TITLE: I'll Tell You a Tale
SUMMARY: Ten random drabbles based on ten random songs.
PAIRING: Derek/Casey. I don't think I know how to write anything else.
RATING: K+. I think I was good in this one.
DISCLAIMER: I do not own Life with Derek, nor any of the songs featured. I would very much like to. Perhaps the people who do own them would like to do lunch?
AUTHOR'S NOTE: My go at the iPod shuffle challenge. I was tagged by Frogster, and I'm probably the last person to do this, so if there's anyone out there who hasn't gone and wants to, I tag you! Have at you!
I swear I'm working on the next chapter for "If You Could Read My Mind". It's just such a Dasey-fied episode already that I want to make sure it's awesome.
1. Born to Fly – Sara Evans
She was always meant for great things. People always told her that she could do anything if she really put her mind to it. And she did – she excelled at everything, because failure was not an option, not for her.
The only thing she couldn't succeed at was winning the heart of the brown-eyed boy she was certain was her future. They were polar opposites, but somehow they were exactly the same. She'd always thought she was pretty grounded. Apparently not.
Her parents wouldn't understand. They were too…normal. Too set in their ways. She used to think that she was that way, too, until she met him. Patience had never been her strong suit, but she could wait for him forever, if that was what it took. She just wasn't sure that she wouldn't go crazy while she was waiting.
2. A Ballad to Forget – Soulwax
Derek winced when the answering machine kicked on, and he heard the outgoing message. "Hey, you've reached Derek and Casey, and we can't come to the phone right now…" He'd been meaning to change that. He just kept forgetting.
He walked into the kitchen to get another beer from the fridge and his stomach lurched unpleasantly when he caught sight of the calendar she had stuck to the door. Their anniversary, still two weeks away, was circled in red. So he wouldn't forget the date. But now, when he so desperately wanted to forget, the date was ingrained in his brain. He dreamt about it sometimes.
3. On Fire – Switchfoot
There was something about him. She wouldn't be able to explain it, if asked, but she knew what it felt like.
It was like… Everyone in her life was trying to tell her how to act and what to do with her life, and it was only when she was with him that she felt like she could really be Casey – no pretenses, no bullshit, no games.
She wouldn't have believed it a few years ago, but now she didn't know how it could be any other way. It was funny, she wasn't much of a risk taker with other aspects of her life, but she was risking a hell of a lot now, just to be with him.
It was all worth it, though, for the chance to just be, without having to wonder what that might entail. She didn't have to think about her future. She didn't have to think at all – not even about what he was thinking, because that was obvious every time he looked at her.
4. The Game of Love – Wayne Fontana and the Mindbenders
"What are we doing, Derek?"
"I'm…not sure I follow."
"What's the point?"
"Come on, Casey. You're a girl, I'm a guy, what do you think the point is?"
"Oh, that's romantic. Why did I think you could say anything deep, the only deep you do is – "
"God, you're such a drama queen. I was just saying that you were put on this earth to be with me, and I was put here to…"
5. Dedicated to the One I Love – The Shirelles
God, that sounds stupid. Derek is a lot of things, but he's not "dear".
I love you.
Damn, that won't work. Who starts a letter that way? He'll probably crumple it up before he even reads the rest of it.
I miss you.
Okay. Okay, that could work. It's not quite as in-your-face.
I miss you. Do you miss me?
Oh, son of a bitch. What's next, "check this box"? God, why is this so hard?
6. Island in the Sun – Weezer
He must have been a very good person in a past life, because that bikini she had on underneath her clothes was just about the greatest invention in the history of time. The pale pink emphasized her tan perfectly, and damn if it didn't look like she might pop out of that top if she made any sudden movements.
She stretched out leisurely beside him, and she had to know he was watching, just based on the way she moved, like she was performing for him.
And so, naturally, he waited until he was sure she was asleep before sneaking over to her towel and yanking on the tie to her top.
"Derek!" She got up abruptly, not seeming to realize that her top was still lying on the towel, and started to chase him.
7. Perfect – Sara Evans
The perfect life, the perfect boyfriend. Both things that Casey McDonald thought she wanted, until she realized that sometimes imperfect was infinitely better. He certainly didn't seem to care that their lives hadn't turned into some sort of fairy tale. He may have condescended to tell Marti stories like that, but she knew he thought they were a bunch of crap.
She was starting to think that maybe he had a point.
After all, Derek looked just as good in his ratty Blue Jays t-shirt and his ripped jeans as he did in a suit.
And, yeah, he burned dinner nine out of ten times, but at least he was trying. And he looked so cute wearing her apron, even though he threatened her with bodily harm if she ever told anyone he'd worn it.
He butchered nearly every romantic sentiment he tried to express to her, but he had never been good with words anyway. The fact that he continued to try, because he thought that was what she wanted, was what made her smile – not the quotes he could never get correct.
8. Who I Am Hates Who I've Been – Relient K
When he thinks of all the time he wasted making her think he didn't like her, he wants to kick himself. How much better would his life have been if he had just admitted that he loved her when he first realized it?
He can't believe it's taken him this long for him to get over his fear of rejection. He hates the way he used to treat her, because no matter what he does, he can't seem to convince her that he really does care about her. She always seems to be waiting for the other shoe to drop.
God, he wishes he could get her to realize just how sorry he is over the early days of their relationship. He's ready to move forward with her, and he knows he doesn't deserve the second chance she's given him, but he's going to do everything in his power to show her just how much he has changed.
9. Storybook Love – Mark Knopfler
If she thinks about it, their relationship is a fairy tale. Not a conventional one, of course, nothing is ever conventional when it involves Derek Venturi. But he has come to her rescue on numerous occasions. He stopped everyone from teasing her – first with the Klutzilla (even though he started that) and then with the grade-grubber thing, and he even told people to lay off her when she quit cheerleading. And when she caught Noel cheating on her, it was Derek who realized that she was hurting, Derek who stayed up late giving her a shoulder to cry on, Derek who marched into school on Monday and broke Noel's nose. And while they didn't technically ride off into the sunset, he did carry her to the Prince when she fell and sprained her ankle, and he drove her to the emergency room, and he stayed with her the whole time, even though he ended up missing his hockey game.
It may not be found in any storybook, but it should be.
10. Daughters – John Mayer
He's too much like her dad. He figured that out pretty quickly. She has trust issues when it comes to men – he got that, too. He'll never admit it, but he's the same way. His mom left, and she was always more engrossed in her studies than in him, and he can kind of see that. But he's a guy, he can take it.
Casey… She's breakable. When her dad left, it shattered her. Derek's been trying to put her back together, but he's afraid that she thinks he'll eventually leave her, too.
He would never leave her. Not like that. He's nothing like Dennis McDonald. Dennis didn't even notice that she was upset that one time – one time in three years – that he visited. He would have gone back to New York, none the wiser, and Casey would have moped around for who knows how long, thinking that her dad didn't love her.
Derek loves her. He loves her more than anything. Hell, he'll give up hockey if she wants him to. He doubts Dennis McDonald would give up anything for her. He was barely willing to switch his flight.