- Another Friday Night -

"Have you checked the children?"

"No!" Casey exclaimed as her hands flew to cover her mouth mid-scream. Her eyes were wide in fear, and she couldn't help but let her arms fall to the couch and clutch the armrests, "No!" she repeated, "Don't do it! Don't go in there! You know you're not supposed to go in there! He's waiting for you, he's…" she trailed off as Jill went into the bathroom, and they discovered nothing further was going on in there.

Derek pressed the pause button and turned to her, chuckling goofily, "Ah, classic Casey." He laughed, shaking his head in enjoyment.

She shot him a glare, even if she was a bit scared, "Don't say anything Derek!" she hissed. It was his fault she was worked up about this particular movie, because he had done nothing but try to freak her out, "It's all your fault!" she finished.

Derek lifted his hand in a fake non-guilty gesture; "Me?" he asked, using that typical Derek-tries-to-play-angel voice, "I have done nothing, Casey. I was just trying to watch a movie."

Casey shook her head at him. She didn't know why she had been so sure of herself; she knew she wasn't into horror films. She never had been. And even if she had been able to watch a few with Emily, it wasn't the same watching them with Derek. It was a whole other story. He only wanted to scare her, but of course she had to prove to him that she was able to watch one, and that was how she ended where she was; watching 'When a Stranger Calls' (the remake), while they were babysitting Edwin, Lizzie and Marti for the weekend. How dumb can one be?

The 'kids' were already asleep, as it was going on midnight, but Casey had a strong urge to go check on them. She also feared she would find their beds empty; or perhaps the shower running when she went pass the bathroom. The film had really done what it was supposed to with her – it had freaked her out. And it wasn't even done yet!

"No, you haven't," Casey said, and finally relaxed a bit, not focusing on the TV screen, "but you were about to, and I won't have it!"

Derek chuckled again, "What do you say we just finish the movie, Casey? It's not even the best part yet."

Casey rolled her eyes at him, and then motioned for him to go on and start the film again. He did as she wanted, and she soon found herself clutching the armrests again; once in awhile screaming because she was scared or surprised.

The film was over soon, and Casey was even more freaked out. Why again, did she watch this while babysitting? She was sure it had to be a part of Derek's 'brilliant' plan to freak her out. He lived for those plans after all, - and she hated him for it. Why would anybody in their right mind live to creep someone else out? She just didn't understand Derek. He had a hard-to-figure-out mind…

Oh wait! Casey thought, as her eyes went wide, and she realized what she had just thought, Did I just say Derek's mind was hard to figure out? She snorted, That's not right.

Derek turned to her, questions in his eyes, "What? You thought the movie was funny? That's why you're laughing?"

"No." Casey paused, and stared blankly at him, "I just thought of something funny." She then offered him a smile, still thinking thoughts of Derek in her mind, "I'm gonna go upstairs and do some homework." She continued and stood up. She paused by the foot of the stairs though, and turned back to him, "Goodnight."

"Yeah," Derek mumbled, not turning his gaze away from the show he had zapped to, "yeah, whatever."

Casey rolled her eyes at him, and went up the stairs. She walked right pass the bathroom, and didn't turn to check on the kids. The thought of Derek's small brain might have cheered her up a bit, but she was still scared by the film. She had even convinced herself she wouldn't be scared of this one – because she had felt like she was getting better at this while watching horror films with Emily – but she had totally not lived up to that.

She sat down by her desk and turned on her computer. She checked her cell phone for messages, but she had gotten none. With a sigh, she went through her papers to figure out how to start her homework.

She had a few things to get done, but it wasn't much. She would do a bit tonight before going to bed and then the rest tomorrow, so at Sunday she could go through it again, to correct mistakes, and make possible additions. That was how she did almost every time. She found out, after having tried it, that you got in everything you wanted, when you took the time to go through it again.

She had a quick thing in English – something she had to prepare for the next class, and she decided to get that done first, since it would only take her about a half hour, and it was already midnight. She got the right text book, and started reading the text…

…forty five minutes later she kicked back in her chair and relaxed. She was done with that English thingy and needed a break, before starting on a small math problem. She let out a sigh and was just about to stand up and stretch her legs, when her cell went off. She grabbed it and checked the screen for the caller ID (like she always did). Her eyes went wide though, when the screen read anonymous. She swallowed a lump in her throat when she thought of the movie – now she was scared again. She pressed the green button and with shaking hands placed the phone against her left ear.

"Y-yes…?" she managed to choke out; her heart was beating like crazy.


The voice was deep and Casey shuttered, before sitting up straight, "Yeah," she replied, voice low, "who is this?"

"Are you home alone?" the 'stranger' wanted to know.

"That's not any of your business." Casey said, trying to sound brave. She didn't feel very brave. The girls in those horror films always got murdered when they'd gotten a phone call like this.

The voice wasn't bothered to stop, "Oh, I think it is." It replied, "So how old are you?"

"Leave me alone!" Casey replied, and she was just about to hang up, when the voice asked that dreaded question;

"Have you checked the children?"

Casey was alarmed. She immediately shot out of her seat and rushed out of her room and towards Lizzie's. She stopped in front of the door for a second, before she placed a hand on the handle and gently pushed down; pushed the door open. She peeked inside, afraid of what she would see, but she found everything as it was supposed to be. Confused, she closed the door and went down the hall to check on Edwin and Marti too. She found everything okay in there as well and started walking back to her room, lifting her cell to her ear again;

"I've checked on the kids, you freak, and everything is as it's supposed to!" she snapped at him. She felt a little tense, but that was understandable.

There was no response on the other line, so Casey hung up with a sigh. She stopped outside her room, when the sound of laughter hit her ears. She groaned inwardly at how stupid she had been and quickly stomped down the stairs; hitting Derek on the back of his head when she reached him; "De-REK!" she yelled, "That wasn't funny!"

He laughed again and turned around to look at her, "Oh, but I thought it was." He said, that joyous look on his face he always got when he did something to trig her off.

"I can't believe you would play with my emotions like that!" she continued in a hissed tone, "It's the kids we're talking about. I can't believe you would even joke about it."

Derek sighed and stared at her, annoyed. Why did she have to be that way? Why was everything so thought through with Casey? Nothing was ever just plain and simple, and 'that was a joke, let's all laugh about it', "Calm down Casey, you're way too uptight about everything. Why don't you just relax for a second and have fun?"

"Oh," Casey said and crossed her arms across her chest, determined to win this argument. She wouldn't let Derek get away with something like this again, "I'll let you know, I'm more than capable of having fun."

"Oh please, I bet you already did your homework." Derek snorted, a grin on his face. He knew her too well. Why he knew her that well, and why he loved to tease her, he had no idea, but he just did.

"For your information, I did, yes." Casey said, in that typical I'm-smarter-and-much-better-than-you tone, "But only English." She paused and gave him a look, "It's not stupid to be ready. Before you know it, it's Monday, and then you're behind."

Derek turned away from her to look at the TV again, "Sure Casey, just leave me alone now, and go be a geek."

Casey made a face behind his back, before she went upstairs again; to do something else. She had no idea what exactly, because there was no way she was doing her homework now. Not after Derek called her a geek like that. Sure, she knew she was sort of a geek, but it hurt her when he said it like that.

She actually had no idea why, and she often wondered. Why did Derek's words hit her so hard? Why did she often cry because of what he had said or done to her? She didn't understand it, and she wanted to know why. It just wasn't easy like that.

Casey sat down on her bed, Indian style, and closed her eyes for a second. It was great to be home alone on a Friday night. Her mom and George finally trusted her and Derek enough to be alone again after the disaster they created the last time. Lizzie had been very scared that something would happen, like it did the last time; you never know with Derek, she had said, you never know.

But Casey had convinced her that nothing bad would happen; she would promise that, because she also didn't want to trouble her mom and George. And eventually they had made some ground rules and there they were; home alone on a Friday night.

And she loved it, even if Derek called to tease her, and annoy her. She suspected he would call later again, but she didn't bother to shut off her phone. If the called ID on her cell was anonymous, she would know it was him. And maybe she would be able to freak him out a bit too…

Casey smiled to herself, and moved onto her back on the bed, a book in her hands, and her cell right next to her. Oh yeah, Derek was going to get it…

Around fifteen minutes later her phone rang again. She let it be for a couple of rings, just to get him freaked out. Maybe he would even hang up if he thought she was already asleep. Nah, that was probably just her hope speaking up. Derek wasn't really a person to give up no matter what it was all about. She was going to have to answer, but she was going to scare him too.

She picked up the phone, and cleared her throat before pressing the green button, "Yes?" she questioned, voice higher than usual. She hoped he couldn't hear it was her.

"Casey?" he questioned. His voice was darker, like the last time he called, but she was sure it was him. Like anyone would really call her.

She snorted, "Excuse me? My name's not Casey."

There was silent on the other end of the phone, "But…" the voice trailed off, "I called Casey. You can't not be Casey."

"I'm not Casey." She just said, as if it was no big deal. She believed she was about to have him… Hehe. She had him where she wanted him.

"But-" he paused again, "What have you done to Casey?" he questioned.

Casey then laughed and quickly hung up the phone. She almost couldn't believe him. Derek – the boy who pranked more than anyone she knew – had just believed her little trick. That was just unbelievable. She couldn't wait to see what he would do now.

She relaxed on her bed again, head turned to the door; waiting for him. Two minutes later her door opened slowly, making a horrible creek-creek sound. She waited patiently for Derek to show himself, and just one second after, his head came through the door, followed by a frying-pan. He had it in a tight grip and he looked deadly serious.

He came all the way into the room, and realized that nothing out of the ordinary was going on in there, "What happened to your phone?" he questioned, slowly lowering the frying-pan. He looked around the room, almost as if he didn't believe nothing had happened in there.

Casey couldn't hold back her laugh. She reached for her phone and held it up, to make sure he had seen it, "It's right here. Nothing happened to it."

"But…" he looked confused for a second, "-but I just spoke with this psycho person. And I called your phone! Are you sure that's yours?"

"Yeah, of course I am." Casey said, but she didn't dare to roll her eyes at him, knowing it would cost her later, "And you spoke with me, Derek. It was me. On the phone. I was just trying to trig you off." She believed she was a genius for doing this to him, even if he'd kill her now.

He paused in mid-step, and he looked hilarious. Casey didn't dare laugh at him this time, she just watched him stand there, "You- you were the person I spoke to?" he wanted to know. And with each syllable his voice got angrier, and she knew this wasn't good. He would probably freak at her now.


"No one messes with Derek Venturi!" he said, voice hard, as he threw the frying-pan to the bed in defeat. "I've told you that before, Casey! No one messes with me!"

Casey stood up to be on eye-level with him, "Yeah, but it's alright for you to mess with the rest of us? You have no idea how scared I was before, have you? Stop it right now, Derek, and leave me alone!"

"Fine." He said, and pulled his cell phone out of his pocket. He turned it off, before he threw it on the bed, "There you go, Casey. That's my cell phone. I can't call you now, okay. And oh-" he got the cordless phone out of his back pocket too, "See what I've got here! Here's the house phone, take that one as well and leave me alone."

"Thank you." Casey said, and happily took the phone from him. Of course he would have had that in his pocket too, to be ready to prank-call her again any minute.

He then gave her a look and turned around on his heel; walking out of the room and downstairs to watch TV.

Casey was lying on her bed, trying to fall asleep. It was hard, though. She could hear the TV still going downstairs, even if the clock was going on two in the morning. Why Derek had to have it so loud, she'd never know, but she was tempted to believe it was of the single reason to annoy her. He always did that. Annoyed her.

She turned on to her stomach and buried her head into her pillow. She knew it was Friday, and that she could sleep in tomorrow, but this was getting too late. It was too much. She had to get her sleep, or she'd be cranky like you wouldn't believe. It wouldn't be nice to be Lizzie, Edwin and Marti if she was cranky.

She closed her eyes, and felt like she could finally fall asleep. She was lying rather good now, and all she needed was to calm down. But before she even managed to get that far, her cell phone went off next to her. She could feel the anger building inside her again. This was getting too far!

How the hell did he get a phone now? Did he actually get off of his lazy butt to go to the kitchen and call her? He didn't have a life. That was clearly proved now; Derek Venturi did not have a life!

She grabbed her phone and angrily pressed the green button, "De-REK!" she yelled, sitting up in bed, "Can't you just calm the hell down, turn off the damn TV and go to sleep? This is getting really old, and I just want to sleep!"

The other end was completely silent.

"Yes, Derek!" Casey continued, ranting off, because she was really pissed with him right now, "I did just yell at you, and yes, I did just tell you what to do. But don't act like a psychopathic killer right now, because I'm really not in the mood for this!"

"This is not Derek."

Casey froze and mentally slapped herself. Didn't her mom say something about them calling her when they had arrived, to let them all know everything was going okay? Casey checked the clock. They would probably just have arrived. "Hey mom…" she said, and leaned herself against the headboard of her bed. That was embarrassing.

"Hey Casey." Nora replied, on the other end of the line, "Is Derek giving you a hard time?"

"No!" Casey quickly said. She didn't want her mother to worry about her, and let that ruin her romantic weekend with George. Casey could never live with herself if that happened, "We're just… We're just having some fun." Casey lamely replied, and then mentally smacked herself for being so stupid.

We're just having some fun? Oh great, good one, Case.

"Are you sure everything is alright?" Nora continued on. She sounded worried now.

"Yes!" Casey replied, voice rather squeaky. She wasn't good at lying; she never had been. Especially not in front of her mother. A teacher could happen once in a lifetime, but her mom? Never!, "The kids are in bed, Derek is watching TV, we didn't eat junk food for dinner, and I've done my homework. That's all very great, mom. Say hi to George from me, and have fun." She quickly rambled off, before hanging up the phone, and turning it off with a sigh of relief.

God, that was close!

Someone cleared their throat and she turned around, to come face to face with Derek, "What was that?" he wanted know.

"Just mom…" Casey replied, and shrugged slightly, "I thought it was you, so I might have yelled at her."

Derek couldn't help but laugh, "Oh sure, that's so Casey."

Casey rolled her eyes at him, and went under her covers again, to go to sleep. However, Derek didn't move from his position in the door, "Do you mind?" she asked him, and motioned for him to leave.

He let out a barely audible sound, "No…" he said, and turned to leave. He stopped though, and turned back around, "It worked though." He said, "The yelling. I turned off the TV and I'm going to bed."

She couldn't help but shoot him a small smile, and he gave her one back, before turning around and leaving her room. He closed the door softly behind himself. Casey turned onto her side, and smiled into her pillow. For some reason, her stomach was fluttering like crazy, and she couldn't even figure out why.

She thought it might have something to do with the smile Derek had given her. One of those rare smiles he gave her, when they had one of their rare and rather special moments. They didn't use to happen a lot, but lately they'd been coming a lot more. And even if they were fighting and bickering with each other, she knew it wasn't like it used to. Something had changed, and she had a feeling she knew why. She just really didn't want to face the fact. It wasn't good.

They were stepsiblings.

But then again, she always told herself, there was that 'step' which technically, technically, made them 'not siblings'.

A half hour later, and Casey couldn't sleep. She couldn't hear Derek's snoring, so she was pretty sure he wasn't sleeping either. Not that it mattered. It was just Derek.

She had no idea why she couldn't sleep. Well, a small idea she did have. She kept thinking of Derek, and how those butterflies kept fluttering in her stomach when he smiled at her, and then her moment got ruined when that horrible movie entered her mind, and she got scared.

It was actually not great at all. She kept thinking, what if it had been her. What if she had been home alone with the kids, and someone like that maniac had called her up and asked her if she had checked on the kids? What if someone was looking through her windows, waiting for the perfect moment to kill her? To kill them?

Casey gazed towards the window, and gulped. There was nothing out there. Nothing she could see.

No one's gonna call you, Case, she told herself, to calm herself down again, No one wants to kill you and the kids. And Derek is home! No one's gonna dare to do anything with Derek Venturi in the house. He'll protect you. He always will. You know that.

She shuttered slightly, and wrapped her quilt closer around herself. She couldn't lie there and stare into space… It was too much. She had to do something. She couldn't be there alone, not when those thoughts kept running through her head. Before sleeping, she had to check on the kids, and she had to make sure Derek was in his room, ready to rescue her if needed.

She quietly got out of bed, arms hugging herself, so maybe she wouldn't be so cold. She tip-toed out of her room, and continued down the hall; stopping with each of the kids' rooms. Marti was sleeping like an angel, lying between teddies and dolls. Lizzie was lying half off of her bed, drool slipping from her mouth, and Edwin was hugging his pillow tightly. She smiled softly to herself.

"See… Nothing is wrong with them." Casey told herself, and watched Edwin for a few more minutes, "Nothing. No one's gonna kill them. They're fine."

"Thinking about the movie?"

Casey turned around; heart in her throat. Of course it was only Derek standing there, but he had shocked her, "De-REK!" she whispered yelled, and closed Edwin's door quietly, "Never scare me like that again. I could have woken up the entire neighbourhood!"

"That would have been fun!" Derek chuckled.

"No, no it would not." Casey said, and took a step closer to him, so she could lower her voice even more; she really didn't want to wake up any of the kids, "What are you doing? I thought you were going to sleep?"

"I thought you were going to sleep?" Derek just said, and crossed his arms across his chest, while he eyed her down. She knew he was daring her to break, and she was afraid she would do it.

She took a deep breath, "I couldn't sleep." She told him, like it was no big deal.

"Because of the movie?"

"No!" she said, in a tone that clearly said 'like I wouldn't be able to sleep because of a stupid horror film? Please, get real, Derek'.

He gave her that certain glare, and she cracked.

"Alright, alright!" she admitted and leaned herself against a wall, "I kept thinking someone would come and kill the kids. I just had to check on them."

"And what good would that do?" Derek asked her, as he moved in, so he was standing right in front of her.

"I was going to make sure you were there to protect me as well." Casey said.

Derek did his best to hold in his laugh, "Ooh, classic Casey." He whispered, and by the glare she gave him, he continued, "And I told you, you'd be scared!"

"Yes, I admit it!" Casey said. She knew she had lost this battle. There was no way she could prove to him now, that she wasn't affected by those horror films, "I got scared, okay? I'm really scared. But that still won't help me sleep for the next few nights until mom and George is home."

Derek seemed to think about it for a few seconds. He looked thoughtful (yes, Casey couldn't believe it either), until he made his decision. He grabbed one of her hands, and started dragging her towards his room, "You're going to sleep in my bed with me." he told her, as they came to his room, and he pushed her onto it, with many protests.

"Why!" Casey wanted to know, even if she couldn't help but be moved by his sweet gesture, "Eeew, I'm touching Derek's bed!" she whined, and jumped off of it.

Derek gave her a look, "Fine, if you'd rather lie alone and be scared, be my guest. Just don't complain to me."

Casey swallowed a lump in her throat as well as her pride and sat down on the bed again, "Thanks Derek…" she sincerely said, "Can we have the door open so I can hear the kids?"

"Sure." Derek said, and made sure the door kept in place. "Do you wanna go to sleep now, then?"

Casey softly nodded, and got under the cover of Derek's bed. He jumped past her, and found his usual side of the bed, getting under the cover too. He only had one, so they'd have to share.

"Is this really okay?" Casey whispered, as she moved even closer to him. Her head rested on the mattress and Derek awkwardly placed an arm around her shoulders.

"It's fine, Case… Really." He gulped. For some reason his heart was beating rapidly, and he almost couldn't breathe.

"Thanks…" she whispered, and tightened her grip on him. "I'm really glad you're here, Derek."

"I'm glad you're here too, Casey." Derek admitted, and turned his head to the side, so he was looking right at her. She was staring up at him, those eyes full of love. He had never really seen her like this before. She looked so vulnerable, but also so… beautiful. "You're… you're my stepsister, I will always be there for you, don't doubt that."

She closed her eyes for a second, and then stared up at him again, "That 'step' is rather important for me, Derek." She whispered.

He didn't understand what she meant, but nodded slightly, "Me too…" he said, and silently added to himself; if that 'step' wasn't there, it would be SO wrong for me to feel those things I'm really feeling…

And then Casey suddenly did something he had never expected of her in his life. She had never thought she'd do something like that, herself either. She leaned upwards slightly and placed her lips against his for a mere second. It was nothing but a chaste kiss, but they both felt the pang of electricity that soared through their bodies right that moment.

Casey pulled back wide eyed, and Derek just gulped. They stared at each other for a few seconds, both wondering what had just happened. Casey wondered if she had screwed everything up for them, and that things would be even worse, and Derek wondered if there was a possibility that Casey felt the same things as he did… Those small looks, those smiles, those feelings he got when she was near him; and especially when she yelled at him.

Maybe she felt them too…

Derek didn't stop to consider his options, he just dove back in for more; moving his body over to lie on top of Casey's, placing his lips on hers. She was stiff for a second, but eventually let her lips move, to meet his in a rain of kisses.

Maybe I didn't screw up, Casey told herself, as she granted entrance for Derek's tongue to her mouth.

Derek smiled into the kiss, Venturi, I think it's safe to say… she feels the same…

A couple of minutes later they pulled apart, both breathing hard. Casey shot him a small smile, "I recall you saying something earlier, about me not being able to have fun…" she told him, and gave him a saying look.

"Yeah," Derek breathed, and stroked a finger on her cheek, "yeah, I take that back…" he added, before placing his lips on top of hers again.

Alright. I hope you enjoyed that. I started writing this one-shot forever ago, but I was seriously stuck in the middle. But then the end came nicely when I just got started. This is my first Life With Derek fic, but I really hope to be writing more in the future. I have a lot of ideas, and one of them is a full-length story, once I'm done with some of the things I'm working on.

I hope this wasn't too horrible. I hope the two were just a bit in character? In know they were probably more OOC than IC, but ah… I hope it was okay? Please leave me a review and give me your thoughts. It'd mean a lot to me.

Disclaimer; I don't own Life With Derek, or When A Stranger Calls – I love that movie, though.