I started writing this before I even finished BCWYWF, but decided to wait until ToP was finished to post it. I was putting it off recently because of a bit of writer's block I had around future chapters, but I think it's okay now. This chapter is sort of short, mainly just a brief summary of their history. To clear it up, Casey and Derek are around twenty four in this fic. Future chapters will be much longer, this is just, essentially, a prologue. There is an alternating POV, but it will be clear who the chapter/section is revolved around. Without further interruption, the fic!

Disclaimer: Haven't had that big break yet, meaning I still own no TV shows, including this one.

Chapter One: What Once Was Our Life

Casey was lying on the laminate flooring of her Toronto apartment, the sun pouring in through her living room window, casting rays of warmth across the floor. She had a photo albumn spread out in front of her, and she was flipping through it, studying each picture for a moment, before moving on, barely giving any of them any real thought. She smiled at a picture of her and Lizzie, when she had been sixteen and Lizzie had been twelve. They had been living with the Venturis by then. She flipped over the page, seeing a picture of her, Lizzie, Edwin, Marti and Derek, on Marti's eighth birthday. She only lingered for a moment on that one, before flipping the page again.

But when she caught sight of the next picture, she felt the familar drop that always seemed to take place in her stomach everytime she saw one of these painful reminders of her past. It was a picture of her at her high school graduation; to be more specific, her and her date. They both looked so happy, and were dressed up, wearing smiles that you could only get while having one of the best days of your life, and while being in the arms of someone who loved you, and of someone you loved. Casey smiled softly as she examined the long black dress she had been wearing, with white floral design running down the right side of the dress. Her hair had been curled into ringlets that fell down past her shoulders, while a butterfly clip pinned a section of hair back off of her face. She had been smiling one of the most real smiles she had ever worn in her entire lifetime. Maybe it was because high school was over with. Maybe it was because it was their graduation night. Or maybe it was because her boyfriend of two and a half years had been standing behind her with his arms wrapped around her waist, his chin resting lightly on her shoulder. Her head had been leaned back against his, and they'd been smiling.

If someone had of told them moments before or after that photograph had been taken, that they weren't going to last much longer after that, they would have laughed in your face. They would have told you to get the facts straight; that they loved each other and that wasn't going to change. Hard as everyone tried, no one had ever understood their complex relationship. Nobody ever understood how they could always know that the other was thinking or feeling without even being in the same room. They were in their own little world. They were in love, and nothing that anybody said or did could change that.

But something had changed that. Something had finally torn down the barrier that seperated them from the world. After a four year relationship, they had called everything off. They had never explained the full story to everyone. They had let a few select people know the real reason behind their breakup, but most people were still clueless as to why they had ended such an amazing relationship after such a long time. They had told most people that they had 'grown apart' , and while no one really believed this, they had grown to accept this answer, knowing that they were never going to get the truth out of them. The truth was that they hadn't wanted to go into the truth with everyone. The truth was that the breakup had been bitter. It had involved a lot of cruel words, a lot of tears, and a lot of yelling, on both behalfs. The truth was too painful to talk about, even four years after they had broken up.

Casey sighed and ran her thumb across the photograph, before closing the photo album sadly. She would never quite get over everything that had happened. Although she tried to limit the amount of times she saw her ex, it was difficult to avoid. Their paths crossed at least a couple of times a year. It was unavoidable. They tried to remain civil with each other, for the sake of those around them, but they both knew that it was best not to speak at all, for fear of an argument breaking out. It was amazing how such a powerful love had turned into such a strained and bitter relationship. Everytime she allowed herself to remember him, and remember their relationship, she had to wonder where they would have been today, had things gone differently.

As she replaced the photo album in her box of old belongings, she pulled out a small black velvet box. It was a bit dusty, but she blew the dust off, coughing slightly. She opened up the box to reveal something that she still couldn't bring herself to throw away. The diamond engagement ring that Derek had given her still looked as new as it had four and a half years ago. She took the ring out and twirled it between her pointer finger and her middle finger, sighing. Flipping the ring over, she glanced at the enscription that etched on the inside of the ring in cursive. The lettering was small, because there had been a lot to fit, but she could still read it perfectly fine.

'Love Overpowers Everything'

She remembered Derek's exact words when he had slipped that ring on her finger, shortly after she had accepted his proposal.

'It's a good thing I love you so much, because this ring is a promise of forever," he had told her with a tiny smile on his face. She had believed his words back then. She had honestly thought that he was ready for a commitment like that. She mentally slapped herself for being so stupid and naive.

She rolled onto her back and sighed, nostalgia hitting her like a slap to the face.

She gave a sad smile as she glanced at the ring again and spoke in a voice lower than a whisper.

"Forever doesn't last that long these days, I guess."

There is chapter one. As I said, very short. Their past relationship will be explained more in further chapters. I have a lot of this story pre-written, so review, and I shall post again soon:)