Warning, my loves. This chapter doesn't have the light-hearted humor that is usually somewhat included in the other chapters. I mean, it's not that bad, but this is the chapter where Derek and Casey really get into their fight. Other than that, it's all mostly filling. Plus, I know this one is kind of short, so sorry!
.I own nothing.
The first thing Casey saw when she opened her eyes the next morning was her ceiling. But when she closed her eyes she saw Max. Max and Sally. Derek. Emily and Kendra. Derek's eyes. Noel. Max. In between each blink she saw things from the previous day. So no matter how much she wanted to close her eyes and fall back into sleep, she couldn't. So she stared at the ceiling for several minutes before rolling over to look at the clock on her bedside table. 8:30 a.m.
She closed her eyes briefly, only to see the sad and unsure look that had been plastered on Derek's face from the moment he drug her away from Max and Sally.
Her eyes shot open and she blinked several times, quick enough to not see anything. Then she forced herself to get up.
She quickly changed into some sweats and a shirt. She didn't bother to do anything but pull her hair into an untidy ponytail and brushed her teeth before slowly making her descent down the stairs. She had to step around random boxes of Christmas ornaments that were placed on some of the steps.
"Oh, Casey! You're up." Nora said when she saw Casey coming down the stairs while she was heading toward the living room. "Derek said you had a tiring night. Thought you might sleep longer."
"I couldn't fall back asleep." Casey grumbled.
"Sweetie, I hate to ask this of you, but will you help Derek decorate the house? George pulled out all the decorations. For the tree, the outside of the house, the inside. There's a bunch of ornaments and tinsel and all that." Nora explained.
"Is no one else helping?" Casey asked.
"Oh, I'd just like if you helped him start. George and I are taking the rest of the kids out so they can grab a few more gifts. I was just thinking, since you and Derek have already finished your Christmas shopping..." Nora trailed off giving her daughter a pleading look. "We'll help when we get back. We shouldn't be out that long."
Casey sighed. She wasn't in much of a Christmas decorating mood, but then again, anything would be better than sitting around thinking about the night before.
"No problem, mom." Casey said, giving her a fake smile.
"Oh, thank you sweetie." Nora smiled warmly at her daughter.
Casey nodded and walked into the kitchen to grab something to eat. Derek was sitting on a stool by the island with a bowl of cereal.
"I'm your decorating partner for the day." Casey informed Derek as she headed toward the cabinets. She heard Derek groan but he didn't say anything.
"We're leaving." George popped his head into the kitchen. "Thanks for agreeing to help out with the decorating."
"Oh yeah, our pleasure." Derek said with mild sarcasm.
George rolled his eyes but said goodbye and left. A few moments later they heard the front door open and then close.
Casey sighed before taking a bite out of the granola bar she had pulled out of the cabinet.
"We should probably start working." Casey said.
Derek turned and looked at her a moment longer than the standard glance before speaking. "If we must. I guess we should." He agreed.
Casey threw away her granola bar wrapper and refrained from saying anything about the fact that Derek just left his dishes on the island. She was too tired to start an argument when she knew that one would probably somehow erupt from the time they were going to have to share together.
They walked into the living room where more than a dozen other boxes filled with random decorations were scattered around the room.
"Let's leave the tree alone. Everyone should probably help decorate it." Casey suggested.
"Yeah, sure, whatever." Derek nodded, looking through some of the boxes.
Casey shook her head but said nothing as the two of them silently began to pull out decorations and string them along places. Casey set up a ceramic Christmas village on the mantel as Derek strung lights around it and around tables and chair legs.
They spent about an hour decorating the downstairs portion of the house with random decorations that they found.
"I'm tired of working inside, let's start working out there." Derek nodded toward the door.
"Fine, but you're doing the lights on the house. I'll do the stuff that keeps my feet on the ground." Casey said.
"Whatever." Derek said as he lifted a large box of assorted Christmas lights and kicked another box he wanted Casey to grab.
Casey picked up the box and trudged outside with Derek where she was met with the bitter nip of an icy breeze. She placed the box on the porch as Derek went around back to grab the ladder. She pulled out some lights that she would need to untangle and a bunch of lighted Christmas scenes like snowmen and reindeer that she could put on windowsills or wrap into one of the bushes.
Derek came back dragging the ladder and let it rest against the roof of the house before going to the box he had brought outside. He picked out some rolled up lights that weren't all tangled like the ones that Casey had and pulled out a staple gun that was tucked inside the box.
He climbed up the ladder placing the staple gun and some rolled up lights on the roof before he started working. Casey stepped into the snow, her feet sinking lightly in the slush and began to line up candy cane light sticks in front of the porch.
Derek started humming a song from the play from the previous night and Casey cringed.
"Derek can you stop?" Casey asked. "I really don't need anything to remind me of yesterday."
"Oh, come on Case." Derek said. "Get over it. Max is a jerk. You should know that, and you shouldn't care about anything that has to do with him."
"Shut up, Derek. You don't know what you're talking about." Casey snapped.
Derek looked at her like she was an idiot.
"Max had been bragging about some girl he was seeing for a week before the two of you broke up. Didn't know it was Sally, or I might have cared more. But like I said, pretty much proves how much of a jerk he is." Derek said.
Casey snapped her head toward him. "You're lying."
Derek scoffed and then chuckled. "Yeah, right. Even though last night you were all, 'You knew, didn't you?'. You heard him yourself. He was cheating on you for three months, Case. How can you still try and defend him?"
Casey shook her head. "It doesn't matter now, anyway."
"You're just trying to act like it doesn't bother you that your little Maxy-poo wanted Sally more than he wanted you. But, hey, the guy had just come to his senses."
Derek felt something cold and hard hit his back, causing him to grip the jutting roof to keep balance as he wobbled from the impact. Once he was stable, he looked over his shoulder to see Casey glaring at him, a ball of snow in her hand.
"You didn't." Derek whispered warningly.
"Oh, I did." Casey raised an eyebrow and then threw back her arm, flinging the snowball at Derek. It hit his back again, and he had to grip the roof once more. "Twice."
Derek let out a growl before jumping from the ladder, landing feet from Casey.
She narrowed her eyes at him before quickly grabbing a handful of snow that she sent straight towards his head. And then she ran.
Derek's eyes widened before scooping up snow that barely grazed her before she continued to run for the other side of the house.
Derek quickly grabbed some rolled up lights and ran after her. He made it to the front door before she could close and lock it on him.
Casey pulled down a wreath that she had hung near the door and threw it at him, causing him to stumble and drop the lights as she hurried for the stairs. He was right behind her as she started to run up them. She kicked a box of decorations sitting on one of the steps in Derek's way. He jumped over it and it rolled down the stairs, crashing to the landing with a thud and the tinkling noise of shattered ornaments.
She tried to make it to her room but Derek managed to grab her arm and spin her around, blocking her entrance from any of the bedrooms and the bathroom on the opposite side of him. She glared at him before taking off down the stairs again. Casey had to carefully jump over the mess of ornaments at the bottom of the stairs as she fled towards the living room.
In the living room, Derek faced her. They glared at each other for a moment before Derek grabbed a string of Christmas lights from the couch and threw them at Casey. She managed to catch them and throw them back. Now unrolled, the tangled around Derek like a lasso.
Infuriating Derek more, he grabbed pillows off of the couch and began to chuck them at Casey. As she dodged them one of the pillows hit another box of ornaments that was sitting on the small table. It crashed to the floor as well, causing shattered pieces of sparkling glass to fly everywhere.
"God, Derek!" Casey screamed. "You're such an idiot!"
"You're the idiot!" Derek screamed back. "You dated Max for a year, and you spent eighty-percent of that time wishing he was better. You pretty much drove him toward Sally!"
"It wouldn't have made any difference for you! Sally wouldn't have gone to you anyway! She never wanted anything to do with you! She sees what I see. A spoiled jerk who always gets what he wants and doesn't deserve what he has."
"At least I get what I want most of the time." Derek said fiercely. "But you never will. No one will ever want you like they'll want me. Girls will memorize my schedule just to see me as often as they can. But you'll never get anything but a passing glance at fleeting moments from guys who will never even remember your name."
Casey let out an animal-like scream and reached into another box of ornaments near her and started throwing the glass orbs at Derek.
"Jesus, Spacey!" Derek yelled, dodging the ornaments as they flew toward them and then smashed against the wall behind him.
Finally Casey lunged at him causing them to both fall backwards, hitting the tree in the corner. They both tried to get up, but Derek was still somewhat tangled in the Christmas lights, and Casey's foot got caught in the entanglement. Their struggle ultimately resulted in them falling forward, causing the tree to fall along with them-on top of them.
"Well, are you happy now?" Casey cried, struggling to pull herself out from under the tree.
Derek lifted himself up and easily pushed the tree away, allowing them both to get up and try to brush pine needles off of themselves.
"Ecstatic." Derek said sarcastically.
"You should be." A voice said, causing them both to turn.
George and Nora were both looking at them, Lizzie, Edwin and Marti all looking around with mouths open.
"You managed to wreck the whole house. That's a whole new step for you two." George shook his head.
"Oh, the tree." Nora said, putting a hand to her forehead, staring at the wreckage.
"I'm sure we can fix that..." Derek trailed off looking at the tree with several broken limbs. Pine needles were scattered everywhere.
"Yeah, that looks very fixable." Edwin said sarcastically. Derek shot him a dirty look and he shrunk back.
"I'm really sorry." Casey said. She looked like she was on the verge of tears.
"Sorry doesn't fix this mess." Nora shook her head in disappointment. "I can't believe you two did this. This is out of hand."
"Nora, I really think we should consider what we talked about last week." George said, looking down at his wife. "It seems like a good option, especially now."
"What are you two talking about?" Derek asked.
Nora and George ignored him as they looked at each other, silently debating whatever George had mentioned.
"I think you're right, Georgie." Nora said finally.
"Think what's right?" Casey asked.
Nora turned to her daughter. "George has a cabin in the woods about three hours away from here."
"And as of right now, that is where we are spending the next week." George added.
I don't like this chapter as much as my others, but it's okay. Please review, because I'm really afraid that I've lost my readers. I love you guys.