Here is another one-shot. Thanks for reading!

Indirect Approach

They have been dating for six months and have been getting pretty serious about each other. They decided to tell their parents about them. There seemed to be so many ways to break the news. The obvious approach would be to just tell them quickly and get it over with. After much debating they decided not to go with that. Derek argued that he didn't want to give them a heart attack and this news just might do the trick. They decided to go with the indirect approach. Ease the idea into them by dropping hints and such, so when they figure it out it wont be so unthinkable.

"Are you sure you ant to do this?" A concerned Casey asked as she paved the length of Derek's bedroom.

"Case if we don't do this soon, then we never will."

"What if they don't react well to us? Isn't this a little risky?" Derek sighed. They had had this conversation many times. He walked up to Casey and placed his hands on her shoulders and looked her in the eye, recognizing the pain and fear.

"You know we have to do this." He told her softly. Her shoulders hunched in defeat. At the beginning of their relationship it was just an unspoken agreement that nobody found out about them. They had been so preoccupied with each other that they hadn't given it much thought until three months ago. Things between them had settled down a bit and they got more comfortable with each other. Then all of a sudden it seem as if things started happening all at once. Emily asking why she was being more spacey than usual, her mom complimenting her on how happy she has looked lately, and guys left and right asking her out. Reality finally set in for her and she realized that she couldn't tell them the truth. She had to hide someone who makes her the happiest she's ever been. Bit by bit she began to feel guilty. She found herself, many times, in Paul's office, but almost immediately got up and without a word, left his office. The stress of keeping their secret has been eating Casey alive.

"Yeah, I know." She replied.

"We can do this."

She smiled at him softly. "We can do this."

"Now how about a kiss." He grinned. She grinned back and leaned forward. When he predictably closed his eyes, she kissed his cheek instead. He opened his eyes in shock. "Hey! That was not fair!" He protested.

"What wasn't fair?" She asked innocently.

"That…" He pointed to his cheek. "..was not a kiss."

"It wasn't?" It was then that Derek noticed the mischievous gleam in her eyes and decided to play along.

"No it wasn't."

"Hmm, too bad."

"Yeah maybe I should show you how it's done."

"Maybe." As soon as that word left her mouth, his lips were on hers in a kiss that made them forget all about their worries.


The first time it happened was that Saturday night. George and Nora wanted the family to watch a movie together. George, Nora, Lizzie and Edwin were squeezed on the sofa with Marti on George's lap. Derek was, of course, in his chair. Casey was upstairs finishing something while the others were preparing to watch the movie.

"Where am I supposed to sit?" She asked as she walked down the stairs.

"Sorry Casey, there is no where else. You can grab a chair from the kitchen if you'd like." Nora suggested.

"That's not necessary. Case you can sit here. I can grab my bean bag from my room." Derek offered. In a chance to get away before he seen how the family reacted, he was gone before she could object.

Casey took a seat in his chair, fully conscious of the five pairs of eyes on her. She pretended that it wasn't a big deal even though on the inside her heart was pounding out of her chest.

"Did that just happen?" Edwin broke the silence.

"You mean the part where Derek let, not just anybody, but, Casey in his chair?" He nodded. "Surprisingly yes." Lizzie said.

"What made him so…" Edwin trailed off trying to think of the perfect word.

"Generous." Nora offered.


"Do you think he has a new girlfriend?" George asked. That caused Casey to snort. All eyes turned back to her.

"Sorry, something was stuck in my throat." She lied. They looked unconvinced but turned back to their conversation.

"I don't know if he has a girlfriend. He hasn't had one in a while. Maybe he's just maturing." Nora said. Derek came down the stairs and plopped his bean bag in place, right in front of where Casey is sitting.

"Can you move your legs over so I can lean up against the chair?"

"Of course." The family sat there watching the scene unfold in front of them.

"Well, what are we waiting for? Start the movie!" Derek said.


A couple of days later Derek was having trouble with his science homework so Casey took it upon herself to help him out. They decided it would be best to work in Casey's room.

"What comes out of sebaceous glands?" Casey asked him an hour after studying. Now she was quizzing him on what he knew.

"Sebum." He answered.

"Correct. What is rickets caused from?"

"Lack of Vitamin D." He answered.

"Yep see I knew you could do it." Downstairs they heard the front door open and close meaning the family had just gotten home.

"Derek! Casey!" Nora called.

"Up here!" Casey answered.

Nora came up the stairs and found the two eldest stepsiblings getting to close for her comfort. Derek was sitting on Casey's bed with his back up against the wall and his feet were dangling over the side of the bed. Casey was up against the headboard with a book in her lap and her legs in Derek's.

"What's going on here?" Nora asked.

"Casey is helping me study for a science test." Derek answered.

"Studying?" Nora asked incredulous.

"Yep." Casey answered proudly and shared a smile with Derek.

"Oh, okay then." Nora said warily then walked back down the stairs.

"Do you think our plan is working?" Casey asked Derek when they were sure she was gone.

"I don't know but she is definitely curious."


That night Nora needed to talk about what she saw with George.


"Yeah." He said glancing up from the news paper.

"Have you noticed Casey and Derek getting along better lately?"

"Well yeah they haven't argued for months." He replied.

"Really?" Now that she thought about it she didn't remember them having a real argument lately.

"Yeah why? What's this all about?"

"Nothing really it just seemed like all of a sudden they started getting along. When I got home today I went upstairs to find them and I found them in Casey's room. The way they were sitting it's almost as if they…"she trailed off, "never mind it's silly."

"No, no what is it?"

"I just had this really strong urge to kick him out of Casey's room."

"Huh." George replied confused. He let the subject drop for now, he made a mental note to watch the eldest two.


"Hey Nora, do we have any soup left?" Derek asked as he walked into the kitchen.

"Yeah it should be in the cupboard. Why?"

"Thanks." He walked to the cupboard and pulled out the chicken soup. "Casey isn't feeling so great." He pulled out a pot and started the soup.

"Oh maybe I should go check on her." Nora walked into her daughter's room and found her half asleep with blankets surrounding her. She leaned down and felt Casey's forehead which was burning hot. She went in search of the thermometer to check how high her fever was but was stopped.

"101.5" She heard her daughter croak.

"What?" She asked confused.

"Derek took my temperature."

"Oh." Derek walked back into the room with a tray that had Casey's chicken soup on it.

"Here you go Case." He helped her sit up then placed the soup in front of her.

"Thanks Derek."

"No problem." He smiled. Nora stood off to the side. There was something between them that she just couldn't put her finger on. When did Derek start caring about Casey? How did he know her daughter was sick before she did? She didn't know now but she will figure it out, no matter what it took.


Today is Derek's hockey game. And it wasn't just any hockey game. It was the game where all the scouts show up and chose who they want to be on their team. The only thing Derek asks for on this day is that his family shows up and supports him. Coincidentally today is the only day that they cannot show up. George has a major case to attend to, Nora has to go to her sister's house because of some problems going on, Edwin and Lizzie have a party that apparently they just cannot get out of, and Marti told Derek that there were more important things for her to do. In other words, she was going to Demi's.

"Dad today is a really important game. How can you not come?" Derek asked. Everyone was in the room waiting to go.

"Son I just can't. I have to work."

"I'll go." They heard from behind them. They all turned their heads to look at Casey.

"Why would you want to go?" Nora asked curiously. She was still wary when it came to the two of them. She's noticed a lot since last week when Casey had the cold. Derek would touch Casey for the smallest things and his hand would linger. Any chance Casey gets, she will sit in the seat closest to Derek's chair. They smile at each other more, and share looks with each other as if they are telling secrets. Nora knows she should be grateful that they are getting along, but she just knows that something isn't right. Or maybe something finally is.

"Well Derek has nobody to go with him. Don't you think he needs some kind of support?" Casey asked.

"Yeah, but you actually want to go after he called you bad luck?" Nora knew she was pushing it but she couldn't help it.

"Nora I don't mind. Come on Case let's go." Derek interrupted. They left and headed to the game.


Derek was in a great mood. Not only did his team win at the game today, but two scouts talked to him. He was practically walking on air. When he got home his family was still gone so he got a couple of hours alone with his girlfriend. No they didn't do anything over PG-13. Instead they grabbed a movie and cuddled on the couch with kisses every so often. It's not much but when your hiding a relationship, the smallest things seem so much better.

Around 4 o'clock that afternoon everyone arrived at home. They went about the day normally but the number of curious looks received by Nora increased dramatically and Casey knew that tonight would probably be the night their secret is finally revealed. A sick feeling settled itself in Casey's stomach. That night after the kids went to sleep Nora called Casey into the kitchen to speak with her.

"Wish me luck." She whispered to Derek from his doorway. Since his room is across the hall he knew that Nora suspected something. He got up from his chair and walked over to Casey.

"You're going to be just fine. I promise. I'll be right up here when you need me. I love you."

"I love you too." He kissed her with all the love he possessed and sent her on her way.

"You wanted to speak to me." Casey asked her mom when she stepped into the kitchen. She took a seat across from her mom.

"Yeah. I've noticed some things and I want you to be honest with me." Casey's heart started beating faster and she fought to keep her nervousness from showing.

"Ok what is it?"

"You and Derek have gotten a lot closer. While I was at your Aunt Fiona's today we got to talking about our boyfriends when we were younger. About how they would give up something that means a lot to them for us, how they care for us when we're sick, how we would help them with anything, and support them when they needed it. What I'm getting at is I came to a realization today." She paused unable to find the right words. Deciding to just go for it she did. "Are you and Derek together?"

Casey closed her eyes whether in relief or defeat she doesn't know. "Yes." She seen her mother's eyes widen then she nodded.

"How long?" Nora asked.

"Seven months. Are you mad?"

"I don't know yet. Still in shock." Casey stayed silent knowing her mom still had questions. "Were you ever going to tell George and I?"

Casey smiled slightly. "In our own little way we were." Nora looked at her confused. "Last month we decided we were going to tell you. The thing is we didn't want to shock you or George so we decided to ease it into your mind a little. We became more affectionate to each other in front of the you guys. I guess it worked." She joked.

They sat in silence for a little longer then Nora spoke up again. "Why Derek?"

Casey was shocked by her mom's question. "Um I guess it's because of the small things. He's changed quite a bit in the last three years and has matured. He won't let me get hurt, he loves me for who I am and wouldn't change it although I have been more lenient on my schedule for things other than education , and he knows the way to make me forget about my problems. One of the things I love about him is how he says my name. It's like a mood reader. When he calls me Case he's very relaxed, if he calls me Spacey then he's in a playful mood, and when he calls me Casey then he's being serious." Nora watched as her daughters eyes glazed over in thought. It was easy to tell Casey was in love. It made her happy to know her daughter was so happy. That's all she could ever wish for.

I hope you liked it. I know I sure did. Please review!