Disclaimer: I don't own Life With Derek. Trust me, if I actually had some say in what these characters actually got to do you would be able to tell. Trust me.

Title: Opportunities

Summary: Derek learned at a young age to grab every opportunity life threw at him. .Derek centric with just the tiniest bit of Dasey because, like Derek, I just couldn't help myself.

Author: Silverflare07

Dedication: I'm dedicating this one to Warlordess/Chibi because she puts up with my text messages of random Life With Derek quotes –"The trick is to double knot the socks!"- and she does it oh so gracefully. Here's to you babe!

Author's Notes: Not much to say here... the story idea came from the quote at the bottom. As far as I know I made it up, but if someone said it before me, let me know and I'll give him/her credit where credit is due.

Stuff You Need to Know:

"Speech"

Thoughts or emphasized words


When Derek was nine years old his teacher called on him to stand up and recite his 9 times tables. He hadn't studied them the night before like he was supposed to, so when he hesitated at nine times five and the secretary rushed into the room explaining that Derek had to leaveimmediately, he wasn't even slightly hesitant to scurry from the room as fast as he possibly could.

He'd milked the fact that his mother had just given birth to his new baby sister for nearly two months before his teacher finally got tired of it.

oOo

When Derek was in 6th grade he learned that the word divorce was going to become a part of his vocabulary. The split between his mother and father was a relatively peaceful one –it had been mutually decided that George should have full custody of the children because Abby would be spending so much time on her education, plus he was a better cook- and both he and Edwin had nodded and excepted the fact that they would only be seeing their mother every few weekends from then on.

After spending his first night without his mother as close to tears as he had ever been, Derek moved on and adjusted to his new life. After all, his mother still called everyday and he would be seeing her on the weekends. No one else around him seemed to think it should be that easy to handle, however.

But as he walked out of the guidance councilor's office, and right into Stephanie –the prettiest girl in his grade-, who smiled sympathetically and offered to spend time with him to help get his mind off his troubles, he realized that it was easier to let people think what they wanted, especially when it worked out for him.

He had a good half of the female portion of his grade's phone numbers before he decided he was officially "healed" from his parent's traumatic split.

oOo

In 8th grade Edwin broke his arm and Derek was forced to take care of his younger brother. This meant that he would be spending the next month or so at home, aside from school and hockey practice, helping his younger brother dress, bathe, eat, and generally not die of boredom. It was one of the few times his father ever left him alone in the house, but he would have to be Edwin's trained pet monkey.

This did not sit well with Derek, who was quickly rising through the ranks to becoming the most popular guy in school, but he knew better than to argue with his father when he was using the voice (a tone that was solely reserved for failing grades and when he shaved the Davis' cat). So he called up Ashley, his date for the evening, and ruefully told her that he would have to, unfortunately, cancel.

Derek grunted in response to his father's cheerful good-bye (he was on his way to a date with some lady Derek had never met). It wasn't even ten minutes later when Derek answered the door to find a cheerful Ashley informing him that she'd come to keep him company as he watched his little brother –which was apparently "just about the sweetest thing ever!".

Derek also discovered that after eating and struggling to bathe, his currently handicapped little brother was more than ready to sleep for the rest of the evening. Edwin slept like a rock, so it was as good as having the house to himself.

Derek made it to second base that evening, and decided that staying home to care for Edwin wasn't nearly as bad as he'd thought it was going to be.

oOo

In the beginning of his 9th grade year, the captain of Derek's hockey team was out sick for almost a month with a bad case of mono. No one was more panicked than his coach, but Derek stepped onto the ice grinning. He commanded his hockey team like he commanded the schools of the hallways, and, because the boys of his hockey team had to survive in this school too; they listened like the cattle he was being to realize the kids in his high school were.

Derek's life had pretty much revolved around hockey –and girls- so his team did not suffer under his leadership. In fact, the coach was so impressed by his ability to lead that when Johnny came back nearly four weeks later, he didn't hesitate to tell him that he was out and Derek was the new team captain.

As his popularity rate skyrocketed through the roof, Derek could only smirk and mentally pat himself on the back for deciding not to kiss Katie at Jason's end of the summer party.

oOo

When George announced that he was going to be introducing his family to his girlfriend, a lady named Dory or something, and her children Derek decided he wanted no part in it. But when he mentioned that they would be taking the kids to the local arcade/bowling alley so that it wouldn't be an awkward dinner, Derek decided that maybe it wouldn't be such a bad idea to tag along. After all, Cindy worked at Lanes and Games and she had been looking pretty hot this week.

When they arrived at the bowling alley the first thing Derek noticed was not Cindy, or her friend Brandy, but a gorgeous brunette that he had never seen before. He wasted no time in introducing himself to the girl who smiled and nodded politely at all his charm. When she didn't react the way all other girls had reacted to him, he wasn't discouraged. He simply smiled and turned up the charm.

He was beginning to wonder why she was laughing at him, however, when she politely told him that she needed to go see her mother Nora and that he might want to tag along. After all, they were supposed to be meeting other members of the family that night.

As she walked away, hips swaying in an intoxicating way, Derek realized that his life was about to get a lot more interesting.

oOo

Something about driving Casey mad made Derek's day. Any chance to get her to scream his name the way she did –she was the only person who ever said Der-ek!- he took. He stole her clothes, dumped her purse all over the kitchen table, dropped her cell phone into mayonnaise, and everything else he could think of to annoy her. She was so tightly wound that he just couldn't help himself.

He also couldn't resist messing up her almost nonexistent love life, but that was for a completely different reason. Sam was such a sap that, as much as Derek cared about his best friend of almost ten years, it was too easy to fool him into believing in the male code. That one...might have backfired on him, but he'd done well with Casey's other potential suitors.

So when Casey made a stupid comment about quarterbacks and halfbacks, notebook and pencil in hand like the good student she couldn't help but be, Derek couldn't help but grin. Nothing was better than killing two birds with one stone.

oOo

College had never been a part of Derek's plan, not since he had stopped caring about school in second grade. College was for people like Edwin, Lizzie, or Casey, people who couldn't get through life on their looks or charm. Derek was perfectly content with the fact that he would probably attend a community college for a semester, maybe two, then drop out and spend his days playing hockey for some famous team.

He was, unfortunately, beginning to discover that living with the McDonalds for most of his high school career had changed his outlook on his life. His grades had improved slightly since the McDonalds had invaded his home and he still saw community college in his future. Only, he would be there for a couple of years, not just a couple of semesters. When his senior year –finally, the year he'd been waiting for!- rolled around, he watched Casey pace in a strange combination of excited anxiety for her acceptance letters to the many colleges she'd applied to. He felt, momentarily, sad that he couldn't join her in her anxious waiting, but brushed it off and settled back into his regularly scheduled life.

Derek couldn't help but grin when Casey tossed him a thick envelope that was offering him a full hockey scholarship from a very nice school. He was even more thrilled to see a similarly sized envelope in Casey's hand from the same school, and he knew he'd made his choice.

oOo

Derek didn't do tears. Not from his mother, not from his girlfriends, not from Marti (although sometimes with her it was very hard to say no), and certainly not from either of his two stepsisters.

So when Casey came racing down the stairs in tears the evening of their senior prom he was more than ready to jump up, grab his outfit for the evening, and take refuge at Sam's. But when he managed to make out the words 'Max', 'break-up', and 'not going' through her tears before she turned and fled back up the stairs he knew he was going to have to stay.

He walked into her room without knocking –he hadn't knocked but once in the almost four years they'd been living together, why start now?- and pulled her into a loose hug. She was too upset to even be shocked by the very un-Derek like movement and barely managed to choke out the question about whether she was ever going to find someone who honestly liked her for who she was before dissolving into tears once again.

Derek smiled and thanked God for the perfect timing of this entire moment and the fact that Casey was a hopeless romantic.

oOo

Early in his high school career, Derek realized that he would be attending a graduation from college party. But he'd never really assumed that it would be for him. One for Casey, most definitely, but not one for both of them. But here they were, having just walked across the stage this morning, surrounded by family and friends.

George was in full proud papa mode, as close to tears as anyone had ever seen him, and Nora was past the point of tears. There had been more hugging on this day than any of them could remember; even Derek hadn't been able to dodge all the overly emotional family members. He looked to where Casey was animatedly reliving her valedictorian speech for an aunt and uncle who had been unable to attend the actual graduation ceremony due to the limited seating.

Derek fingered the ring in his pocket and grinned, knowing Casey was more likely to say yes when she was in her prime like this.

oOo

Derek accepted his MVP award with a gracious smile and witty speech that had the other guests laughing pleasantly. From their table, his very pregnant wife beamed up at him, her whole face lighting up. From the side his coach gave him a thumbs up and the rest of his teammates clapped as hard as they possibly could. Feeling an overwhelming sense of gratitude toward the people in his life he called his wife up onto stage with him.

Casey blushed but stood and waddled her way to him, as gracefully as possible for a seven-month pregnant woman, and allowed him to wrap an arm around her shoulder. He held up his award and let the crowd send up a deafening roar of applause before placing a hand on his wife's bulging stomach and a kiss on her lips.

He couldn't wait to tell his son about all of his success and the opportunities he grabbed in order to achieve it.


oOoOo

Opportunity doesn't just come once in a lifetime. And the people we call successful are just those who were smart enough to grab it every chance they got.

oOoOo

I don't what to say about this one, except that I actually really like it. I initially started trying to write something that wasn't romantic at all, because, honestly, that's pretty much all I write. I wanted to try my hand at something different, but somehow the romance snuck in there anyways. It's not the focus of the story though, so that's an improvement for me.