"When Lines Are crossed..."

Summary: When lines are crossed, hate turns to passion, And chaos ensues, who are to blame? Derek and Casey, of course.

Chapter One (General POV)

They have had a strong dislike for each other since the day they me, that was blaringly obvious. But was it really hate? They thought so, but what happens when they find out the real reason behind their incessant fighting? Casey would say it was Derek's fault for making her life a living hell since the day they met; Derek said it was her fault for taking over his house and his life. What was it really?

It was Monday morning when Casey McDonald had her peaceful slumber interrupted by the constant BEEEP! of her alarm clock. She slapped the top to turn it off. Stumbling out of bed, she rubbed her blurry eyes to wake up, and walked out of her room and down the hallway to the bathroom. Happily, she was the first one up, relishing the thought of taking her shower in peace.

She got dressed and brushed her teeth; she was blow drying her hair when her step-brother Derek walked sleepily into the bathroom. He started brushing his teeth as she finished her hair and hastily applied her minimal mascara. He bumped her shoulder as she walked out, and she returned a mandatory glare before heading downstairs.

Casey walked lightly down the stairs and into the kitchen to see the rest of her family eating breakfast. Her sister Lizzie and her step-brother Edwin, who were both thirteen, were eating Captain Crunch while doing the puzzle on the back of the box. Nora, Casey's mother, was ready for work, but was trying to get a brush through Edwin and Derek's sister Marti's hair so she could be finally ready for school. Marti was eating a pop-tart while let out the occasional "OWW!" when the brush went through her knots.

"Good morning, everyone", Casey greeted her family. Nora and Marti said "Good morning", back. Edwin and Lizzie were too engrossed in the puzzle, and just waved. Casey giggled to herself as she grabbed the Cinnamon Toast Crunch, a bowl, and the milk from the fridge. She reached past her sister and step-brother to grab a spoon form the silverware drawer. She ruffled their hair as she walked by, to sit at the stool at the other end of the island opposite Marti. Edwin, finally aware of his surroundings, let out an indignant, "Hey! Watch the hair!" Lizzie just smiled in amusement as he attempted to flatten his hair again.
Derek walked in when Casey was halfway done with breakfast. He poked her in the side just as Nora was telling Lizzie and Edwin to get in the car so she could take them to school on her way to work. Her husband George, who had finally located his briefcase, followed her, taking Marti to school, stopping to say, "Derek, drive Casey to school with you." He rolled his eyes, but nodded and George left.

Derek looked at Casey. "Five minutes. Be in the car or you're walking." She looked at him, realizing that had been the first thing he had said to her all morning. She had heard him sneak in last night around 1 a.m. He was too tired to start something, but if she did, he would no doubt try to finish it. She bit back a sharp retort, finally saying, "I just have to grab my things", she took the stairs two at a time. She grabbed her bag after putting on her jacket and shoes, and ran down the stairs. Derek was pulling on his trademark leather jacket as usual and had his bag on his shoulder.

He followed her out the door and into the car. They fought over the radio, as usual, during the ten minute drive to school. They disagreed on music like they disagreed on everything else... LOUDLY! But surprisingly, that was the only incident that morning, so when Casey talked to Emily before school, and did not spend the entire time complaining about Derek, Emily was surprised - but grateful. It was true, Monday was usually the day that he would set back Casey's alarm clock to make her late, but he had been too tired this morning and she knew it. Casey's complaining about Derek always led Emily to defend him because she was still in love with him; despite what he did to Casey. Hearing Emily go on about how nice of a guy Derek was, disgusted her, and she could barely keep herself from gagging. She was her best friend, but this was one crush that Casey did not want to hear about.

Finally lunch came, and Casey and Emily spent it sitting with her boyfriend Max and his friends. Casey hadn't been able to see him that morning because he had an early football practice. They only had a three-day week this week, because Thursday and Friday were taken up with Parent/Teacher conferences. Wednesday night, Casey and Max would celebrate their one-year anniversary. She was so excited. Emily had gone with her yesterday to buy the perfect dress; it was shimmery and baby blue, making her eyes stand out. Casey could barely wait the two days for their date.
Casey hurried rest of the short week along by studying for the history test on Wednesday. Derek spent his time NOT studying, and interrupting Casey's study sessions with his loud music.

Wednesday finally came, and at 5:00 p.m., Casey was upstairs getting ready for Max to pick her up at 7 p.m. Derek, who had been shockingly less annoying the past few days, (only because he had been busy trying to talk Renee into going out with him tonight, who had finally said yes) picked about twenty minutes before Max came, to bother Casey. Luckily, she was ready to go when he came to bother her. "So," he said, smirking, "A whole year? Does Max not have anything better to do with his life than date you"
She glowered at him, before yelling, " DER-EK!! Shut up and get out of my room!" She pushed him into the hallway and slammed her door in his face. Two seconds later, the door reopened. Derek walked into her room and shut the door so she wouldn't have time to push him out again. He smirked at her when she sighed in aggravation.
"Ya, know, Case, that wasn't very nice". She glanced at him through the mirror. "Neither was your comment! Besides, Shouldn't you be getting ready for your date with Renee? How you managed to talk her into it I will never know..."

"Well, it probably has to do with my good looks, charisma, and charming personality", he responded cheekily. "I think she must be deluded. And don't you have a headache from using so many big words in one sentence?" Casey got a look from Derek that clearly said "how dare you question my intelligence" before responding by saying, "The ladies love me no matter what. I - unlike you - don't have to try to impress anyone. I guess I'm just naturally impressive"
Before Casey could comment, the doorbell rang. Casey grabbed the purse that matched her dress and a thin sweater as well. It was late April, and the nights were finally warming up. She walked carefully down the stairs in her heels, Derek close behind her. He brushed past her on the bottom step grabbing his leather jacket, yelling over his shoulder to his dad and Nora, "I'm leaving for my date." In reply he heard, "Be back by eleven!" He slammed the door on his way out, leaving to pick up Renee, to go to the movies.

Still in the house, Max looked down at Casey. Even with heels on she wasn't as tall as he was. "Casey, you look really beautiful." She smiled as he bent down to kiss her and handed her a single white rose. "Thanks, handsome. you look very nice tonight." He was wearing a black sports coat and matching pants. his shirt was almost the color of Casey's dress.
Nora walked in and said, "Have fun you two. Don't be too late." She knew that Casey would be on time for curfew, Unlike Derek, who always sneaked in late. Casey pulled Max out the door, wanting to get away before her mom thought about getting the camera or doing something else embarrassing.

Max had taken Casey to a quaint little Italian restaurant downtown, about twenty minutes from her house. They had a wonderful time. Casey had never felt so special in her entire life. They left after dinner, and seeing that it was only 9:45 p.m. Max suggested that they drive to the park, to take a walk before he took her home. They parked in the empty lot, getting out and walking over to the swings. They knew that they were really to old for that, but who would really see? They sat on the swings next to each other, talking for about half an hour, when Casey noticed that Max seemed to be acting a little antsy. She watched him closely for the next ten minutes, deciding finally that he really was distracted. Their conversation had dwindled down to nothing and finally Casey couldn't take the silence anymore, and blurted out, "Will you just tell me already?!" Max looked kind of guilty, she thought. He opened and closed his mouth three times before saying, "I really like you... but I think we should date other people". Casey jumped out of the swing, "WHAT!?! You wait until our ONE-YEAR ANNIVERSARY to tell me that you want to date other people!! ARE YOU CHEATING ON ME"

Max was staring at her looking like she was a little girl throwing a tantrum. He spoke finally, in a patronizing voice that made her want to claw his eyes out. "No, Casey. I haven't cheated on you. But Amy, my ex-girlfriend called me a few weeks ago. She knew we were still going out, and she wants us to get back together. I really like you. But Amy... Well I guess we aren't sure if we're ready to be exclusive. which is why we thought maybe if we saw each other while we were dating other people, we could decide if we should get back together. Or if it's just a waste of time. I'm sorry, Casey, i never meant to hurt you..."

Casey, who had finally found her voice, was fuming. "You know what Max", she said, "If you want to have a buffet of girls to just try a little bit of everything, you go right ahead. But I am not going to be a side dish. If you haven't figured out whether you want me or not, I don't want you. I was the one wasting my time. We're done. You should leave." For emphasis, she pointed to the car. "Casey, at least let me give you a ride-". "No, thank you. I can find my own way home." She turned her back to him. "FINE!" was the last thing he said before he got into his car and peeled out onto the street.

Casey took her cell phone out of her purse and groaned as she saw the time. 10:50 p.m. "Great. How am I supposed to get home?" She walked over to the picnic table and perched carefully on top of it. She scrolled through the list of contacts, finally coming to her last resort. Derek. He was probably on his way home by now, and she new he had to pass by the park. She hit the SEND button, groaning silently in her head, dreading the conversation already. It rang twice before he answered, "What do you want, Casey?" He sounded annoyed already, and she hadn't said anything yet. So she just asked, "Are you on your way home yet?" "Yeah, why?"

"Will you pick me up, please? I'm at the park. It's right on the way home"
"Why can't Max bring you home? Is he to lazy?" He scoffed. Casey sighed, "No, we broke up and he left. I don't want to talk about it. Will you just pick me up? I'll explain if we're late." Derek let out a breath. Acting annoyed he said, "Fine, but you owe me. I'll be there in ten minutes." He hung up before she could say anything.

Ten minutes later Casey was still sitting on top of the picnic table when the car pulled up. She had been crying for the past five minutes, and didn't hear Derek get out of the car. He stopped about four feet away from her, hearing her cry, he ignored it, saying, "C'mon. Let's go. And stop crying until we get home, so I don't have to hear it. I'll take you home, but i don't want to hear you cry all the way back"

Wordlessly, she climbed down and walked past him to get in the car, slamming the door. He shook his head and followed her silently. Even he knew better than to bug her now. He drove home, without even turning the radio on. He could hear her softly crying as she looked out the window. After what seemed like hours, which was only fifteen minutes, they pulled into the driveway. Derek turned off the car and opened his door before realizing that Casey hadn't moved an inch. He sighed, leaning over, he gently shook her arm. "We're home. You can get out now." She slowly turned to look at him, her eyes still blurry with tears. Looking around, it looked as if his words had just registered as she stared at the house. He got out of the car and closed his door, before walking around the front to her side, and opening it. "Will you get out, please?" Slowly, she climbed out and stood up. He pulled her out of the way before shutting the door to lock it. His hand still on her upper arm as he walked up the driveway and into the house. He didn't think she would come in by herself seeing as she still wasn't paying much attention.

The lights were off when they finally got inside. Derek was grateful that everyone was asleep. Seeing that they were twenty-five minutes late, Casey was about to cry again, and had apparently gone mute, still not explaining anything. Not that he really cared, but he was the one who had picked her up, so he thought he deserved an explanation of some kind. While he had been thinking, Casey had gone to sit on the couch, on the side closest to his chair, which he went to sit down in. He turned on the TV still watching her out of the corner of his eye. He was starting to worry. She never was in the same room as him for this long without saying something. He noticed that she had taken off her heels leaving them on the floor to curl her legs underneath her. She was staring at the TV, not watching it. He knew she was thinking, and suddenly he saw the tears come again. These were silent, and unstoppable. He couldn't do anything about it, so he stared at the TV, all the while trying to think of a way to get her to talk, without having her throw something at his head, which he knew was quite possible...