his tongue. She had been in his room for a minute, one very long minute. She had said a lot in that minute; she always was a fast talker. She was right too. She said he had been acting differently; he had been. He seemed to always manage biting his tongue so he wouldn't say something to give himself away, but he found it much harder to sensor his actions lately.

"Tell me why," she plead again with desperation. And he bit his tongue harder so the words would not slip. He never thought that there'd ever be anything he couldn't have, but he couldn't have her. There was no getting around that fact so he couldn't answer her question.

He knew she'd catch on, that was why she was here now. He had been slipping lately. He had found himself around her more and with every smile and every frown he found himself unable to resist certain things. But he told himself they were necessary. He had to expose Lizzie's ass of a soccer coach. And he had to ruin her party so she wouldn't meet any more guys like the coach. And he had to call her dad so she wouldn't continue to suffer through a bad relationship with him. But he didn't have to let himself pass up opportunities to insult her. He didn't have to smile more just because she was near. He didn't have to lessen the space he usually allowed to exist between them. He was still maintaining his usual demeanor, but even to her it became clear that something was different. He was slipping and he couldn't be anymore.

"Well Grubbie, this whole change has really been bothering you, huh?" He replied with a smirk as if all of his actions had been on purpose just to get to her.

"You're an ass," she bit out venomously.

"And you're easy princess," he replied to her hastily exiting form. But he wasn't worried about whether or not she heard him because he was thinking about how he knew she was right. He was an ass. He had always been an ass and he never used to think of it as a bad thing. But in order to keep his secret forbidden feelings from being revealed he always had to be a giant unrelenting ass to her and he hated himself for it.

To his surprise, as soon as she slammed his door shut she came back through looking nervous but determined. She glanced at the clock and said resolutely, "In about ten seconds I have to leave and I'm going to be gone with my dad for the next month, which I get to do because of you. If you have anything to add to your previous predictable response that's actually real, this is your last chance."

She knew. He wasn't sure what exactly she expected him to say, but she came back and she was pleading again and again, so she clearly knew there was something he wasn't saying. But even if she knew what he wanted to say and by some miracle wanted him to say it and not to embarrass him, he still couldn't do it. He didn't know what he felt for her, but whatever it was, it was bigger and stronger than anything he had ever experienced. But even if she did want him to tell her or show her exactly what he had been holding back, he couldn't. His confession would destroy, disappoint, and complicate everything for everyone.

So for the longest ten seconds of his life, Derek bit his tongue extra hard, hard enough that he could taste blood in his mouth. And for those ten seconds she stared at him, pleading silently with her eyes that looked like they were beginning to water. He stared back defiantly because he had to. She left his room disappointed, discouraged, and crushed. But he didn't stop biting his tongue because she was still within yelling distance. So Derek stood in his room and held back. He bit his tongue because he always bit his tongue and it was the second thing he was starting to hate about himself.

A/N: Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed this short ficlet. I liked the tone and I thought the end kept with the tone, but this story does actually have the possibility of believable continuation. Yet it would probably end up a bit more positive if I continued, not necessarily fluffy but potentially positive. I could see a continuation just because I don't think it's in Casey's character to ever give up on something when she's determined. But then I like the angst and I like the end. So I'm leaving it up to anyone reading. If it feels like an appropriate end or if you'd like it continued then let me know. But all feedback is immensely appreciated.

Thanks again for reading and for tolerating my rambling author's notes, damn fingers are getting away from me.