The Dictionary Definition of Whipped

By TheBucketWoman

Disclaimer: I do not own Life with Derek or any of the thirty kabillion things I may reference herein. No profit is being made nor is any infringement intended.

A/N: This is a flashfic for Brandi (bsloths). The prompt shall appear after the fic, but before we start...I figure everyone has been spoiled already about the events of "Make No Prom-ises," whether they've seen the actual episode or not. If you have not been, it's okay, because I'm denying its existence.

The Dictionary Definition of Whipped

Part One: Derek.

Apparently, this senior prom thing was a big deal.

Derek Venturi was not much for ceremony. He showed up to things or he didn't. He did not as a rule plan things even a week in advance, much less several months. So it came as sort of a shock to him in homeroom one day when he heard the announcement that he was expected to put a deposit down on prom tickets.

"Tickets?" he asked.

"Tickets," Tinker Tomlin agreed.

"To the prom?" Derek asked.

"You knew all about this, D.," Sam said from the desk behind him. "Casey's been telling you for weeks."

"I knew no such thing," Derek said. "Tickets?"

"'Fraid so," Tinker said. He seemed to be entertained by Derek's reaction.

"It's February," Derek said.

"Uh-huh," Tinker said. "Cutting it close, I know."

"What?"

"I'm kidding," Tinker said. "Listen, it's not like junior prom. It's in a hall and there's catered food and a DJ and stuff, so they gotta pay for all of that in advance. Hence the hundredfiftybuckspercouple." Here Tinker tried to hide behind his clipboard.

Derek hissed in pain.

"There's no way around it," Sam reminded him.

"How long do I have?"Derek asked.

"It was supposed to be due today, but I can take it up till the end of the week. I need at least a fifty dollar deposit," Tinker said.

Derek put his head down on his desk. "Mffrmm," he said.

"Can I have that in English?" Tinker asked.

"I'll. Have. It. Tomorrow," Derek said, briefly picking his head up. He let it fall back down with a clunk.

"Cool," Tinker said. "What about you, Sam?"

"Here ya go," Sam said. Derek could only assume that money was changing hands. All he could see was the surface of his desk. He listened to similar exchanges with Sheldon, Trevor, and Stewey Stevenson, who by some miracle, had a date.

A hundred and fifty bucks. And that was just the beginning. It occurred to him that in the dictionary, next to the word "whipped" there must be a picture of a kid taking his girlfriend to the prom, his pockets turned inside out.

There was no way in hell that he would do this for anyone but Casey.

When the bell rang, he found himself to be unable to get up.

"C'mon, buddy," Sam said.

Derek groaned.

Sam laughed. "Let's go."

Derek groaned.

"What's up with him?" Sheldon asked.

Derek groaned.

"Sudden, sharp pain," Sam said, laughing.

"Where?" Sheldon asked. "In the Checking Account?"

"How'd you know?" Sam asked.

"My ATM card's starting to twinge a little," Sheldon said. "I know the symptoms."

They both patted Derek on the back on their way out, and left him there. Trevor knocked on the desk a couple of inches from his head.

Part Two: Casey

Casey had not been expecting anything when it came to the prom, so she'd avoided eye contact when Tinker showed up in her homeroom with his clipboard. Up until that moment, she'd been thinking or prom as something that would happen way off in the future. After New Years, when she felt the deadline for tickets approaching, she'd tried to get Derek interested, but didn't think she'd gotten anywhere.

Then, Tinker gave her a confirmation slip.

"What's this?" she asked.

"I know," Tinker said. "Looks kinda dinky. But the real tickets don't come until the second week in May, so we gotta make do with these."

"But..." Casey said. "I didn't..."

"Come on," Tinker said, talking to her like Mr. Rogers. "Put two and two together..."

"Did Derek—"

"Pay for the tickets?" Tinker said. "Yeah. Now was that so hard to figure out?"

"Oh my gosh," Casey said.

"Yep, shock of your life, blah blah," Tinker said, rolling his eyes. "Who's next?"

He moved on to Cory Plunkett, leaving Casey staring after him with her mouth open. She made a mental note to ask Emily if she knew what his deal was.

Then she forgot, having more important things on her mind.

"De-rek!" she yelled.

Part Three: Trevor

Here we go, Trevor thought. He heard the "De-rek!" and didn't even need to turn around to know what was going on behind him. In fact, he'd rather not turn around to see what they were up to. Derek Venturi's policy on public displays of affection was generally well-known, especially when ex-girlfriends of his complained about it.

"I mean, like, what good is, like, having the hottest guy in school if he won't, like, kiss you when people can see?" they would say. Thankfully, Trevor's current girlfriend, despite being Derek's ex, had moved past that phase.

But the thing that was most ironic about Derek's whole policy was that it didn't apply to the constant eye sex that he had with Casey McDonald, and that said eye sex was waaaaay more explicit and hard to look at than a little smoochy-grabby in the halls between class.

They were currently all of five feet away from Trevor as he dug through his locker for his copy of Everything is Illuminated just for something to do.

"I can't believe you," Casey said, still pretending to be angry.

"I'm pretty unbelievable," Derek said. "But why am I unbelievable this time?" There was the sound of paper rustling.

"Oh, that," Derek said."Yeah, pretty amazing, huh? I'm surprised at me, too."

"This means you have to rent a tux, you know," Casey said. "A real one."

"Don't remind me," Derek said.

"And maybe we can go in on a limo with a couple of people," Casey said. "That'll save some money. And I need to pick out a dress, like, yesterday."

"Make it stop," Derek said.

"It'll be worth it," Casey said. And then she must have left because out of the corner of his eye, Trevor saw Derek resting his forehead against his own locker, three doors down from Trevor's.

Even though he was in pretty much the same predicament, Trevor couldn't stop himself from laughing at Derek.

"Dude, what are you laughing at?" Derek asked.

"I have no idea," Trevor said. Derek started laughing right along with him.

"If anything," Derek said. "You're in deeper shit than I am."

"I know," Trevor said.

"You're about to be covered in all that is pink and ruffly," Derek said. "And sparkly."

"Okay, okay, I get the point," Trevor said. "You don't have to rub it in."

"And she's gonna call you all the way from Toronto to ask: 'Babe, should I get the taffeta or the silk?'" Derek said, voice going high and creaky in an attempt to imitate Kendra. It wasn't pretty. Sounded sort of like a cartoon witch, like the one who stalked Bugs Bunny. He did however, toss his head exactly the way she did.

"Dude, what is taffeta?" Trevor asked.

"Hell if I know," Derek said. "But girls seem to like it."

Trevor groaned and shook his head in defeat.

It would forever be Trevor Santiago's curse that he would attract, and be attracted to, girly girls. The more nihilism he tried to project, the more perky girls fell all over him. At first, it looked like they all wanted to be the first one to put a smile on his face, but then word got out that he was nice. Sweet. Cuddly (Freakin' Casey!). And suddenly he turned into Pete Wentz before their very eyes. That was when the guyliner and the dog collar went the way of the cassette tape. But so far, no girl had gotten him to get rid of all his black. The black stayed, and his CD collection remained intact, too. So far, nobody'd sold him on Justin Timberlake, not even Kendra.

He'd been with Kendra ever since a grad night party that a friend of his had thrown the summer before. Kendra, then still a full year under the legal drinking age, had found out that she was not meant to be a drinker. All it took was one beer on an empty stomach and she'd managed to fall asleep on Trevor.

"Don't move," she mumbled as he tried to wiggle off of the couch. "You're comfy."

She snuggled closer, putting her head on his chest.

"Okay," he said. And stayed like that for most of the night.

The rest was history.

So now, even though he never, in his wildest dreams thought that he'd ever take anyone to prom, his girlfriend was driving back from university immediately after her last final so that he could take her. He didn't want to admit that his terror over the whole prom experience was mixed with a little excitement just because of the trouble she was willing to go through for him. Just for that, she could show up in whatever pink monstrosity she wanted.

Part Four: Emily.

Two months later.

"Why don't you tell me again why this is your job?" Derek said. "I thought you had your own boyfriend to torment."

He was standing in the back of a tuxedo rental shop having his inseam measured. Hence the pissy mood.

"Sheldon follows the K.I.S.S. rule," Emily said.

"Keep it simple stupid?" Derek said.

"That's the one," Emily said. "I don't have to worry about how he's going to look."

Derek raised an eyebrow at her.

"And we took care of his tux during the week," Emily admitted. "But I'm not lying when I say that he would've been okay without me."

"How do you know I wouldn't have been okay without you?" Derek asked.

Emily raised an eyebrow at him.

"Hmph," Derek said.

"Would you rather Casey were here with you right now?" Emily asked, knowing the answer. Casey had the fashion sense, but not the necessary patience to take a boyfriend shopping.

"No," Derek said, meekly.

"That's what I thought," Emily said. "Now what do you think of that one with the silver threads?"

"Now those," the tuxedo salesman said. "Have been very popular this year."

"Popular as in everyone else is wearing them?" Emily said.

"Yep," the salesman said.

"Then not that one," Emily said. "Oh...my."

She pulled a jacket off the rack.

"Care to share?" Derek asked.

"This one," she said, holding it up. The one she had in her hand was two sizes too big, but the salesman disappeared into the storeroom and came back with a closer one.

"Ca-ching?" Emily asked, knowing the answer.

"Ca-ching," Derek agreed.

"Looks like we'll have to order your size, but it shouldn't take more than a week," the salesman said.

"Now you just gotta tell me what Casey's wearing," Derek said. "And we'll be all set."

"Nice try," Emily said.

"Come on," Derek said. "You know you want to tell me."

"Not happening," Emily said. If it killed her, she was going to prove that she could in fact keep a secret. He tried tickling, bribery, and threats. None worked.

"I'll get you to tell me," Derek said.

"It's nice to have goals in life," Emily said.

"Pleeeaaase?" Derek asked.

"Nope," Emily said. It had taken too long to get Casey to decide on a damn dress and there was no way that Casey would let Emily live if there wasn't a look of total surprise on Derek's face on prom night.

She, Casey, and their mothers had spent three full weekends shopping, both on the Internet and at actual stores because Casey was so damn picky.

And, to be fair, because most of their choices were so butt ugly.

"What does this make you think of?" Casey asked, holding up a bright blue number.

"Cake frosting," Nora had said.

"The kind that's so cheap it stains your teeth," Emily's mother had said.

"Make's a lot of noise, too," Casey said, swishing it. "And not even in a good way."

"Okay," Emily said. "Here's the one!" She picked up a lighter blue dress that looked suspiciously like the bridesmaid dress in My Big, Fat, Greek Wedding.

"Yeah," Casey said. "Go 'head and try it on!"

They were laughing, but the truth was that they were both increasingly disgusted with the whole idea of the prom by that point. If it hadn't been mostly paid for already, they might actually have given it up as being just not worth it.

Until.

"How bout this one, for you, Em," Casey said, holding another one up.

"Oh my gosh," Emily said, then ran like hell to a fitting room.

"Well?" Casey said, from outside the door.

"Don't think so," Emily said.

"Why not?" Casey said.

"Let us see," Emily's Mom said.

She looked at herself in the mirror, then shrugged and opened the door to show them exactly why the dress was no good. It had a plunging neckline, and once she had it on, she could see that it plunged way deeper than she thought.

She opened the door, with a sarcastic "tadaa," and twirled around, giving her friend and their mothers a quick flash of her pink bra, which she had no intention of taking off.

"Everyone will see my dirtypillows," Emily said.

"And we cannot have that," Mom said.

"Nope," Emily said.

"Looked so nice on the hanger," Casey said, mournfully. But then she perked up. "But I come bearing more!" She handed Emily two more dresses on hangers. One of them turned out to be the one. Her first clue was that she couldn't stop twirling in it.

"One down, one to go," Casey said.

Two stores later, just when Casey felt like crying, just when Emily felt like killing her, Nora pulled out the one good dress out of a sea of buttercreme.

"Okay, let's go," Nora said. "Off with it, we'll have 'em wrap it up."

"Uh-huh," Casey said, still staring at it in the three way mirror. The look on her face, two parts gratitude and one part lobotomy, made the whole miserable process seem worth it.

So there was no way Emily was going to ruin it by telling Derek anything.

She did, however, draw a picture of Derek's tux for Casey later that weekend.

Part Five: George.

"Georgie," Nora said. She looked disappointed.

"What?"

"Why didn't you give him any money?" Nora asked. Derek had just left to put a deposit on the limo.

"He said he was all set," George said.

"And you believed him?" Nora asked.

"Uh, yeah?" George said. "Derek lies about a lot of things, but I think I can trust him on this one."

"Sure, when it saves you money," Nora said. "Do you know how much this is costing him?"

"Do you know how much it costs to feed him?" George said.

"So you're just gonna let him pay for everything?" Nora asked.

"You say that like it's a bad thing," George said. Nora stared him down.

"Okay, I'll go catch him," George said.

He went out into the driveway where Derek was letting the Prince warm up a little. It made a creepy noise if he didn't.

"Sup G," Derek said.

"Not a lot, D," George said. "So—where you headed?"

"Limo place," Derek said.

"How much does one of those go for?" George asked.

"You don't wanna know," Derek said.

"Try me," George said.

"A grand, split eight ways, so 250 for me," Derek said, eyes shut tight. "I try not to think about it."

"I can see why," George said. He reached for his wallet. It was more a gesture than anything else, since he only had about 80 handy.

"Dad," Derek said.

"Nora will make me sleep in the garage if I don't," George said.

"Well," Derek said. "If it'll make Nora happy."

George handed over all his money. He made a mental note to stop at an ATM later, to get both of them a little more cash. He didn't doubt that Derek had managed to save enough to take care of the expense, but it had to hurt, especially since he wasn't letting Casey pay for much. The kid had made repeated jokes over the last few weeks about being a modern man, one who had no problem letting the girl pay for the whole thing, if she wanted to. But every time she took her wallet out, he made her put it away.

"Now, was that so hard?" Nora said when George came back into the kitchen.

"Yes," George said. He showed her the cavernous expanse of his empty wallet.

"Echo, echo, echo," he said. She laughed and put her arms around his waist from behind, resting her chin on his shoulder.

"Just think, Georgie," she said. "That's two down. Only three more to go."

George groaned. He was powerless before the "Georgie."

Part Six: Sheldon

One week before prom.

Sheldon was nose-deep in economics. Over the last two weeks he'd written three AP exams and two term papers. He was exempted from three finals, but economics was still there, seemingly for the sole purpose of making him miserable.

Besides that, Shawn and Shawna had both come back from university within the past week. Sheldon had actually had to pick Shawna up from the airport, and she hadn't stopped asking him questions since.

"How did AP Lit go?" she asked.

"Okay," Sheldon said.

"Just okay?" she asked.

"We're not getting the results for a while, but I'm pretty sure that I didn't bomb it," Sheldon said.

"How 'bout Government and Politics?" Shawna asked. "That one kicked my ass. I only got a four out of five."

"Mmhmm," Sheldon said. "Once again, dunno yet."

"Okay," Shawna said. She was quiet all of a minute.

"Are you still in the running for valedictorian?"she asked.

"I don't know," Sheldon said. "Doubt it."

"Why would you doubt it?" Shawna asked. "Is there something you're not telling me?"

"No," Sheldon said.

"Something wrong?"

"Nope."

"Fight with Emily?"

"No."

"Mom and Dad being pains in the ass?" Shawna asked.

"No," Sheldon said. Not Momand Dad, he thought.

"So why are you being so monosyllabic?" Shawna asked.

Sheldon grunted and shrugged.

"Point taken," Shawna said.

I'll believe that when I see it, Sheldon thought.

"I'll change the subject," Shawna said. "How bout prom? You ready for that yet?"

Why is there never a cliff to drive off of when you need one? Sheldon thought. The word "prom" pissed him off lately almost as much as "valedictorian" did. Especially since he'd spent some valuable study time counting votes to see what the official prom song was going to be.

Theoretically he could have said no to this. Theoretically. But when your girlfriend is on the prom committee, there is a difference between theory and practice.

"'Always and Forever,'"Sheldon had said, sifting through the pile of paper ballots. "'Always and Forever,' 'Always and Forever,' and look at this-'Always and Forever!' What, no 'My Heart Will Go On?'"

"Right over here," Casey had said, not looking up from her pile. "'My Heart Will Go On!' I don't know if myheart can take it."

"'End of the Road!'" Emily said, holding a vote aloft.

"Know what would be cool?" Sheldon said. "'I Shall Be Released!'"

"'Brokedown Palace,'" Tinker Tomlin piped up.

"'Bye Bye Bye'"Sheldon said. He pointed at Tinker. "'Existentialism on Prom Night!'"

"No one in our school is that interesting," Tinker said.

"Ahem," Emily said.

"Present company excepted," Sheldon said, leaning in for a peck.

He supposed in retrospect, that he was relieved to know that neither 'Always and Forever,' 'End of the Road,' or the dreaded 'My Heart Will Go On' won the most votes, but he still had economics to deal with.

The night before the exam, his doorbell rang. Shawn got it, and in with his trademark class, "Yo'd" Sheldon.

"What?" Sheldon bellowed back.

"You got company!" Shawn yelled.

Sheldon sighed and put the book down. Found Derek standing at the door.

"Are you really tutoring this joker in math?" Shawn asked. Derek shot him a "say yes" look.

"Um, yeah," Sheldon said, looking at Derek for an explanation. "Thought you were working until later on."

"I switched with Joey," Derek said.

"That's cool," Sheldon said, at a loss.

"So, you coming or what?" Derek asked. He jerked his head toward his beat up car, which was currently blasting Incubus.

Shawn rolled his eyes, patted Sheldon on the shoulder. "Have fun," he said.

"It'll be very informative," Derek said.

"Uh-huh," Shawn said. "Kid needs to take a break anyway. Don't do anything I wouldn't do. Matter of fact, don't do anything I would do. Derek? Keep this one out of trouble, okay?"

Derek grinned. "Will do."

"Tutoring you in math?" Sheldon asked once he climbed into the car.

"I thought your Mom was gonna answer the door or something," Derek said.

"Oh, so I should be grateful that you didn't hit on my brother then?" Sheldon asked.

"I winked at your Mom once, dude," Derek said.

"So you wouldn't pound me if I winked at your Mom, or your Stepmom," Sheldon said.

"I haven't killed Ralphie yet, have I?" Derek asked.

"Guess not," Sheldon said. "Unless you have him in the trunk right now...so what are we doing?"

"Picking up Sam," Derek said. "Then I dunno, getting pizza and doing nothing educational for at least a couple hours."

"Where's your better half?" Sheldon asked.

"She had to work," Derek said. "How much you wanna bet she's got index cards taped to her register?"

"Pretty safe bet," Sheldon said. It's what I would do, Sheldon thought. He kept that to himself.

"Wanna go bother her?" Derek asked, grinning. "I think that I could definitely use a...magazine. Like right now."

"Don't make her mad," Sheldon said.

"But she'll think I don't love her anymore," Derek said. He dragged Sheldon into a thoroughly empty bookstore. An incredibly bored Casey leaned on the counter next to her register as another girl straightened a magazine rack that didn't really need straightening.

Sheldon stood at the door, looking uncomfortable and trying not to go to the new release rack. Going to the new release rack would only mean trouble. Nothing good could come from going over there.

Same goes for the bargain bin, he told himself.

Derek grabbed a magazine and rifled through it.

"This look like a library to you?" Casey called.

"Nope," Derek said. "Not nearly quiet enough. Hey, this is interesting. I think that they're trying to insinuate that this woman is pregnant!" He held up the magazine and pointed to a shot of some actress, her face covered with a "guess who" sign and her stomach circled in red, with big letters spelling out the word "PREGNANT!" right underneath.

"Whatcha think, Schlep?" Derek asked.

"Yeah," Sheldon said. "They're subtle, but I think that's what they're getting at."

"Are you guys here for any reason other than to bug me?" Casey asked.

"Naw," Derek said. "Not really. Except..." He came up to the counter and stood on tiptoes to look over at her register.

"I knew it," he said. "Schlep, the pizza's on you! Index cards all over the place!" Casey gave him a little shove.

"I never took that bet," Sheldon said.

"Can't fault a guy for trying," Derek said.

"So you still haven't told me what you're doing here," Casey said.

"Dragging Sheldon, and eventually Sam all over the place to make them forget everything they studied," Derek said. "Tried to get Ralphie, too but his Mom said he fell asleep. Face down in his book."

"Oh," Casey said. "For a second, I thought you were up to no good. What tests do you have left, Sheldon?"

"Economics," Sheldon said.

"Look at the way he says economics," Derek said. "Like he's not gonna ace it."

"Same way Sam says 'calculus'" Casey said.

"And Ralph says 'accounting,'" Derek said.

"I thought Ralph had a handle on accounting," Sheldon said.

"He does," Derek said. "But it's finals week and he's being all Casey about it."

Casey hit him.

"Try not to beat the customers," a voice said from behind a display. It was the girl from the magazine racks.

"Sorry Janet," Casey said. "So, not that I don't love you guys, but buy something or get lost."

They were broke; she knew it. They got lost.

Part Seven: Sam.

Sam's phone rang. He groaned when he saw Derek's name on the display. He'd love nothing more than to go do nothing with Derek right then, but the calculus monster had him in its evil claws.

"Derek," Sam said. "Told you before, I'm busy."

"Help, I'm being held hostage by a Schlepper!" Derek said. In the background, Sam could hear Sheldon call Derek an ass.

"I hope you don't think I'm paying ransom," Sam said. "I'm too broke."

The three of them ended up in the parking lot of the pizza place, leaning on the hood of the Prince and munching on a couple of slices. They went to that particular pizza place because Derek knew that Trevor was on shift, and that he'd give them his discount, broke as they all were.

"I thought you had Dad-cash," Sam said.

"I did," Derek said. "But it's kinda like pouring out a glass of water into the middle of the desert." He followed this with a creepy sucking noise.

"Okay, not really," Derek said. "But I just can't spend another dime without it hurting. Can you tell me again why this prom crap is worth it?"

"Let's see," Sheldon said, he began to count on his fingers. "It's tradition." He mimed shooting himself in the head. "It's a 'reward for all our hard work...'"

"Who told you that one?" Derek asked.

"That was a pep-talk from my Mom," Sheldon said. He mimed shooting himself again. "'Cause all I want to do after busting my ass studying for weeks is to blow all my money on an overblown school dance, a limo, and...what else?"

"Some dried out chicken, I think," Sam said. "Anyone doing the hotel-room thing?"

"No," Derek said. "Casey'd laugh her ass off. What about you, Schlep?"

"I've seen too many movies and too much TV. I know better than to expect that to work," Sheldon said. "Besides, it seems a little creepy."

"Aw," Derek said. "No 'Say mah name, bitch!' for the Schlepmeister?"

"Dude, ew!" Sheldon said, laughing a little in spite of himself. "And no cracks about the pan flute, either! And before you ask, I've never been to band camp."

Derek had his soda halfway to his mouth. He very carefully put it down on the hood of his car. Sam thanked who ever was in charge of spit-takes that Derek's mouth hadn't been full when Sheldon said that.

"I forgot all about that!" Derek gasped, in between guffaws. It ruined Derek for a couple of minutes, at least.

Then something occurred to Sam.

"Did you ever notice how many horror movies center around senior proms?" Sam asked.

"Prom Night," Sheldon said. "Two versions of Prom Night, actually. And two versions of Carrie."

"Footloose," Derek said.

And it was Sheldon's turn to nearly drop his beverage.

"What was the name of that movie, with the girl who dresses like a guy—" Derek began.

"Take your pick," Sam said.

"No this one was from the eighties," Derek said. "Opens her tuxedo shirt and flashes her buddy."

"Just One of the Guys," Sheldon said.

"That's the one," Derek said. "How horrified would you guys be if one of us did that? Opened the tux and flashed a truly excellent rack at you?"

"Something you wanna tell us, Derek?" Sheldon asked.

"Um, no," Derek said. "But I did have this dream about Casey in a tux, though."

Sam briefly tried to picture Lana, his date, opening her tuxedo shirt. It didn't work. She was too perky and her voice was a little too high, to make him think of anything but a girl playing dress up. Cute, not really sexy. He couldn't wait to see her in her dress, however. He, unlike Sheldon and Derek, knew exactly what his date was going to wear. She sent him an email with a picture, just so his tux didn't clash.

"Still with us, Sammy?" Derek asked.

"Not really," Sam said. "I was just thinking—at least we're all taking girls that we like, so it'll be sorta worth it."

"Yeah," Sheldon said.

"Then there's Ralphie," Sam continued.

"And his beard," Derek said.

"Dude, don't say 'beard,'" Sam said. "He's only taking Amy because she sorta bullied him into it."

"Yeah, she does that," Derek said.

"Does she know about Ralph?" Sheldon asked.

"Yeah," Sam said. "But she needed a date. She's pissed at Max...again...so she grabbed the first available guy."

"He was too scared of her to say no," Derek said. "I just hope he gets an ugly tux, just to tick her off. Show a little backbone."

"She wants him to wear white," Sam said. "Like an ice-cream man"

"Wow," Sheldon said. "I think I'm gonna stop complaining now."

"Me too," Derek said.

"Me three," Sam said.

They really did have it good.

Part Eight: Ralph.

Ralph's parents were surprised, to say the least, when he announced that he had a prom date. He hadn't been dating much the last few months. Or, at least, they hadn't met many of his dates. He didn't think that they needed to know that he was gay, not yet at least. He wanted to save up a little more money in case they threw him out. But then, in the tuxedo rental place, he had this conversation with his mother:

"Well, honey, do you want to wear that white tux with the pink vest?"she asked.

"Well, sure!" Ralph said. "I can serve Mister Softee out of the limo." The girl behind the counter laughed.

"Then why don't you say no?" Mom asked.

"It'll make her happy," Ralph said. "And if she's happy, she's quiet."

"You're a good looking kid," Mom said. "You could have your pick. Why this harpy?"

To throw you off the trail, Ralph thought. He'd gone too long without an official date.

"Did you pay for her ticket?" Mom asked, changing tacks.

"Nope," Ralph said.

"How bout the limo?"

"I paid for the limo," Ralph said. "And I'm paying for the tux, obviously."

"So she can't really yell at you if you get the tux you want then, can she?" Mom asked.

"Oh yes she can," Ralph said. He had his suspicions that Amy had turned Max into the dead fish that he was.

"So, stand up for yourself a little," Mom said. "And if she doesn't like it, she can walk to the prom. Now how 'bout these pin stripes?"

He'd been kinda looking at the black, pin striped one.

"Try it on, GQ," Mom said.

She stood outside the fitting room door and continued to talk to him as he was changing.

"So, you didn't answer my question—why this girl?"

"She asked me," Ralph said. "She just broke up with her boyfriend and had no one to go with."

"Well that's sweet of you, Ralphie," Mom said. "I'm sorry you didn't have a real date."

"Me too," Ralph said.

"I miss your friend Christopher," Mom said. Ralph fell against the changing room mirror. It was too narrow in there to hit the floor.

"What does that have to do with me having a date?" Ralph said.

"Don't play dumb with me, sweetie, I know you," Mom said. "You're not dumb."

He suddenly had some trouble figuring out the hooks and buttons in the rented pants, so it took an extra second for him to fasten them. He zipped them and opened the fitting room door.

He settled on a noncommittal "What?"

"You could've gone to the prom stag," she said. "Do they still call it stag? I mean, I can understand you not taking a boy as your date. I've seen some of the gorillas you go to school with. They wouldn't understand, but you don't have to lie to me."

"Um," Ralph said.

"Or your Dad," she said.

"Dad doesn't know," Ralph said, in disbelief, and maybe a little horror.

"Yeah he does," Mom said. "He's just a better liar than you are."

To say that this blew Ralph's mind is an understatement.

"I'm not gonna tell you that it was easy for him," Mom said. "But he got over it. He loves you."

Ralph said nothing. His Mom grabbed hold of the waistband of his pants and gave them a tug to test the fit.

"The pants seem good," she said. "Try the jacket, now."

He did.

"You like?" she asked.

"Um," Ralph said.

"Wanna try some more?" she asked.

"No," Ralph said. "This one's good."

Part Nine: Casey.

Prom Night.

Casey's Mom did her hair for her, both of them having seen the horrors that had been coming out of the hair salon earlier that day. So she felt uncommonly relaxed when she got dressed that night.

She heard Derek singing in the shower. Horribly.

Nobody'd put rubber spiders in her underwear drawer.

It wasn't too hot out and it didn't look like rain.

And then there was the look on Derek's face when he saw her in the dress. It was a very simple, strapless white dress with black lace overlay. It wasn't exactly what one would call va va va voom

but Derek was dumbstruck all the same.

A flash went off behind her. She turned around to see Edwin with the single most smug, satisfied look she'd ever seen on his face.

Derek barely noticed.

"What are you doing?" Casey said.

"You telling me you don't want a copy?" Edwin asked.

"Can you blow it up?" Casey asked. "8 x10?"

"Yeah, yeah," Derek said, finally. "I got a stupid look on my face. Real funny. You'd think you guys would be used to that by now."

"Nope," Edwin said. "Still funny."

Derek made a grab for Edwin, who dodged him.

"Remember, rented tux, Derek," Edwin said, backing up the stairs to the attic. "You don't want blood on it."

After Edwin closed his door, Derek turned to Casey.

"Guess that takes care of him," Derek said. "So? Audrey, you ready?"

"Who's Audrey?" Marti asked from her doorway. "That's Casey."

"Ask Edwin," Derek said. "Or Lizzie."

There were pictures. Millions of pictures. Three still cameras and one video camera pointed at them at once. Casey imagined that most of George's shots were missing the top of Derek's head. George was good at many things, but photography was not one of them. Edwin was trusting Lizzie with his video camera, while he continued to take stills. When he wasn't reminding Nora how to turn her flash off.

"Where does one get a red carpet on short notice," Lizzie joked. Casey stuck out her tongue.

"She's gonna use that against you, you know," Derek said, right before another flash went off in his face. "Dad!"

"Sorry," George said.

The doorbell rang. Derek let Emily in to more camera flashes and some added squeals. Then they all had to go rescue Sheldon from the clutches of both Emily's mother and Sheldon's sister, both of them weeping, both of them with camera in hand.

Sheldon looked traumatized, but Edwin still made the four of them line up in front of the limo for a group shot.

"So I took one look at pretty boy over here," Emily said, once they got into the limo. "And I had to kiss him."

"Naturally," Casey said.

"So I do that, and from somewhere behind him, I hear this voice go 'No! I didn't get that! Do it again!' and I look over and there's Shawna, leaning against her Volkswagen with her video camera. So we had to do it again."

"I didn't mind," Sheldon said.

"And now you owe Shawna how much money?" Derek asked. Emily hit him. Casey thought that would be the first of many many smacks Derek would receive over the course of the night.

"Meanwhile, there are, like, fifty shots of me looking like I've had a recent lobotomy," Sheldon said.

"Yeah, Derek has a few of those too," Casey said.

"It's a bad habit," Sheldon said. "I seem to make that face every time Em dresses up."

"Yep," Derek said.

"Or wears sweatpants," Sheldon said.

"Uh-huh," Derek said.

"Or walks into a room," Sheldon said.

There was a sudden whirring sound and a groan from the limo driver as he put the partition up.

"Dude, I think you made the driver sick," Derek said.

"My work here is done," Sheldon said.

They had to go pick up Ralph and Amy next. They went to Amy's house, where her folks were doing the picture thing.

"He's gorgeous; look at him," Emily said.

"Just amazing," Casey said. "And Amy looks...nice, too."

"I like her hair," Emily said.

Derek and Sheldon looked at each other. Derek shook his head.

"And her dress is very..." Casey said.

"Very..." Emily said.

"Loud," Sheldon said.

"Is she Disco Barbie™ or Evening Wear Barbie™?" Emily asked, cracking everyone up.

"Oh God!" Casey said, as she reached to open the limo door. "Stop! We gotta keep a straight face!"

There was a certain amount of guilt for making fun of her, because she, contrary to experience and expectations, was really gracious to them, even to Casey. It must've been Ralph's influence.

Sam, when he climbed into the limo with Lana Logan, looked calmer than he had in weeks. Casey didn't realize how tense he'd been until that moment. It was easy to miss; Sam didn't get jittery the way Casey or Derek did, but now that it was over, Casey noticed that his jaw had been clenched for a good three weeks at least. Derek couldn't resist asking him about it.

"What's going on?" Derek asked. And before Sam could pretend not to know what he meant, Derek clarified. "You look like someone took the noose from your neck."

Sam blushed a little. Lana laughed at him.

"May as well tell him," Lana said.

"You think?" Sam asked. Lana nodded.

"Okay," Sam said. "I found out today that I am not valedictorian!"

Casey cocked her head, unsure she heard that right.

"So you're salutatorian?" Sheldon asked.

"Nope," Sam said. "I am officially nobody. And as such, I don't have to give any speeches."

Ralph high-fived him.

"Okay," Casey said. "I'm happy for you. I think." There had been a time, not that long ago, that Casey would have done anything to be valedictorian. She didn't know how she'd gotten past that.

But she still really wanted to know who made it.

"So if it's not you, then who is it?" Casey asked. "Oh my God—Sheldon?"

"Nope," Sheldon said. "I, too, am nobody." He didn't seem too upset.

"Babe," Emily said, putting an arm around him. "I'm sorry."

"Don't be," Sheldon said. "Rosa Maldonado beat me for salutatorian by a quarter of a point. That makes me number three in the senior class. So I'm not about to cry over that. Even though we all know how I like to give speeches and stuff. And, you know, talk in general."

"We know," Derek said.

"Almost as much as Derek does," Sheldon said. Casey high-fived Sheldon for that.

"So who got valedictorian, then?" Emily asked.

"Tinker did," Sam said.

"Go Tink," Casey said. If anyone deserved some attention, it was him.

Part Ten: Kendra.

"Well, hello Gorgeous!" Kendra said as she let Trevor into her house. He was wearing a very Trevor tuxedo—mandarin collar, black on black, lots of buttons. She was neither kidding or exaggerating with her greeting. Trevor, true to form, looked at her like she was crazy.

"You're so hot, I can't even deal!"she said. She went on tiptoe to kiss him.

"You're..." Trevor said. "In a bathrobe."

"It's a kimono, Trevi,"she said, rolling her eyes.

"Okay," Trevor said. "You're in a kimono. It's a nice kimono, but am I too early? Should I, like, take a walk around the block?"

"Nope, right on time," Kendra said, she nodded toward her living room, where he greeted her parents.

"Have a seat," Kendra said. "Sientate alli. On the couch. Hurry up! I need to do the big reveal!"

"Um...okay," Trevor said.

"Are you ready?" Kendra asked. His face said no. Poor thing didn't know what to expect. This was gonna be fun.

"Seems like there should be trumpets," Trevor said. Her Dad laughed. She shot both of them a dirty look.

Then she undid the belt and let her kimono hit the floor, where the cat immediately commandeered it. Trevor's eyes got really big in his normally deadpan face. She knew that he'd expected her to wear something pink and frilly (he'd been listening to Derek), so this dress was the best idea that she'd ever had. It was burgundy, high-necked, but form-fitting. When she saw it, she pictured exactly this reaction.

"So, you ready to go?" she asked.

"Uh-huh," Trevor squeaked.

"Up you get," she said, pulling on his hands. He got up, she checked his tux for fur, and then they were on their way.

"Okay," Kendra said when they got to the actual prom. "This is so much nicer than what we had last year. How'd you guys pick 'Such Great Heights' as your song? We got stuck with 'Always and Forever.'"

"Just lucky I guess," Trevor said.

"I was stuck at a table with Wendel Wiggins, and he kept singing along," Kendra said. "He's got a good voice I guess, but we all hated that song so much that we wanted to rebreak his leg. 'Cause, you know, he'd just gotten a cast off his leg, like the month before. Is that Derek and Casey over there? We gotta say hello!"

Trevor made a big show of being shell-shocked by how fast Kendra talked. "I keep waiting for you to breathe," he said.

"You've seen me all excited before," Kendra said. "Don't act like it's weird."

"Whatever you say, Boss," he said.

Kendra went over to greet Casey and Emily and the three of them did the squealing and bouncing thing, much to the amusement/horror of their dates. Trevor was going to tease her mercilessly later for this, but she guessed that was part of the fun.

"How on Earth did you find that flapper dress?" Kendra asked Emily. "It's perfect! Was Sheldon speechless?"

"As if I had the power to render Sheldon Schlepper speechless," Emily said.

"Hey!" Sheldon said. Emily winked.

"Nice alliteration," Casey said.

"And you, Miss Hepburn?" Kendra teased.

"Derek was totally speechless," Emily said. They looked over at Derek, who nodded sheepishly.

"Never thought I'd live to see that day," Kendra said. Derek stuck his tongue out. "But I guess if anyone has that power, it's you, Casey."

Casey turned bright pink.

Kendra leaned in a little and beckoned Casey closer. "Are you gonna get him to dance?" she whispered.

"You know it," Casey whispered back.

They went off in a cluster, and Emily filled Kendra in on all of the gossip she'd missed this year, while Trevor joined Derek and Sheldon who looked like they were trying to schmooze the DJ, no doubt to get the man to take requests. Kendra made a mental note to ask about that later, but became distracted.

Later on, she amused herself by imagining what Trevor might have requested. She assumed that it would be something from The Cure, "Just Like Heaven" perhaps. He could be cute like that.

Then she heard her favorite song in the world—The Beach Boys' "Don't Worry, Baby" start up. Trevor winked at her and pulled her onto the dance floor.

Part Eleven: Derek.

The food was good, he thought. Of course, he didn't think he was one to judge, since he was usually happy to eat anything.

As promised, Casey made him dance to almost everything, from the All Time Low cover of "Umbrella" to "Gasolina." He was so relieved to hear the first slow song, glad to pull her close, and not have to worry about being the only straight guy on the dance floor for most of the night.

After a little while, Derek caught a flash of Amy's ugly dress, but Ralph, he knew, was on the other end of the dance floor. Amy, it seemed, had reattached herself to Max.

"Bet that's a load off Ralphie's mind," Casey said, when she saw.

"No joke," Derek said.

"Hope they work it out this time," Casey said.

Another fast song started. Casey let him sit this one out. She grabbed hold of Ralph before the crowd found him again. He was proving pretty popular.

Meanwhile, it occurred to Derek that he hadn't seen Sam for an hour or so. He looked around, but finding no sign of him, gave up in favor of a bathroom break. In the little hallway leading to the bathrooms was a little alcove. In the little alcove were Sam and Lana, happily making out, thinking no one would catch them there.

Somebody could have taken video and they probably wouldn't have noticed, Derek thought. He let them continue doing what they were doing. They reappeared in time for Sam to be crowned Prom King. The look on his face was worth the price of the crappy video yearbook the school was selling. Paula Perry, a cheerleader, was Prom Queen. She looked decidedly less horrified at the honor.

Sam danced awkwardly with Paula to the slow version of "Such Great Heights," which Derek thought would be tough for anyone to dance to. Lana rescued Sam after a minute, and Paula went gratefully back to her date.

"Brrr," Sam said, when he got back to the table. He took that dorky crown off of his head like it was on fire.

"Awww," Lana said. "Uneasy lies the head that wears the crown." Sam narrowed his eyes at her.

"It looks cute on you," she said.

"Nice try," he said. "I abdicate. Who wants it?"

Nobody wanted it.

"Derek?" Sam asked.

"It'd mess up my hair," Derek said.

"Come on, Sheldon," Sam said. "I know you want the power that comes with this."

"Heh," Sheldon said. "All the power that comes with a dorky hat? Now if it came with a scepter, that would be different."

"You're all weird, and I don't know any of you," Sam said, moving his chair back a few feet.

"Have fun walking home, then," Derek said.

"Hey, I'm Sam," Sam said, holding out a hand to shake. "Nice to meetcha."

"Thought so," Derek said.

Prom ended officially at 1 am, and somehow the girls roped the guys into going to a club. Several clubs in the area held teen night in honor of the assorted proms that were being held. Casey had even gotten Kendra and Trevor to come with.

For three hours, the guys, with the possible exception of Ralph, got to sit at a table and watch their girlfriends dance.

"How did this happen?" Sheldon asked.

"Dunno," Sam said.

"I do," Trevor said. They all turned to him.

"We're whipped," he said. "I mean I let Kendra call me Trevi."

Derek pointed and laughed. Not that that was worse than Der-bear.

"You danced with Casey," Trevor said. "A lot."

"Point taken," Derek said.

"We all blew a hell of a lot of money for this," Trevor said. "None of us would have done that if not for them. Because it's totally worth it."

And as Casey emerged from the crowd, her hair falling out of it's clip, makeup starting to smudge, and grabbed Derek's hand, he went with her to dance to that God-awful remix.

Because it was worth it.

FIN

A/N: Here's the prompt—It's Senior Prom, and there's lots of drama involved…Include

Shemily, Kenvor, Ralph/Amy, Sam/OC (or with someone else from the show not mentioned already), and Dasey. (Dasey can be "out" or they can still be a secret, that's up to you). Mention Carrie, Prom Night (the new Brittany Snow movie), Never Been Kissed, and American Pie in some way. It might have been a bit fluffier than Brandi might have had in mind. Forgive me. :-)