How to Fall Head over Heels

By TheBucketWoman

Disclaimer: I own nothing to do with Life with Derek. Sniff.

Chapter Seventeen

Part One: Emily

Emily's science class finally ended and she waited for Casey by her car. She watched Casey try to maneuver her way through the crowd and finally try to take a shortcut over a pile of snow. It didn't take Nostradamus to predict the end result of this venture. At the top, the mound shifted under her weight and Casey slid down the mound. Once she got up, Emily could see snow clinging to Casey's jeans up to her knees.

"Yeah, yeah I'm clumsy," Casey said to a nearby chorus of Klutzilla chanters, "It's not a secret."

She shook her pant legs while she walked over to the car and she turned to Emily who was laughing at her. "Ta-daaa," Casey said with a quick bow.

"Are you okay?" Emily said, still giggling.

"Yeah, yeah," Casey said. "Why do I get the feeling that 'Klutzilla' will be on my gravestone?"

"Guess that depends on how you die," Emily said.

Casey laughed hard at that. "That's messed up," she said. "Emily, I really think that you've been hanging out with Sheldon too long."

"Yeah," Emily said, "He does rub off on me."

"Can you please not talk about rubbing in the context of Sheldon Schlepper?"

"He does give great massages," Emily said, enjoying the look of horror on Casey's face. "Which I will really need to get my circulation going if you don't open the car up and turn the heater on, Helloooo!"

"Oops," Casey said as she booped the key less entry thingee and let herself and Emily in. Once she had the car started and the heater going, she pulled her phone out to check for messages. She had one. Emily watched her curse at the maddening slowness of the recording that she had to sit through before she could enter her pin number and get her message.

Next thing Emily knew, Casey was crying, a hand over her mouth. The girl really did cry over everything, and Emily never could tell whether or not these were happy tears.

"Casey," she began cautiously. Casey hit a button and handed Emily the phone.

A squeaky, but familiar voice came on and said: "Casey, it's me. I figure you're in History, so I thought I'd leave a message for you...Because I can. Aaand I love you. Been wanting to say that forever. Okay, bye."

And Emily started crying right along with Casey.

"I can't decide," Casey said, "whether that is the least or the most romantic thing I've ever heard."

"I'm leaning toward most right now," Emily said.

"Oh God," Casey said. "What do I do now?"

"Well," Emily said. "You can drive home. Then, you can pin him to his precious recliner and—"

"Stop!!!" Casey said. "I get the idea."

Part Two: Derek.

He officially hated his voice. Some people, he imagined, would have ended up with sexier, deeper raspy voices, but he sounded unsettlingly like SpongeBob Squarepants. Dr. Trent had assured him that it would even out in a couple days, but that didn't change the fact that now that he could talk, he almost didn't want to. Almost.

Edwin was going to enjoy this when he got home. He'd undoubtedly get him on tape and keep it as blackmail. Derek was starting to lose control of him; this was unacceptable. He'd have to think of something, later though because suddenly he heard Casey pull up.

His dad poked his head out of the kitchen. He was wearing an apron that said "Kiss me, I'm Italian." Derek wondered how his dad had found it; he thought he'd hidden it better than that. "Think that's Casey," he said. Derek nodded. His dad looked at him, smirked, and pretended for a second that he was going to stand watch over the two of them.

The door opened and Casey whooshed in, almost tripping over her own bookbag. She wiggled out of her coat and hopped one legged as she tried to get her wet boots off. She gave up and sat on a step as she finally got out of them.

"Stay there. Be right back," she said, pointing at Derek. "Hi George," she said.

"Hey, Casey," Dad said, shaking his head. "I have garlic to chop," he said as he went back to the kitchen.

After a mini eternity, one in which Derek finally gave up and started to head upstairs after her, she came back.

"Uh-uh," she said, shooing him down. "Back to the couch."

He obeyed. When did he start obeying?

"Now, sit," she said. He did. She stood over him.

"Now say it again," she said.

"I love you?" he said.

"Are you asking or telling?" she asked.

He grinned. "I love you." She pecked him on the mouth and sat down.

"One more time?"

"I love you."

"That's more like it," she said, leaning in for a longer kiss.

"Aren't you forgetting something?" he said, breaking off the kiss.

She didn't even pretend that she didn't know what he meant. "I love you. (peck) I love you. (peck) I love you.(peck) I love you. (peck) I love you. (peck) and I love you. Methinks we're even now." She said. She paused for a second and counted on her fingers. "Right?"

"I dunno," he said and went in for another kiss.

"So when are you taking me out?"she asked.

"What happened to liberated womanhood?" he asked. "You're supposed to take me out."

"You're funny," she said. "But now, you should save your voice. You haven't talked this much in a week."

"Oh I see how this is gonna go. Every time I talk back to you—mmph" She put her hand over his mouth.

"Shhhhh," she said, then kissed his ear.

So he needed to think about where he was taking her.

Part Three: Lizzie

"Okay," Lizzie said, closing the door of the games closet and leaning on it. "They're disgusting."

"Sickening," Edwin agreed.

"She's all giggly."

"He let her have the remote."

"I saw that," Lizzie laughed. "He's whipped."

"It's scaring me," Edwin said. "Who is he and what has he done with Derek?"

"And I don't think I can ever sit on that couch again," Lizzie said.

"I locked the door to my room," Edwin said. "Did you lock yours?"

"Yeah," Lizzie said. "They just seem so bent on swapping spit in every room in the house."

"Among other things."

"Ew!" Lizzie said. "Don't say that! I don't wanna even think about that!"

"It might be too soon for that anyway," Edwin said.

"Ewww!" Lizzie said. She waved a hand as if something were stuck to it.

"I think we're safe in here, though," Edwin said. He put a hand on the small of her back and led her to her preferred spot under the slight overhang of the Monopoly box. He sat across from her on the floor near the dilapidated Twister box that had been teetering half off the shelf for as long as he could remember.

Part Four: Casey.

Saturday Night

Dating somebody who lived in her house is an experience that Casey didn't feel prepared for. Where would the mystery be? She couldn't have her grand entrance. And he's probably going to catch her in curlers. That would almost be worse than the time he caught her in her drawers. Not the cute ones, the big, cotton granny panties.

She shook her head to clear it. She wanted to look at this in more of a glass-half-full sort of way. So what if he saw the curlers? That only meant she took pride in her appearance and wanted to be pretty for him. He'd appreciate it. Besides, it wasn't as if he thought her hair grew that way.

She sprayed some perfume and walked through it, then gave up the ghost and sprayed her neck directly.

She did her makeup quickly, trying not to overdo it, or poke herself in the eye. She really needed to keep pointy things away from her eyes when she was so nervous. Then she pulled out her fluttery red top and her dark jeans and wiggled into both.

There was a knock at the door. "I'll be downstairs," Derek said.

"Okay," Casey said. She took a last look at the mirror, wondering if she should have gone with the blue sweater to counteract the rapidly spreading flush that was turning her face bright red. But that would smear her face, and she didn't have it in her to do her makeup again. Besides, Derek was waiting.

He was letting her make her entrance. He heee, she thought.

She slowly descended the stairs just in time to see her mom move toward Derek.

"Who are you kidding with this?" Mom said, sticking her hands into Derek's too neat hair.

"Nora! Quit it," Derek said, trying to smooth it out again. He was wearing a brown sweater and tan cords and it made Casey grip the rail a little tighter.

Casey got to the bottom of the stairs and grabbed Derek's wrists.

"Leave it," she said.

George, who had been sitting on the couch, beckoned Derek over, and they had a quick confab in which money was exchanged.

"Now get lost," George said. "The both of you."

"Don't be too late," her mom said. "Twelve o'clock."

"Nora," George said.

"Okay, twelve-thirty," she relented. She kissed both of them on the foreheads. She wasn't wearing lipstick at least.

Derek held out her coat for her. Who on earth had trained him this well? She grinned at her mom, who covered her mouth and looked over at George, who winked.

They stepped out into the driveway. The night was completely clear and she could smell ice in the air but, thankfully couldn't see any.

"I suppose you wanna drive?" Casey said, walking to the passenger side.

"Duh?" Derek said following her and opening her door ceremoniously.

"Ooh," she said as she climbed in. She stopped herself from pulling down the sun visor to check her makeup in the mirror.

He started the car up and pulled out as soon as the heater started to blow hot air.

"Where are we going?" she asked as he got on the highway.

"You'll see."

They pulled into a parking lot and he went around and opened her door for her again. She made a mental note not to get too used to this.

He led her to the door of the restaurant with his hand on the small of her back, which gave her the shivers.

The restaurant, La Stella di Napoli, smelled of oregano, basil, and milky fresh mozzarella. Casey took a deep breath, but then caught Derek watching her reaction and and blew it out guiltily.

"Like?"he asked.

"Yeah," she said.

There was an older woman with short salt and pepper hair leaning on a podium. She had to be the hostess. Derek went over to her and gave her his name. She checked the list and grabbed two menus. As she led them to a table, she tried to speak to him in Italian. The look of total confusion on his face was priceless.

"Sorry," the hostess said. "I really should learn not to assume that every Italian I see speaks Italian. With a name like Venturi, I took a shot. So, can I recommend some bruschetta to start with?"

"Um...what's that?" Casey asked.

"It's basically garlic bread," the hostess said, "but with tomato, sometimes prosciutto."

Casey looked at Derek who shrugged and nodded, and she said, "Sounds good."

"Okay," the hostess said. "I am Angela by the way, and your waitress will be Gina, and I'll send her right out with that bruschetta for you."

They looked over the menu. It was full of stuff that Casey wanted to try, and she of course, could not make up her mind.

"What are you having?" She asked Derek.

"Dunno," he said. "I know you'll make fun of me for getting chicken parmigiana or something right?"

"No," Casey said. "I'd make fun of you for asking for a pizza burger, maybe, but chicken parm is okay."

Gina the waitress came over. She was in her early twenties with dyed black hair, black nail polish and several rings on her fingers. She looked at Casey and Derek like they were the cutest things she's ever seen. "What can I get for you?" she asked. "Can I recommend a few specials?"

Both Casey and Derek nodded and Gina rattled off several impressive sounding dishes in accentless Italian; it could have been bug carcasses scraped from the bottom of the refrigerator, but since Gina was talking about it in Italian, Casey wanted it. Gina was, however, kind enough to explain what everything was.

"I'll have the seafood tortellini," Casey said.

Derek stuck with the menu, "I'll go with the calamari with the risotto." He smiled at Casey when he said 'risotto'.

"And to drink?" Gina said.

"Ginger ale," Casey said.

"Same," Derek said.

When the waitress left, Casey leaned in and asked Derek, "You do know what Calamari is, don't you?"

"Yep," he replied, grinning. He didn't think she did. "Whale testicles, everyone knows that," he bluffed.

"So immature," she said. But she was laughing.

The food was incredible. Both of them ate with obvious enjoyment and Gina continued to look at them like she wanted to keep them in her pocket forever. Derek had some trouble finishing his, so they had it wrapped up.

Derek paid, left a nice tip and they headed back. A few blocks from home, he turned to her and said. "I want ice cream, you want ice cream?"

"But you didn't finish your 'whale testicles'" Casey said.

"What's your point?" Derek asked. "Believe me, my squid will be eaten, probably at around 2:00am, if Dad doesn't beat me to it."

"Or Edwin," Casey said.

"Edwin is not a fan of calamari," Derek said.

"Is it gonna be okay in the car?"

"Yeah, it's like twenty degrees out, it'll be fine."

He pulled into the diner's parking lot. There was a sign draped across the entrance that said "Karaoke Night."

"It's gonna be loud in there," Casey said. "Are you sure, you'll be okay? I don't want you talking over people."

"I'll whisper in your ear if I have to," he said. She got goosebumps.

They went in and found the place pretty loaded with kids from their high school, all of whom made a fuss over Derek and Casey. Steve Krakowski, a senior they both knew, was the waiter who met them at the door.

"Good to see you out and about, dude," Steve said, patting Derek on the shoulder. "How you doing, doing okay?"

"Yeah," Derek said, " Thanks."

"And you, Miss Lady," he said, turning to Casey. "Look at you all dressed up." She blushed.

"Let's see if we can find you a good spot," he said, beckoning them to follow.

Casey caught sight of Emily, who waved both of them over to the booth she was sharing with Sheldon.

"You okay, sitting with them?" Steve asked. Derek looked at Casey who nodded. Steve put their menus on the table.

"I shall return," he said, with a flourish.

"Sheldon," Emily said. Sheldon looked at her, eyebrows raised. She patted the seat next to her.

"Ohhh," Sheldon said. He got up and moved to sit beside Emily. Casey and Derek slid into the other side.

"So, Derek," Sheldon said. "It is good to see you here, in public and everything."

"Likewise," Derek said.

"And the voice is sexy," Sheldon said. Casey never could tell whether he was kidding or not.

"Thanks," Derek said, one eyebrow up. Sheldon and Emily burst out laughing.

"You guys have no sense of humor," he said.

"None at all," Emily said. Derek shrugged at Casey.

Steve came back, and Derek and Casey ordered their dessert. Apparently, Steve had Karaoke duty because after he dropped off their munchies, he climbed onto the mini stage.

"Well, then boys and girls," he began "Let us see who's first." He pulled a piece of paper from a fishbowl he had next to him. "Aaaand we have Debra Singh. He he, your name's Singh!"

"Yeah, ain't heard that before," said Debra, a small Indian girl with a lot of curly hair. She sang Fiona Apple's "Criminal," to many catcalls. She was followed by a couple of kids Casey didn't know, then Steve himself filled time singing a competent version of Elvis Costello's "Veronica."

Then Sheldon and Emily were up. They sang Plus 44's "Make You Smile," which had recently become very close to Casey's heart.

"Hey," Derek said in Casey's ear. "At least he knows the song this time." Casey laughed.

Sheldon and Emily, both being pretty decent singers, got the most applause of the night. And the fact that they looked really close to tearing each other's clothes off didn't hurt either.

When they got back to the table, Sheldon said, "We'll have to get the two of you up there eventually, when Derek sounds a little less like Rod Stewart."

"Thanks for the warning," Derek said, but got drowned out by feedback. Sheldon bent closer and Derek repeated it.

"Meanwhile, Casey," Emily said, handing her the song list.

"Nope," Casey said.

"Uh-huh," Emily said.

"Nuh-uh," Casey said. Derek grabbed the song list and handed it to Casey.

"You know you want to," he said. "Go on. I'll stay here and watch. Don't take any waiters' numbers."

"They've moved on to Debra," Casey said, pretending to be jealous. "Fine," she said, picking a song and writing it down. Emily ran over to the stage and handed it to Steve, ignoring the fishbowl completely.

"What'd you pick?" Derek asked.

"It's a surprise," Casey said. Derek pouted. She leaned closer to talk into his ear this time. "Don't pout, Puppy, you'll find out soon enough."

He blushed.

"Okay," Steve said. "Casey MacDonald, you're up."

There was a chorus of whoops as she headed up to the stage.

"Well," she said after she got there. "I guess I must dedicate this, because I owe someone a romantic gesture. He knows who he is."

She sang Alanis Morissette's "Head over Feet," and she could see Derek turning into jelly from where she was standing.

People would have a lot to talk about in school on Monday.


A/N: This has been ridiculous amounts of fun, but this is it. At least until the sequel :-)