Disclaimer: Nope, checked with my manager. Still not mine.

It was an explosion. A dissolution, an absolution. A scream, a whisper. A prayer, a promise. An answer. It was.

--Simplicity Itself

Welcome to the fallout
Welcome to resistence
The tension is here
Between who you are and you could be
Between how it is and how it should be

Dare You To Move- Switchfoot

When Derek was in first grade, there was this girl. She'd had blonde hair and eyes the same color as his favorite blue pencil. He'd fallen in love. He would worship her from afar, and blush whenever her eyes fell on him (which wasn't often.) He would dream about high towers and fiery dragons and himself as the Knight in Shining Armor.

He'd just been walking along one day, when he'd come across her, sitting underneath a tree, sobbing. He hadn't even waited to hear her finish her story about the 'mean boy who'd stolen her lunchbox.' In his mind he already had on a blue bodysuit with red underwear on top.

The 'mean boy' turned out to be three years older and 50 pounds heavier. An hour later his face was bleeding, both his knees were scraped and his tooth was loose. But he carried forth the lunchbox with an air of triumph (being scrappy helps.)

She'd taken one look at him, snatched her lunch box, and started crying about his 'ugly face that she never wanted to see again.'

She moved on, he stayed in first grade and that was the end. But the blonde girl with the pencil-blue eyes taught him a valuable life lesson-

Life was a bitch.

She's crying again.

Sometimes he wishes that he had taken the basement when offered. It would've saved him a lot of face-offs with Ms. Drama Queen in the next room.

(It isn't like he lives for them or anything.)

He's waiting for the door to bang open and for her to enter. After all everybody has taken advantage of the new 'Open Derek's Door and Tell Him Your Life Story, Till He Bodily Throws You Out And Has To Pay You A Dollar' policy. And since when has Casey let go of an opportunity to mess with him?

Since now.

So he goes to her room. It's purely a reflex action on the part of his new 'sensitive' self. He's already lost 10 dollars during the course of the day; he's not going to lose any more, he's unable to concentrate on his homework with all the racket she's creating, he's going to tell her to freaking call Emily and get it over with.

(He's listed the reasons. Take your pick.)

Lizzie's standing outside. Her face is strained. "Max broke up with Casey," she whispers.

And then he's inside, because unlike Lizzie, he prefers not to wait for an invitation that isn't forthcoming.

She's a mess. He's so tempted to take a photograph; his hand's practically itching to reach his mobile. This is blackmail material. And if he wasn't Mr. Sensitive, he would have. Instead he just sits down and watches her.

And waits.

It isn't a long wait. (Just enough for her sobbing to become the theme music for the fantasies playing inside his head, all of them involving… Sally... if you squinted a certain way.)

"Go away."

(He stays.)

"Max broke up with me. Are you satisfied now?"

(It's such a Casey thing to expect. To tell a guy that you need 'time,' break his heart and then expect him to wait till time-out.)

Their conversation's already over. She's turned her head, and for her he's ceased to exist in that moment.

(He hates how easy it is for her to turn away.)

It's hard to remember why exactly he was planning on calling in sick, when Sally's lips are moving with his own. (The only thing he's sure about at that moment is that his name begins with a D, but the rest of the letters seem jumbled. What sort of parents would name their child Dkere?)

So he's pretty irritated when she "Customers" him and walks away. That is till he comes out.


(He's pretty sure it's called karma.)

He wishes Sally would stop fussing and just fucking let him drive. He's not ten and he's not concussed.

(He's broken, he's bleeding and look he's six again.)

Yeah, too bad he didn't see Ryan before Ryan's fist saw him. (The guy needed serious lessons in 'Talking things out 101'.) Max, the pacifist as usual, tried to hold him back, which in itself was a damn shame. Hadn't the guy any dignity? Derek had been poking him since five minutes before Ryan's intervention. The least he could've done was watch him being beaten up, instead of trying to play the savior.

(Casey hadn't been around to save him this time.)

And then they're home. (He's totally looking forward to this.)

He's up in his room before Lizzie has a chance to comment on his war-movie appearance. He can still hear everything of course, those damned walls. Sally's recounting of the events of the evening and Casey's indignant "He did what?!" (And somehow he doesn't think she's talking about Ryan.)

He locked his door; even through his non-concussion state he's sure he did. (He did forget that George's new 'Derek: In Service of Venturi-McDonald Household' policy… also had a 'No Lock' clause.)

So Casey barging into his room is a bit of a…surprise. (For an instant he has this image of Casey in a Catwoman costume. Breaking innocent doors. And no…he's not saving it up for a less crowded time.)



And he's sure that she's going to hit him. But she has a far better plan…she messes with his head instead.

Her hand's on his lips and his brain goes in automatic 'Shut-Down' mode.

"Does it hurt." Her voice is low.

"No," he says through gritted teeth. (And it doesn't, no more than it would have if he'd been hit by a twenty- foot iron pole.)

She's still looking at him in that disconcerting way, and he's wishing she'll stop. It does things to his head. It makes him use words like 'disconcerted', which is always a bad sign for a guy who didn't know the meaning of 'cad' before she barged into his life.

"So why did you hit Max."

He refuses to look at her. He doesn't want to see the pity in her eyes. Or worse.


"Felt like it."

It works; she's stopped looking at him that way. At least that's what it seems like, in the glimpses he catches of her, from beyond the pillow she's hitting him with.

"You. Are. Such. A. Jerk…"

(He's stung by the unoriginality, he's not even worthy of her vocabulary now?)

"…It was absolutely none of your business. You had no right to…"

(No right? He'd kinda thought that the whole living in the bedroom next to hers thing gave him rights.)

"…Let me handle my problems next time…"

And she's gone.

(He hates how easy it is for her to turn away.)

Derek was eight when he had his first kiss. She was his neighbor. They'd solemnly promised to marry each other, and share all their candies, crossed their hearts and hoped to die. They'd sealed their vows with a kiss, and pretended the gravel was a running river.

Her parents got transferred, and she left. Crying her heart out, her last memory of Derek was a curtain that refused to yield.

And he gained another pearl of wisdom. Forever might end today.

He knows what's wrong with him.

And it's in his Physics textbook, so it's accepted information. (He really has nothing against the science book. It's just the Human Biology section that disappoints him…he knows way more than the book.)

So there are these things called electrons. They're negative charges (and clearly she would have more of those than him.) And these electrons are passed on through contact… rubbing, touching, anything, their flow resulting in electricity.

(He never realized it was that simple. Where has the physics book been all his life?)

He's been living with Casey since two years. And in those two years, they've had all the varieties of fights possible. Those have included touching, hands and bodies in contact with each other, and falling over one another.

So the obvious conclusion is- he has a hell lot of Casey's electrons. He can't believe he didn't think of this before. His head is so full of her electrons, that they've flooded his brain and formed a miniature Casey all on their own.

And really, his theory does explain so much. The electric jolts that he gets when they're on top of each other, fighting for the remote. Why his body becomes a live wire when her hand brushes his. Why their fights speed his heartbeat.

Why he can't stop thinking about her.

Simple. It's a Law of Physics.

(He doesn't know who Mark Twain is, and he's been flunking geography since fourth grade. So what are the chances that he'll get 'Denial ain't just a river in Egypt'?)


She's mad. She's standing at the top of the stairs, breathing fire. He can practically taste it. Her anger. It always was so potent.

'The same prank again, Venturi? You must really be losing your touch."

He barely hears her. The fact that she is obviously wearing Lizzie's clothes. And the fact that Lizzie is…three years younger, and therefore the fact that her clothes are…shorter, all put together make for a very interesting image.

"Where did you keep my clothes? Give them back this instant and no one will get hurt."

(He'll laugh at the irony of the statement later. 'Hurting' was probably the first stage to...whatever this is.)

"Lizzie's clothes? Although I should have expected it. You always were such an exhibitionist."

"And exactly what am I exhibitioning?" A 'Danger Alert' signal follows her voice.

(Too bad he didn't pay attention to that particular signal till after it was too late. Brain meet abyss. Constant companion, ahoy.)

She follows his eyes, and then turns crimson. "You are a totalpervert, Derek Venturi. Someday I will pay you back."

(Is that a threat or a promise?)

"Well at least you aren't wearing my clothes this time. Now that would've been a scarring image."

(He's not hinting. He's just wondering whether anybody else hears the desperation in his voice.)

She can't. He can tell by the way her eyes light up.

"Payback time." She whispers softly, before walking into his lockless room.

He loves that shirt. His pink and grey shirt. So he'd rather not feel like he's going to tear it off any second. Why did she have to choose that one?

The fact that it's practically slipping off her shoulders and reaches to just above her knees doesn't bother her. He shot, she scored. And in their twisted world, it's what they live for. The first checkmate to the game locked in stalemate since they first met.

Too bad Casey-electrons just changed the rules of the game.

She hasn't stopped talking. And really some of the things she's saying are quite offending. He shouldn't have to listen to them. It just might ruin his self-esteem forever. And since there are no earphones available, he takes the only other possible recourse.

He's kissing her.

His mouth against her so hard that he'll be bruised for days. His hand on his shirt and (oh god) she smells like him. And she tastes just like his (traitorous) head predicted she would. His brain has undergone total meltdown, and that damned electricity is coursing through his veins. And maybe she'll taste what he feels all the time. He's letting her into his head. A one-way ticket into his own private (fucked-up) hell.

And then she's pushing him back. Her eyes so wide. (He can see himself breaking in them.)

And she's turning away, running.

Leaving him alone.


A/N This'll be a two-shot, I guess. (And yes...I do enjoy messing with Derek's head!)