Title: Cuffed into Love

Rated T

Summary: Edwin's new magic phase gets Derek and Casey handcuffed together until Edwin can "find" the key. .:Dasey:.

Disclaimer: I don't own Life with Derek

A/N: Well, this is it guys. CiL is officially done. I'm really excited; I've been reading fan fiction for five years now and I'm finally completing a chapter fic. I know, it's kind of lame, but I gave up on my old chapter fics awhile ago. So this is neat for me. I also plan on finishing Casey's Code of Chivalry once it gets posted as well. To save people from confusion, I extended Marti's bedtime story; you'll see why later on in the chapter. I hope everyone enjoys the last chapter. Thanks so much again for reading and reviewing. I appreciate the support so much!


Epilogue


"Once upon a time, Casey McDonald embarked on an epic adventure. Involved in the tale were new beginnings, complicated plot lines, and the obnoxious troll who called himself Derek Venturi. Casey was not used to adventures like this one; she was a woman of posture and class. Yet over time she had gotten used to these new changes as her adventure rolled onward. She had even learned how to tolerate the troll (who insisted on following in order to make her life miserable).

One day, after arguing with the troll named Derek about which way to go when they came to a fork in the road, they ran into a con artist. The con artist had posed as a magician when they first encountered, telling Casey that he was able to cause all the problems she had with the troll to go away. Now, Casey McDonald was a pretty gullible person so without really thinking she had said yes to the con artist. The con artist told Casey and the troll to hold their hands out, side by side, so he could perform his "trick". They obeyed. The next thing they knew, a pair of indestructible, magical handcuffs had been slapped on their wrists. The troll had threatened to eat the con artist if he didn't take the cuffs off but the con artist just laughed, saying that Derek the troll wasn't able to do anything. The con artist had been looking for victims to take the wretched handcuffs off his back, and with that, he left both Casey McDonald and Derek the troll together in the middle of the forest to be handcuffed for forever. The end.

Well, of course it isn't the end of the story. Not at all. At first Casey and the Troll slowly began to get along, having to work together to fight some sinister forces who resided in the forest. They fought, and they won. Eventually, the bond between them grew into one of friendship. Derek had helped Casey and defended her when she was threatened while Casey returned the favor. They wandered the forest in search of the con man who had placed the cuffs on them. After several days, Casey was beginning to lose hope that they'd ever find the con artist. Derek the Troll wouldn't have this, and he gave Casey the pep talk of the century. It worked and put Casey back on her feet in order to continue the quest. Finally, they reached the edge of the forest and found the con artist washing his hands in the river. Derek the Troll took him by surprise while Casey demanded their freedom. The con artist was enraged. "Why should I give you freedom when I can't even give my one true love freedom?" He demanded. After Casey asked what he was talking about, who his one true love was, he responded. "My Elizabeth was taken away from me. I want her back."

"If we help you will you give us the key?" Casey asked, feeling sympathetic for the con artist. He nodded, avoiding Derek the Troll's threatening glare. She told Derek to put him down and he told her where to find Elizabeth: his mother had held her in his castle, in the dungeon for Elizabeth was unfit to marry her son. Furious, he tried out witting her, but did not prevail. So, he began to practice conning others in order to free his love. He had obtained the handcuffs in one of his scams, but did not realize what a bother they were to carry around. Derek the Troll pretended to gag at the con artist's (Edwin is what he called himself) while Casey was touched and agreed to help him right away.

"Are you sure about this?" Derek the Troll grumbled. "You believing him is what got us into this mess in the first place."
"He seems sincere and I can't think of how he'd use our help against us." Casey assured him, giving him a peck on the cheek to calm him down. Derek the Troll blushed and she giggled. Within a matter of days, they had reached the castle. It was not as impressive as Casey imagined it to be, but it was still pretty. They were let in by a guard, using the excuse that they had an appointment with the queen.

"Who are you and what do you want?" Queen Abby demanded.

"The girl." Derek the Troll snarled. "We need her to help us on a quest."

"And why should I believe that?" Abby asked, narrowing her eyes. "How do I know you're not working for my son?"

"We need her, because….she's the only one who can get the key off these handcuffs!" Casey exclaimed, ignoring Derek's glare. Abby nodded. "I see. You know, dearie, your story might be more convincing if you hadn't hesitated."

"Just give us the girl." Derek said again, preparing to fight if necessary. "We could care less about your son."
"Oh very well, I'm tired of hearing her screaming and crying down there anyway." She turned to her servant. "Release her."

The servant obeyed and in seconds, a young girl with a dirt stained green dress timidly walked into the room. "You are free to go." Queen Abby declared. "Get out of my sight."

It was as easy as that. No fights, no battles. For Derek, it had been boring beyond words. "Thank you so much." Elizabeth, or Lizzie is what she told them she preferred; Edwin just called her by her full name to irk her playfully, said. Casey nodded. "You're welcome. It was no problem at all."
"I'm still surprised that the Queen didn't put up a fight." Lizzie commented. "She always puts up a fight."

"Well, I expect-" Casey's theory was cut off when she realized that the three were surrounded by a bunch of Queen Abby's servants, just inches away from the woods. Derek the Troll got in front of the two girls protectively (as best he could with the handcuffs) and prepared for battle with a cry. The battle was fierce, the only weapon Casey had on her was a small dagger while Elizabeth had a hand-crafted sling shot. It seemed like hours, restless hours, until only one of the ugly servants remained standing. "I'll take him." Derek the Troll assured with narrow eyes, preparing to do battle with his muscles and sword. The servant was too fast; an arrow shot through Derek's heart, causing him to collapse on the ground.

"Derek!" Casey and Lizzie both shrieked in horror. The servant snickered and scurried away, probably to tell the Queen of his completed task. Casey was down on her knees by his side at once, placing is head in her lap so he'd be more comfortable. Lizzie busied herself in taking out the arrow carefully. His wound was bad, the situation didn't look good.

"Don't die on me you fool." Casey demanded angrily, tears falling at a rapid pace. "I love you." When it seemed as if Derek the Troll was about to fade away she kissed him. At first nothing happened, and it looked as if she had lost her new love. Then, a shimmering light outlined the Troll and in a flash a handsome man stood before Casey in the troll's place.

"Who-?" Casey asked, still on her knees. Lizzie was too stunned to say anything; the handcuffs had also been opened, Casey had realized for the first time. "Who are you and what have you done with Derek!?" Casey shrieked, standing up enraged while pounding her fists on the stranger's chest. The stranger laughed and grabbed her hands. "Casey, it's me."

She froze. "Derek?"
"In the flesh."
"It can't be you." Lizzie declared. "That's impossible."

"No, it's not. I was a prince a long time ago, until a hag turned me into a Troll just because I was mean and insensitive. Until I found someone to love me for me was when I could turn back; and you just said you loved me." He smiled and cupped her cheek with his hand, brown eyes twinkling. "I love you."
"Oh, Derek you're such a-" Casey began with a smile before Derek interrupted her with a kiss. She returned it graciously.

In months, they had made their way back to Derek's castle. Along the way, Edwin and Lizzie reunited, sharing a kiss as passionate as Derek and Casey had. Derek's father, King George, and his step-mother, Nora, welcomed the two girls into his house with gratitude while at the same time pleasing Derek's little sister Marti, who eagerly awaited her brother's return and always wanted older "sisters" as well. In the end, they all lived happily, ever after. And that is the real ending."

"I love that ending!" Marti squealed, bouncing up and down on her bed. Casey laughed at the little girl's enthusiasm. "Glad I could please you this time, Marti."

"It was such a good story!" Marti exclaimed. "I loved the whole thing, and how Derek and Casey fell in love. Hey, they're just like you and Derek now!"

"Yeah, that's something isn't it?" Casey giggled as Marti slid under the covers. She flashed a smile at her boyfriend who had been leaning against the doorway of Marti's bedroom since the middle of Casey's tale. He smiled back and winked. "Good night, Smarti." He called before leaving the door way. "Good night Troll/Prince Derek!" Marti called back. She hugged Sir Monks A-Lot close. "Did Edwin and Lizzie have a happy ending too?"
"Of course they did." Casey assured her. It had been a few months after the whole handcuff incident and for Casey life couldn't be better. George and Nora surprisingly had no real objections to Casey and Derek as well as Edwin and Lizzie. As long as their kids were happy, it was fine. They did put new restrictions for all of them though: simple ones, like no sleeping in the same room after bedtime or no real PDA in front of Marti. A simple peck on the cheek was acceptable since Marti knew of the couples but that was the limit. Lizzie and Edwin's relationship didn't shock Casey as much as hers and Derek's did. It had been tough, telling their friends. As soon as the whole school knew no one cared any more about the subject. It was as if they were a new, normal couple….like they never showed animosity or bickered at all before. The girls who Casey talked to had been right: Derek indeed was the sweetest guy ever. Their first date included an Italian dinner for two at Olive Garden, a movie and a drive to a lake for a moonlit stroll before they had to go home (Casey's suggestion, of course). The lake was where they shared their first real kiss, reflected onto the water by the soft, pale-painted moonlight. It was a night Casey wouldn't ever forget in her life.

Edwin and Lizzie had opened up to her about everything. Apparently, they had begun secret dating after Edwin was dumped by his girlfriend Michelle. Michelle had picked up signs that Edwin was falling for someone else and acted before Edwin figured it out and dumped her. He had been heart broken and confused. Their relationship had apparently gotten stronger after the whole handcuff incident as did Derek and Edwin's. Casey remembered that day, the day the two brothers had a talk. Derek had told her all about it in detail...

"Give me one good reason as to why I shouldn't kill you now?" Derek asked with a snarl. His eyes narrowed as Edwin cautiously stepped into his room uninvited.

"I got you and your girlfriend together?" Edwin gulped as Derek stood up aggressively, trying to scare him out of the room. He remained still in his place. Instead of the punches he thought he'd receive, Derek just looked down at Edwin with a nod. "Good reason. You're lucky." The older brother sat back down on the bed. "What do you want? I'm giving you five minutes."

"Lizzie really pushed me to do this, she said I should stop being a coward and face the music like a man." Edwin mumbled. "I guess I'm just trying to say I'm sorry."

"Sorry? You're sorry?" Derek spat, laying back down on the bed to look at his ceiling. "Edwin, even if the handcuffs were good for my relationship with Casey, I still can't believe that you thought you could get out of this with just a simple apology." He turned his narrow eyes toward his younger brother who averted eye contact. "You made me work." Derek began, sitting up from his bed again. "Not that I don't like Casey as my girlfriend now, but you stuck her with me against my will for six days. You blackmailed me."

"Well, that's only because I was trying to get you back. All the stuff you've done to me is ten times worse!" Edwin shouted, not caring about the previous apology anymore. Derek almost snapped, but remembered the technique his girlfriend had taught him a while back and cooled down. "What are you talking about?" He asked, his voice thick.

"You've treated me like a piece of garbage since day one, Derek." Edwin informed him, frowning. "You've made a slave out of me, you bully me, you give the worst advice ever-"

"I give great advice!" Derek protested.

"-You're the worst big brother a guy could have!" After Edwin's final word they stood in the room in silence. Derek was stunned. Sure, he admitted to all of Edwin's accusations but he never thought they'd sting him this much. All the anger Ed felt toward him, Derek had never seen Edwin this angry ever. He closed his eyes in frustration and imagined what his girlfriend would say in a predicament like this one: "Just relax; take deep breaths and apologize. Assure Edwin you won't take advantage of him again. Everything will work out eventually."

He did just that.
"Edwin-"
"What could you possibly say to me now, Derek?" Edwin demanded. "What will make me forget years of memories?"

"Edwin, I'm…sorry." Edwin blinked. "Come again?" He asked.

Derek groaned. "I'm sorry, alright? I did those things because….I thought I got away with them. I didn't know how much my actions hurt you. I'm sorry and I won't ever mess with you like that again."

"Did I just hear what I think I heard?" Edwin asked, skeptic. Derek rolled his eyes. "Yes, and don't expect me to repeat it. It was hard enough the first time."

"Wow," Edwin muttered. "Derek apologizing."

"It can't be that hard to picture."

"Casey must have really gotten to you, huh?" This last question wasn't in need of an answer, for Edwin had asked it jokingly. Derek rolled his eyes. "So, what? Do you forgive me or not?"
In truth, Edwin hadn't expected this closure; he had expected to get into a heated argument with his older brother until someone intervened. He was half stunned, half relieved. After a moment, he nodded. "Yeah, I forgive you."

"Good." Derek said, letting out a sigh of relief. He lay back down on his bed and opened a comic that was on his night stand. "Now get out of here and go make me a sandwich."
Edwin wasn't sure he heard right at first; his eyes narrowed. "Hey-!"

"Kidding, just kidding." Derek shook his head, rolling his eyes. "Honestly Ed, you need to lighten up and get a sense of humor."

Edwin sighed; even though he apologized Derek was and still would be the same old Derek…

"Casey, will you make up another bedtime story for tomorrow?" Marti's voice pulled her out of her thoughts. "Maybe one about Prince Derek , Princess Casey and Princess Marti?" Casey smiled at the puppy eyes. "We'll see." She said. "Now, get to sleep. It's way past your bedtime."

"Okay," Casey turned off the light as Marti closed her eyes. As she left the room she heard her younger step-sister mutter "Princess Marti…". She smiled and closed the door only to be pulled into a surprise embrace for her boyfriend had been leaning against the wall outside waiting for her. "Sure you don't want to sneak into my room later?" He murmured against her lips after giving Casey a sweet kiss. She smiled and kissed him back. "No, you dope." She giggled afterwards. "Not while George and mom are in the house."

"Damn."

Casey muffled her giggles by giggling into Derek's shirt while Derek held her, his chin resting upon her hair. After a moment he smiled and whispered something into Casey's ear. She stopped giggling and smirked. "Edwin, Lizzie! Get out of the games closet. It's bed time." She called. She expected to see her younger sister and step-brother scramble out but instead heard Lizzie giggle from her room. "We're not in the games closet!" Edwin called out from Lizzie's room as well.

"Well, then get out of Lizzie's room."
"Why do you always have to spoil the mood?" Edwin pouted, appearing at the doorway. Lizzie was behind him, her hand in his. "Good night." She told him with a smile. He smiled back and kissed her quickly. "Love you."

"Love you too."

"Get a room." Derek told them, rolling his eyes.
"Well, if Casey hadn't rudely interrupted-"

Casey stuck her tongue out at him as he made his way past them to get to his Attic bedroom. Lizzie, a satisfied expression on her face, retreated back to her own room and closed the door.

"I'd better get to my room before George still finds us in the hall." Casey said, entwining her fingers with Derek's so that they were holding hands.

"I still say you should come by later."
"Good night, Derek." Derek pretended to pout as Casey giggled and kissed him one last time.

"I love you, you know that, right?" Derek asked, kissing her forehead. He had found that expressing his feelings around Casey felt less challenging than it had when he dated Sally. Casey smiled. "I love you too, you troll."

"According to you, this so called troll turns into a prince." Derek winked.

"Just go to bed," Casey laughed, playfully pushing him away. She smiled at him once more before closing the door to her own room. After Max, she had never expected to feel this way about any other guy until college at least. It was unexpected, but she loved it. She loved Derek Venturi and he loved her back.

Her life could never be better, and the best part was it wasn't a fairy tale. It was reality. Unlike a fairy tale, reality wouldn't come to an ending any time soon and as Casey drifted off to sleep, she hoped that her love for Derek would last longer than "Happily ever after". She also hoped that if she believed her wish just might be granted. Casey wouldn't trade this feeling for a fairy tale ending any day, only she knew she had to make it up to Derek somehow; not just because he was the sweetest boyfriend ever but, it was her fault that his room now forever smelled like Fabreeze.

THE END

A/N: Wow, I can't believe out of all these chapters, writers' block decides to hit me as soon as I'm almost done with this one. I tried my best and I think I fought it, but I'm not sure about this last paragraph with Casey's inner thoughts. Thanks so much for reading everyone and thanks so much for all the reviews and support! I hope this epilogue gave everyone closure (even with the sketchy last few lines, I still am really proud of this chapter, personally). Don't forget to look out for Casey's Code of Chivalry. I hope to have it up and posted by the middle of August at least. Thanks again everyone, until next time!

"Never let go of the one you truly love"

-December'sRose