(( On my vacation, I was stuck inside of a vehicle for many hours as my dad and brother tried to navigate around New York and other various places. So, after also being trapped in a huge storm, I concocted this idea... except rain is actually snow. Hello Canada.

And I'll be posting the next chapter to "This Is Camp With Derek" any day now, I promise. If you have no idea what that is, you should go check it out. Eh? Eh?

Once again, I apologize for any mistakes there might be in this story due to my lack of knowledge involving Life With Derek. Thank you! Please read and review!))

Title: Walking on Thin Ice

Rated: K+ (for very minor swearing)

Summary: Derek arrives home from a date just to watch Casey leave in a huff. After finding out she's mad about something he did, he runs off to ask her what that thing was. Thus, chaos ensues. Dasey. One-shot.

Disclaimer: I don't own LWD, etc., etc.

A single pair of headlights lurched slowly into the driveway of the Venturi-MacDonald residence, snow crunching beneath the pressure of the car's tires. Derek Venturi, a shoddy boy of eighteen, exited the vehicle from the driver's side.

It was exactly 10 p.m. on a Friday night, so it was only natural to assume he was just arriving home from a date. He had, in fact, been on, what he liked to call, a casual date. A casual date was a more gentle way of him saying it was merely a pity date. He had no interest in this girl (other than physical, of course), but to get her off his case, he would make her 'dreams come true' and take her out for a dinner and a movie. If the date went well enough, Derek would usually flatter and kiss them. It was like... his donation to society. For some reason, there would never be a second date, because there never seemed to be a spark.

On this particular evening, he had spent his time with an attractive girl from his 5th hour biology class, Carrie Kowalski. She was cute, blonde, and dimmer than a deal light bulb; all the attributes Derek seemed to look for in his dates. Much to his dismay, the night had been a complete dud. She was one of those girls who barely ordered anything other than ice water and a plain salad at a restaurant. She picked at the lettuce leaves, sipped on the drink, and nibbled quietly on one of the dinner rolls.

Then there had been the movie. Downtown there was a cozy movie theater that played mostly cult classics. On that night, they had scheduled a showing of the classic movie Young Frankenstein. Derek thought his was perfect. It was a brilliant comedy which he never seemed to tire of. He figured that even if Carrie was thus far a poor date, at least he could see a good movie. He, of course, hadn't considered the possibility of her asking him to explain what was going on every five minutes (sooner if she couldn't comprehend why people around her were laughing).

This, and other things, were some of the many reasons why Derek was home an hour before his curfew. He had driven his date home before the credits had even appeared on the small theater screen. He quickly pecked her on the cheek, politely, and sent her on her way, leaving her rather disappointed and puzzled.

"I'm home!" Derek shouted as he entered his toasty abode, hanging the car keys on a rack, along with his brown leather jacket.

He walked into the living room just as Casey ambled from the kitchen. Much to his confusion, her brown eyes were puffy and red, a small amount of smudged eyeliner lingered below her lashes. Typically, Derek would make a snide remark to his step-sister, but he noticed that she was avoiding his eyes. Not only that, but he wasn't even given enough time to create a single syllable. Without a word, she had pushed past him, grabbed a large bag by the stairs, along with the car keys Derek had just abandoned. As quickly as she had appeared, she grabbed her coat and vanished out into the winter air.

There was the small angel on Derek's shoulder which pressed him to do the right thing and chase after her. Yet, at this moment, the devil was greater and more powerful, which made him choose to ignore the girl and continue about his business. It wasn't like it had anything to do with him; he hadn't even been at home to do anything to her.

"Yo," Derek said to the small portion of his family that had congregated in the kitchen. It appeared as if both Marti and Edwin were upstairs, tucked in their beds. The other three were all cleaning the dishes.

As if he had just shouted something embarrassing just as the room got silent, all eyes were now focused on him. "Woah... Freaky," he said, putting both hands up in defense.

"You're home early," George noted, looking back down at the dirty plate he was scrubbing. Derek's eyebrows furrowed; to his confusion, his father's voice was filled with disappointment... but not about his arrival time. Not only that puzzled him, but he couldn't figure out why they were cleaning up dishes so late at night.

"Yeah...well... She wasn't really my type, I guess," he mumbled, rubbing the back of his neck.

"I bet she dumped his ass when she found out how much of a jerk he is," Lizzie chimed in, twisting her drying rag in her small, stubby hands.

"Elizabeth MacDonald! Don't you dare use that kind of language in his household!" Nora scolded her daughter. Derek stood in shock as his youngest step-sister approached him with daggers in her eyes.

"Well it's true! Derek's nothing more than an arrogant jerk who thinks about nothing but himself!" she snapped.

The teenager laughed merely out of confusion. "Excuse me? What the heck did I do?" he asked, looking at them all innocently.

"Why don't you go ask Casey," the girl shouted back, tossing her rag at his face before bounding up the stairs in a huff. His gaze shifted back to his parental units who still remained. They, however, had apparently found sudden interest in the ceiling tiles, and remained quiet and unhelpful.

Derek grunted angrily, realizing that there was very little else he could do. Before he changed his mind, and the devil on his shoulder made another cameo, he tore his coat off the rack and threw it on. As soon as he got out of the house, he realized that Casey had taken the only car he was capable of using. The only other car his family had was a stick shift hotrod which George had invested in. For the most part, it sat in the garage until George had another mid-life crisis and needed to take it out for a drive. No one else was even allowed to breathe on it.

He swore quietly under his breath, which he could plainly see in front of him as a result of the bitter cold air. Shoving his hands into his coat pockets, he found himself setting off on some crazy journey. He only had one lead to where she could be: the bag she had taken with her contained her ice skates.

No skating rink was open this late at night, so Derek settled on going to the closest outdoor rink that he could think of. Walking in long steps, he kept blowing on his hands which were slowly becoming icicles in his thin pockets. He gradually picked up his pace, setting into a job. His eyes were constantly flashing between every sidewalk and street, looking for any sign of the brunette. It was that point in time that the Jekyll side (the nice side) of Derek completely took over. For some reason, he no longer cared about how he was 'wasting his time,'; now he just needed to find Casey.

Fifteen minutes had passed before Derek finally arrived at his destination. Teeth chattering and toes numb, he frantically looked around the rink. Luckily, the lights were still on, illuminating the ice brightly, like a halo. His heart sunk when he didn't see her there... but he had no plan to return home and give up just yet.

Then, his eyes finally caught her. He wasn't quite sure what it was that did it... perhaps it was the lights, or his lack of sleep... or perhaps he had been right about his conspiracy theory involving the waiter at the restaurant slipping crazy drugs into his spaghetti... Whatever the reason, Derek couldn't tear his eyes away from her as he moved closer toward the ice.

She glided so gracefully over the glassy surface, her legs stretching out with every movement, as if this were her true element. He had always laughed at the sight of figure skating. He was a hockey guy, and to him, figure skating was just an insult to the ice. Yet, there was something about the way she moved, as if she were swimming in a pool of water. For a mere moment, he had completely forgotten everything; why he was standing there, where he was... that is, until his fingers began to prickle from the cold.

Shaking his head fiercely to relieve himself of any weird thoughts, Derek remembered his mission and purpose. "Casey!" he shouted, his voice swirling around in the dancing wind. She turned her head and glanced at him for a mere second before looking away, continuing her skating. "I know you can hear me!"

He rolled his eyes at her persistent amount of stubbornness, and slowly made his way onto the ice in his worn pair of Chucks. "Casey, you're gonna get sick if you stay out here," he said plainly. She had already been out there for about half an hour with merely a small winter coat, a pair of mittens, and blue jeans on.

"As if you really care," she laughed, shaking her head. He could plainly see that she had been crying.

"I give up," he raised his hands up in defeat. "What the heck did I do? I get attacked by Lizzie, and now this? At least tell me what the hell I did," he called to her.

With her arms folded, she slid over to where he was standing on the ice. Closing her eyes, she mumbled, "What day is it today?"

"Casey-" he began, rolling his eyes.

"Just... answer the question," she stated, through her teeth.

He was confused to what she was getting at. "Case... I probably couldn't even guess the right month!" he explained, quite truthfully, ruffling his hair.

"February 22nd," she told him, opening her eyes to look for a reaction.

He stood before her, completely un-phased. "...Good?" he stuttered.

"God!" she exclaimed, once again turning away from his to escape. He, however, being two steps ahead, grabbed her wrist. "You just don't care, do you?" she whimpered out, covering her mouth and nose with her free hand.

"Care about what?" he insisted. "What are you talking away."

She pulled away from the boy and shouted. "It's my birthday, Derek!"

Then, all went quiet in the world, apart from the light sniffles from Casey, and the churning of the wind. "Casey... I..." Derek was too lost for words. He had completely forgotten about her birthday. Every year since they had met, she would always constantly remind him, weeks in advance, about her birthday. This time, however, she never said a word about it. Why had this year been different? Perhaps she was merely testing him; a brother should remember his sister's birthday.

But Casey wasn't his sister. Sure, he had grown to see Lizzie as a sibling, but not Casey. She was different than the others. He knew that no one like her could possibly be from the same family as him. No matter how much he acted like he hated her, he never seemed to be able to get past how she made him feel. She made him actually care. She made him have a conscience.

Whenever he was even slightly close to telling her how he felt, that he didn't actually hate her, he would beat himself up over it. He would hide behind insults just to make himself feel better. It was wrong. He had no idea why he wasn't completely disgusted by her. Every other nerdy, uptight, grade-grubber he had known, he had detested with a passion; they were the pure essence of all things annoying. That's why he was confused to find her to be less annoying to him than she should have been.

He could never figure out why this was. He supposed it was just a minor fluke that he would eventually get over (or possibly a glitch in the Matrix), but when it didn't, he knew something was wrong. Of course, to maintain his image, he treated her exactly how he would have treated any other grade-grubber, hoping no one would see a difference.

The fact that he couldn't figure out what was causing this error drove him absolutely crazy. He thought he was going nuts. Derek had been completely oblivious about his malady until that very point in time when he looked at Casey as her tears sparkled in the lights.

A small part of him began to feel sick to his stomach, while another part squirmed awkwardly. The truth had been right in front of him all along, but with all the self-abuse, it had never fully surfaced. Yet, all he could think of at that moment was the fact that Casey though he didn't care about her at all.

"You can't even give a damn about me for one day, can you?" she shouted in his direction. "Typical Derek Venturi, caring about no one but himself! God! I am such a fool..." he words drifted off as she rolled her eyes. "I thought that this year might have been different... this year you could remember by yourself. Of course not. Well, I hope you had a good time on your date!" she began to skate hard once again, wanting to escape from him.

Derek groaned with frustration as he tried to scramble after her, his shoes sliding across the surface quite clumsily. "Why..." he began, stopping abruptly when he couldn't think of good words to complete that sentence.

"Why am I such a fool?" she finished for him, spinning around quickly, causing a thin layer of ice to spray up. "Because, Derek... because I... I just am!"

His brows knit. "What are you talking about?"

"You can remember when you have a date with one of your flavor-of-the-week airheads, but you can't even remember my birthday? Do you really hate me that much, Derek? Do you? What do I need to do Derek? What?" she was screaming directly at his face. He hated it when girls cried.

"Do I need to dye my hair blonde?" She grabbed a strand of her hair, tugging on it roughly. "Do I need to dress like a slut?" she threw off her jacket. Of course, she was still wearing a long sleeved shirt underneath, but it was just the thought. "Do you want me to be stupid?" She was now crying harder than ever.

Slowly, crystal snowflakes began to drop heavily, wetting each of their heads and faces. "What, Derek? What do I have to do?" she repeated.

The more she spoke, the worst he felt. Before meeting Casey, he had never been the guy to regret things or actually think about the consequences of his actions. He hated how she made him feel! He just hated it.

And then, it dawned upon him... the reason why he couldn't find a girl good enough for him. It wasn't because he was too picky, it was because he was already preoccupied with someone else. Everything suddenly made perfect sense... why he was always getting into fights about who Casey dated, and why he was completely obsessed with every aspect of her life.

It was because she wasn't the girl she thought he wanted. It's because she was everything he wasn't. She was more than he gave her credit for. She was no Barbie doll. She was no girl next door. She was no prom queen. She was better than all of that.

Derek shook his head and looked to the sky laughing. "I am so stupid..." he said to no one in particular, letting the snow fall onto his face. "You're right, Casey," he said, looking at her straight on.

"Excuse me?" she said, looking shocked as if she had just been slapped in the face.

"You aren't like those girls. You'll never be like those girls." Her face was still beet red with anger. He was now close enough to her that he could see the snow that had landed on her eyelashes.

Then, without warning or hesitation, Derek Venturi did something he never ever thought he would do: he gently grabbed Casey's head with both hands, and kissed her. He could feel her body tense up out of shock, and then quickly pull away from him. The next thing he knew, he felt a hand slap him hard across the cheek.

"How dare you!" she spat out at him. "You can't just... you can't just kiss me like... like that... and expect me to forgive you!"

Derek rubbed his red cheek. "Casey... I don't know..."

His eyes widened to the size of saucer plates when he was cut off by Casey's lips covering his own. As the snow continued to fall around them, Derek completely forgot about his injured cheek as he wrapped his arms gently around her waist, as she had her arms around his neck.

After time passed, they finally broke apart, staring at each other with confusion and shock. Years seemed to go by as they looked at one another for some kind of explanations for their actions. Never in a million years would either of them thought that they'd be in this particular predicament.

Derek handed Casey her coat which he had retrieved from the ground. Putting it back on and zipping it back up, he smiled at her. "You would make a terrible blonde," he said to her, grinning wickedly. Her mouth dropped, completely scandalized by his words.

"You ass," she said, smacking him gently on the shoulder. He quickly grabbed her hand and smiled into her lips.

Every year after, Derek would pretend to forget her birthday once again, just so they could have their meeting at that very ice rink.

Yay. Thank you for reading this story. By the way, I have no idea when Casey's birthday is, so I made it up. Ah well. Please review!