TITLE: Fighting Words
AUTHOR: ponderer
DISCLAIMER: I don't own anything, promise.
SUMMARY: "It's going to be okay," Derek says huskily into her ear and she shivers from her nerves and maybe his closeness too.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: The song in mind was "Little Motel" by Modest Mouse, while a lovely stream of sexy songs played on my player. This was inspired by a Chicago conference trip I went on in February where I was on a plane. I hadn't written anything for DASEY in the longest time, and I knew I owed the readers something. Please review, and let me know what you think!

Derek

"Oh God," she whispers over and over again to Derek's right. He barely bares a glance in her direction, looking around the aisle instead to eye the pretty stewardess who was working in first class. Casey grasps onto both armrests and normally he would say something, but he holds back the fighting words and concentrates elsewhere.

He loves that she's afraid of flying in planes. She's not used to the traveling like he is; having gone to Spain, Mexico, and once to Arizona himself. He doesn't understand why his dad makes him sit by her, and not by her mother or even her sister, especially when she was so nervous and worked up (even more so than usual). Why would they put them together, three rows behind everyone else, her by the window and him in the aisle? Did they really want to kill them both?

Not that he doesn't love to make Casey uncomfortable. It's just as much a part of him now as breathing is. She doesn't hold back, fighting back with her words (and sometimes her small delicate fists with manicured fingers). He loves how easy it is between them, the arguing. It gets his blood pumping, his mind working quickly, and well, makes his heart beat stronger.

"Oh God," she says one more time and it's just when the plane has begun to take off and his own stomach begins to drop at the feeling of being weightless. He looks are her now, seeing her eyes clenched tightly, her chest rising and falling so fast he has a hard time counting. He gets into big brother mode without thinking and places his own hand on top of hers. She doesn't open her eyes, but she does turn her hand over and before he can slide his away, suddenly their hands are intertwined and he doesn't fight it because he can't because she's holding it so tightly.

"It's okay. Just wait for the beep, and you'll know everything is going to be okay," he says, something he would say to Marty and Lizzie, and maybe even Edwin. This isn't something he would normally say to Casey, but the undeniable urge to protect her was too overwhelming for him to ignore.

Casey nods quickly, taking deep breaths. The plane ascends further into the air and normally this would be Derek's favorite part of flying, to be able to look out the window and see the buildings grow smaller and smaller as he rose higher into the clouds above him. But, for some reason, he was unable to look anywhere else except for her face. He longed for her fighting words, something other than this new feeling he was having.

"You know, if you weren't so lame and flew more often, this wouldn't happen," he says, hoping that this will help her (and him too).

Her face flushes even further but she doesn't say anything. Her hand is still in his and it's still so tight, but her teeth are now worrying her lip. She's holding back. He decides to push a bit further.

"Whatever Casey. This is so predictable of you to freak out about something like this. It's a plane. Planes have been flying for years," he says and he begins to try and break his hand free from hers but he already misses the feeling of her soft skin, her nails scrapping the back of his hand. Her eyes finally flash open and he's glad at first, but then he sees the fear and not the anger he had been hoping for.

"Please," is her quiet plea and he stops trying to loosen his hand. He breathes out deeply and nods to her. She accepts it but keeps her eyes on him, just in case.

"It's almost over," he tells her, feeling the plane begin to lower to level out. They are way above the clouds now, and they are gliding across a field of white fluff. He feels the urge to lean over her and stare out the window in wonder, but he holds himself back, trapped in her gaze. He realizes she is waiting for the beep to go off and she is using him as a distraction. Finally, minutes (which are really just seconds) go by and the sound echoes throughout the cabin. He manages an encouraging look in her direction, but Casey still looks uncomfortable. Derek begins to wonder if he'll get his hand back during the flight.

"Hello passengers, it's your captain speaking. We have reached our height and have a nice flight to Orlando in roughly four hours. So sit back and relax. Enjoy the flight," he hears and the sign for the seatbelt goes off. Derek begins to reach for his headphones but finds it hard with only one hand. Casey begins to loosen her hand slowly, noticing what he wants to do. He grabs his MP3 player and headphones from his backpack, using his feet to kick it back under the seat in front of him. He places the ear pieces in their rightful places and sees her out of the corner of his eye. Casey's watching him, her hands back on the armrests, white on her knuckles. He breathes out a sigh and mentally shakes his head. There are a million other things he would rather do then sit here with Casey of all people who's freaking out.

"Here," he murmurs, handing her the ear piece closest to her. He hopes that maybe the music will calm her, like it used to with him. She watches him and confusion and he realizes that maybe he needs to elaborate. "My mom used to share hers with me when I first started flying to keep me occupied." Her eyebrows crunch together because she's still confused, probably as to why he's being so nice. Just then some turbulence hits the plane and she takes what's offered. Again, she grabs his hand, but doesn't connect with her fingers like last time. It's not as comfortable, especially when he notices the couple across from them eyeing them gleefully (like they were a couple too). Usually, he'd want to back away from her immediately, but for some reason, he gives a small smile to the aging pair and moves his hand to that it's like before, their fingers between each other, her grasping on for death life. Derek presses play and the music blares through the headphones. Casey doesn't look shocked, almost thankful to hide the airplane noise. He looks down and quickly searches for something else to listen to. She watches him, and he's suddenly glad to be distracting her in some way, even if she's confused the whole time. After a few seconds of his music search, he finds a song he likes and thinks she will too.

It doesn't take long before she's nodding along to the beat of the drums but she still hasn't let up on his hand. He finds he doesn't mind, that he accidentally squeezes her hand back when another favorite song comes in. Soon, their heads are tapping along to the same tune, in sync, and he notices how the plane has hit another patch of turbulence and Casey hasn't moved more in surprise. He's calmed her; somehow.

"I really like this song," she says, and it's the most she's said in a really long time. Except she's whispering it into his free ear, afraid that she'll disturb the other passengers. He swallows back his normal response and tries to hide the shiver that goes throughout his side from where she's leaning against him.

He whispers back because he feels it would be inappropriate otherwise. "Yeah, I've got a few others by them on here." He places his thumb over the music player to change the song, another by the same band. She smiles as she leans closer to read over his shoulder. He takes a breath and suddenly smells her everywhere; freesia and sunflowers and everything spring. It makes sense, the smell, something he smells in the bathroom from time to time. He grew to love that smell, and naturally it would lead to Casey.

"Ooh, this one's nice," she says, and this song is quiet and they both become still.

He doesn't notice later on, songs later, that Casey has dosed off. He was into the music too much to notice, but when he did, her hand was slackened in his and her head was resting on his shoulder. He knew she wasn't very comfortable so he loosened his hand the rest of the way and moved the armrest to be between their shoulders. He stretches his arm across her back and she falls into him without restraint. She nuzzles closer still, wrapping her free arm around his waist. He's tempted now to lean the seat back and sleep himself, but this behavior is already very odd for him, so he instead stays sitting up, trying hard to not take a deep breath of her fragranced hair.

"She's lovely dear," the old woman beside him says with a grin. He looks up and nods before looking back down at Casey. Her long eyelashes blink against her cheeks as she dreams; he's hoping they are happy thoughts. He finds himself itching to move the hair that has fallen into her face and before he can stop himself, he does the action. Derek stares at his hands in surprise.

"Yeah, she's okay," he says quietly, but the old woman is still smiling. He notices that she too clasps hands with her husband who is slightly snoring. Derek imagines himself in the future, sitting with graying hair and wrinkled face and he shocks himself when Casey is the one (gray and wrinkled too) next to him. He shakes his head in the present and the movement causes Casey to shift in his arms.

"Mmm, smells nice," she mumbles into his shirt. She takes a big sniff and he's glad that George made him shower before the long flight. He fights a grin when she murmurs something else; something so quiet he's not sure he heard correctly. "Derek."

He leans down over her head and kisses her crown before he can stop himself. He's tired of fighting, he thinks, moving her hair again to tuck behind her ear. He rests his head down over hers, breathes out once more (freesia and sunflowers and spring) and he closes his eyes. Music still floods his ears, but the warm feeling coming from his side makes him sleepy. So he sleeps.

Casey

She doesn't know how long she's been sleeping, but she does realize that sleeping on a plane shouldn't be as comfortable as it is. And it probably shouldn't smell as nice. She moves her hand to wipe across her eyes to wipe the sleep away but she still keeps her eyes closed. She had a lovely dream; her dancing across a peaceful meadow with beautiful flowers and grass against the sunrise. The music playing in her ears isn't quite something she's used to, but her body is still moving along rhythmically. She closes her eyes and throws her arms in the air and she begins to twirl, the silky material of her dress swirling between her bare legs. As she opens her eyes, she is met with another pair of eyes, a dark, rich brown. She smiles and so does he and she reaches for him mid spin and he accepts her body into his and they continue on.

She smiles and smoothes her face against the smooth material, squeezing her arm more tightly around her pillow and doesn't question how it touches her back. Her eyes pop open once she realizes that yes, she's still on a plane and yes, she's wrapped in someone's arms and wow, yeah, it's Derek that's around her. She wants to move and push him away but finds the steady beat of his heart agree that he's sleeping and he smells oddly good for being Derek and well, she's pretty comfortable. And really, he was nice to her before she fell asleep (the ear piece is still in its rightful place, music still playing quietly).

She moves her head up just slightly and meets the gaze of the couple across from them. The old woman has fallen asleep, her head resting against her husband's arm. He's awake and has just turned to find her looking at him. He nods and smiles, his wrinkles around his blue eyes deep with his grin. She can't help but smile back at him, even though she begins to feel weird that she's up against Derek of all people, but she knows that he doesn't know who they are, and probably never will, so she pushes that feeling away and makes herself more comfortable around him.

"That's quite a good lad you have there. He hasn't let you go since you got on the flight, I don't think," he says and since he's in the aisle, you have to lean over Derek a bit to hear him.

"Oh, well, yes. I suppose so," Casey agrees, surprised at this truth presented to her. She feels the grin spread on her face and her skin feels warm, but that doesn't stop her from tightening herself even closer to Derek.

He mumbles a bit, her hair blowing with his breath. "Flowers," he garbles out and she grins, mentally patting her shoulder for her body wash and shampoo scents. Then, her grin falters. "Casey."

She feels as if she's floating, but then she knows she's being silly because she is, because she's flying after all. She doesn't want to make a big deal out of this because really, the situation isn't perfect… far from. But, she can't help but notice how they fit and how he smells and then remembers how he had calmed her earlier when the plane had begun its journey to Orlando. She thought he had been sweet, for sharing his headphones and his little story about him being little. It wasn't often that she was allowed into his youthful memories, more often hearing stories of his tragedies from his siblings and father. She liked seeing this side of him, the softer side. She chuckles at this because Derek's never had a soft side with the exception for Marty… and sometimes Edwin, and recently Lizzie, and well, she has to admit, he's taken care of her too.

She can recall memories of them working together, yin and yang, and how they almost… completed each other. Sure, the fighting was enough to want Casey to strangle him, but then he'd do something… almost nice and she'd had to forgive him. Because that's who she was. And maybe he knew that and played it for all it was worth. But it worked for them. Somehow.

Next year she'll be going to New York to study dance and he'll probably be staying in Toronto to decide his future. She'll see him on holidays, and maybe receive prank calls from him, but that will be it. She's sad thinking of that future, because she's used to having him around, just right next door. She'll miss having her room occupied by his presence and him giving her horrible advice and well, she'll miss him being mean (himself) to her. Because really, she's gotten to know Derek pretty well the past few years and she's beginning to realize that he knows her too.

She's in the middle of her thoughts when the plane hits turbulence once more, but it's rougher this time and the music doesn't quite hold in her confidence like earlier and she wishes Derek would wake up to do something, anything. She braces herself against him, closing her eyes tightly. He moves along with the airplane, and then he's awake and wrapping his other arm around her without even thinking about it and she's comfortable, but still frightened. Her headphone falls off because his hand is against her head, holding her close to his chest.

She feels tears burning in her eyes, and her ears hurt from the popping and damn, she'd forgotten chewing gum (even when Derek reminded her twice) and she just wants to land the plane already. "It's going to be okay," Derek says huskily into her ear and she shivers from her nerves and maybe his closeness too. "It's going to be okay," he repeats, over and over again like a mantra. Casey says it too, in her head, but her eyes stay shut and she just keeps repeating it, her mouth moving silently. She hears him sigh above her and then his finger is under her chin and his lips are on hers. She doesn't move and neither does he. She's confused even further, because this feels right, but she knows she should be afraid. She loosens her hold on his waist to raise her hand to his shoulder, but she clenches his shirt in her palm instead. She can tell from the way he tenses that he's just as surprised as she is. Casey's unsure if it's because of her response, or just that he's kissing her. However, she's not thinking about flying or what's going to happen when their lips are separated.

It only takes a moment longer and Derek sort of sighs into her mouth and Casey opens her own and then her tongue is inside his mouth. His grasp on her tightens, and she's proud of her own braveness. She'd never initiated something like this, but it feels right and Derek isn't complaining. She moves her hand from his shoulder to the side of his face and she can feel the itchiness from his stubble under her palm and then she wonders what that would feel like on other places on her body. From these thoughts she can feel her face heat up, as well as the rest of her body, even more so when Derek's tongue meets hers and another battle has begun.

Derek

Casey is kissing him, Casey is kissing him, Casey is kissing him… and that's her tongue? It doesn't take long for Derek to respond, but it's out of shock more than anything else. He's actually ashamed that she's the one to begin this, whatever this is, and really, he only meant for this to be short. This is something else entirely.

But she's not pulling away. And he hates giving up. So, he continues on and meets her halfway.

He moves his hand down her face, cupping her jaw for a moment before allowing his fingers to trace down to her exposed collarbone. This has always been his favorite part of Casey because the bones are straight and pronounce her beautiful skin tone… and wow, she's an amazing kisser.

He knows he should let her breathe, especially since it's a hell of a lot warmer in here than it was before this started but he can't seem to stop. Her lips taste like vanilla and something warm (like Casey) and it's addicting. He's glad to have brushed his teeth earlier and he's actually not minding the decision to sit by her on this plane ride. Finally, when he feels her begin to slow the kiss down, he places a chaste kiss (than one more) on her lips and pulls away but he stays close. She's smiling just a little and she murmurs, "The turbulence is over now Derek," and he sees the glint in her eye.

"Yeah," he answers in a daze. She's moved her hand back to his shoulder now and the weight and heat of it feels good. He wonders what it would feel like if her hand would touch his bare skin instead; if he could convince her to do so. He thinks she would be soft and delicate, like everything else about her, and would tickle her fingers down along his sides, around his ribs and hips, and he'd shiver. He catches her staring at him in the present and he instantly wonders what she's thinking of.

Almost as if she can read his mind, she shrugs and says, "I don't know."

It seems to be enough for the moment, because he nods and she accepts that. She folds herself into him once more, allowing her lips to trail up his neck to his jaw line. He can't help but allow his eyes to fall shut and again, the plane and everyone around them disappearing. His own hands slide down her bare arms and he can feel the goose bumps growing along the short hairs. He moves to wrap his arm around her shoulder, to warm her up, but her body is so warm and inviting already that he grins on the inside. He arches his neck back slightly and she moans so quietly at the new skin available to her that he can't help but make a sound similar to hers, except it comes from low in his throat, almost like a growl.

By now, he realizes that maybe this shouldn't go any further because yes, they are in a public place and the family is sitting only a few rows in front of them, but her lips feel so good (even just remembering what they look like when she speaks is turning him on even further) so he pushes her back a bit and before she can ask why, he plants a few lazy kisses on her lips.

"It's going to be okay," he murmurs once more, his mouth still attached to hers; he practically breathes into her. She shivers again, and moves to kiss him once more, and he's suddenly glad that she's so stubborn, that she won't stop until she gets what she wants.

"Meet me," she says, and moves to get up. He watches her with shock as she moves to the bathroom beyond the blue curtain. He waits a few moments, looking over at the couple beside him, now both sleeping, and quickly makes his escape.

Casey

She enters the bathroom and takes a deep breath, placing her hand over her forehead. Her heart's racing and she feels like she's about to go on stage for the biggest performance of her life. She wonders what's taking him so long because she's losing her nerve but before she can think more, he's there and the door is locked and his fingers are in her hair and he's oh so close and she meets his mouth halfway for an explosion.

"Why now?" he asks while she again attacks his neck. His hands are constantly in motion, the feel of his rough palms oddly comforting on her smooth arms. She doesn't know the answer to his question and that bothers her because she always knows the answer, mentally. However, her body knows exactly how to arch her back when his arms encircle her waist and urge her shirt up so he can touch the skin there, and how she playfully tugs his lower lip into her mouth until he makes that sound again deep in his throat.

"Does it matter?" she answers finally but it's in a gasp because he's touched her over her bra, under her shirt, and she fights to grab his mouth to kiss him again to give him her congratulations. He answers her back by possessing her mouth in a way she's only seen on those cheesy soap operas her mother watched sometimes, except this isn't TV, this is real life, and it's so much better. She matches his pace with ease, and she wonders if it will always be this easy.

"What do we do?" he asks, panting this time as her lips again find the edges of his shirt and pulls up. He accepts and throws his shirt onto the counter. He lifts her so she's sitting on it and she pulls him between her legs until she's wrapped around him. Her hands run up and down his sides, [just like he imagines it would be like (except better)] and she can feel his excitement in the way he holds the back of her head and brings his lips back to hers. He's shivering.

"I don't know," she replies except she really pulls away now, just her lips, and she looks at him with pouty lips. He looks anxious, and she wants to wipe the frown from his face. "I don't know," she says again. He nods, and she thinks that the moment is over now. He steps back enough for her to stand from the counter and she adjusts her shirt. He runs a hand through his hair and watches as she pulls hers back into a messy pony-tail. Casey purses her lips and watches Derek, hoping that something in his body language will explain what they should do.

He reaches for her hand, and intertwines their fingers. She thinks that this is enough.

They open the door together and walk back to their seats, not caring that the other passengers assume things. Their parents come and check on them later on in the flight and they are both asleep, hands still clasped together, her head on his shoulder. The flight ends some time later and the rest of the trip is spent in new territory. On the flight home, they sit together again (with some more fighting, but not as many words) but it's okay, or not so much, but it's new and it's different and it almost really seems to make sense.

Casey & Derek

They both attend a college, together, somewhere, and they are happy (and then they're not), but it always works out because Derek will hold Casey's hand and she'll smile and then they'll both say it's okay.