A/N: It's been forever since I've posted a fic. Sometimes I really hate college--it interferes with my Dasey dabbles!!! But anyway, I hope you enjoy this story! :)


"And don't forget the laundry!" my mom calls from the open front door. A gust of wind blows inside and ruffles the curtains.

"We won't!" I respond back, giving her a cheerful little wave and trying not to shiver from the chilly burst of air. There must be a big windstorm coming. Great. How will I ever concentrate on my homework with it howling outside my bedroom window? Not that I'm afraid of a little wind or anything….

"And please, please, please, Casey—try not to fight with Derek too much."

I press my lips together, trying to keep my face neutral. "I know."

My mom doesn't look too convinced, but what else can she do? She and George are taking a business vacation in Disneyland—something about a seminar on juvenile cases—with Liz, Edwin and Marti, and so Derek and I are stuck at home. Again.

The last time this happened, near disaster occurred. But thanks to my own powers within, I'd managed to fix the TV and avert absolute crisis. (I love that book series even more now.) Derek is hanging out at Sam's house tonight, thankfully, so I'm going to have the house to myself for at least part of the weekend. Unfortunately, Emily is out of town—she left yesterday to spend the week at her parents' log cabin near the lake. But this gives me a chance to catch up on a little summer reading!

"We'll see you Sunday afternoon, sweetie," my mom calls, then closes the door. I'm alone at last.

Well, almost.

"So Sam and I are hanging here for a little bit to play video games tonight and watch the hockey game. Which means that you need to make yourself scarce from 10pm until 1am."

My oaf of a step-brother—finished with his patronizing statement—hurdles down the stairs, two at a time, and saunters into the kitchen, where I had just pulled some chocolate chip cookies out of the oven. His trademark smirk stretches across his mouth.

"What?" I cry in annoyance. "I thought you were hanging out at his house!"

Derek rolls his eyes and snatches a cookie from the tray. "Ow!" he yells, dropping it onto the counter and sucking on his finger. "That was hot!"

"Serves you right!" I hiss, fighting my extreme irritation. "You told mom and George that you were spending the night at Sam's tonight!"

"And so I am," he responds, heading for the fridge. "But we're hanging out here for a little while, too." He takes out the milk carton and chugs from it. "So keep to your room then, ok?" he asks, wiping his mouth.

Setting the cookie tray on the counter, I march over and snatch the carton out of his hands. "I will not be confined to my room like some animal," I snap. "And that is disgusting, Derek," I add, motioning to the milk carton.

"Yet oddly refreshing," he replies, grabbing it back and lifting it to his lips for another gulp.

I reach for it and start to yank it away when it slips through my fingers and spills milk all over our shirts.

"Casey!" cries Derek, furious, "You just ruined my only clean shirt!"

"Well, you shouldn't have been drinking milk from the carton in the first place!" I snap back. "And this is my last clean shirt, too. Since somebody forgot to start the washer this morning!"

"I might have remembered if someone hadn't been nagging me about getting an early start on my homework!" Derek grabs some paper towels and attempts to dab up the milk residue. I huff in annoyance and snatch the paper towels from him, wet them under the tap, and take over. With one hand clenching the bottom of his shirt to pull it out, and the other hand properly dabbing wet paper towel against the milk stains, I realize after a moment that he's frozen and is staring somewhere off to his right, trying to look indifferent. And it takes me another moment to realize that what I'm doing—my close proximity, the way that I'm pushing my hands against his chest each time I dab at his shirt—is probably too inappropriate for even my OCD tendencies to permit right now. So I let go of his shirt, shove the paper towel into his hand and turn around, fussing with the cookies and pretending that my hand isn't tingling. Actually, I don't have to pretend; my hand isn't tingling. Not one bit.

"So are you going to stay upstairs tonight then?" Derek asks after clearing his throat.

"Fine, whatever," I mutter. "But you don't get any cookies; they're for Marti's bakery sale on Monday." I turn around, and there's Derek with half a cookie in his hand. "De-REK!" I bellow. He just laughs and shoves the rest of the cookie into his mouth.

----------

It's a really, really good cookie. Totally worth the piercing shriek that Casey sends my way as she yells out my name. I laugh at her and shove the rest of the cookie into my mouth.

"'Kay, later, Casey. Thanks fer da cookie," I mumble around the cookie, lifting my hand to wipe my mouth. Her eyes follow my fingers and watch as they brush crumbs off the corner of my lip. It's kind of weird between us for a second, but then she blinks and shakes her head, as if startled by something. And then it's back to her non-stop blabbering about responsibility and maturity and all that stuff I can't remember ever caring about.

I just roll my eyes, nod my head a couple of times, and turn on my heel. Sam'll be here in about and hour and a half, and for now I've got some internet surfing to do.

Just then, the lights around us flicker a few times.

"What's that?" gasps Casey.

I flash her my trademark smirk, and say, "The lights, Casey. You know, part of the electricity that allows you to function every day—"

"I know what lights are, dufus," she hisses at me, her eyes wide with fear. "I meant… is the power going to go out?"

"It better not," I reply, scowling at the kitchen light and reaching out to nab another cookie.

Casey swats at my hand, crying, "Derek!" I open my mouth to mock her, but at that moment the lights go completely out.

Casey gives a yelp of fear and shrieks my name again, only this time her voice is wobbly and her hand lashes out to clutch at my arm. Great. Not only is the power out (which totally kills the plans I have for this evening), but now the circulation in my left arm is being cut off.

"Hey, Casey, let up on the iron grip a little, would you?" I snap. I don't like the way her body is so close to mine. Don't ask me why, cuz I don't really know.

"But… but… the lights! They're gone!"

"Yes, genius, well observed." I'm trying to be patient, but she makes it so difficult sometimes. "Now let go of my arm!"

Her grip loosens, but she doesn't move away. I can barely see her; it's so dark in here. The entire block must have lost its power. All I can see is her silhouette against the dark blue sky outside the windows. She's trembling and it looks like her arms are wrapped around her body, as if to protect herself from the cold or her fears or something. I swear I hear her whimper.

"What's with you?" I ask her, munching on the cookie that I managed to steal when the lights first went off.

"It's just that… well, if you have to know… I guess I just hate the dark."

Should I laugh, or would that be too mean? I settle for a roll of the eyes. "Well, find us a candle or a flashlight or something."

Casey nods, takes one step and trips over my foot. "OOF," she gasps as she starts to fall, but I reach out and clutch at her jacket with both hands and manage to stop her. She's poised half-way between standing and the floor, and my arms are aching from holding her entire body weight off the ground. She shifts a little bit in an effort to right herself, but just ends up knocking us both to the floor. Somehow I manage to throw my hands out so that I don't completely land on top of her—but her legs end up tangled in my own and her forehead knocks against my chin.

"OUCH!" I cry, rubbing my chin.

"Sorry," a mumble comes from beneath me. "Are you ok?"

"Yeah, no thanks to you. I think I bit my tongue." I groan in annoyance. "Do you have to be such a klutz, Casey?"

"I can't help it!" she protests. On the ground, her hair shimmers slightly in the silver moonlight, and there's a small twinkle in her eyes from the soft light. I can feel her eyes on me as we both struggle to move apart, and finally—finally—we're separated and my heart isn't pounding so much anymore. She scoots a little bit farther away and leans against the counter. It's funny how in almost darkness I feel like I can see more of Casey McDonald than I ever have when the sun's out and the birds are chirping.

"Are you all right?" I ask, belatedly.

"Yeah," she replies.

"Can't say the same for your dignity, can you?" I sneer.

I can't be sure, but I think she might have flipped me off. But it's so dark that I probably just imagined it.

"What now?" she asks after a moment. I offer her the cookie. I've taken two more since she told me to stop eating them. "Derek!" she screeches. "Those are for Marti!" She lurches for whole cookie in my hand, but I hold it out of her reach.

This—I soon discover—was a bad idea.

As her hand reaches for the cookie, I realize that that means that her body leans over my own. Her arm brushes my chest as she strains her body farther, and her knee shoves into my thigh. I gulp, hoping she hasn't noticed that I've frozen up, and that she can't feel the tingles dancing along my skin where our bodies touch.

"Here," I say, shoving the cookie at her. "Take it, I don't even like them that much." It's a lie, of course.

---------------

"Derek!" I screech at my obnoxious pig of a step-brother, "Those are for Marti!" I reach for the cookie in his hand that he hasn't yet bitten into, but he yanks his arm away from me at the last minute. So I just strain my arm farther, and it brushes against his chest, and even through the fabric of our shirts I can feel a tingly sensation. I also can't help but notice that my knee is digging into his leg, which is taut with tension. His breath comes quickly against my ear, tickling the sensitive skin, and right when I'm about to shiver he shoves the cookie into my hand and stands up. I sprawl to the kitchen floor, and I think my knee is going to bruise.

At least the cookie is saved.

"I'll be watching the game," he almost growls at me.

I raise an eyebrow but say nothing, figuring that this is probably not the best time to make a patronizing comment that the TV will not actually work because the power is out. Soon enough, I hear him swear to himself and spin on his heels.

"TV doesn't work," he says matter-of-factly, although there's still an edge to his voice. "You could have told me."

I lift myself off the floor and stand up to meet him face to face. "And saved you the effort of walking ten feet? No way. I like to see you suffer."

"Oh yeah?" he retorts, "When you're sprawled on the floor?"

"Shut up," I snarl in response. "It was your fault; you should have just given me the cookie nicely when I asked for it!"

"Well, ok then. I'm going upstairs," says Derek, rolling his eyes, but as he speaks he lifts up his hands and I can just make out the shape of three more cookies gripped between his fingers. I swear he flashes me that stupid smirk for—what—the millionth time tonight?

"Derek!" I screech over his laughter, making a dash toward him. He makes it up the stairs before I reach him, and I launch myself at him again. "Just give me the cookies!"

He runs into my room, still laughing like some maniacal brute, and stands over my bed. It's dark, but I can still make out the shape of his body (when did he ever get that tall?) as he towers over my bed. "Do you want your cookies back?" he almost purrs, and I know this isn't going to be good. There's a kind of electricity crackling in the air between us, and I think it's from the storm outside, but I can't be sure in this darkness. Reaching out his hand over my bed, he mashes the cookies with his fingers against his fist, and a hundred crumbs fall onto my bedcovers.

Outraged, I shriek, "De-REK!!" and give him a huge shove. He stumbles back a step, but other than that he is unaffected. I, however, end up tripping over something (the rug?) and land clumsily onto my bed, sending the crumbs scattering all over the quilt.

"Nice try, Klutzilla!" Derek laughs, and the weird tension between us is gone. But then he stands over me—looms over me—and wags a finger in my face. "That's why you never mess with a Venturi," he drawls. "You always lose."

Oh, he is asking for it!

Narrowing my eyes, I hoist myself to my feet and stare him in the eyes. "Oh yeah?" I point a finger into his face. "Well, not this time."

Derek leans in, an eyebrow raised, challenging me. "So just are you planning on doing, then?"

I'm still staring up into his eyes, and they're reflecting the light from the moon outside, and he's got that damn smirk on still, and his hair is mussed and starting to fall into his eyes…. And it's all giving him this kind of look—like he's waiting for me to really do something, like he wants me to. That electricity is coursing through the air between us and through my body again, sending tingles along my skin and making my heart beat faster and creating a funny feeling in my stomach. So I raise an eyebrow of my own and take a deep breath. "This," I reply, taking a step closer.

On instinct, Derek tries to take a step back, but he can't. I've got him pushed back against my bedroom wall, trapped, and right where I want him. My hands reach up, almost of their own accord, and wrap around his neck. A part of me is completely caught off guard by my own actions, but another part has a smirk of its own and is feeling some pretty odd things in her body right about now.

"Casey, what—" Derek starts to say, but I press a finger to his lips. They're warm and soft, and a shudder courses through my body (or was that his body?) and then suddenly I'm kissing Derek. Kissing Derek. Kissing Derek. Derek.

-----------

I never saw it coming.

Well, okay, that's not completely true. I never saw it coming, but I sure as hell felt it coming. As soon as Casey took a step toward me and breathed, "This," so matter-of-factly, and yet so not… I knew I was in trouble. My body was having some really inappropriate reactions, for starters. It tends to do that a lot around her, so I guess it could have been like any other fight. But then there was that weird electricity in the air, lingering like a cloak of heat around us. It must have been that.

What else could it have been?

I tried to stop her. I really did. But she had me cornered against the wall, and so I couldn't escape. And then her hands were around my neck and I barely gasped out a brief protest before she pressed her finger to my lips, which felt warm and soft, and a shiver traveled down my spine (or did it come from her?), and then suddenly I'm kissing Casey. My step-sister. Casey. Casey.

It feels really good. No, that's not even a sufficient description. It feels damn amazing. She's flush up against me, her fingers curling through the hair at the back of my neck, and I think I'm actually kissing her back. No wait… I'm the one who's parting our lips and slipping my tongue into her mouth. Woah.

And I'm definitely sure that my hands were at my sides a second ago, and now they're pressing against the skin of her slender waist, trying to pull her closer to me. All the while my heart pounds against her heart and her mouth is hot and wet and soft and molding perfectly around my own. She's pushing me against the wall, pushing her chest against me and moving her lips against mine in a way that isn't going to help my own efforts to want to stop.

Because it feels damn amazing. I'm kissing Casey, and it feels really damn amazing.

-----------

I think it's the way he's holding me, like he's afraid to let me go, afraid that this will end. Or it could be the feeling of his mouth against mine, or the sensation of his hair in my fingers. Whatever it is, it's perfect. His tongue moves against my lips, and I open my mouth eagerly. My body feels heavy and light at the same time, and I cling to him, desperately, trying to ground myself in reality. Because right now reality is Derek. It's him kissing me, me kissing him.

He breaks away, causing a soft groan to escape from me, but then his mouth is on my neck… my jaw line… kissing its way along my collarbone. My hands travel to his waist and push up his shirt, feeling the contours of his hard back as they slide upwards. I can't seem to stop moaning, and he continues to gasp my name. The powerful surge of tension flows through us in ecstatic relief, and everywhere his skin touches mine a thousand tingles prickle my nerves.

Suddenly, the lights flicker and go back on. It's a lightbulb going off in all senses of the analogy: we pull away from each other, staring open-mouthed into each other's eyes (his are warm and brown and inviting)… and then I'm stepping back and he's rubbing the back of his neck and not looking me in the eyes. It's awkward, and I want to pretend that I am disgusted by what we just did, but my body tells me otherwise. My heart is trembling in my chest, just like my knees and arms and limbs are trembling. I think my lip is even trembling, swollen and throbbing softly (wonderfully).

"Um," I mumble at last. "That was…"

"…interesting?" he supplies when I don't say anything. "Yeah, it was."

"Should we—" I start to say, but he cuts me off:

"No."

I huff in annoyance. "Derek, we just—"

"Don't say it!" he cries, and I look at him for the first time since the lights came back on. His hair is disheveled, sticking up everywhere, and there's a certain glow to his face that may or may not be from my bedside lamp. He's beautiful, I realize, and my chest clenches at the thought, although I don't completely know why.

There's a long pause where neither of us says anything. He still won't look at me. And it's damn annoying.

"Well," he manage, "I guess… I guess I'll…."

But he trails off because I've stepped closer to him. Now it's my turn to smirk, which I do, crossing my arms.

"What?" he asks after a moment, an eyebrow raised in question.

"I won," I say simply, lifting my chin in defiance.

A small smile tugs at his lips (his lips…), and then he returns my smirk. "You may have won the battle, McDonald," he replies, and I can't stop watching the way his mouth moves when he speaks. "But us Venturis always win the war."

And with that, he gives me a wink and waltzes out, leaving me staring at his retreating form and thinking to myself that maybe—just maybe—it might not be that bad to let him win next time.


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