A/N: Well this is a funny story. I've been on vacation and really wanted to write something. This came out. It's not that good, but I hope it's not as bad as some of my early work. :) And yes, I know that Derek is incredibly OOC. Casey too probably. Heck, Marti is probably OOC. Oh well.

Disclaimer: I own nothing to do with Life With Derek.


He watched quietly from the sidelines as she laughed loudly, setting her hand lightly on the man's shoulder to stay upright. An uncomfortable squirming started from his abdomen. He glanced at this area, annoyed. It wasn't a new feeling. It was probably about 18 months old now, in fact. Plenty long enough to learn to ignore it. Well not ignore exactly, more like making sure any of it didn't show on his face when he looked at her.

Everyone was dancing now. Well why wouldn't they? It was the Spring Formal. Her arms wrapped around the man's waist, while his hands rested on her waist. The feeling went into overdrive, so he looked away. At the beginning of all this, he had felt jealousy and rage toward the man. Why should he be happy, while others weren't? But over the months, the feelings dampened to nothing but sadness and longing. The kind of emotions he could handle.

It wasn't as if the man had done something wrong. No way. Max had just been lucky to get to her first. She would never ever agree to date him anyway, so he really should stop moping over her. He sighed and moved away, walking to a bench on the side of the gym. Girls looked at him hopefully as he passed, no doubt longing for a dance. But he walked on, not even seeing them.

With a thump, he dropped down onto the cold metal of the bleachers. People had wondered why the competitiveness between the football and the hockey team had increased to pranks and some violence in the past year. He knew why, and apparently according to Sam, so did the rest of the hockey team. The football ninnies had no idea.

He felt a wave of sadness as she swirled past him, once again laughing, on Max's arm. It really wasn't fair. He heaved a loud sigh, and watched them dance. Her face, decorated with makeup and smiles, dimmed as her eyes met his over the crowd. No matter how many times she denied it, he knew that she did care about him; at least as a brother.

He watched with wonder and puzzlement as she said something to Max and left his arms. The football captain looked annoyed as she made her way towards him. He couldn't wrap his mind around what was going on. Had she left Max to see what was wrong? Maybe she did care. His spirits lifted until they were crashed down into a deeper hole. She'd do it for anyone. Edwin, Lizzie, that weird Goth kid.

She sat down next to him, pink dress billowing around her legs.

"You ok?" She asked, peering into his face.

He got the impression that she was trying to read his soul, to see what exactly was wrong. She had enough knowledge of him that he would probably never tell her what was wrong. He stared, trying to get rid of some of the longing.

"Why would you care?" The answer coming out more bitterly than he had hoped it would. "You've got Max, a pretty dress, and a whole evening of fun. Why waste it with me?" Although he tried to make it more polite, the look on her face showed that he hadn't really succeeded.

"I can't have fun while you're standing there looking like you're about to be executed. No one made you come. Go home if you want."

He just looked at her. "I'm sitting."

Her eyes narrowed at him. "Look, I'm going to have a good time tonight whether you like it or not. That's the whole plan isn't it; to make me miserable at the spring formal?"

He rolled his eyes. "Oh yeah... That was the whole plan. I came here, in a suit, just to make you unhappy. If it was that easy I would have done it a long time ago."

She opened her mouth to say something, something that would probably hurt him a lot more then she knew. He looked away, waiting for the words to hit. When they didn't, he looked back at her.

Her eyes were softer and she looked more subdued. "It's none of my business, Derek, but you do know that if you have a problem, I'm here, don't you?"

He opened his mouth and then closed it.

"I know."

She looked up at him from where her eyes were stationed on her lap. "I'm good at problems...maybe I can help."

He looked at her. "You'd laugh." His voice was blank. He knew it'd happen.

"No! No, I wouldn't!" She looked indignant at the very thought. And she looked sincere. Maybe she wouldn't laugh.

"There's this...girl." He started out, looking at her carefully as if he expected her to burst out laughing.

She didn't, so he went on.

"I really like her. I really, really do. But..." He trailed off turning his head away.

"But...?" she asked, looking curious.

"She's with someone else." He finished.

"That's never stopped you before." She said, looking at him, interestedly.

He looked at her, annoyance on his face. "She'd also never go out with me in a million years."

She frowned. "Oh."

He laughed humorlessly. "And the thing is that she's not just another girl. She's smart, pretty and fun - when she forgets about being bossy and perfect, that is."

She looked at him again with a strange expression on her face. "Do I know her?" She asked carefully.

"Of course... You know everyone at the school." He said, annoyed.

"Does she live near us?"

"What is this; twenty questions? But yes she does." He answered; irritated at telling her he liked someone, to get what she was saying.

She looked sad now. His breath caught. She had to know now. She was so smart-

"You like Emily, don't you?" She asked bluntly, looking him dead in the eye.

His jaw dropped, literally. "Uh..." Was all that came out of his mouth. Where did all those A's in school come from then?

"I knew it. I knew that eventually you'd like her. I told her so many times. I think you're delusional though. She'd definitely date you!" She looked positive.

He glared at her. "How in any way is Emily bossy and perfect? I was talking about yo-" He trailed off looked horrified. So this is where his anger and frustration got him. Now he'd have to move and live under a bridge somewhere.

He looked at her astonished face and started speaking like his words were on fire, spewing them out in rapid succession. "I didn't really say that! I meant someone else. You know how sometimes you say the wrong words when you mean something else? I mean we can forget this ever happened and why are you looking at me like that?"

His babbling was cut short at the look on her face. She was now smiling and looking relieved.

"Casey...what are you..?" He was cut short as her lips hit his. His shock was trust aside as he closed his eyes. It would have been perfect, if not for the ground seeming to shake...


"Der-ek! Wake up right now! We'll miss the bus!"

Derek's eyes snapped open to see Casey leaning over him, shaking him fiercely. His cheeks immediately flushed at his embarrassing- and very vivid- dream. He coughed and jumped off the bed.

"Well?" Casey demanded. "Why didn't you set your alarm?"

He didn't stay anything, just grabbed a change of clothes and headed for the bathroom. He almost crashed into Marti, who was carrying an amazing amount of stuffed animals, which she dropped as Derek brushed her arm.

"Der-ek! Look what you did!" She whined, picking up all her toys.

Her brother didn't even turn around, just shook his head as if to clear it. Marti cocked her head as Derek muttered something before slamming the bathroom door.

"Why must my whole life be one endless cliché?"

Marti frowned. Poor, poor Smerek. Not even 17 and already going crazy.


A/N: Well I guess it's not too bad...:shifts: It's definatly not as good as The Other Crazy Monkey Guy, but whatever. I hope it's not unbareable. At the very least, I hope it's a piece of cliche'd goodness. :)

Just something I want to know. How many of you actually read author's notes? If you read author's notes say Sam in the review. :)

Super Reader