TITLE: If You Could Read My Mind

SUMMARY: Why Derek does the things he does.

SPOILERS: I've seen all the episodes, so if you haven't, there be spoilers.

PAIRING: Derek/Casey

RATING: T. I have a dirty mind, ergo there is a lot of innuendo and some bad language.

DISCLAIMER: I do not own the show or the characters. If I did, I would come up with a timeline that made some sort of sense.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: I have an obsession with finding something shippy about basically every interaction. I seem to have a knack for this. The plan is that every chapter focuses on one episode, taking something Derek does to Casey and putting a shippy spin on it. These won't be in any sort of rational order (kind of like the way they air the episodes), because I'm writing them as they come to me.

This chapter was beta'd by the lovely Boleyn.

This is my first LWD fic, though I'm no stranger to fanfic in general.

If you could read my mind
You'd know you're everything I need

You'd see yourself through my eyes

You may understand what I'm going through
Just how much I want you
- Tim McGraw, "Let Me Love You"

Chapter One: The Room

He's already decided that he can't do this. He can't live with Casey McDonald and keep his sanity. It's just not possible. He actually knew it the second the Venturi kids were introduced to the McDonalds and he got his first look at the famous Casey that Nora would not shut up about, the girl that was going to be his stepsister. He took one look at her, in the pale pink dress that accentuated her tan and showed off her well-toned legs (dancer's legs – she was a dancer – because fate hadn't been cruel enough to him), with her hair that smelled like coconut and probably would feel like silk on his fingers, and those blue eyes and that smile…

He knows that he'll never be able to live in the same house as Casey without going crazy, be it from her actual personality (on her, being a super keener is kind of sexy – but still annoying) or from the fact that she parades around in skimpy outfits (pajamas his foot – pajamas actually have fabric, and what she sometimes wears doesn't qualify) and he's not allowed to touch her.

So he'll distract her. He'll annoy her. He'll do everything in his power, use every weapon in his considerable arsenal, to prevent her or anyone else from learning that he's had to start taking daily cold showers ever since the McDonalds moved in.

Because the great Derek Venturi, ladies' man extraordinaire, does not get worked up over a girl. He does not sit at the dinner table, staring at the concoction his father has the audacity to call food, wondering how many times he can 'accidentally' brush Casey's leg without her catching on. And he certainly does not secretly wish that he's adopted so that the two of them will be even further removed from each other in this warped familial relationship he's now forced to endure. Because Derek Venturi always gets what he wants.

Except Casey McDonald.

He purposely ignores her at school, not because it will bug her (that's just an added bonus), but because if he acknowledges her, then people will notice her. Guy people. And they'll see what he sees, which is a beautiful, intelligent, passionate, single girl. And she won't be related to any of them by marriage, so there's a distinct possibility that if one of them were to ask her out, she would accept. And Derek does not want to sit in the living room and watch her leave on a date.

So he does what he swore he'd never do and says hi – well, a variation of it – to Emily Davis, whom he normally avoids like the plague because her hugely obvious crush on him really freaks the crap out of him.

The showdown over his room is just too perfect. It gives him ample opportunity to piss her off, and he lets himself turn the implications of her statements over in his mind, giving them new and significantly naughtier context.

You know, he says to himself as he watches her at the kitchen table, where she's wrapped up in some project, she never said I couldn't be in the room, too. She just said she wants my room.

And when he catches onto her plan – because of course he does, you can't scam a scammer, and she just looks so utterly hot when she's scheming – he goes along with it. One, because it's totally worth all the yelling just to see how feisty she gets when she's angry. She really lets loose when she's mad, especially when she's mad at him. Her eyes flash, her cheeks flush, her chest heaves, her hair's messed, and Derek can't help but wonder if there's some other activity that could have her looking like that. Because someone who gets that worked up in one aspect of her life can't help but let it seep into other, more interesting aspects.

He has to stop himself from dancing when his dad and Nora leave them alone to decide who gets the room in the basement. Of course, he can't try anything, not when she's so angry. And, you know, their parents are upstairs. But just the fact that their parents actually locked the two of them together in a confined space and gave them no indication of when they would be allowed out proves that hiding a relationship from them would be a piece of cake.

If Casey would go for something like that. Which, judging from the way she's glaring at him, is not outside the realm of possibility. He knows he's not imagining the way her breathing gets shallow or her pupils dilate as they stare each other down. He manages to resist flicking his eyes downwards to see if her arousal is visible below the neck as well. There's clearly something there, though he knows that neither of them will acknowledge it. Not just yet, anyway.

But his dad and Nora are clearly clueless. He could use that to his advantage.

The other reason he plays along is because he's fairly certain that Nora is the type of mother who will put her daughters' needs ahead of her own. In fact, he's pretty sure that if he can keep Casey occupied long enough (though unfortunately he can't do what he really wants to do with her – not with the parentals listening), Nora will come up with a solution that somehow gives both Derek and Casey what they want.

What Derek wants is for there not to be an entire floor between him and Casey. If she has her own bathroom, he'll never catch her in the hall on the way back from her shower, wrapped in a towel, her hair dripping wet and clinging to the back of her neck. And that sight is half the reason he gets out of bed in the morning. Because one of these days, he's going to run out of ways to annoy her, and he'll be forced to steal her towel. If he times it right, he can get maximum staring at a sopping wet, completely naked Casey before she screams and their parents murder him. Or she murders him. Hell, as long as she's naked, she can do whatever she wants to him.

He's right about Nora, of course – moms are so predictable when it comes to their daughters – but results are even better than imagined when she offers Casey their room. With his dad and Nora in the basement, it will be so much easier to sneak into Casey's room in the middle of the night and…prank…her. Because he has an entire folder full of pranks that he can pull on her (he's been doing research), and it has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that he want to know what she looks like when she's sleeping. Absolutely nothing at all.

That's just another bonus.


Coming up...

Bully Brothers.