Author's note: I know. This should be an update to "Only a Fool" but, my laptop is ill at the moment, and my next chapter is sitting in my word, waiting to be edited, and I can't access it, but I really wanted to do a nice little Dasey Christmas fic- so I borrowed my roomies computer to bring you guys this piece of fluff. Seriously, if you blow on it, I think it might fly away.

Set umm... during Derek and Casey's senior year? Maybe? The LWD timeline is so screwy, that I'm not sure it matters.

For all my regular readers, you guys are awesome and I love you- Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays.

Disclaimer: My inability to resist an innuendo or two, and some language, should tell you all you need to know. Not mine.

Derek Venturi stumbled down the stairs, it was close to three a.m., and sleep just wasn't coming. He'd been tossing and turning all night. It was two days before Christmas and he wasn't looking forward to it. Christmas just meant more hours he'd have to spend looking at Casey, while being reminded that they were, 'family.' He shook his head in disgust as he made his way down the steps. He got as far as the bottom step before he noticed the living room wasn't empty. Casey was sitting, holding a mug and staring at the Christmas tree. It figured. She had a dreamy expression on her face and for a second Derek considered throwing something at her head, but then decided against it.

"Hey," he called softly, walking into the living room.

"Hi Derek," she responded without moving her eyes away from the tree.

"What are you doing?" He asked.

"Thinking." She responded. He raised his eyebrows.

"It's like three a.m." He said, willing himself not stare at the expanse of bare skin between her neck and the top of her shirt.

"You're awake too," she countered, finally looking at him.

"Yeah but I was getting food, not staring at a tree looking all dopey." He said.

"I can't sleep, and this is quiet." She said, shrugging.

"And your room was loud?" he asked, puzzled.

"No," she sighed, "I mean it's ...peaceful, with the lights and the glitter and the decorations, it's warm, peaceful, quiet. It helps," She said.

"You're such a sap." He said, rolling his eyes.

"And you're an idiot. You're ruining this for me. Go away." She said waving her free hand in a shooing motion and turning her attention back to the tree. He took a few steps back, then stopped and watched her for a minute, just taking her in, her hair shinning in the tree's glow, her legs encased in flannel and pulled into her chest, her eyes, happy as they stared at the tree, stared at nothing at all.

"Does it really work?" he asked after a minute.

"What?" she asked, glaring at him.

"The tree thing?" he asked.

"I thought you wanted food." She responded.

"I can't sleep either." He admitted. She smirked. "What?" he asked

"Mr.- 'I don't have a conscience' always cool, never shows emotions, never thinks guy, can't sleep?" she asked, still smirking.

"I don't have a conscience." He protested, "and I'm not being kept up by inner turmoil or whatever it is you're thinking. I just can't sleep." He said.

"Uh. Huh." She said in singsong disbelief.

"I had a lot of coffee." He said lamely. She rolled her eyes.

"Whatever Derek." She said.

"So the tree thing...?" he started, she rolled her eyes again,

"Sit." She said, patting the couch and putting her empty mug on the floor.

"Thanks," he mumbled, sitting down next to her and fixing his eyes on the tree.

"You want to talk about it?" she asked after a few minutes of silence.

"Shut up Casey." He said.

"I'm just trying to help." She said.

"I thought the point of this tree thing was that it was quiet," he snapped, annoyed with himself for finding her persistence so damn cute. He was in such trouble.

"Fine," she huffed. She actually was quiet for about four minutes, before she said; "I can't believe you took my advice on something." He sighed.

"What are you talking about?" he asked.

"You listened when I said just staring at the tree was soothing. I've been doing this since I was a kid, and you're the only person who has ever joined me. My mom and Lizzie just laugh at me. But it works, it's the most peaceful thing ever." She rambled.

"Is it?" he asked, "I wouldn't know since you keep TALKING." He said.

"I didn't think you ever wanted things to be peaceful." She said, ignoring his glare and hint.

"Yeah well, tis the season," he said. "Derekus is a very peaceful holiday."

"I thought Derekus was about girls in skimpy clothes?" she asked, rolling her eyes.

"Which I find very peaceful." He said, smirking a little.

"Really? Funny I didn't know 'peaceful' and 'stimulating' were synonyms," she said. Derek blinked.

"What?" he asked confused and irritated- she called him on his bullshit and she used words he didn't understand and he couldn't help himself. She was perfect.

"Which part confused you, 'stimulating' or 'synonym?' she asked, rolling her eyes again.

"Hey- I know all about stimulation,' he said, winking.

"Ew-" she said, shuddering.

"I just don't know what a 'synonym' is," he continued grinning at her shudder.

"Two words with the same meaning." She said, "so you said you find girls in skimpy clothes peaceful and I said-"

"Thank you." He interrupted, "I get it now. Cute. Although in the future, you might want to stick to insults that non-dorks will get too. Just a tip."

"Anyone who passed third grade English should have gotten that." She said.

"I barley remember what I learned in English last week. Or didn't learn actually," he said, smirking, "Mrs. Jeyson loves me, I can just smile my way to an 'A', " he said.

"You know if you opened a book for about four seconds, you could get an 'A' that way too," Casey replied.

"I could. But that wouldn't be any fun." Derek said.

"Slacker." She said, shaking her head and smiling.

"Keener." He threw back, grinning and pulling on a lock of her hair She giggled and swatted at him. He was so screwed. He wasn't sure when their banter had become this affectionate but God it was annoying. They were silent for a minute, and then Casey turned her head to look at him.

'Tell me what's bugging you?" she asked.

"No." He said.

"Come on." She said, pleading a little.

"Curiosity killed the Casey." He replied, a lazy grin on his face.

"Yeah well, stubborn arrogance killed the Derek," she replied, stumbling over her words a little.

"See, that was just lame." He said.

"And yours was comedic genius?" she shot back.

"Most things I say are." He said hoping in vain that this whole 'arrogance' fight would distract her.

"You-" she started then stopped, "tell me what's wrong?" she asked again. No such luck.

"The fact that you won't shut up?" he suggested.

"Der-ek!" she whined.

"Ca-sey!" he mocked.

"If I guess will you tell me?" she asked.

"No. Because there's nothing bugging me, I told you, I just couldn't sleep." He replied.

"Liar." She said, "It's Christmas Eve Eve and you're up at, " she glanced at her watch, "almost four a.m., because you -what was that? Had too much coffee? Holiday blues Derek?" she suggested.

"First of all, no one says, 'Christmas eve eve'," he said rolling his eyes and praying she couldn't tell that actually, 'Christmas eve eve' was one of the cutest things he'd ever heard. "Second of all I don't celebrate Christmas, I celebrate Derekus and, third, yes. I just had too much coffee." He said.

"So you came downstairs to stare at a tree with me?" she asked, raising her eyebrows.

"No I-" he began, scrambling.

"I think you want to tell me, and that's why you sat down. I think you're dying to tell someone what's going on." She said triumphantly, "Is it a girl?"

"Look Sigmund Casey, I am not dying, to tell anyone anything. I'm fine." He said, crossing his arms over his chest defiantly. When did she learn to read him that well? That was his trick to pull on her; it was bizarre to have her do it to him. He didn't like it.

"So it's a girl?" She asked, grinning, "are you sad because you're without someone to kiss under the mistletoe? Or is Derekus mistletoe free?"

"Stop. It." He replied ignoring her jab at 'Derekus.'

"Tell. Me" she mocked. He sighed, feeling defeated.

"It's a girl." He said, so low Casey almost couldn't hear him.

"Really?!" Casey beamed, "I knew it! Tell me more!" she said, clapping.

"I'm glad you're enjoying this." He said dryly.

"So do I know her?" Casey asked. "It's not Sally again is it because Derek-" Casey began. Derek held up a hand.

"Trust me, Sally is not keeping me up all night." He said, smirking slightly and raising his eyebrows, trying one last time to distract her.

"I'm choosing to ignore how dirty that was." Casey said rolling her eyes, "So who?"

"Does it matter?" He asked.

"Yes! No! I don't know. What's the problem anyway? Does she have a boyfriend? Did she turn you down?" Casey asked, bouncing and rambling in an annoyingly adorable way.

"She doesn't have to," Derek said, staring at his hands.

"Have to what?" Casey asked.

"Turn me down. I know the answer." He said, looking up at her. She smiled,

"Look at that. You are human." She said softly, and he actually had to grip the side of the couch to keep from jumping her right then and there, then she shook her head, "Honestly though you don't know till you try Derek."

"Next you're gonna tell me to 'just be myself' right?" he said sarcastically, "Trust me, this one is hopeless." He said.

"How do you know? This whole defeatist thing isn't your style." Casey.

"She's not really my style either." He said honestly, loosening his death grip on the couch, "And I'm not defeatist. I'm realistic, it would never work." He said.

"Why?" Casey asked, scooting closer to him on the couch. Perfect.

"Because I'm being punished." He said.

"What?" she asked, looking totally lost.

"The universe has apparently decided it's sick of my bullshit and my coasting through life on good looks and charm. So it's given me an impossible situation." He said, running a hand through his hair.

" can't have this girl because... you have bad karma?" Casey asked, still looking adorably puzzled.

"Something like that." Derek said.

"But, I still don't understand. How do you know it can't work? How do you know it's impossible?" She asked. He sighed and reached a hand over to cup her face.

"Because." He said, looking straight into her eyes.

"What-? OH" she said, eyes lighting up as she caught his meaning. "Oh." She breathed again.

"Yeah," he said, pulling his hand away and looking down again, "That's why I'm sitting in front of a tree. With you. At four a.m.-I just-" He started then stopped, "See? Impossible." He said getting up off the couch and shaking his head at himself, muttering curses under his breath. He was such an idiot, it had only been four seconds ago, but he now had no idea what had possessed him to tell her.

"Derek-" she called, her voice shaking a little. He turned back around to face her.

"You don't-" he started, but then she stood up too and grabbed his arm.

"Does Derekus have miracles?" She asked, hand still on his arm.

"What?" He asked, thrown.

"Well Christmas is a time for miracles, and a miracle is when something impossible happens, so I thought if Derekus had them too-" she trailed off and bit her lip, looking up at him. He put a hand on her face again, unable to stop himself, she was so beautiful, and she was biting her lip, biting her lip at him. He was only human.

"We'd need an awfully big miracle," he said, moving his other hand so it was laced with hers.

"It's your holiday," she reminded him, stepping closer. He shook his head.

"I think we'd need a full fledged Christmas miracle for this one." He said.

"You don't celebrate Christmas," She reminded him, placing her free hand on his chest.

"I might have to start," he said, running his thumb up and down her cheek, "you know for the miracles."

"Ok," she breathed her voice almost a whimper- and dear lord if that wasn't the sexiest thing he'd ever heard-l as she leaned in closer to him.

"This miracle, this will take both of us-believing." He said.

"I know." She said, "but I'm pretty sure it's worth it, you're worth it." She finished, squeezing his hand, and Derek lost his very last shred of self-control. He leaned down and kissed her.

And outside, snow started to fall and a choir started to sing an "alleluia" chorus and they lived happily ever after. Ok, not really, but that's what it felt like to Derek, kissing Casey by the Christmas tree, his hands wrapping around her waist, pulling her as close to his body as possible. She threw her arms around his neck, and he decided that if nothing else, this was worth celebrating every December.