A/N - So I'm done with this story. I know that some might not be happy with the ending, but when I thought about it, this was the only way to finish the story for me...
I do not own LWD.
He hated these functions. He hated dressing up, taming his hair and the expectation of good behaviour. He was an adult. He didn't have to act the way he didn't want to. And he really didn't want to be here.
"I would like to give a toast." Everyone turned their attention towards his father, who stood up from his seat with a glass of champagne in his hand. Derek tried not to snort with laughter. It was highly doubtful if he even knew the brand of the bubbly. But as usual, George was in his element. He had the dinner party's undivided attention. "To a year of wedded bliss, I hope." Everyone around the table chuckled. "I have to say that Ben has been a wonderful addition to the McDonald-Venturi clan, and I'm hoping that he feels the same about our addition to his."
At this statement, Ben grinned as he lifted his glass to the rest of the family, his arm circling around his wife protectively. Her gaze on the other hand was not on her husband. "Believe me, I have never thought it possible to be part of such a loving and colourful family." Everyone laughed as they lifted their glasses.
Derek felt a nudge against his ribs. Moving his gaze from familiar blue eyes, he quickly raised his own glass to the couple.
"And lets just hope..." George continued, grinning. "...that this new move will let us see our Casey a bit more." Everyone grinned as they took a sip, a sign that dinner had officially begun. Derek managed to sit through the banging of cutlery and mindless chatter for maybe two minutes before he excused himself from his date and walked out under the pretence of getting more pepper. He didn't stop at their household kitchen, instead he walked right out into the backyard, slamming the door shut behind him. He needed air. Leaning against the wall, he took a few deep breaths. This was not how he expected to feel when seeing her after nearly a year. He expected to feel detached. Amused at how she hadn't changed. Maybe a little nostalgic considering...
The backdoor opened, and the person he had been thinking about stepped out carefully. "You took sometime with the pepper there."
He hadn't expected her. "How was Washington?" That was the main question, wasn't it?
Shrugging, she joined him as she leaned against the wall next to him. "Not bad." They stayed silent for a while. What else was there to ask, really? "You missed me." She whispered softly.
Derek scoffed before turning to face her. "And you're so sure because..?"
"Because you were the only person who didn't come over and say 'hi'." She leaned her head against the wall, her eyes tired.
Smirking, he turned away from her. "You know, some might say that that's a sign of me not missing you."
"You missed me. Just admit it."
He shouldn't have looked at her seriously then. "As much as you missed me?"
Her smile fell, her eyes intensely watching him. "I won't admit it until you do." He looked away again. He was never good at these type of conversations. "She's nice."
His eyes snapped up, his mind drawing a blank. "Who?"
"The girl." She looked at him, her eyes speaking volumes.
"Just a date." He shrugged casually.
She looked down again. "Did you see anyone this past year? Seriously, I mean." The question wasn't asked casually enough.
She scoffed lightly. "I'm married, remember?"
His felt his collar tighten. He did the only thing he could do. He shrugged. "Was that what that whole party was about last year?"
She laughed slightly. The sound hollow. It didn't make sense why the sound could hurt him. "Got over me pretty quick didn't you?"
"I didn't have you to get over you."
She looked straight at him. "You had me."
He looked at her then, his heart beating maddeningly. "What are you saying?"
"I..." She looked away. "I don't know." She looked around nervously. "I have to go."
"Wait." He grabbed her arm and turned to face her fully, practically pushing her against the wall. "What did you mean by that? I had you? I never had you." She opened her mouth to reply, but he cut her off. "We finished this thing a long time ago. You can't just come back and..."
She shook her head. "Derek..."
He sighed, frustrated. "What?"
She looked down. "Ben knows."
His heart stopped for a minute. "You told him?"
She looked up at him then, her eyes glazed. "I couldn't lie to him."
"But he didn't-"
"I told him that it was over and that he had nothing to worry about."
It still didn't make any sense. He should have been punched in the face, not hugged like a brother. "He's okay with it. Just like that?"
"We went for couple's counselling. It took him months to forgive me." She looked down. "Or so he says, but it's obvious he still doesn't trust me."
"But.." He moved back, surprised. "He didn't even try to hit me.."
"He doesn't know it was with you." She looked away, as if embarrassed. "He wouldn't have been able to handle it. I couldn't do that to him."
He felt the urge to walk away, but his feet refused to move. "Why are you telling me all this?" Somehow, he knew he needed to know.
She looked at him for a moment before she shrugged lightly. Her smile, sad. "He's planning on divorcing me. He thinks I don't know, but I found the papers in his desk a while back." She laughed. "It's not working, we tried. But it's not possible to stay in a marriage when there's no trust. We hardly talk. We haven't slept in the same bed for months..."
Surely she wasn't asking him to do, what he thinks she's asking him to do. "If you want me to talk to him..." He couldn't. He really couldn't be an advocate for their marriage.
She shook her head in surprise. "No. I just want...to talk."
He still wasn't buying it. "To talk?"
She shrugged again. "I just needed to talk to someone who wouldn't say 'I told you so'."
"And you thought of me?"
"Anyone else cross your mind?"
This somehow felt like an insult. Leaning forward, he stood his ground as his eyes met hers. "I was never your friend. If you think that I'm going to sit silently and listen while you-"
"I don't want a friend." His gaze fell to his chest, as her fingers played with the button of his shirt.
His eyes met hers. "I'm not your fuck-buddy either." Moving back, he ignored her hurt expression. "Just because you used me a year ago, doesn't mean I'll let you use me again."
"I wasn't using you."
"Really?" He snapped sarcastically. "So all that time when you had me and Ben, and you chose Ben, that wasn't using me?"
"What?" She asked, outraged. "Is that what this is about? You think I chose Ben over you? I chose you over Ben. Why do you think our marriage is suffering? It's not because he has trusts issues, it's because every time I think I'm over you, someone mentions your name and suddenly I'm not anymore." Her eyes narrowed as she jabbed his chest in anger. "You are the problem. You are the one who is ruining my life."
"And you are being dramatic, as usual." He all but stuck his tongue out at her. "Do you think this is easy for me? That girl in there? She's just a friend. And do you know why she's just a friend? Because someone ruined me. I haven't dated anyone or slept with anyone in a year! I haven't been that celibate since I was sixteen."
"Aww. Poor baby." She mocked, sinisterly. "Haven't had a chance to use your skills for a year. However would the world survive?"
"If you were here instead of Washington, I wouldn't have had that problem."
"What are you saying? That if you were sleeping with me you wouldn't have slept with anyone else?"
They paused. His gaze avoided hers.
"Why wouldn't you?" She asked curiously, her tone soft.
He rubbed the back of his neck nervously. "Are you saying you would have?"
"No." She said in an obvious tone. "I just never thought that you would... you know..."
"Believe me, I'm just as surprised as you are."
"Don't try blaming this on me."
"You have always been the sole problem maker, so yeah, I'm blaming this on you." His smirk was smug as she crossed her arms and glared. "This whole thing that we're trapped in? Your fault."
She scoffed. "Well it's your fault we got ourselves into this predicament in the first place."
"Hey! Don't try blaming me just because you were attracted to me."
"I was not attracted to you." Her anger seemed to increase as he raised his eyebrows at her. "And for your information, the fact that you slept with me, means that you were attracted to me."
His smirk fell. "Lets not focus on the minor details."
"Fine." They glared at each other silently.
After a moment, she looked at him in confusion. "What were we arguing about?"
He shrugged before his gaze met hers intensely. "Are you two really done?"
Her expression sobered instantly. "Looks like it. And the thing is, I know I'm suppose to be more devastated, not accepting." She smiled softly. "I think it's the right thing to do. It's just not working."
He nodded, gesturing towards the back door. "We better get back."
"Yeah." Moving forward, she lightly kissed his cheek, her lips barely grazing the side of his. "Thanks for listening. I think you just might be growing up."
He smiled. "Don't tell anyone." Smiling herself, she pulled open the door, pausing when he said her name. "You up for coffee this Saturday? Or in your case, green tea?"
Her eyes narrowed in amusement. "You know, someday I'll make you a believer in the power of antioxidants."
He smirked. "I'd like to see you try."
"Fine. Saturday it is." She shoved him lightly. "But I warn you, it can be pretty addictive."
Leaning forward, he smirked. His lips just an inch away from hers. "I highly doubt it." Moving back, he quickly went inside and closed the door behind him. The screen almost hitting her in the face. He waited for it. And sure enough it took a second before he heard it.
Smirking, he joined the dinner party, Casey huffing in anger behind him. Just because they were in this semi-relationship like thing didn't mean he had to change his ways. He continued grinning, not noticing the curious glances of his family landing behind him. Within seconds he was doused with water, the family staring in surprise at his jaw dropped expression and the empty water glass in his step-sisters hand. Snickering, he reached for his own glass as he ignored the protests of his father and Nora, and the squeals of excitement from his siblings.
Looked like she wasn't changing her ways either. And that was fine by him.
A/N - I'm such a Dasey shipper that I couldn't bear leaving this story without a bit of hope for those two. The situation was left messy and confusing on purpose, in case anyone was wondering. The couple never hit me as those who talk about every single detail (eventhough Casey might want to) so I left them with what they do best, action without analyzing it. I hope it was in character. And thanks to all who ever reviewed, I enjoyed reading them :)..