Here's my contribution to the whole Emily/Derek thing.

Disclaimer: Disclaimed. Inspirations: 'one revolution around the sun' and 'A Garden For Wallflowers'.

You like to think you're different.

Of all the girls who're in love with him, (you're not going to state the number, maybe someday if you have enough time you'll sit and count them) you're the one who knows him the best.

(Heck, you have a folder the size of Canada on him.)

He doesn't notice you much. It takes you three years to even get a 'sup.' But you know it's going to turn out all right. He's going to fall in love with you and you're going to get your 'Happily Ever After.' That's how the universe works; the popular guy gets the always-on-the-fringes girl. They call it karma.

In the 'Derek File' the last page is dedicated to three columns. Want. Need. Like. And even in the midst of all his serial dating, you have a ray of hope. Because there's nobody in the 'Needs or Likes' column yet.

(You don't expend the mental energy to hope for a certain name in those columns. That would be dumb. Really.)

Then Casey McDonald happens.

a) She's gorgeous.

b) Its going to take him a day (or maybe two, if he's otherwise occupied) to seduce her.

c) He passes her locker without a backward glance.

That throws you off balance. That has definitely never happened before. She's still looking at him with an expression that, even with your wide ranges where he's concerned, you can't classify. "Figures he'd ignore me."

You try to console her. She just laughs and tells you about her status as Derek Venturi's newly acquired stepsister.

The first thing that strikes you is…she's damned lucky. She'll be living with him, talking to him, watching him come out of the shower. (Even the occasional pool swims won't compare to that.)

And in that moment you reallyreally don't like her.

(It's only later that it strikes you. They're stepsiblings.)

You see a lot more of him when you become friends with her.

He's always around and driving her crazy and the cries of 'De-rek' become the new theme song in your head.

(You're not complaining. You get to see him all the time too, and when he's not taunting her, he maybe smiles at you, and it doesn't make your day or anything.)

She talks about him. A lot. She gives you so much material for 'The File.' It's usually all bad, and you gloss it over while writing it down. Derek the slave-driver, Derek the skirt-chasing cad, Derek the slacker, Derek the most annoying step-brother in the world.

(It's only sometimes when she's talking about him and Marti that her face lights up, even as she makes a general statement regarding his incapacity to act like a normal human-being. But you've never seen her look more beautiful than when she's telling you about the rare, almost decent things he does. He burns her, sometimes. And sometimes...he makes her glow.)

The 'Need' column fills up pretty quickly after her arrival.

And not in the way that you'd thought it would.

He needs Sandra to show Casey that 'her type' of girls date him too. (According to him, he's irresistible. You'd second that.) He needs Amy to annoy Casey.

(He needs you to get even with her.)

Kendra and Sally fill up the 'Like' column.

You sit with 'The File' and neatly write 'Casey' at the top of one page. You're going to document their…well, whatever it was that they had.

You get stuck on the first sentence. For the first time you have no idea what he thinks of someone. Sister? (You practically choke on air at the thought) Friend? (He's refused to hear her name, his name and the words 'friends' in the same sentence, so maybe not.) Member of his species? (He's been known to deny it. He swears she's some sort of creature all on her own.)

She's just his step-sister, whom he hangs around a lot, loves to torment, has physical fights with, knows inside out, and does the occasional (very occasional) nice things for.

(You don't know whether there's a word for that sort of a relationship. You leave the page blank.)

You're the first person to notice when she changes.

(Or maybe the second.)

The skirts are shorter, the shirts tighter, and she flaunts all she's got. She's discussed in the locker rooms, and gets appreciative glances wherever she goes. She's practically a one-way ticket to instant popularity. What you always wanted.

(You want the old Casey McDonald back. The one who would have ranted about what an utter pig Truman was, instead of dating him. The one who would have made color-coded lists as to why he was only slightly below Derek on the Chauvinistic Pig category. Yeah, that one. You don't know whether she still exists.)

You stand there sometimes and look at her, (but hey, you're in good company, because that's what he does most of the time too.) mingling with the crowd. The girl who used to be the most feministic, insecure, pretty, freaked-out oxymoron you ever knew is now one of the herd.

(You're sometimes startled to see his expression. Because you know him better than he knows himself, and you've never seen that look before. You've never before seen what Derek Venturi caring looks like.)

He asks you out.

You say yes.

Kissing him is like nothing you've experienced before. Not with Sheldon, not with random-guy-of-the-week, not with anyone. If you read Mills and Boon as voraciously as Casey does, you'd have maybe called it coming home.

She catches you in the games closet. You turn your head and wait for it. The mother of all freak-outs. The Casey McDonald standard "Em, how could you." Served with a side dish of "He-is-such-a-jerk-what-were-you-(not)-thinking" garnished with the usual toppings of "De-rek's"

(You don't get it.)

You're in the seventh heaven. He hangs out at your locker. He smiles at you. (Not grins, smirks…smiles) It's your Happily-Ever-After.

(You try not to notice Sam and occasionally Max giving you sympathetic glances. Because, why would you?)


You're at his house, and you're both sitting at the dinner table, while she's ranting about Truman. He's rolling his eyes, and pretending to cover his ears. She's glaring at him and she's in her oldest night clothes and bunny slippers. And it almost feels normal, before Barbie!Casey took over.

You feel his foot nudge yours and the color swiftly rises. You glance up at him. (And god you're such a mess.) He's smirking and looking at you and then glancing away. His auburn hair is mussed-up and you fall a little bit more in l…ike with him.

"Em, are you all right?"

"Yeah!" (Who went and replaced your voice with an eight-year-old boys'?)

But his foot is still on yours and you still feel warm, and light-headed. Then he pulls away and you bite your lip at the lack of warmth.

(You can predict the exact moment when his foot accidentally hits hers. Her eyes widen and she looks at both of you before glaring at him. And you can predict the exact moment when she hits him, because his eyes narrow and he glares back. And then it's just them. Just his foot and hers and the lust of challenge. Just like it happens all the time. They don't even glance at you. His expression is so intense; and just once you'd like to be the girl that look is for. The passion in his apathetic nature. Congrat-fuck-ulations, Case.)

You look away, it's too personal. You've never seen the Casey and Derek behind the façade and you're ready to wait till they put the masks back on.

(You're getting used to this feeling.)

It's not apocalypse. No ending-of-the-world-with-bright-flashing lights. It's just an acknowledgment (and god it hurts)

You're sitting and watching…something. A toss-up between hockey (when he snatches the remote) and 'ReGenesis' (when she does.)

And in middle of their fight, he falls, and with a war-cry of triumph she grabs the remote.

(The first thing that strikes you is; it's a lot of blood for a small cut.)

She looks over at him and practically freezes. The next moment she's rushed him to the kitchen (you're trailing behind, you know there's irony in here somewhere) and under the running water, she washes his finger.

"That couch probably came on the Mayflower. Goodness knows how many germs it has. This cut can get septic! We might have to cut out your hand! You're so stupid. Why don't you ever look? That couch has nails coming out of it, and if you had the common sense of an orangutan you'd have sent it for repairs long ago. But no, 'The Derek Couch' is above things like hygeine and…"

(You realize you're in middle of a full old-Casey freak-out. And it had to be him to bring that side of her out. You don't overanalyze things and wonder why. It's not worth it.)

"It's just a cut, Spacey. No big-deal! You're obviously a catching disease, Klutzilla. You should come with a warning sign."

"Klutzilla and Spacey in one sentence, you're on a roll! Insulting me is the most important thing, isn't it? Do you realize you might never play hockey again, if they cut out your hands, and all your dumb girls-of-the-moment will completely drop you in a seco…"

"Case", you interrupt. "Chill." (And by their expressions you can tell they'd forgotten you were there too. Everybody around them is used to that by now.)

She looks a little subdued. And then takes his finger and putting it in her mouth, and gently begins to draw out blood. He snatches his hand back. "What are you doing?"

(You don't notice the lowering of his voice, or the tenderness in her eyes. You don't notice a lot of things. It's a good way to live, try it.)

"What does it look like I'm doing? I'm trying to prevent the wound becoming septic." She snatches his hand back.

Your throat feels constricted and you have to (can't) look away. The scene before you is so sensuous, her hair falling on his hand, his finger in her mouth, his eyes on her bent head. And vaguely you remember you read somewhere that finger-tips were one of the most erogenous parts of the body. (It strikes you as hilarious that you're being ripped in half, and all you remember is 'Ten things to drive him crazy in bed with!')

"Derek…" you don't realize you've said it our loud, until you realize you're out of breath. He's not looking at you or at her now. He's staring at the wall, immobile, and you reallyreally want him to look at you. You want (need) to see his expression at that moment. You need to know.

The still of the moment lingers in the air, the cold air after a heavy downpour.

(He's still staring at the wall. And your heart clenches, till all you want is to kneel down and stop bleeding.)

It's 'The Party' of the year.

The music is loud, the people are swinging, the beer's flowing and your date is the hottest man in the room.

(You hate it.)

She's in her shortest dress with Truman. She gets all the compliments, and wolf-whistles. Her dress is perfect, her hair is perfect, her make-up is perfect.

(You look in her eyes. She hates it.)

They dance around each other all night, and pass snarky comments (and you're so tired.)

You watch her going into a room with Truman, and she's drunk and giggling and all over him (and what the fuck happened to that self-respecting girl you used to know?)

You drag him upstairs, kissing him frenziedly (and it feels so much like goodbye) and then you open the nearest door…

(And finallyfinally it's the right moment.)

Because sometimes you need to be completely broken to be mended again. Because somethings need to be said. Because sometimes it's not wrong, or right. It just is.

And you never want to see him look like that again. Staring at her and Truman on the bed, his hand under her dress. The hurt so fervent, you can almost taste it. Never for as long as you live.

You move out, and maybe lock the door. Leaving the three of them there. Because you're finally drained. You want them to face it. Now. Not fifteen years later, sitting with their other halves at the McDonald-Venturi home. You don't want their gazes to meet across the table and realize then. Because it will set in sometime, and destroy them.

(Because to add to the list of unfairness in the universe, you love Casey. And you never want to see that look in his eyes again.)

You ditch the hottest party of the year and go home. You take out the 'Derek File' and add a single name to the three columns on the last page, and at the end add a fourth.


You look through it once, and let your hand linger on his name for a few seconds. Then you close the file and keep it in the darkest corner of your closet.

(You won't be looking at it anytime soon.)

You cut out the 'happily ever after' from your diary, and add a 'To be continued'. It hurts right now, but it'll heal (and that's something you know.)

You stare for a moment at your mobile, pick it up, scroll down to the S's and dial a number.