This takes place on Christmas Day. Duh. And alas, this is the last chapter!

Disclaimer: I don't own LWD, X-BOX, Taking Back Sunday...or anything, really.

Chapter Twenty-Three: Good Things Happen to Those Who Wait

"Derek can you grab the whipped cream?"

"-and Derek got me an X-BOX!"

"Get your own damn whipped cream!"

"-and Casey gave me a brand new soccer ball. It's really expensive, see?"


"-but I can't play with it yet 'cause of the snow, and Casey says if Derek lets me play soccer inside, he'll be in real trouble. And then she whispered something in his ear, and he said no soccer in the house, ever."

"-come on, Case, I thought you liked whipped cream!"

"-but she also gave me a hockey stick, and Derek's gonna teach me how to play."


Casey's annoyed cries were muffled when Derek attacked her with the whipped cream, pressing down on the nozzle to spray it towards her. He shot whipped cream into her mouth and, as an act of retaliation, she charged at him, a spoon covered in cake mix in her hands. She smeared it across his face, but slipped on some misplaced whipped cream, and went crashing to the floor. She grabbed onto his long sleeve shirt to try and remain upright, but just ended up pulling him down on top of her.

Derek laughed, placing the whipped cream can down behind him, out of her reach, and leaned down, propping his elbows up on either side of her. She glared at him, trying to wipe some of the whipped cream off her face, but he grabbed both of her wrists in one hand, and held them high above her head. She gave an annoyed groan, and rolled her eyes, giving up her struggle to get free. lol

"Having trouble, Case?" he asked knowingly, smirking.

"You... are... umph... terrible!" she said, trying to push him off of her.

He laughed.

"You love me." he grinned, using his free hand to wipe a bit of the whipped cream off of her face. He licked his fingers clean, and nodded. "Mmm, I like it. Great job, Case."

"It was for the dessert, you reject!" she cried, pulling one of her wrists free, and wiping the whipped cream off her face, smearing it onto his face, and running her fingers through his hair.

He scowled, and rolled off of her, onto his back. He ran both hands through his hair, trying to rid himself of all of the whipped cream. Casey took this to her advantage, and grabbed the whipped cream can, clambering on top of him. She made sure that she had him properly pinned down, before grinning down at him, pressing one hand against his chest, and using the other to point the whipped cream can directly at his face.

"Casey..." he sad slowly, placing a cautious hand on her side, trying to hold her in place. She raised an eyebrow mischeviously, and he put on his most innocent face. "Let's think logically here; you don't want to do that."

"Don't I?" she asked, tapping her fingers suggestively against his chest. She glanced back at the can of whipped cream, and smirked. "Because, right now, it's looking pretty appealing."

"You don't want to mess up my face, do you?" he asked, giving her a cocky smirk. "You love my face! I mean... look at this baby!"

Casey rolled her eyes.

"You know, I was considering letting you off the hook, just because you're my fiance... but since you love yourself so much..."

"Casey... be reasonable."

If he was planning on saying anything else, his words were cut off by the sound of whipped cream being sprayed directly at his face. He tried to defend himself against it, but Casey restrained both of his hands with her free one. All he could do was wait for her to run out of amo.

"C'mon Case, get off!" he begged, tilting his head back and forth with his eyes shut tight. "This isn't even-"

"Coleeeeee, they're doing it again!"

The whipped cream ran out then, and the can started sputtering hopelessly. Casey laughed, and tossed it aside, looking down at Derek's completely white face.

"Geez, Casey." he said, as she let go of his wrists and allowed him to wipe his face.

"Not again!"

They both looked up to see Jayden standing in the doorway, his arms folded across his chest, and Cole coming up behind him, shaking his head in dismay as he leaned against the doorframe.

"What kind of example are you two setting for Jayden, seriously?" Cole asked disapprovingly.

"Yeah, what kind of an example are you setting for little ol' me?" Jayden repeated, shaking his head in the same manner as Cole had.

Derek arched an eyebrow.

"What was that?"

"Nothing." Jayden dismissed quickly, pulling himself up onto the counter.

"Cole... help me up." Casey said, covered in whipped cream.

Cole pushed himself up off of the doorway and crossed the room, extending a hand to help Casey, who was already five months into her pregnancy, up off the floor. He laughed, and gave her a quick kiss on the cheek, pausing to wipe the whipped cream off his mouth.

"Sorry." she murmered quickly, grabbing a dishcloth to wipe her face off.

Cole shrugged.

"You know what they say; life's short, eat dessert first." he laughed, before grinning. "Merry Christmas. Sorry we're late; Kal insisted on driving slow to look at all the Christmas lights."

"They were pretty, thank you very much." came another voice, coming from behind Cole.

Cole turned, and Casey saw his features soften when Kallie walked into the room, dressed in black dress pants, and a formal looking red sleeveless shirt. He slipped an arm around her waist and kissed her cheek gently, whispering something in her ear that made her blush, and giggle.

"Aren't you two just so cute?" Casey said, smiling at them.

"Yeah, freakin' adorable." came Derek's voice from the messy kitchen floor. "Jay, help me up."

"Are you kidding?" Jayden huffed, leaning his head back against the counter. "I can't lift you."

Derek scowled.

"Are you calling me fat?" he asked, sounding momentarily offended. He shook his head dismissively. "Never mind that. Casey?"

"Don't ask." she said, shaking her head.

He gave her his sexiest looking pout, knowing that he could usually win her over with that. He could only guess that the whipped cream took away from it's usual effect, because she merely laughed, and tried her best to look away.

"Get a life, Der."

"Is that any way to be treating the father of your child?" he asked, scowling. "Cole, that's emotional abuse. Abuse, I say! Help me out here. I'm filing for ... for.. what's the term?"

"Sorry, buddy." he laughed, reaching out a hand to help Derek up. "I'm on holidays. You're going to have to find yourself another lawyer."

"I am so unappreciated." he muttered, wiping the whipped cream from his face, onto his shirt. He was going to have to shower again, anyway. "Jay, hand me a cloth, would you?"

"Do it yourself." Jayden mumbled, yawning.

Derek raised an eyebrow, taking a step towards the boy.

"Say that again... this time keeping in mind that you've got no weapon, while I'm covered in whipped cream just looking for a new home."

Jayden froze, watching as Derek got closer to him.

"You wouldn't." he said warningly, backing up against the counter cautiously.

"Oh, but I would." Derek smirked.

And with that, he scooped a handful of whipped cream off of his clothing, and made a mad dash towards Jayden, who jumped off the counter, and tore off into the living room, with Derek running after him.

"Don't kill each other!" Casey called out after them, before waving her hand dismissively and attempting to drown out their yelling by starting up a casual conversation with the other two.

- - - - - -

"Marti, we're sticking to two colors in your hair at once, and that's final." George was saying, trying to get off the topic of hair dye, and back to the Christmas dinner.

"But Dad!"

"No!" he sighed. "End of discussion."

Frowning, he turned to Casey and Derek, a look of mock sympathy on his face.

"I hope you know what you're getting yourselves into." he noted, nodding towards Casey's rounded belly. "You've got about eighteen years of this ahead of you."

Casey laughed, sharing a small smile with Derek, who winked at her discreetly, and turned to talk to Edwin again. The table was buzzing with activity. Everyone had been invited to Casey and Derek's relatively new home for Christmas dinner.

They had only moved in about a month before Christmas, after deciding that neither Derek or Casey's apartment was big enough for all of them, especially with a baby coming. So they had packed up, and moved back to London, landing a house not too far from their parent's place. Casey had been working on undergoing a career change. She had immediately been offered another position at a law firm nearby when they moved, but she had politely declined, and was now taking online courses in English literature, hoping to become a writer. She knew that she would be requiring a year or so off to take care of the baby, anyway. So she had just decided to persue one of her other passions, and make an attempt at writing. Derek hadn't had any problems with his job, seeing as he was running his own film company. All he'd had to do was rent out a new location for his studio, and move.

The baby was due to arrive sometime in April, and Casey and Derek were planning on getting married that following summer. Derek had proposed the idea of getting married before the baby was born, but had instantly realized this was a mistake. Casey had ranted for two days about how fat she would look in a wedding dress, and that Derek was being insensitive just because he could sit there and stuff food into his mouth without getting fat. He had finally managed to calm her down by suggesting that they have a summertime wedding, but had learned not to say anything that would trigger her oversensitive pregnancy hormones again. They were planning on adopting Jayden once everything had settled down a bit, most likely when Derek's temporary gaurdianship had run out.

For Christmas dinner, their entire family had dropped by, bringing presents. Along with them had been Cole and Kallie, now officially a couple again. They had worked out their issues, though it had taken a while, and were now just as happy as they had been before, with the occasional argument. Nobody was perfect, of course.

Casey smiled, before draining her glass, and pushing her chair back and getting up. She picked up her glass and pushed her chair in.

"I'll be right back." she informed everyone, before exiting the room quietly.

A moment later, Derek came into the kitchen behind her, pulling the sliding door closed, and smirking at her.

"Hey." he said, grinning as he took a step towards her.

She grinned back, and wrapped her arms around his neck, kissing his forehead lightly.


"I feel like I haven't seen you all day." he murmered, pressing a soft kiss to her lips, before trailing them down to her neck. She giggled, and tilted her head back a bit.

"You mean apart from our food fight in the kitchen this morning?" she suggested, her hands spread out across his back. "I know."

"Miss me?" he asked, aligining his face with hers, and smirking suggestively.

She rolled her eyes.

"Maybe just a little bit." she sighed, grinning at him, and covering her lips with his for a moment. "Enjoying your dinner?"

Derek nodded.

"You bet. It's great to have a woman who can cook. It's the finest quality in a woman."

Casey raised an eyebrow, and Derek instantly rushed to continue.

"Er, among other... sparkling personality traits..." he added, blushing. "Sense of humor, good looks, kind-hearted... forgiving?"

Casey rolled her eyes.

"Fine, I get your point." she sighed, grinning. "You need to be nicer to me, though. I'm pregnant. I have the right to overreact to every little thing you say... and I will."

"I noticed." he said, realizing that this was a bad choice of words at the very last second. She scowled. "Er... I mean... oh give me a break, would you? I'm a guy. We aren't the brightest of creatures."

"I noticed." she mimicked, pouting.

Derek smirked.

"You look incredibly sexy when you pout, did I ever tell you that?" he said, in hopes of cheering her up. She didn't appear to be completely forgiving, but he thought he saw her blush a little. He grinned, and brushed a hand gently against her cheek.

"Smile; it'll do wonders." he suggested happily. "Ronald McDonald smiled all the time, and look how long he's been around."

She laughed.

"You're a freak." she commented, rolling her eyes at him. He pouted. "A very cute freak. My cute freak."

"Always." he grinned, pulling her closer to him, and brushing a strand of hair off of her forehead, tucking it carefully behind her ear. He smiled softly. "I promise."

"Always?" she whispered, pressing her forehead up against his, and letting her eyes connect with Derek's.

He nodded, kissing her lips gently, before pulling back and smiling.

"Always and forever."

She had just leaned in to kiss him again, when the sliding door was swung open, and Marti stepped in, rolling her eyes at the two of them.

"Would it kill you guys not to skip dinner to make out at least one day out of the entire year?" she asked, stepping into the kitchen, and closing the door behind her.

Casey pulled back from Derek, wiping her mouth sheepishly. She blushed, and looked away.

"Sorry, Marti." she dismissed, leaning back against the counter behind her. Derek slipped his arm around her waist, holding her against his side as he ran a hand through his hair, watching as his younger sister fumbled through the cabinets and drawers for something.

"What are you looking for, Smarti?" he asked, raising an eyebrow curiously.

She scowled.

"Derek, I'm fifteen." she reminded him, rolling her eyes at her brother's childish nickname. "You don't have to call me that anymore."

"You called me Smerek when I was fifteen." he dismissed, shrugging. "I think I have the right to call my little sister something cute."

"Ugh." she groaned, turning away again, and retrieving a roll of paper towels from the drawer. She turned back to Casey. "Make sure he doesn't stick that kid with a nickname, would you?"

"I can't make any promises." she sighed, laughing at the annoyed look on Derek's face. She ruffled his hair. "Cute nicknames is a subtle sign of being a complete softie."

He scowled, ducking away from her.

"It is not." he argued, placing one hand behind him on the counter, and pointing a finger at his younger sister. "You. Go finish your dinner."

"But I-"

"Finish your dinner or else I'm not giving you the totally awesome Christmas gift I bought for you." he said warningly, before mumbling; "Not like you deserve it now."

Marti ignored the last part, and nodded hurriedly, darting off into the dining room again, the door sliding shut behind her. Derek looked over at Casey.

"You sided with my little sister over me?" he asked, raising an eyebrow. "I should cut you off, is what I should do."

"Go ahead." she said, shrugging. "I'm not stopping you."

"Maybe I will." he threatened teasingly, pinning her in against the counter. "Unless, of course, you can give me one good reason why I shouldn't."

Casey smirked, wrapping her arms around his neck, and pulling him closer.

"You do remember that our parents booked us a trip to Hawaii for our honeymoon, right?" she whispered against his ear, smirking when he shuddered. "I don't think I need to tell you what could happen there."

Derek jumped back, clearly afraid that, if he stayed where he was, they'd never leave the kitchen. He grabbed her hand in his, and led her towards the doorway again.

"Dinner, let's go." he ordered, his voice shaky.

Casey laughed.

"You're too easy."

- - - - - -

"You bought me tickets to see Taking Back Sunday in New York?" Marti cried, staring up at her brother with wide eyes.

Derek nodded.

"Take that boyfriend of yours with you... what's his name?"

"Mark." she dismissed, looking completely dazed. She stood up, and threw her arms around Derek, nearly knocking him off balance. "Thank you, thank you, thank you! You are the best big brother ever, Smerek!"

"What am I, a stranger?" Edwin asked, frowning.

Derek laughed.

"So now I'm Smerek again, am I?" he noted, grinning. "Merry Christmas, Smarti."

"How come I don't get to see Taking Back Saturday?" Jayden piped up, plopping down on the couch next to Derek, as Marti ran off to call her boyfriend and tell him the news.

"Taking Back Sunday, Jay." Casey corrected him, smiling. "Concerts aren't exactly the best place for an eight year old to be. Maybe when you're Marti's age, we'll let you go to one."

Jayden scowled, but remained silent. After a moment, Nora spoke up from across the room.

"So any ideas on baby names, yet?" she asked curiously, taking a sip of her coffee.

Derek wrapped an arm around Casey's shoulders, and shrugged.

"We're going to wait and see what we're having, first." he informed them, as Jayden picked up the controller to his new X-BOX and began to play one of his games. "We're going to find that out next week, and we'll figure that out then."

Nora nodded, before smiling.

"I can't believe you two are together again." she breathed out, shaking her head. "I mean, after the breakup, we thought you'd get back together within a matter of days. But then that turned into four years and... wow."

"You know, you still haven't told us why you broke up in the first place." George reminded them, hope clear in his voice.

Derek glanced over at Casey hesitantly, wanting to allow her the chance to reveal their secret if she wanted to. He knew she hated keeping secrets. She gave him a quick smile, before turning back to their parents, shaking her head.

"What happened back then stays a secret." she told them, trying not to let the disappointed looks on their faces get to her. "It doesn't even matter anymore. All that matters is now."

George sighed, and shook his head at Nora.

"It was worth a try, right?" he asked, and she nodded.

The topic was quickly dismissed, and was not brought up again. Casey and Derek were glad, because they really didn't want to tear open old wounds. They had accepted their past, and they had moved on from it, with a better sense of understanding on their relationship. Sure, they still fought, and sure, they still drove each other crazy, but it was playful. It was a part of their complex and unique relationship. They were together again, and they had never been happier. They say good things happen to those who wait. Well, they had definitely waited, and it had definitely been worth it in the end. They were engaged, they had a child on the way, and they had an eight year old, who they were incredibly proud of. Their family could be called unconventional, and hell, it probably was. Not many other families were as complex as theirs. But they were still a family, and they were proud of it. They knew that they would probably always get under each other's skin, and fight over the stupidest of things, but they also knew that they could always count on each other.

Always and forever.

I don't like the last paragraph or so, but it was the best I could do.

This has definitely been fun! Thanks to everyone who has been reviewing this story. Seriously, you guys rock. I love you :) As I said, there is most likely a sequel coming soon, as soon as I can figure out the few things I have left to plan. I've already started writing it so... expect it soon! Thanks again to everyone who read and reviewed this story:)