This is my fist LWD fic. Be gentle! :)

Pieces

Chapter One

Nineteen year old Derek Venturi surveyed the lawn in front of his university like a king surveying his kingdom. In all honesty, he was simply looking for his best friend, Sam, but no one had to know that. He made eye contact with a cute blonde he recognized from his psych class. She grinned and gave him a small wave. He merely nodded his head in return.

"Derek!" He nearly fell over in shock as Casey, his younger-by-only-six-months stepsister, appeared at his shoulder. "What are you doing?" She demanded. He smirked.

"Just checking out the scenery while I wait for Sam," he replied, and she rolled her eyes.

"Sam left," she said. He stared at her. "Our last class ended early, so he went for some food, but I had a test to study for." Sam also happened to be Casey's boyfriend. "Listen, can I ask you a favor? I was going to catch a ride to work with Sally, but I can't find her anywhere. Could you take me?"

"I guess so." Derek replied. The mention of Sally put him on edge. Their breakup had been civil but it still bothered him that she and Casey were friends.

"You sure you don't mind?" She continued, and he shrugged.

"No problem." She nodded warily.

"Okay, thanks then. I just need to go by my dorm and change. Are you coming?" She asked. He nodded and they started walking

Derek and Casey had an… interesting relationship. Their parents had married just four years ago, and the two stubborn, hot-headed, competitive children were forced to live in the same household. The biggest problem was that their stubbornness was the only thing they had in common. Derek was a slacker and Casey was a keener, which put them at odds much more often than they got along. That, and Derek enjoyed getting under Casey's skin.

As they grew up, they began to reconcile their differences, at least to a point where they were civil. If anyone asked, they would still swear up and down that they hated each other, but Derek had to admit that Casey had become his best friend, after Sam of course. She kept him from stepping too far over the line, and he taught her how to live a little.

It came as a shock to everyone but the two siblings when they applied to, were accepted to, and enrolled in the same university. Nora frowned her worried little frown and George begged them to reconsider, as he didn't want to see either of them end up in prison for murder. Derek and Casey simply laughed them off and eventually proved them wrong.

Derek and Sam were dorm mates, and Casey was rooming with Sally. Casey and Sam had somehow rekindled their old feelings for each other and had been going strong for a little over six months now.

"Hey, are you alive in there?" Casey was waving her hand in front of his face. Derek jolted back to the present and stared at her. They had already reached her dorm building. They slipped inside and walked up the corridor to her room.

"Sorry, I was thinking." She smirked.

"Don't do that too much. You might hurt yourself." He stuck out his tongue as she unlocked the door.

"Oh, ha, ha. That was original." Casey shrugged.

"What can I say? I like the classics." She let him into the room and disappeared into the closet.

"Do you want something to eat?" Derek nodded and headed for the refrigerator.

He was just finishing a bowl of cereal when Casey reappeared. She shook her head at him and pulled a yogurt cup out of the fridge.

"Do you ever eat anything other than cereal?" She asked as she dug in with a spoon. He shrugged.

"It tastes good and takes like five seconds to make." She nodded.

"What are you going to do tonight?" She asked.

"Hang out with Sam, as usual." Casey nodded.

"You're lucky. I really miss Emily." She was silent for several minutes. Derek had to admit he missed Emily, too. Even though her crush on him had been obnoxious at times, she was fun and, dare he admit it, pretty. He was glad Sam hadn't gone off to college in England like Em. He and Sam had been best friends since grade school.

"Yeah…"

--

At six o'clock, Derek dropped Casey off in front of the mall. She worked in one of the clothing stores as the assistant manager.

"Sam is supposed to pick me up later," she told him as she shut the door. She leaned through the open window. "Thanks again, Derek." He grinned.

"No problem." She smiled and headed for the mall doors. Derek's phone chirped and he saw that it was Sam. "What up?"

"Hey, D, is that you in front of the mall?" Derek nodded, forgetting that Sam couldn't see him.

"Yeah, I gave Casey a lift. Where are you?"

"Me and Ralph are inside eating. Go find a parking spot and get your butt in here." Derek laughed and hung up, parking his car. He found his friends in front of the burger place eating. He hadn't quite worked off the cereal from Casey's yet, so he ordered a milkshake and joined them.

"No double with cheese?" Ralph joked. Derek shrugged.

"Maybe later. So what are we doing tonight? I am not wasting my Friday night at the mall." Sam laughed.

"Not to worry, D. Casey gets off at nine and then we're headed to a monster bash at the Phi Beta House." Derek raised an eyebrow.

"Casey is going to a frat party?" He asked incredulously. Sam laughed.

"Yeah, right. That's funny." He took a bite and a swig of his soda. "No, I'm gonna drop her off. She said she has all of this studying to do, or something."

"Does she know you're going to a frat party?" Somehow, Derek didn't think Casey would like the idea. Sam shrugged.

"Nah, no need. She'll just freak and we'll fight. It's better not to say anything." He didn't seem to care that he was essentially lying to his girlfriend, and that rubbed Derek wrong, but he said nothing.

"Well, as long as that hot chick from my biology class is there, I'll be happy," Ralph said, and Derek forced a chuckle.

"Yeah."