Here's my second Christmas one shot. Well...it was supposed to be a one shot but it totally snowballed out of my control. A few of my one shots have been doing that lately. Sorry about that. You get this chapter today and the second chapter tomorrow. This is my holiday present to all of you!

And yes, I really did break down and write the overly cliché Christmas-y one shot. Hopefully mine will have at least a few unique twists. Or, at the very least, you can over look the overly cliché-ness and enjoy this two shot anyways. Plus, AVD sucked and we seriously needed a rewrite.

HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

oOoOo

"Seriously!" Derek cried waving his arms in frustration. "What is your problem?"

Casey glared down at where her stepbrother was laying on his bed. "What's my problem?" She huffed and crossed her arms over her chest. "It's almost Christmas! And your Aunt is here!"

He raised an eyebrow. "So?"

"SO!" She all but screeched at him. "So, you should be downstairs helping the rest of us decorate for Christmas."

Derek scoffed and rolled his eyes. "I don't think so." He calmly picked up the magazine he had been reading.

"Der-ek!"

Sighing, he shut the magazine and tossed it on the edge of his bed. He was not in a particularly good mood; the team's last hockey practice had not been their best. On top of that, Sally's boyfriend had been waiting to pick her up after work the night before. He was mostly over the blonde, but it was still frustrating to watch the 'one who got away'. "Look!" He snapped, sending her glare right back at her. "I don't want to help you put up stupid decorations! So just let it go!"

Casey growled, not enjoying Derek's tone. "I cannot believe you! You have to be the single most selfish person I have ever met!"

Derek scoffed, "Right princess," He drew out the nickname, "Because you're the perfect picture of selflessness."

"Ugh!" Casey threw up her hands in disgust. "I give up! Sometimes I wish you would just take a nice long vacation!"

Something in him snapped. He was so done with this and if the only way to make her go away was to be a jerk...then so be it. "Yeah," He challenged. "Well there hasn't be a time when I didn't wish you weren't around!" Casey flinched, but he didn't stop. "In fact, I think everyone would be better if you had never even been a McDonald at all!"

She blinked, and he could see tears beginning to form. He was too angry to care. "What?"

"That's right!" He told her angrily. "We'd all have been better off if you'd never been a part of the eitherfamily!" He crossed his arms over his chest and sent her the nastiest glare he could manage.

Casey stood there, speechless, for a few moments before she turned on her heel and got out of his room has fast as she possibly could. Derek smirked and grabbed his magazine, ready to return to his reading without fear of further interruption. Neither he nor Casey saw his Aunt Madge watching the exchange from the hallway. She looked inside the crack of her eldest nephew's door and saw that his triumphant grin was sliding into a frown.

She snapped her fingers and smirked. "Merry Derekus, Derek."

OOo

Derek yawned, rolling over and putting his pillow over his head, trying to block out the light. His alarm went off a few minutes later and he groaned, knowing he still had a few more days of school before he was off for the holidays. He sat up; rubbing sleep from his eyes and got ready to go fight Casey for the shower.

On second thought... maybe today he'd let her have it. He'd been unnecessarily cruel to her the night before, taking out his anger on his stepsister when she hadn't caused most of it. Even he was willing to admit that his comment about her family being better off without her and been a bit too harsh. Especially since she hadn't really been bugging him anymore than she normally did. He walked into the hallway, noticing right away that the bathroom was empty. He cringed, that meant Casey had gotten up extra early to avoid him. He'd have to suck it up and just apologize to her at school; she couldn't run away from him there.

Forty minutes later, he came down the stairs freshly showered and dressed, his backpack slung over his shoulder. "Good morning family!" He greeted, fully expecting glares from all members. When Casey was really mad at him, which surprisingly didn't happen as much as one would think, the whole family knew, and usually ended up mad at him too.

"Morning Smerek!" Marti raced to him, allowing him to pick her up.

"Hey bro," Edwin smiled and beside him Lizzie nodded hello, her mouth full of cereal.

"Good morning Derek." Nora greeted, placing a bowl of cereal in front of him.

Derek looked at his family suspiciously. "Okay," He said, placing Marti back on the ground, "What's she got planned for me?"

Everyone one looked at him, confusion written on their faces. "Who?" George asked.

"Casey." Their blank faces didn't change. "Oh come on," Derek told them. "We got into a fight last night and if you're all this happy it's only because she's going to try some lame stunt to get revenge."

"Derek," George was using the disapproving father tone. "What have I told you about dragging this family into your girlfriend troubles."

Derek barked out a laugh. "Girlfriend? Good one Dad."

"Well if Casey's not your girlfriend then who is she?"

Derek blinked; George was joking, right? "You know, Casey. About this high," he brought his hand up to his shoulder, "long brown hair, my keener stepsister."

Nora laughed at Derek. "You must have been dreaming or something. Lizzie's your only stepsister." Lizzie and Edwin nodded in agreement.

"O-kay..." He looked around. "Hey, where's Aunt Madge?"

His dad looked up again. "Who?"

Derek rolled his eyes. "Never mind. I'm headed off to school." He turned and made his way towards the front door. "At least Emily will know where Casey is."

oOo

"Emily!" Derek made his way towards her locker. "Hey, Emily!"

Emily turned to face him. "What do you want?"

He was taken aback by her frosty tone, apparently Casey had told her friend about their exchange last night.

"Look, I know I was a jerk last night." He told her, rushing on before she could argue with him. "That's why I need to know where Casey is, I want to apologize."

Emily raised an eyebrow. "One, who is Casey? And two, why the hell are you talking to me?"

Derek blinked. "What? Because your Casey's best friend, and my friend too."

Emily shook her head. "Right. Derek you haven't spoken to me we started high school." She glared. "Somebody became Mr. Cool and didn't have time for their next door neighbors anymore. And who is Casey!?"

Derek blinked again. "Casey, Em, Casey! About yeh high, long brown hair, your best friend!"

Emily rolled her eyes. "My best friend is Kendra. I don't know anyone named Casey." With that she shut her locker and walked away from him, not bothering to whisper her muttered 'basket case' as she left.

Derek scratched his head, confusion flowing through him. He hadn't realized Emily was such a good actress. He'd have to congratulate her on her skill when this whole thing had blown over.

"D!"

Derek turned to see his best friend racing towards him. "Sam!" He bumped knuckles with his best friend. "Dude, have you seen Casey?"

Sam gave him the same blank look he'd been receiving all morning. "Who?"

"Gah!" Derek was as close to pulling out his hair as he'd ever been. "Casey! She's this tall," He brought his hand up to his shoulder for the third time, "long brown hair, your ex-girlfriend!"

Sam looked thoughtful. "Dude...I don't think I've ever dated a brunette. Not that I would object or anything because..."

Derek tuned out the rest of what his best friend was saying. This was too creepy. Sam wouldn't have lied to him just to help Casey get revenge. He would have chewed Derek out for saying something like that in the first place and told him to apologize, but not this. He turned on his heel and made his way for her locker. He didn't care if he had to camp out there all morning, she'd have to stop by there sometime. Angrily, he spun the lock, entering the combination and hoping she had left some clue to what she was doing in there. The locker door swung open.

"Whoa..." The locker he was looking at didn't look anything like the one he knew Casey kept. It wasn't nearly as organized or bright and cheery.

"What the hell are you doing in my locker?"

Derek jumped and slammed the locker shut. And there was Casey, standing with her hands on her hips and giving him the same familiar glare she always did. But that was the only thing that looked the same. She wasn't as...glamorous as she normally was. She didn't have any make-up on and her hair wasn't styled at all. In fact, it looked like she'd just run a brush through it and then walked out the house. She wasn't wearing her normal attire either. She had a on a big T-shirt and jeans, not something Casey wore...ever.

"I said what the hell are you doing in my locker? How did you even get the combination?"

He snapped back into reality. "You gave me your combination, Case, a few months ago."

She raised an eyebrow at him. "Yeah, because I give random strangers my locker combination. Nice try."

Strangers? That's the game she was playing? He'd wished that she wasn't a part of his new blended family and she was going to act like she wasn't? "This is pretty lame, Case?"

"Excuse me?" She bristled. "And what right do you have to give me a nickname? We're not friends. We're not even acquaintances."

"Okay, okay." He waved a hand. "I'm sorry about the whole 'don't be a part of the family' comment. Really." He was surprised how sincere he sounded.

She raised another eyebrow. "What are you talking about?" Her eyes widened. "Oh my god! You're probably high or something!"

Derek rolled his eyes. "We've had this discussion already. I am not on drugs, nor am I selling them."

Casey shook her head. "Whatever. I don't care what you do with your life. Just stay the hell out of mine!" She walked away, not even bothering to get what she wanted from her locker. "Freak!" He heard her mutter.

"AGH!" Derek threw up his hands in frustration. "What. The. Hell?!"

"Isn't it fantastic?"

Derek spun around, gapping at the sight of his Aunt Madge. "Aunt Madge?"

The elderly lady shook her head, giggling like a small child. "No."

"What?" He shook his head. "Never mind. What is going on? You remember Casey don't you?"

She nodded. "Of course I do."

"Then how come nobody else does?"

She raised an eyebrow, her stance screaming 'duh!'. "Because that's what you wanted, isn't it? That Casey wasn't a part of the McDonald family."

Derek shook his head. "Yeah but I never-" His whole face lit up as something occurred to him. "Wait! Casey's got to still be a part of the McDonald family or she wouldn't be here! She came to STSHafter Nora married Dad."

The figure who claimed she wasn't his aunt grinned. "Is that so?" She shrugged, not at all fazed by his discovery. "Sometimes things are just meant to be. Maybe that was one of them."

Derek shook his head. "She...she really isn't apart of the McDonald family?"

Madge shook her head, smiling at his inability to say 'my family'. "No she isn't."

"And she doesn't know me or associate herself with me in anyway at all?"

She shook her head again. "No, she doesn't."

A grin spread across his face. "Sweet!"

She gave him a knowing look. "Is it?"

He nodded. "Yeah. No more keener Casey yelling at me for stuff I don't care about! This is the best Derekus ever!"

Madge shrugged again. "If you say so."

"Huh?"

But she snapped her fingers and was gone. The hallway was once again full of bustle, students going to class or the library. Derek whirled around, trying to find his aunt, but she was nowhere to be found. Derek shivered involuntarily "Weird..."

Then he shrugged it off and went on his way.

oOo

"I'm home!" Derek announced himself as he walked through the front door. He was met with silence. "Isn't anybody home..." He trailed off as he noticed that his house was very plain.

The McDonald's were vigorous decorators, especially around the holidays. But even before they had moved in, his dad at least put up a tree and maybe some garland. Now, however, there was nothing on the walls or around the house at all. The bows that usually littered the railing of the stairs were gone and the walls were bare of the rows of garland that had previously been stung across them. The living room looked oddly empty without the huge, overly decorated, tree.

Derek sighed and made his way up to his room. School had been oddly dull without Casey, and now he found his house the same way. He threw his backpack onto the floor and himself onto his bed. He hated to admit that he might be missing Casey. He hated to admit it, but it didn't surprise him all that much. She might have been annoying sometimes, but he knew he had soft spot for her. After all, she was Casey and he was Derek. They just fit together, even if they did fight all the time.

"Okay," He called out to the empty room. "I'm ready to reverse my wish!" He waited.

Nothing happened.

"Aunt Madge?" He called again, this time getting up and walking into the hallway. "Did you hear me? I said I'm ready for Casey to come back."

There was more silence.

"Dammit! Aunt Madge!"

The front door shut. "Derek!" He let out a disappointed breath when he recognized his father's voice. "Stop yelling!"

Derek scowled and walked back into his room. Fine then, if his Aunt Madge didn't want to show up, then forget her. He didn't need her to fix things anyways. He could do it all on his own. He was Derek after all.

oOo

"Hey." Casey jumped as she shut her locker and was greeted by the sight of Derek Venturi.

"Ugh!" She rolled her eyes. "What do you want?"

"Hey!" Derek started but realized that starting a fight with her wouldn't help. "Look," He stuck out his hand. "I think we got off on the wrong foot. I'm Derek Venturi."

Casey looked at his outstretched hand and very nearly snorted. "Yeah, I'll say we did. You were in my locker...without my permission."

"Yeah...sorry about that. I just wanted to give you this," He pulled out a book of Percy Shelly poems that Nora had lying around the house. "But you caught me."

Casey looked at the book skeptically. "How do you even know if I'd like something like that?"

Derek bit back the sarcastic comment that was hanging on the tip of his tongue. "You just looked like the type of girl who appreciated good poetry."

Still weary, she accepted the book. "Thank you."

He nodded. "Your welcome. It's my stepmom's though, so it's only a loan."

Casey nodded and placed the book in her backpack. "Sure. I'll take good care of it."

A few members of the football team came around the corner just then, Max at the lead of them. Derek was surprised to hear Casey make a noise of disgust. "You don't like football?"

Casey shrugged. "I don't really follow it." She eyed the pack of boys with disgust. "But I don't really care for some of the guys on our team.

Derek grinned. "I thought you kind of liked that Max guy." He disregarded the fact that she had broken up with Max in the other world too.

Her eyes flashed dangerously at the mention of the other boy. "I don't like him!" She whispered, which was somehow more intimidating than if she'd screamed it. "I hate him actually."

Derek was taken aback by the obvious dislike in her eyes. Even when she'd talked about him she'd never had that look of obvious hatred. Whatever Max had done to her in this world was worse than anything he had ever done. "Why?"

She looked started, as if she'd just realized he was still there. "N-no reason. We just don't get along."

Derek wasn't convinced. Casey never didn't have a reason for anything she did or felt. And she usually had those reasons listed in a notebook somewhere. He raised an eyebrow at her, but she remained unmoved. He mentally snapped his fingers. This Casey didn't know that Derek could read her like a book. Of course, that probably meant she couldn't read him either. The next thing he knew, Casey was walking away from him, towards the library.

"Wait!" He cried, racing to catch up with her.

She turned around again and he was struck once more by that fact that it looked like she hadn't put any effort into her appearance again this morning either. "What now?" She asked, hands on her hips.

"I...I wanted to know if we could hang out sometime? Like today after school?"

Casey raised an eyebrow. "Why?"

He took a deep breath. "Because you look like a cool person and I'd like to get to know you better."

Casey looked thoughtful. "Okay." She said finally. "I'll meet you at my locker after my last class."

Derek grinned. "Great!" He smiled as he watched her turn and make her way to class.

If Casey couldn't go back to being his stepsister then he was going to take a chance and enjoy her like he'd always wanted to. As just a regular girl, no family complications involved.

oOo

"Thank you, I had fun today." Casey told him as they stood on the front porch of what Derek had to assume was her new home. "It wasn't what I normally do after school, but it was fun."

Derek grinned. They'd gone to Smelly Nelly's (he didn't have a job there but Sally did) and talked for nearly two hours before Casey had looked at her watch and gasped, jumping up and apologizing profusely while saying that she absolutely needed to get home. Confused, he'd followed her out the restaurant and towards a neighborhood near his. She'd realized he was there just before she'd opened her front door. Now it was like she was trying to get rid of him. So he decided to confront her about it.

"Why are you trying to get rid of me?"

Casey had the grace to look embarrassed. "I'm sorry. I really did have an awesome time with you today. It's just that if my stepbrother realizes you're here..."

Derek felt a pang at the thought that someone else was her stepbrother but brushed it off. "You...you have stepbrother?"

Casey nodded, biting her lip. "Yeah. And if he finds out that we were hanging out..."

Derek scoffed. "What's he care?"

"He doesn't want me associating with anyone at school, says it'll ruin his reputation." She scoffed as well.

"So?"

She looked down then, and he was struck by how meek and small she actually looked. She'd never looked that vulnerable before. He was also struck with the desire to never see her looking like that again "Case," He started towards her, his arms outstretched. "What would he do?"

"He-"

"Where the hell have you bee-Derek?"

Both teens turned as the front door opened. Casey's eyes widened and Derek felt his jaw drop to the floor. Casey McDonald's stepbrother stood before them, glaring angrily. Derek was dumbstruck. There had to be some sort of a mistake.

"Max?"

oOoOo

Nice little twist there, eh? I couldn't help myself; the idea hit me and I couldn't get rid of it, seriously I couldn't. I made him a bit of a jerk; as I'm sure you'll find out in the next chapter...I wasn't going to, but he really ticked me off in the prom episode and I wanted to vent that anger out. Since this is supposed to be an alternate world that doesn't make him very OoC, hehe...my logic works in my head.

Well... R&R! The next chapter will definitely be up tomorrow. It's already written, but I wanted to put this up Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.